6 Top-Tier West Coast Colleges And Universities

For those who aspire to attend college in a place near the ocean with an abundance of year-round outdoor activities and a history of progressive education, the West Coast of the U.S. is an obvious choice. Universities from Bellingham, Washington, to San Diego, California are challenging and inspiring young academics. This list, in no particular order, shares some rigorous schools of the Western United States.

The #1 entry is Scripps College, a liberal arts school founded in 1926 in Claremont, California. The institution's Study Abroad and Global Education program allows students to employ their critical thinking skills in a semester of learning overseas in an international location, such as Morocco or Oxford, England.

Scripps is the women's institution of The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of higher education establishments, including Pomona and Pitzer. Students can utilize resources available at these other schools, like libraries, bookstores, health and counseling services, and recreational facilities.

Next up, at #2, we have Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. Academic programs are offered in fields like computer science, criminal justice, education studies, and psychology. Some majors are eligible for the school's Accelerated Baccalaureate Program, allowing students to graduate with a BA in only three years.

The university's Outdoor Program gives students the opportunity to go on nature-based adventures in the Southern Oregon region and learn skills like rock climbing, whitewater rafting, or snowshoeing. On-campus, the program's Climbing Center has a 44-foot rock wall to practice the activity.

For #3, we present Highline College. The school is located in Des Moines, Washington, and offers a unique program for high school students, allowing them to take courses that apply toward both their diploma requirements and their college degrees.

Highline has traditional daytime as well as night and weekend classes for students who might be juggling work and academia. Online and hybrid courses are also available. The school's Wellness Center is a 3,000 square foot space containing cardio, strength, and flexibility training areas.

Coming in at #4, we have San Francisco State University, located in the heart of the "City by the Bay." The school offers a number of arts-based majors, such as cinema, design, theater and dance, and creative writing. The Lam Family College of Business has several undergraduate degrees, as well as master's programs in fields such as accountancy and biotech.

San Francisco State has a number of student services available, such as child care. There are many on-campus housing options, like University Park North, which provides apartment-style residences to transfer and returning students.

The #5 entry is Cal State LA, a public university in Los Angeles. The school's College of Ethnic Studies is the first of its kind to be established at a university in the U.S. in 50 years. Its goal is to center the histories, traditions, cultures, experiences, struggles, and accomplishments of diasporic communities of color, making connections between the local and transnational.

Cal State LA is home to many student organizations representing a variety of interests, groups that plan hundreds of events each year. The school's Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good connects undergraduates to volunteer opportunities in the community.

Last but not least, at #6, we have the University of Puget Sound, an independent, residential, and predominantly undergraduate liberal arts college with graduate programs in education and health sciences. It is located 35 miles south of Seattle, in Tacoma, Washington.

The school has a robust athletics department, featuring many sports like baseball, basketball, cross country, and football. The Names Family Fitness Center has strength and conditioning facilities as well as day-use locker rooms and a climbing wall.