10 Smallest Colleges In California

Are you looking to enroll in a college where your school work is evaluated more carefully in a relaxed, comfortable environment? Then, search no more. This article has listed the smallest colleges in California, their average cost of tuition fees, and admission requirements. Go through the article carefully to pick the ones that best suit your ideal small college.

California is one of the most diverse states in the united state, well known to be the world’s best wine country, with amazing sights and culture.  Here, there are small colleges with an educational system made available for both students with shiny grades and for those who are seeking to pursue a degree.

A small college has a student enrollment of less than 5,000 the students here are at the advantage of getting a one on one attention from professors in small class sizes and it helps develop students’ sense of belonging, undergraduates are sometimes encouraged with tips that aid class participation among students.

So far, we have written articles on small colleges, you might want to check out our articles on the best small colleges located in the midwest and the leading smallest universities in Canada. Small colleges have the best networking experiences and opportunities, but sometimes they are faced with the problem of having fewer resources than a large college and just a few of them leave students with fewer course choice options.

The college you attend as an undergraduate affects your employment opportunities, due to the best networking experiences in small colleges, it’s easier for students to get hired at quality companies, and most small colleges employ professors who have experience in strategies used in addressing multiple intelligence and there is a general saying that the best comes in small packages.

The cost of studying in any small college in California is about $31,921 yearly which applies to the cheapest small schools and it is also very important to bear in mind that the cost of tuition fees varies for each school.

Smallest Colleges In California

The following is a list of small colleges in California, go through the list carefully to see what school fits your prerequisite in a small school.

  • Vanguard University
  • Pacific Union College
  • San Diego Christain College
  • California Institute Of Technology
  • Pitzer College
  • Westmont College
  • Stanbridge University
  • La Sierra University
  • Occidental College
  • Standbridge University

                                  1.            Vanguard University

This is among the cheap, smallest colleges in California. It is well rooted in Christianity, liberal arts, and professional studies. Students here develop talents, become more effective in communication, and are prepared fully for diversified vocation/course programs.

The school offers a variety of undergraduate programs, online & evening programs, and graduate programs. Over the years they stood out as the best in educational innovation, with a strong commitment to multiculturalism and gender equality.

         Admission Requirements

  • Apply online through the school’s website
  • Submit transcript results of all schools you have attended
  • Submit proof of high school graduation
  • Ensure you have a cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Prepare for a complete final admission interview

2.          Pacific Union College

Pacific union college popularly known as PUC is among the smallest colleges in California, it prepares its students to learn with love by providing them with all the advantages of a small college. Students here are also opportune to learn and live in an incredible atmosphere of a Christian community.

The mission of the college is to help encourage and prepare its students to become great human resources leaders with integrity, at Pacific union college, there are a variety of programs offered for both majors and degrees.          PUC also create an avenue for student to socialize by providing them with tons of fun activities that might interest them through the student association.

                                   Admission Requirements

  • Apply through the office of admissions
  • Provide SAT or ACT scores with a 2.5 GPA attained
  • Applicants at PUC must have completed at least two years of secondary school
  • Submit to the school letters of recommendation from the secondary school you last attended stating your readiness for school
  • Applicants must be present for a personal interview with the college admission officer

3.               San Diego Christain College

San Diego Christain College is one of the most beautiful in the nation its focus is on ensuring students’ academic excellence which is inspired by Christianity in a comfortable environment. The placement of this college provides its students with opportunities to learn more about theoretical actions and ways to lead a prosperous life.

The college is well grounded in liberal arts tradition which helps students here to become resourceful thinkers and great scholars, they offer a variety of degree courses for over 19-degree courses with a total enrollment of 9,041 students. The cost of attending this college ranges from tuition fees down to the cost of room and board is over $72,070.

4.                California Institute Of Technology

California Institute Of Technology is one of the smallest colleges in California that is skillful in using the right innovative tools in addressing issues concerning society’s challenges by operating its own research on a large scale. Though small the school is recognized for lots of accolades, to mention a few, 64 of their faculty and alumni have received a National Medal of Science, and they currently have 6 Nobel Laureates in residence.

I believe one of the reasons for these achievements is their student-to-faculty ratio, where it’s just 3:1

5. Pitzer College

This is one of the smallest universities in California that has some notable alumni such as Kevin de León who is the Los Angeles City Council, Hunter Lovins who is an American environmentalist and founder of natural capitalism solutions, etc. The school is also acknowledged for lots of awards and recognitions, one of them being #1 Best School for Making Impact according to The Princeton Review.

Pitzer College has more than 40 fields of study and its Student-Faculty Ratio is 11:1.

6. Westmont College

Westmont College is a small school that has a high acceptance rate of 79% and it’s also a college that promotes intellectual, spiritual, and personal growth. They provide various majors such as Art (B.A.), Biology (B.A., B.S.), Chemistry (B.A., B.S.), Computer Science (B.A., B.S.), Economics and Business (B.A.), Engineering (B.S.), Kinesiology (B.S.), etc.

They also provide “Global Education,” where you can travel to different continents such as Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, etc to pursue your internship or learn more from these continents.

7. Stanbridge University

This is among the smallest colleges in California that are recognized for so many awards such as being awarded as the best Nursing College in California by Niche.com, being Among the top 10 Most Diverse Colleges with More than 750 Students, and so many other recognitions. Their aim has been to either save, heal, empower, or enrich the world and the people in it, and this has made them focus majorly on schools in medical fields such as;

  • School of Nursing
  • School of Rehabilitation Sciences
  • School of Healthcare Administration

8. La Sierra University

Even though this is another smallest university in California, this didn’t stop them from providing the right and excellent academics students needed, U.S News and World Report saw their dedication and decided to rank them the 50th best Regional Universities West, the 8th Top Performer on Social Mobility, etc.

La Sierra University offers diversities of programs which includes over 60 undergraduate and more than 20 graduate programs.

9. Occidental College

This is one of the smallest colleges in Los Angeles, California that provides different kinds of financial aid whether through merit-based scholarships, need-based grants & Scholarships, Work-study, or even Student Loans. And, the school meets 100% of a student’s demonstrated financial need for all U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented students.

10. Claremont McKenna College

Though Claremont McKenna College is small with a low student-to-faculty ratio (8:1), they have one of the least dropouts, they have a 93% of graduation rate. The school is also one of the United State’s top liberal colleges, and they follow the need-blind procedure of admission, that is, your financial situation is not considered when offering admission.


As you can see that these smallest Universities In California are not just small, they also provide quality education to their student, and most of them are globally recognized.