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California’s 10 Leading State Universities

California’s 10 Leading State Universities

3.  San Diego State University

San Diego State University photo
Photo by StuSeeger

The 3rd largest in the CSU system, San Diego State University is a public university with high research activity according to the Carnegie Foundation. There are thirty-five thousand students enrolled here.

The campus is visually pleasing with its tiled roofs, palm trees, and Spanish influence. And it is situated on a mesa.

It is a progressive campus offering Cultural Graduation events, the Indigenous Scholars and Leaders Program. It is a top 50 LGBT community, offers Diversity Awards and has the Civil Rights & African American Experience.

It is a school that prides itself on the focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. SDSU was the first school to offer an honorary doctoral degree and did so to President Kennedy in 1963 after he spoke at commencement.

SDSU has too much to offer to note it all here. A few highlights: it houses the largest undergraduate international business program in the country, it plays a huge role in the biotech industry and helps sustain the community in which it resides. Student life can also include clubs, organizations, eighteen varsity sports, a beautiful athletic facility, surfing, kayaking, whatever you want!

Tuition, Room & Board – $22,000.

2. California Maritime Academy

Cal Maritime Academy sits on 89 acres of waterfront property in Vallejo at the northern end of the San Francisco Bay. Serving Twelve hundred students it is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the west coast.

Cal Maritime is known for combining classroom learning with applied technology, leadership development, and global awareness. It provides an educational experience that can help you step into the world of a global enterprise responsible for moving goods and people internationally. All hands on deck!

Cal Maritime pulls together engineering with business, port management, deck officers, environmental advocates and maritime security consultants. With a 13-1 student/faculty ratio and class sizes of 22, it is no wonder Forbes Magazine listed Cal Maritime in the top 3 “Best Values” among all California colleges and universities based on cost and graduate success.

It has the highest employment rate in the CSU system with 92-94% of graduates employed within three months of graduation. 8% go on to become commissioned officers in the military, but there is no military obligation.

And yes, the students wear uniforms during the school day, but that makes choosing an outfit so much easier in the morning. Best of all, starting salaries fall near the top of the national average making parents and students smile.

Everyone travels internationally either through an internship or the annual training cruise on board the five hundred foot training ship providing a floating classroom and lab, the Golden Bear.

Free time brings adventures through athletics, student clubs and organizations or the local area. Who couldn’t love the local area? Cal Maritime is committed to student development and fosters leadership and accountability.

It is the total education package, on the water, in a gorgeous place. I am applying now!

Tuition, Room & Board – $22,500.




  1. How about giving a few spots to some of us going for a 2nd Bachelor’s!!! In 2008, the economy tanked and some jobs tanked with it! If you need or want to re-educate yourself in California because you industry tanked in 2008, you’re up a creek in the Cal State system. You’re penalized for being educated! I understand that you’re trying to give opportunity to those that are going for their first degree, but couldn’t you have reserved 10% of those slots for some of us that want/need a 2nd bachelor. So you ask why not a Master’s! Well, if your 2nd degree is different from your first, how do you get a Masters when you don’t have the undergraduate background??? And why would one get a 2nd bachelor in the same subject matter. Anyway, think about it!

    1. Good comment, but please check out your options, Patricia. Most Master’s programs (shop around if you have to) allow students with different undergrads. It’s actually quite common. Typically you take a few upper division undergrad courses in that department along with your Master’s program, but even so, it’s usually fewer units than another Bachelor’s degree. Resume-wise, a second Bachelor’s degree does very little for you, on top of the fact that if financial aid is a consideration, it won’t support a second Bachelor’s. In most fields, the Master’s is the highest level of education you’ll ever need, so professionally, you’re much better going for a Master’s.

  2. My wife just completed her first year a professor in the Business at Cal State Stanislaus.
    She and her colleagues don’t stop at teaching their students, they are caring of each student, they are innovative and dedicated to creating a holistic approach to success for everyone.


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