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Judge Robert Maclay Widney opened the University of Southern California, the first higher education institution in the Los Angeles area, in the early 1870’s. An early settler to the area, Widney was determined to establish a school of higher learning in the rough and tumble LA area. When USC opened, LA was still a frontier town with a rowdy history, but the region’s first university paved the way for a long and celebrated history of academic excellence.
In the late 1950’s, LA found itself in the full swing of a booming post-war era. The area experienced a large population jump, which resulted in the increased need for improved educational systems. The passing of the Donahoe Act in 1960 helped the region establish a network of public universities and private colleges throughout the state. As a result, the LA area quickly became an important destination for higher education in the US.
Today, the many public and private institutions of higher learning in LA have made a permanent mark on the history of the state. The region contains world famous research universities, affordable state colleges and a large network of community colleges that are some of the best in the country. Offering a broad range of campus sizes and specialties, Los Angeles universities have something to offer for every student.
Top Universities in Los Angeles, CA
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California State University at Los Angeles
California State University at Los Angeles is part of the largest yet most affordable university system in the country, offering a variety of degree programs and certificates in many different areas of study. CSU was first established in 1947 in LA, with other campuses in surrounding areas opening in the following years. Today, the University consists of eight schools, along with an Honor’s College and the nationally recognized College of Professional and Global Education program.
University of California at Los Angeles
As one of the top educational research universities in the world, UCLA is dedicated to it’s mission of Education, Service and Research. As the most applied-to school in the country, UCLA offers 125 different undergraduate and nearly 150 graduate programs. The university also offers one of the largest extension learning programs, offering over 100 certificate programs.
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola Marymount University was founded in 1911 in Los Angeles. Offering 60 major and 55 minor undergraduate programs and 39 master’s degree programs, Loyola is home to some of the most challenging academic programs in the area. The school is annually recognized for having some of the highest rated programs in Education, Law and Film & Television, and has an active student body of nearly 10,000 students.
For over 125 years, Occidental College has offered one of the most exciting liberal arts programs in the country. With a small campus of only 2100 undergraduates, Occidental offers a unique and diverse education for students and is strongly focused on balancing of academic excellence with community service. The school offers 31 majors in 40 departments and programs.
The University of Southern California
The University of Southern California has been one of the most important figures in the area’s educational system since opening its doors in 1880. The campus has expanded dramatically since then and is now home to over 38,000 students. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, USC plays a vibrant part in the area’s arts and sciences, medicine and law.