Colleges & Universities

Abundant and skilled labor has been a major consideration for companies locating to and expanding in the Sacramento Region. High quality educational and training opportunities, affordability, and healthy lifestyle bring and keep talented, creative, and motivated employees in the region.

The University of California Davis; California State University, Sacramento; California Northstate University; University of the Pacific; eight community colleges; numerous vocational schools; professional schools; private schools; and local campuses of colleges headquartered elsewhere in the nation provide for the educational needs of local business and the community.

Higher Education

Higher education is available from a variety of institutions throughout the area. The University of California Davis (UC Davis); California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State); eight community colleges; numerous vocational schools; professional schools; private schools; and local campuses of colleges headquartered elsewhere in the nation provide for the educational needs of local business and the community.

UC Davis is the largest four-year university in the Sacramento Region with 35,186 students in the fall term of 2015, followed by Sacramento State with around 30,284 students.

UC Davis and Sacramento State granted a combined 15,987 degrees during the 2014-15 school year.

University of California, Davis

UC Davis is one of the nation’s top public research universities, with more than a century of service to the region, the nation and the world. Since its inception, the university has used interdisciplinary collaboration to solve important problems, with academic intersections occurring through its centers and institutes, graduate groups, the Office of Research, and other venues. Its four colleges, six professional schools, more than 100 academic majors, and 90 graduate programs provide a comprehensive, rigorous and research-based learning environment for students, faculty, and researchers, and its nationally recognized health system provides comprehensive treatment, teaching and research facilities. The 35,186-student, 5,300-acre university has its main campus in the Sacramento Valley, and its Sacramento campus in the capital city.

Founded in 1908 to serve the agricultural needs of the growing state, UC Davis has emerged as an acknowledged international leader in agricultural, biological, biotechnological, food, and environmental sciences. It is also recognized for excellence in the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering, health sciences, law, and management. It is also a global leader in sustainability-related research and application.

One of 10 campuses in the University of California system, UC Davis ranks 10th among public universities nationwide and is a top 25 research university.

The UC Davis Veterinary School has been voted the #1 school of its kind in the world.

UC Davis was recognized by Sierra, the official magazine of the Sierra Club, as the #2 Cool School in the nation for 2015-16. The university earned the award for its extensive sustainability efforts, such as its new mixed-use community on campus, UC Davis West Village, which incorporates innovative practices and technologies to be a model community for conservation.

California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State)

Sacramento State University offers life-changing opportunities for students, preparing them to be leaders in their professions and communities. Its professors are known for their dedication to great teaching, and smaller class sizes allow personalized attention for students, as well as extensive research opportunities. Sacramento State’s location in California’s capital city also provides tremendous opportunities for internships and public service with some of the nation’s most influential public and private institutions. Sacramento State has 60 undergraduate programs and 40 graduate programs, including 2 doctorate programs.

As a vibrant, metropolitan university, Sacramento State enrolls a multicultural student body of over 30,000 and graduates roughly 6,500 students each year. The university has an annual economic impact on the region of nearly $816 million and 9,000 jobs. One out of 24 people in the region is a Sacramento State alumnus.

Preparing the region’s future leaders is a vital part of a Sacramento State education. The university has one of the largest cooperative education programs in California, placing students in paid positions where they receive academic credit. Hundreds of other students serve internships in business and government. A third of Sacramento State students work as volunteers—many through a service learning project in class—gaining valuable work experience while helping their community.

California Northstate University

California Northstate University’s 110,000 square foot facility is located in Elk Grove is right off of Interstate 5 just minutes south of Sacramento. The facility is currently home to both the College of Pharmacy and College of Medicine and was designed with new academic and research facilities for our students and faculty.

California Northstate University College of Pharmacy (CNUCOP)

California Northstate University College of Pharmacy (CNUCOP) is a pharmacy college dedicated to educating, developing, and training individuals to provide competent, patient-centered care. CNUCOP offers a progressive educational program that emphasizes active learning, direct patient care experiences, and the role of research in advancing the profession of pharmacy. The goal is to graduate highly skilled pharmacists and promote the expanding role of pharmacy through leadership and lifelong services in the health care system.

