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2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California

335 Colleges
$61,375 Avg Salary*
62% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

Many college students wish to attend a diverse and inclusive institution. This is why College Factual developed its rankings for the Most Diverse Schools in California.

Our analysis looked at 335 schools in California to determine which ones were the most diverse. Overall diversity was determined by considering these four factors of the student body: racial/ethnic background, geographic representation, male to female ratio, and age.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

To further customize your search, try narrowing your list by location. You can also check out rankings for racial-ethnic diversity, male/female diversity, or geographic diversity. Or explore other college rankings that prioritize different factors.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Most Diverse Colleges in California

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Stanford University

Stanford, California

Our 2021 rankings named Stanford University the most diverse school in California. Located in Stanford, California, the fairly large , private not-for-profit school awarded 1,892 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

About 12.26% of the students are international. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Stanford go into careers with an average salary of $94,000.

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#2

Pomona College

Claremont, California

You’ll enjoy a diverse student body if you attend Pomona College. The school came in at #2 in California on this year’s diversity ranking. Claremont, California is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 449 students in 2018-2019.

About 20.19% of the students are international. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Pomona go into careers with an average salary of $58,100.

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#3

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

You’ll enjoy a diverse student body if you attend University of Southern California. The school came in at #3 in California on this year’s diversity ranking. Located in Los Angeles, California, the large , private not-for-profit school awarded 5,337 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

This school has a higher percentage than average of non-traditional aged students. Only 46% of the students fall into a traditional age range, adding to the overall diversity score. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from USC go into careers with an average salary of $74,000.

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#4

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, California

The excellent diversity at Academy of Art University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the most diverse schools in California. San Francisco, California is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 965 students in 2018-2019.

24.06% of the students come from out of the country. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Academy of Art University make an average of $38,600 per year during the early years of their career.

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#5

University of the People

Pasadena, California

You’ll be in good (and diverse) company if you decide to attend University of the People. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California list. Located in Pasadena, California, the medium-sized , private not-for-profit school awarded 99 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

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#6

Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, California

Coming in at #6 for 2021 overall diversity in California is Harvey Mudd College. Located in Claremont, California, the small , private not-for-profit school awarded 211 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Harvey Mudd College is $88,800 during the early years of their career.

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#7

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, California

Coming in at #7 for 2021 overall diversity in California is SCU. Santa Clara, California is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,495 students in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $72,600 during the early years of their career.

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#8

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont, California

With a ranking of #8, Claremont McKenna College did quite well on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California list. Claremont, California is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 453 students in 2018-2019.

About 17.76% of the students are international. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $72,900 during the early years of their career.

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#9

SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary

El Dorado Hills, California

With a ranking of #9, SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary did quite well on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California list. Located in El Dorado Hills, California, the small , private not-for-profit school handed out 92 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

There is high student age diversity at this school with about 31% falling into the traditional age range.

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#10

Abraham Lincoln University

Los Angeles, California

Coming in at #10 for 2021 overall diversity in California is Abraham Lincoln University. This small , private for-profit school is located in Los Angeles, California, and it awarded 4 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

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#11

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

California Institute of Technology came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking. Pasadena, California is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 241 students in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Caltech make an average of $85,900 a year.

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#12

Pitzer College

Claremont, California

Pitzer College did quite well in the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking, coming in at #12. Pitzer is a private not-for-profit institution located in Claremont, California. The school has a small population, and it awarded 310 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

About 11.57% of the students are international. During the early years of their career, graduates from Pitzer make an average of $48,700 a year.

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#13

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, California

Loyola Marymount University ranked #13 on this year’s Most Diverse Colleges in California list. Located in Los Angeles, California, the medium-sized , private not-for-profit school awarded 1,674 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $61,300 during the early years of their career.

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#14

Occidental College

Los Angeles, California

Occidental College landed the #14 spot on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking. Occidental College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Los Angeles, California that handed out 529 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Oxy go into careers with an average salary of $50,600.

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#15

Trident University International

Cypress, California

Trident University International ranked #15 on this year’s Most Diverse Colleges in California list. TUI is located in Cypress, California and has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 986 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Roughly 5% of the students fall into a traditional age range, meaning this school has higher than average age diversity.

