Alhambra, California (CA) Colleges and Universities

While there are only six schools in Alhambra, there are many schools located within a 10-mile radius. Read about the top schools in several categories, including most program variety and lowest costs, to find the school for you.

View 16 Popular Schools »

Most Program Variety

Schools with a wide selection of programs give students the ability to pursue varied educational opportunities and explore multiple disciplines. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the following three schools have the most academic offerings among Alhambra-area institutions, with more than 80 programs each.

1 - University of Southern California

The University of Southern California (USC) was founded in 1880 and is situated about 10 miles southwest of Alhambra on a 226-acre main campus in Los Angeles, CA. With approximately 340 programs offered, the private, not-for-profit research university has the most program variety in the area. According to NCES data, 4,539 bachelor's degrees, 6,136 master's degrees and 1,518 doctoral degrees were awarded in the 2011-2012 academic year. U.S. News & World Report ranked USC 24th on its 2013 'Best National Universities' list.

2 - Pasadena City College

Pasadena City College (PCC), a 2-year, public institution located 3.5 miles north of Alhambra, serves a student population of just over 26,000 and comes in second with nearly 90 areas of study. In the 2011-2012 academic year, PCC issued 722 undergraduate certificates and 1,603 associate degrees, according to the NCES. Registered nursing, interdisciplinary studies, automotive mechanics technology and cosmetology were the most popular certificate programs, while the majority of associate degrees awarded were in interdisciplinary studies.

3 - California State University - Los Angeles

Offering about 81 different programs, California State University - Los Angeles (CSULA) sits just under three miles from Alhambra. U.S. News & World Report ranked this university number 38 on its 2013 list of top public universities in the West. The NCES reports that, in 2011-2012, CSULA awarded 2,994 bachelor's degrees and 994 master's degrees. Business administration, psychology and criminal justice were the most popular majors among bachelor's degree students, while education, school counseling, electrical engineering and social work were popular choices among master's degree students.

Lowest Net Price

A school's net price, as calculated by the NCES, reflects the total cost of attendance minus the average amount of financial aid received by students. In the Alhambra area, net prices for traditional public and private, nonprofit schools span from just under $4,000 to over $30,000. The institutions below had the lowest average net prices of traditional schools in the area for the 2011-2012 academic year, as reported by the NCES.

1 - California State University - Los Angeles

California State University - Los Angeles had the lowest average net price among traditional schools in the area for 2011-2012, with a net price of $3,713. For 2012-2013, the NCES estimated tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates to be $6,101, while tuition and fees for out-of-state undergrads were estimated at $17,759. The NCES reports that 80% of full-time CSULA freshmen received scholarships or grants in 2011-2012, with the average award amount being $10,609. Additionally, 37% of full-time beginning students received federal student loan aid in the average amount of $3,672 to further offset education costs.

2 - Glendale Community College

Glendale Community College (GCC) comes in second for the lowest net price among traditional schools in the Alhambra area, with a net price of $4,479 in 2011-2012. NCES data shows that in-state students paid estimated tuition and fees of $1,175 in the 2012-2013 academic year, while out-of-state students paid an estimated $5,519. For the same year, books and supplies cost GCC students approximately $1,656. Among the entire student body, 60% received grant or scholarship awards of $3,234 on average in 2011-2012, and three percent took out federal student loans in the average amount of $5,789, according to the NCES. In addition to other financial aid, California residents may be eligible for a Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver.

3 - Rio Hondo College

Located about eight miles from Alhambra in Whittier, CA, Rio Hondo College had a 2011-2012 net price of $5,881. The NCES indicates that in-state students paid an estimated $1,170 in tuition and fees during the 2012-2013 academic year, while out-of-state students paid $5,730. In 2011-2012, 78% of full-time first-time students received some form of financial aid, and all of these students were the recipients of grants or scholarships in the average amount of $4,939. The Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver is also available to qualifying California residents.

Highest Graduation Rate

The overall graduation rate figures published by the NCES reflect the percentage of first-time students who graduated within 150% of the expected time for their programs. Among traditional Alhambra-area institutions, the following three schools have the highest graduation rates.

