The Universities of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known for its perfect climate, beautiful beaches, and the entertainment industry. But did you know it’s also famous for Los Angeles Universities? Many of today's stars, producers, politicians, and civic leaders came from three local universities: University of Southern California, UCLA, and California State Los Angeles. In addition to offering higher education, these three universities are major employers. So, if you are considering relocating to Los Angeles, make sure you check out their career opportunities. Let’s compare all three to see which one could be right for you or someone in your family.


University of Southern California

Founded in the year 1880, USC is the oldest private university in California. It's well-known as a top research university and ranks #22 in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges by US News. Whereas the campus isn't as large as the University of California Los Angeles, it's still substantial at 226 acres. That's why new students should get familiar with the grounds well before the first day of school.


When this university first opened its doors almost 140-years ago, there were only 53 students. Today the campus has the most enrollment of the three Los Angeles universities, with about 44,000 students all working hard to get their degrees. The University of Southern California is best known for its theater, film, music, and cinematic arts departments. Some of the school's famous alumni are George Lucas, Forest Whitaker, Will Ferrell, Robert Zemeckis, Judd Apatow, Brian Grazer, and Ron Howard. You may recognize scenes filmed on the campus such as Legally Blonde, Forrest Gump, and The Graduate.


If you're thinking about coming to the LA area to live or visit, you should know where the university is located compared to other landmarks. The campus is close to downtown LA and the Fashion District. Griffith Observatory is only 8 miles away, LAX 11 miles, Universal Studios 11 miles, and Disneyland is 32 miles away. Whether you live here already or are looking to move to Los Angeles, it's good to know the fun places to go.


Costs can be high if you don't have access to government grants or scholarships. Tuition for 2019 - 2020 is $58,195. If your family is looking to relocate to the LA area, check out new homes in Los Angeles to save money on student housing, which can run almost $16,000 a year.


University of California Los Angeles

Founded in 1919, UCLA is a public university and one of the nine Universities of California. In Northern California, the three universities are in the cities of Berkeley, Davis, and Santa Cruz. Central California has one university in Merced. Southern California has five universities in LA, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Irvine, and Riverside.


UCLA is well-known for innovation, research, higher learning, and football–ranking #20 in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges by US News. The enormous campus covers 419 acres and is almost twice the size of the University of Southern California's campus. So, if you're an incoming freshman, make sure to take the orientation tours, and learn the campus landmarks so you can navigate your way around.


When the University of California Los Angeles first opened its doors 100-years ago, there were 1500 students. Today the campus has approximately 45,000 students, which is about 1000 more than the University of Southern California. The majors UCLA is best known for are biology, business economics, management, engineering, law, medicine, political science, and theater.


Some of the school's notable alumni are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Francis Ford Coppola, Carol Burnett, James Franco, James Dean, Jim Morrison, Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Steve Martin, Heather Locklear, Marcia Clark, Marilyn Monroe, Shakira, and Mila Kunis.


If you're visiting LA to check out the school, or moving to LA permanently, you should know where this university is located compared to other Los Angeles landmarks. The school is in Westwood Village, which includes the campus and lots of student-friendly shops and restaurants. The campus is only 8 miles from the famous Santa Monica Beach and 11 miles from LAX, which makes for easy traveling. It's 14 miles from Downtown LA and Universal Studios, 20 miles from Griffith Observatory, and 45 miles from Disneyland.


When comparing Los Angeles universities, since this is a public university, it's more affordable than USC. But it's still a good idea to apply for grants and scholarships if you can. If you have already lived in California for at least 366 days, you can qualify for in-state tuition and fees rate, which is much less at $13,226. Out of state tuition is three times as much at $42,218. So, if you're from out of state and moving to Los Angeles, you might want to check out California State Los Angeles, which is more affordable for out-of-state students. The price of student housing is $15,902, so you might consider living off-campus if the commute is doable.


California State Los Angeles

Founded in 1947, California State University Los Angeles is a public university, and also known as Cal State LA. It ranks #31 in the 2020 edition of Best Regional Universities West.


Compared to the Los Angeles universities of USC and UCLA, the campus is much smaller at 175 acres. This campus is accessible to commuting students with the Metrolink and bus stops nearby. If you’re looking to relocate, you might consider moving to Long Beach, or >Inglewood which are only about 20 minutes from the campus.


Cal State LA offers both undergraduate as well as graduate-level programs. Within this university, there are eight colleges which include:

1.    Arts and Letters

2.    Business and Economics

3.    Education

4.    Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology

5.    Health and Human Services

6.    Natural and Social Sciences

7.    Professional and Global Education

8.    Honors


The list of accomplished alumni is impressive from politicians and city officials to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, athletes, and producers. These prominent leaders include

  • Alumni in U.S. Politics include Rosario Marin, 41st U.S. Treasurer; Lucille Roybal-Allard, U.S. Representative; Maxine Waters, U.S. Representative.
  • Alumni in City Government include Steve Cooley, 41st Los Angeles County District Attorney; Nat Trives, former Santa Monica Mayor and known as Mr. Santa Monica; James Butts, Inglewood Mayor; Ralph M. Terrazas, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief.
  • Alumni in Fortune 500 Companies include James A. Bell, retired CFO of Boeing, Alan J. Fohrer, former CEO of Southern California Edison Company.
  • Alumni Athletes, Writers, & Producers include Billie Jean King, world champion tennis player; Joseph Wambaugh, bestselling author; and Elizabeth Devine, former CSI: Miami Producer.


If you're thinking about coming to the LA area to live or visit; you should know where the university is located compared to other landmarks. The campus is in the eastern part of LA – 5 miles east of downtown, 11 miles from Griffith Observatory, 12 miles from Santa Monica Beach, 14 miles from Universal Studios, 26 miles from LAX, and 45 miles from Disneyland. Whether you already live here or are looking to move to Los Angeles, it's good to know the best places to visit.


In-state tuition and fees are affordable at $6,763. If you’re moving from out-of-state, it will cost three times as much at $18,643, but that’s still quite a bit less than Los Angeles Universities UCS and UCLA. Room and board cost about $12,918, so you’ll save money if you live off-campus and commute.


Whether you’re considering the Universities of Los Angeles for higher education or career opportunities, you couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful area. And if you’d love to live in LA, check out Pulte’s new homes in Los Angeles.



Contributed to Your Home blog by Carol Youmans

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Published 11.13.19

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