California Northstate University College of Medicine

California Northstate University College of Medicine is four-year MD program dedicated to educating students to become competent, patient-centered healthcare professionals.  Education will be provided using an innovative, integrated basic and medical science system-based curriculum. Service will be encouraged with faculty supervised service learning clinics. Scholarship will be encouraged with hypothesis driven Self-Directed Student Scholarly Research. Social Accountability, both locally and globally, will be the focus of the Masters Colloquium Course and Global Health discussions and opportunities, with the goal of graduating healthcare providers who can meet the challenges in the 21st century.

California Northstate University College of Health Sciences (CHS)

CHS offers a four-year Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, 2+4 and 3+4 Pre-Med to MD and Pre-Pharm to PharmD accelerated programs in partnership with the CNU College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy, and a Pre-Med Post Baccalaureate Program. Its award-winning faculty and staff help students achieve their goals with exemplary student support services.

University of the Pacific 

University of the Pacific is a dynamic three-city university with campuses in Sacramento, San Francisco and Stockton. Founded in 1851 as California’s first institution of higher education, Pacific has been transforming the lives of students and enhancing the vitality of communities for more than 165 years. Consistently ranked among the top private universities, Pacific annually prepares more than 6,000 students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes and a supportive and engaging culture. Close faculty mentoring, a rich blend of liberal arts and professional education, and a broad array of experiential learning activities are hallmarks of the Pacific experience. Each year faculty and students serve their communities through a variety of health care and legal services clinics, educational enrichment and other outreach and volunteer programs.

Pacific offers 80 undergraduate programs and 18 graduate and professional programs across nine schools and a college of arts and sciences. The Sacramento campus is home to graduate programs in education, public policy, business, health care and analytics, and a degree completion program for working adults along with the McGeorge School of Law. The San Francisco campus is home to graduate programs in audiology, data science, music therapy and food studies and the renowned Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. The Stockton campus is home to the liberal arts College of the Pacific, a conservatory of music, and schools of business, education, engineering, international studies, and pharmacy and health sciences. http://www.pacific.edu/.

The University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law

The University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law is a recognized leader in legal education with a national reputation for its leadership in international law and trial advocacy. Its location on the 13-acre University of the Pacific Sacramento campus is three miles southeast of the Capitol. McGeorge offers all degrees as both full-time and part-time programs with day and evening classes to allow people with employment or family responsibilities to pursue the study of law. Specialized curriculum options at the law school permit students to earn concentrations in Business, Capital Lawyering, Environmental, Health, Intellectual Property, International, Tax and Trial and Appellate Advocacy, awarded concurrently with the Juris Doctorate degree. The law school also offers Master of Laws (LLM), Master of Science in Law (MSL), Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. JD graduates may pursue a LLM degree in transnational business practice, U.S. law and policy, or water resources law. The MSL degree is for professionals who seek the benefits of advanced training in legal reasoning and analysis but who do not require the JD degree for their career plans. McGeorge is the first law school in the nation to offer MPA and MPP degrees.

Community Colleges

With around 105,000 students, community colleges are performing a large share of the region’s collegiate training and education.

The Los Rios Community College District has over 75,000 students enrolled at American River College, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento City College, and Folsom Lake College. It continues to rank as one of the top community college districts in the state in enrollment growth and by the number of students that transfer to the University of California and California State University systems. The district offers more than 70 career and education programs in such high-growth career fields as nursing and health care, computer information science, early childhood education, clean technology, architecture, and business. It operates the Business and Economic Development Center, which includes Training Source, a division that provides custom designed training for businesses in such areas as specialized computer applications, organizational leadership, and supervision management; the Greater Sacramento Small Business Development Center; and the Center for International Trade Development. Working with business and industry to meet the region’s educational needs, the district has expanded Sacramento City College’s nursing education program through an innovative partnership with Sutter Health and has developed a GreenForce Initiative to support the growing “green” technology sector. In addition, with the rapid growth of the life sciences industry in the region, American River College is home to the North Valley and Mountain Biotechnology Center and the college’s electronics program is recognized as one of the best in the state.

