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2021 Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in California

31 Colleges
6,043 Bachelor's Degrees
$29,877 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in CaliforniaIn 2018-2019, 6,043 bachelor's degrees were awarded to liberal arts / sciences and humanities students who went to a California college or university. This makes it the #11 most popular major in the state. This means that of the 45,514 bachelor's that were awarded in the country, 13.3% were from a college or university in the state.

This year's Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in California ranking looked at 31 colleges that offer a bachelor's in liberal arts / sciences and humanities. This ranking identifies schools with high-quality liberal arts / sciences and humanities programs as well as strong support for students classified as non-traditional.

When determining these rankings, we looked at things such as overall quality of the liberal arts / sciences and humanities program at the school, affordability, and presence of non-traditional students. See our ranking methodology to learn more.

One Size Does Not Fit All

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Schools for Non-Traditional Students list to help you make the college decision.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

2021 Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Schools for Non-Traditional Students in California

The colleges and universities below are the best for non-traditional students studying liberal arts / sciences and humanities.

Top 10 Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Schools for Non-Traditional Students

#1

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

Brandman University tops the 2021 list of our schools in California that are best for non-traditional liberal arts / sciences and humanities students. Located in the city of Irvine, Brandman is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

The student loan default rate at Brandman is lower than is typical, just 5.2% of students default in three years. 6,199 students at Brandman are exclusively online. About 5,521 of the students at Brandman are attending part time. Brandman does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

Full Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at Brandman University Report

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Saint Mary's College of California earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large suburb of Moraga, SMC is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. SMC also took the #3 spot in our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities in California rankings.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.5%. About 685 of the students at SMC are attending part time. SMC does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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California State University - East Bay comes in at #3 in this year's ranking. Cal State East Bay is a large public school located in the suburb of Hayward.

About 5.4% of Cal State East Bay students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 6,927 students at Cal State East Bay that take at least one class online. There are roughly 3,742 part time students in attendance at Cal State East Bay. Cal State East Bay does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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California State University - Northridge comes in at #4 in this year's ranking. CSUN is a fairly large public school located in the city of Northridge.

The student loan default rate at CSUN is lower than is typical, just 3.7% of students default in three years. Approximately 19,451 students take at least one class online at CSUN. 8,688 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

Full Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at California State University - Northridge Report

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California State University - Monterey Bay comes in at #5 in this year's ranking. CSUMB is a medium-sized public school located in the midsize suburb of Seaside.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 5.6%. There are approximately 2,205 students at CSUMB that take at least one class online. There are roughly 1,083 part time students in attendance at CSUMB. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Full Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at California State University - Monterey Bay Report

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The #6 spot in this year's ranking belongs to California State University - Dominguez Hills. Located in the small city of Carson, CSUDH is a public college with a large student population.

About 5.7% of CSUDH students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 5,467 students take at least one class online at CSUDH. 4,549 students are part time. CSUDH does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#7

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University landed the #7 spot in our 2021 best liberal arts / sciences and humanities schools for non-traditional students. SFSU is a very large public school located in the city of San Francisco.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 5.3%. There are approximately 10,593 students at SFSU that take at least one class online. 5,592 students are part time. SFSU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

Full Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at San Francisco State University Report

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Azusa Pacific University earned the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large suburb of Azusa, Azusa Pacific is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. Azusa Pacific not only placed well in our non-traditional rankings. It is also #6 on our Best Colleges for Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities in California list.

About 3.0% of Azusa Pacific students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 2,345 of Azusa Pacific students are exclusively distance learners. 2,901 of Azusa Pacific students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Read full report on Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities at Azusa Pacific University

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#9

Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, CA

The #9 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Sonoma State University. Located in the large suburb of Rohnert Park, SSU is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

About 3.5% of SSU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 1,268 students at SSU that take at least one class online. 1,167 of SSU students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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California State University - Stanislaus comes in at #10 in this year's ranking. Located in the suburb of Turlock, Stan State is a public school with a fairly large student population.

About 4.4% of Stan State students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 3,964 students at Stan State that take at least one class online. There are roughly 1,840 part time students in attendance at Stan State. Stan State does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Best for Non-Traditional Students Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Colleges in the Far Western US Region

Explore all the Best Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the Far Western US Area or other specific states within that region.

State Degrees Awarded
Washington 1,066
Hawaii 107
Oregon 317
Alaska 4
Nevada 76

Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Liberal Arts General Studies 55,431

View All Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Visual & Performing Arts 21,916
English Language & Literature 7,507
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 5,209
Philosophy & Religious Studies 2,183
Theology & Religious Vocations 2,088

View All Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Jacques Sablet (Switzerland, Morges, 1749-1803).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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