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Best universities in Los Angeles 2022

Explore the top universities in Los Angeles using data from the Times Higher Education rankings

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November 2 2021
Los Angeles, city


Los Angeles is the second largest city in America, and is home to a number of great universities. It's also a great place to be a student with its proximity to 

The city itself offers curious students plenty to do, with more museums per capita than any other city in the world. These include the world-renowned Natural History Museum and Getty Museum, as well as more obscure collections such as the Museum of Neon Art and the Museum of Jurassic Technology. LA is the home of sporting giants such as the Dodgers and Clippers baseball teams, the Galaxy soccer team and the Lakers basketball team.

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One in every six Los Angeles residents works in a creative industry, many of them in Hollywood. This small neighbourhood became the global centre of the film industry in the early 1900s. Now, three of the largest film companies in the world are based in Hollywood, and it remains the world’s show business capital, attracting wannabe starlets and household name celebrities to its streets.

LA may be best known as the place budding actors come for the chance to get their big break, but it’s also one of the top cities in the United States to receive a stellar education. Here are some of its best-known seats of higher learning.

These are the best universities in Los Angeles based on the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education US College Rankings 2022.

1. University of Southern California

Situated in the centre of LA, the University of Southern California was LA’s first private university, opened in 1880, prior to the city getting electric lighting, pavements or telephones.

The university has 21 schools, the oldest and most famous of which is the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. Roughly half of the university’s undergraduate students study at this college, which on its own teaches more than 130 majors. The university’s sporting teams, the Trojans, have an ongoing rivalry with UCLA’s Bruins.

Athletes from the University of Southern California has more Oscar-winning alumni than any other institution, including Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and Robert Zemeckis.


2. University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is another leading LA university, often ranking among the top 20 in the US.

The university offers more than 125 majors and 80 minors, the most popular fields being business economics, biology, psychology, political science, economics and psychobiology. The undergraduate colleges are the college of letters and science, school of the arts and architecture, school of theatre, film and television, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and school of nursing. There are also seven postgraduate schools and four postgraduate health schools.

The UCLA campus lies to the west of Los Angeles, near to the famous districts of Bel Air and Beverly Hills.

Over 1,000 clubs operate at UCLA, from Armenian dance to Disney and from magic to water polo. Student athletes are known as the Bruins, and are one of the leading student athletic associations in America, with more National Collegiate Athletic Association championships than any other university.

UCLA has dozens of notable alumni, but some of the most famous include the director Francis Ford Coppola, the philosopher Hilary Putnam and the actor Leonard Nimoy. Seven alumni have won Nobel Prizes.

The best universities in Los Angeles 2022

Click each institution to view its Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 profile.

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