San Francisco is the best large city for college students, with a reasonable cost of living and good earning potential, a study found in 2010. That makes it a great place to start a career post-graduation, too.
The study by the American Institute for Economic Research looked at cities’ academic environment, quality of life and professional opportunities. San Francisco also scored high marks for diversity; arts and leisure venues per capita; accessibility for walking, biking or by public transportation; and the percentage of the population having college degrees.
Studying in San Francisco: Colleges and Universities
San Francisco is home to roughly 30 colleges and universities, ranging from public institutions to accredited private and state-approved schools. There are two University of California schools in the San Francisco area: UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. UC Berkeley is one of the top public postsecondary schools in the U.S., world-renowned for its research, quality of programs and faculty, which currently includes eight Nobel laureates.
San Francisco has other large public colleges, too. San Francisco State University offers a comprehensive range of majors, and participates in joint programs with UCSF and UC Berkeley. City College of San Francisco is one of the country's biggest community colleges, with more than 30,000 enrolled students in 2010 ( as many as SF State), according to the California Postsecondary Education Commission.
There are a number of accredited 4-year and 2-year private institutions, such as University of San Francisco, Academy of Art University, Golden Gate University, California College of the Arts, San Francisco Art Institute and Heald Colleges.
Vocational and Trade Schools in San Francisco
There are many vocational schools in the San Francisco Bay Area offering career training for a variety of trades. For instance, Marinello Schools of Beauty, Le Cordon Bleu Schools and the National Holistic Institute all have a location in SF and prepare students respectively for careers in cosmetology, culinary arts, and massage therapy.
Colleges and Schools in the Bay Area
The list of San Francisco schools is extensive, but if you are willing to explore options outside the city, there are also numerous college campuses located in the greater San Francisco Bay Area that can meet your educational needs. The AIER report ranked San Jose, in the South Bay, the No. 1 mid-sized city for college students. You can find cosmetology schools in Alameda, Hayward, San Mateo and Concord; mechanics technician training in Fremont, and massage therapy training in Petaluma, Emeryville and San Jose, among several locations. Some larger institutions also have campuses in the Bay Area, besides their SF location: University of Phoenix has locations in Livermore, Oakland and San Jose, Heald is located in Concord, Hayward and Milpitas; and DeVry has a location in Daly City. Check out our lists of Oakland schools and San Jose colleges and universities for more information on schools in the Bay Area.