Not everyone is looking for an education in a sprawling, publicly-funded state university. Residents and prospective transfers to the Golden state are fortunate to have over 50 different private colleges in Southern California to choose from.

Below are the five universities with the biggest student populations that anyone seeking a focused, privately-funded education can choose to attend:The University of Southern California

With a proud and long tradition, this school is the biggest private university in the state. First established in 1880 on the outskirts of Los Angeles when that city was little more than a frontier outpost, the university has grown from just a dozen students to more than 40,000 and a full-time faculty roster of more than 4,000 and is now in the heart of the City of Angels.

Programs of Study:

  • Accounting
  • Architecture
  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Comparative Literature
  • East Asian Studies
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Gender Studies
  • International Relations
  • Middle East Studies
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Slavic Languages and Literature
  • Dozens more fields of academic study

This school has both undergraduate and post-graduate fields of study, as well as several doctorate-level programs.

For more information on its admissions requirements, be sure to visit the website or contact the school directly by phone or mail.

National University

Since its doors first opened in 1971, National University has risen to become the 12th largest private, non-profit institute of higher learning in the United States. With a gorgeous campus located in sunny San Diego, the school is home to a study population of more than 15,000.

Programs of Study:

  • Teaching and Education
  • Business
  • Engineering and Computing
  • Journalism
  • Film and the Entertainment Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences
  • Cultural and Ethnic Studies

The school also has three other campuses located in Florida, Nevada, and Virginia. National University has both undergraduate and graduate programs of study, and some classes are offered in a completely online format.

For more information on its admissions requirements, be sure to visit the website or contact the school directly by phone or mail.

University of Phoenix – Costa Mesa

While many private schools in the state are faith-based universities, the University of Phoenix is set up strictly as a for-profit institution. This doesn’t mean that education suffers to meet the bottom line, but instead allows the administration to constantly evolve to meet the changing demands of its more than 12,000 students at its campus in Southern California.

Programs of Study:

  • Nursing
  • Psychology and Social Sciences
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Criminal Justice
  • Health Administration
  • Business
  • Teaching and Education
  • Information Technology

The school also offers a number of online courses, which can be combined with ground classes attended at the campus.

For more information on its admissions requirements, be sure to visit the website or contact the school directly by phone or email.

Loyola Marymount

Known as the tech capital of Southern California, Loyola Marymount has a robust student population of more than 9,000 and is located in the heart of Los Angeles.

Programs of Study:

  • Film and Television
  • Teaching and Education
  • Law
  • Business Administration
  • Liberal Arts
  • Communication
  • Fine Arts
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science

The school has its own advanced mobile app that allows students to stay in communication with teachers and receive real-time updates and course information.

For more information on its admissions requirements, be sure to visit the website or contact the school directly by phone or email.

Azusa Pacific University

First founded in 1899, Azusa Pacific is the largest Christian-based private school in the Golden States. With a vibrant student body of over 8,000, the beautiful campus on the outskirts of Los Angeles is a perfect mix of intimate and diverse, offering students an outstanding learning environment.

Programs of Study:

  • Nursing
  • Theology
  • Teaching and Education
  • Business
  • Accounting
  • Seminary
  • Music
  • Biology
  • Chemistry

For more information on its admissions requirements, be sure to visit the website or contact the school directly by phone or email.

Photo Credit: Padsquad19 at the English language Wikipedia