The Sierra College District covers 3,200 square miles serving Placer County, Nevada County, and portions of El Dorado and Sacramento Counties. In addition to the main campus in Rocklin, the district operates campuses in Roseville, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With an enrollment of approximately 18,000 students, Sierra College has an excellent reputation for general education transfer preparation and career/technical programs. The district also provides a dynamic Community Education program and is one of two community colleges nationwide to offer an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program. Sierra College is also recognized nationally for excellence in athletics.

The Yuba Community College District has been providing high-quality education since it was founded in 1927. In December 1965 and in 1974, the district was reorganized to the form it is today, serving eight counties and covering an area of almost 4,200 square miles. The district operates Yuba College, Woodland Community College, the Clear Lake Campus, and Beale Air Force Base Outreach Operation, as well as other outreach vocational programs.

Established in 1975, Lake Tahoe Community College offers a wide range of certificate and associate degree programs. Beyond the classrooms and labs, the 164-acre wooded campus features a 192-seat black box theater, extensive art labs, and a demonstration garden. In 2002, the college opened a 26,000-square-foot gymnasium with a dance studio and fitness education center and a student center, which includes a café, Internet terminals, and teaching kitchens for the culinary arts program. In 2006, a new 27,000-square-foot library and adjoining art gallery were opened.

Private Four-Year Institutions

Because of its fast-growing population and increased workforce needs, the Sacramento Region is a desirable location for educational institutions to establish campuses.

The region is supported by numerous campuses of private colleges headquartered outside of the Sacramento Region, ranging in enrollment from several thousand to smaller colleges with under 100 students. Some of the larger colleges are featured below. Other smaller institutions include the University of San Francisco and University of Southern California Price School.

Founded in 1939 and located on 125 acres in Rocklin, William Jessup University is the only WASC-accredited private four-year residential university to have its main campus located in the greater Sacramento area. A $17 million, 54,000-square-foot campus expansion to accommodate the growing number of students was completed in fall of 2012. This was the second major expansion since the university relocated to Rocklin from San Jose in 2004.

Brandman University, established in 1958, is part of the Chapman University System. They offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees, credential, certificate, and extended education programs in a variety of disciplines including education, leadership, legal studies, and liberal studies at campuses throughout California and Washington, including three locations in the Sacramento Region.

Founded in 1931, DeVry University is one of the largest private universities in North America. The university’s mission is to foster student learning through high-quality, career-oriented education. They offer onsite and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide variety of career fields. Located close to a vibrant business community, strong health care employers, and a growing clean technology sector, the Elk Grove (Sacramento) campus provides students to with access to possible career opportunities in a variety of industries.

Law Schools

The University of California, Davis School of Law ranks 30th among top law schools in the U.S. Its areas of strength include business law, criminal law and procedure, environmental and natural resources law, health care law and bioethics, human rights and social justice law, intellectual property law, international law, and public interest law. In addition to Juris Doctorate degrees, the law school also offers a combined degree program and an LL.M. program for international studies, certificates in public service law and environmental law, and clinical programs in a wide variety of subject areas. The faculty consists of nationally and internationally distinguished professors, attorneys, and visiting lecturers.

Also located in the region is Lincoln Law School, which is fully accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California and serves about 250 students with evening classes. Lincoln Law School has over 500 alumni currently practicing law.

In addition, the University of Northern California, Lorenzo Patiño School of Law is located in downtown Sacramento near the State Capitol, the U.S. District Court, and the 3rd District Court of Appeals. The Lorenzo Patiño School of Law is licensed by the California State Bar to grant Juris Doctorate degrees and paralegal certificates.