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#16

Columbia College Hollywood

Tarzana, California

With a ranking of #16, Columbia College Hollywood did quite well on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California list. This small , private not-for-profit school is located in Tarzana, California, and it awarded 86 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Hollywood make an average of $31,400 per year during the early years of their career.

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#17

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California

University of California - Berkeley landed the #17 spot on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking. UC Berkeley is located in Berkeley, California and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 9,627 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

10.49% of the students come from out of the country. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley go into careers with an average salary of $64,700.

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#18

University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, California

University of California - San Diego ranked #18 on this year’s Most Diverse Colleges in California list. This large , public school is located in La Jolla, California, and it awarded 8,037 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

19.76% of the students come from out of the country. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UCSD make an average of $59,900 per year during the early years of their career.

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#19

San Diego State University

San Diego, California

San Diego State University came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking. Located in San Diego, California, the large , public school awarded 8,159 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from SDSU is $51,000 during the early years of their career.

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#20

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

University of California - Los Angeles landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking. Los Angeles, California is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 9,069 students in 2018-2019.

A significant number of the students are international, about 12.33% of the student body. During the early years of their career, graduates from UCLA make an average of $60,700 a year.

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#21

University of San Diego

San Diego, California

University of San Diego landed the #21 spot on the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking. San Diego, California is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,501 students in 2018-2019.

This school has a higher percentage than average of non-traditional aged students. Only 59% of the students fall into a traditional age range, adding to the overall diversity score. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from U of San Diego is $60,000 during the early years of their career.

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#22

Menlo College

Atherton, California

Menlo College did quite well in the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking, coming in at #22. Atherton, California is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 167 students in 2018-2019.

About 13.38% of the students are international. During the early years of their career, graduates from Menlo make an average of $50,900 a year.

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#23

Community Christian College

Redlands, California

Community Christian College did quite well in the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking, coming in at #23. CCC is a small private not-for-profit school located in Redlands, California.

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#24

California Institute of the Arts

Valencia, California

California Institute of the Arts came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking. California Institute of the Arts is a small private not-for-profit school located in Valencia, California that handed out 219 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from CalArts go into careers with an average salary of $37,900.

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#25

Pepperdine University

Malibu, California

Pepperdine University did quite well in the 2021 Most Diverse Colleges in California ranking, coming in at #25. Pepperdine is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in Malibu, California. It awarded 943 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

There is high student age diversity at this school with about 46% falling into the traditional age range. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine is $65,500 during the early years of their career.

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Rest of the Top 50 Most Diverse Schools in California

Not only did these schools make the top most-diverse list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

University of California - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California
#27

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, California
#28

Soka University of America

Aliso Viejo, California
#29

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

San Francisco, California
#30

University of California - Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California
#31

Westcliff University

Irvine, California
#33

University of Redlands

Redlands, California
#34

Thomas Aquinas College

Santa Paula, California
#35

Life Pacific College

San Dimas, California
#36

University of the Pacific

Stockton, California
#37

The Master's College and Seminary

Santa Clarita, California
#39

Art Center College of Design

Pasadena, California
#40

San Diego Christian College

Santee, California
#42

Asher College

Sacramento, California
#43

Chapman University

Orange, California
#44

California College of the Arts

San Francisco, California
#45

Woodbury University

Burbank, California
#46

Marymount California University

Rancho Palos Verdes, California
#47

Los Angeles College of Music

Pasadena, California
#48

New York Film Academy

Burbank, California
#49

Saint Mary's College of California

Moraga, California
#50

Los Angeles Film School

Hollywood, California

Most Diverse Colleges in the Far Western US Region

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Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Most Diverse Colleges ranking:

Rank College Location
51 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
52 Whittier College Whittier, CA
53 John Paul the Great Catholic University Escondido, CA
54 Biola University La Mirada, CA
55 California College San Diego San Diego, CA
56 University of California - Davis Davis, CA
57 San Francisco Art Institute San Francisco, CA
58 Pacific Union College Angwin, CA
59 Concordia University - Irvine Irvine, CA
60 Musicians Institute Hollywood, CA
61 Otis College of Art and Design Los Angeles, CA
62 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
63 Hope International University Fullerton, CA
64 Brandman University Irvine, CA
65 Hussian College-Relativity Campus California Los Angeles, CA
Rank College Location
66 California Lutheran University Thousand Oaks, CA
67 Chabot College Hayward, CA

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

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 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).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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