California is the largest state in the United States of America. It is home to more than 10 percent of the country's total population. It also has the largest education system in the country. The college and university system is divided into four parts. Those parts are the University of California system, the California State University system, the community college system, and private institutions.
The UC system has more than 230,000 students at its 10 Campuses. It is considered the more prestigious system in the state. It includes top universities like UC Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Both schools rank in the top 25 universities in the country, with Berkeley in the top 10. A degree from the UC system is highly sought, and the academic standards are higher than the other systems. They are also more expensive.
The California State Universities counts 23 universities in its system. It is a diversified system that includes two polytechnic universities, and a maritime university. These schools offer vocational and maritime education, but also offer traditional, academic programs. The systems enrollment is approximately 450,000 students, with about 45,000 faculty members.
The California Community Colleges system is the largest systems of higher education in the state, and the world. It boasts 112 campuses, and serves approximately 2.4 million students. It offers transfer degrees, vocational training, and associates degree programs.
California is also home to a large number of privately owned and operated schools. These schools have no ties to the state school system, but some do accept transfer students from community colleges. The most notable and prestigious schools in the state are Stanford University, in Palo Alto, and the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles.