Best engineering colleges in California

Engineering bachelor graduates in California earn a weighted average salary of $92,942 3 years after graduation. This places California graduate earnings in the top 5% nationally. Additionally, engineering graduates earn 64% more than the total graduating bachelor class in the state.

Cost of living is not considered when comparing states.

Our engineering rankings cover 0 of the 0 programs available in California, accounting for NaN% of total student graduates. We only include schools with sufficient earnings and/or cost data.

Interested in how we rank schools? Review our ranking methodology.

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#1 in California | #3 in Engineering nationally

Stanford University

Stanford, California

Economic score 0.55

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $10,851

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $111,958

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 97%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

Stanford University is a prestigious private university in Stanford, California. With an acceptance rate of 4%, Stanford is the most selective institution on the West Coast.  

Stanford University School of Engineering is among the best engineering schools in the country. Its 16 undergraduate programs span disciplines like aeronautics, civil engineering, and environmental systems engineering; there was also a custom option.  

While the admitted student profile for the School of Engineering is unknown, 75% of first-year students at Stanford were reported to have a high school GPA of 4.0 in the Stanford Common Data Set from 2023-2024. 

For the time being, Stanford is an SAT/ACT test-optional institution. Students who have already taken either test are encouraged to submit their scores if they think they’re a “positive reflection of their academic preparedness.” 

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#2 in California | #5 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 0.60

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $5,385

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $86,088

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 71%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

The 2nd best-value engineering school in the country is California State University, Los Angeles, or Cal State LA – a large public university in Los Angeles and member of the California State University system.  

Departments in its College of Engineering, Computer Science & Technology (ECST) include: 

  • Civil engineering 
  • Computer science 
  • Electrical and computer engineering 
  • Mechanical engineering 
  • Technology 

Outside of the classroom, students can take part in one of ECST’s many clubs and organizations to round out their resumes across their engineering specializations of interest and make valuable long-term connections.  

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#3 in California | #8 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 0.70

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $17,371

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $142,255

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 94%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

The University of California, Berkeley, or just UC Berkeley, is a nationally renowned public university in Berkely, California, on the San Francisco Bay.  

The UC Berkeley College of Engineering is home to undergraduate programs like materials science & engineering, nuclear engineering, civil & environmental engineering, bioengineering, and even an “undeclared” option, which allows students to choose an engineering discipline by the fourth semester.  

In 2023, most undergraduate students at the College of Engineering were at Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.  

Like UC Berkeley itself, UC Berkeley College of Engineering is highly selective. The acceptance rate of the 2023-2024 freshman class was just 7%.  

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#4 in California | #11 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 0.81

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $6,744

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $84,242

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 71%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

California State University-Fresno, or Fresno State, is a large public university in Fresno, California. The school is designated as both an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander and Hispanic-Serving Institution.  

Fresno State’s Lyles College of Engineering offers 7 undergraduate degree programs that include unique majors like geomatics engineering and architectural studies. The Lyles College of Engineering’s Honors Program provides financial support for freshmen students who embody qualities like academic strength, entrepreneurship, and leadership ability. 

Admitted applicants to Fresno State should have a 2.5 GPA or above for California residents (or a 3.0 GPA or above for non-residents) and have satisfied the relevant prerequisite courses for the department. 

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#5 in California | #12 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 0.81

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $7,485

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $85,840

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 81%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

California State University-Fullerton (CSUF) is a large public university in Fullerton, a city in Orange County, California. With a total enrollment of nearly 40,000, it is home to one of the largest student bodies in the state. 

Cal State Fullerton’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) offers bachelor's degree programs in the following disciplines: 

  • Civil engineering 
  • Computer engineering 
  • Computer science 
  • Electrical engineering 
  • Mechanical engineering 

Qualifying criteria for undergraduate admission to the College of Engineering and Computer Science include earning a C or higher in the prerequisite courses outlined by the department. SAT I or ACT score submissions are required.  

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#6 in California | #14 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 0.91

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $8,293

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $86,327

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 70%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

California State University, Northridge (CSUN) is a large public university in Northridge, California, in the San Fernando Valley outside of Los Angeles.  

Its College of Engineering & Computer Science (CECS) consists of 5 departments:  

  • Civil Engineering and Construction Management 
  • Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering 
  • Manufacturing Systems Engineering  
  • Management Mechanical Engineering 

The Honors Co-Op program is designed to set up academically gifted students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science with employment opportunities in their senior year.  

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#7 in California | #16 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 0.94

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $8,721

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $85,668

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 83%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#8 in California | #18 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 0.98

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $15,637

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $100,618

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 93%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a large public university in Los Angeles, and one of the oldest members of the University of California public school system.  

The 7 departments that make up the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering cover most of the standard engineering disciplines. Undergraduate degree programs include a newly added Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. In 2023, the most popular undergraduate disciplines were computer science and mechanical engineering.  

UCLA is widely considered a “Public Ivy.” As such, its admissions process is competitive, with its engineering school being no exception. For the 2023-2024 cycle, out of 34,470 undergraduate applicants to the Samueli School of Engineering across all departments, only 1,747 were accepted.  

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#9 in California | #23 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 1.08

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $15,482

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $99,313

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 86%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#10 in California | #29 in Engineering nationally

San Jose State University

San Jose, California

Economic score 1.14

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $14,370

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $102,070

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 76%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#11 in California | #30 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 1.16

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $8,215

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $81,634

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 73%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#12 in California | #31 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 1.17

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $10,911

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $87,133

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 70%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#13 in California | #33 in Engineering nationally

San Diego State University

San Diego, California

Economic score 1.18

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $12,721

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $88,394

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 82%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#14 in California | #34 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 1.19

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $19,615

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $101,325

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 68%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#15 in California | #36 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 1.20

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $11,902

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $88,057

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 78%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#16 in California | #41 in Engineering nationally

UC Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California

Economic score 1.22

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $17,601

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $103,474

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 80%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#17 in California | #43 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 1.23

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $15,069

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $93,359

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 90%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#18 in California | #51 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 1.30

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $15,674

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $92,750

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 89%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#19 in California | #55 in Engineering nationally
Economic score 1.32

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $12,426

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $85,602

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 87%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

#20 in California | #56 in Engineering nationally

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

Economic score 1.33

Our economic score ranks programs based on a combination of payback and EarningsPlus. Lower scores are better. Check our methodology page for details and data sources.

Cost $12,912

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Earnings $86,710

Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

Graduation rate 68%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (49%) are not  displayed.

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