1 - University of Southern California

USC has the highest overall graduation rate of traditional schools in the Alhambra area. Ninety percent of undergraduate students who began their programs in 2005 completed their bachelor's degrees within six years, per NCES data. For the same entering class, the 4-year graduation rate was 73%. Among full-time USC freshmen who started in Fall 2010, NCES figures show that 97% returned the following academic year, indicating a high rate of student satisfaction.

2 - California Institute of Technology

With a graduation rate of 87% among undergrads who began their studies in 2005, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, CA, ranks second among traditional Alhambra-area schools for the highest graduation rate, per NCES statistics. Caltech is a very selective research institution known for its engineering and science programs. U.S. News & World Report ranked Caltech number 10 on its 2013 list of best national universities, and its undergrad engineering program ranked third in the country among doctorate-granting institutions in 2012. Ninety-eight percent of full-time freshmen who entered Caltech in 2010 returned the next year to continue their education, the NCES reports.

3 - Occidental College

Ranked 39th overall on U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of best national liberal arts colleges, Occidental College (Oxy) in Los Angeles, CA, just over five miles northwest of Alhambra, has the area's third-best graduation rate among traditional institutions. The liberal arts college, founded in 1887, sits on a 120-acre campus and isn't far from downtown Los Angeles. Eighty-three percent of freshmen who entered the school in 2005 graduated within six years, and the 4-year graduation rate for the same cohort was 81%, according to the NCES. Of full-time freshmen who began their studies in Fall 2010, 90% returned in Fall 2011.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Low student-faculty ratios can often be correlated with high levels of personal attention from instructors. The three schools listed below have the lowest student-faculty ratios of traditional schools in the Alhambra area, all with ratios of 7:1 or lower.

1 - California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology ranks first for having the lowest student-faculty ratio of traditional schools in the area, with a ratio of 3:1. As of 2011, over 63% of Caltech classes had less than 20 students, while approximately 10% had 50 or more students, reports U.S. News & World Report. Caltech employed 900 full- and 16 part-time faculty, along with a total of 700 part-time graduate assistants to serve its student population of 2,231, according to NCES Fall 2012 data.

2 - University of the West

Situated in Rosemead, CA, approximately three miles from Alhambra, the University of the West (UWest) ranks second among traditional Alhambra-area schools with a student-faculty ratio of 6:1. UWest is a 4-year, private, not-for-profit institution that is Buddhist-inspired and nonsectarian. To teach its 235 students, the university employed 12 full- and 36 part-time instructors, per NCES figures from Fall 2012.

3 - Providence Christian College

Providence Christian College, located on a 17-acre campus in Pasadena, CA, has a student-faculty ratio of 7:1. Providence is a private, not-for-profit, 4-year liberal arts institution. Rooted in Reformation Christianity, Providence takes a Bible-based approach to education and serves only undergraduates. The average class size is seven students, according to the college. The NCES reports a student body of 71 and a total of 17 faculty members for Providence Christian College as of Fall 2012.

Alhambra Area Schools at a Glance

School Name Location School Type Programs Offered Area Ranking
California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA (3.2 miles from Alhambra) 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; post-master's certificates Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
2nd Highest Graduation Rate
California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA (2.8 miles from Alhambra) 4-year, public Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate certificates Lowest Net Price,
3rd Most Program Variety
Glendale Community College Glendale, CA (9.1 miles from Alhambra) 2-year, public <1-year and 1- to <2-year certificates; associate degrees 2nd Lowest Net Price
Occidental College Los Angeles, CA (5.4 miles from Alhambra) 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's and master's degrees 3rd Highest Graduation Rate
Pasadena City College Pasadena, CA (3.5 miles from Alhambra) 2-year, public <1-year, 1- to <2-year and 2- to <4-year certificates; associate degrees 2nd Most Program Variety
Providence Christian College Pasadena, CA (5.4 miles from Alhambra) 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's degrees 3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Rio Hondo College Whittier, CA (8.1 miles from Alhambra) 2-year, public <1-year and 1- to <2-year certificates; associate degrees 3rd Lowest Net Price
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA (10 miles from Alhambra) 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates Most Program Variety,
Highest Graduation Rate
University of the West Rosemead, CA (3.1 miles from Alhambra) 4-year, private not-for-profit 1- to <2-year certificates; bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; post-master's certificates 2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
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