The 10 Most Diverse Colleges In California For 2020

Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2020. This is our third time rankings the most diverse colleges in California.
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Diversity is a hot topic right now. You can't watch the news or browse social media without hearing about equality.

And that's mostly because diversity's a good thing. You've heard the saying, "Diversity is the art of thinking independently together."

So we wanted to help prospective applicants understand what colleges in the will offer them a diverse experience.

A university campus is one of the most diverse places you'll find in California, as people of all religions, gender preferences and races come together from all over the world to enrich their minds.

But where would we find the most diverse colleges in California? After running the numbers on 104 colleges and universities, we landed on Golden Gate University-San Francisco as the most diverse college in California.

Here's the set of the top ten most diverse colleges in California for 2020.

The 10 Most Diverse Colleges In California For 2020

  1. Golden Gate University-San Francisco
  2. Pacific Union College
  3. California State University-East Bay
  4. Southern California Seminary
  5. Menlo College
  6. California State University-Sacramento
  7. Holy Names University
  8. University of San Francisco
  9. John F. Kennedy University
  10. Stanford University

If you're looking to meet people from all different backgrounds be sure to add Golden Gate University-San Francisco to your college visit road trip.

Read on for more about the colleges and the methodology behind the data.

For more reading on California, check out:

How We Determined The Most Diverse College Campuses In California For 2020

In order to run the only assessment on college diversity undertaken, we simply had to aggregate and then sort data on the racial profiles of each college and university in California.

We're lucky, since the U.S. Department of Education releases diversity studies every year. (The USDE has all sorts of other statistics on its annual College Scorecard as well.)

Here's what we looked at specifically in terms of the racial breakdown by percentage at each institution:

  • White
  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • Asian
  • American Indian
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Two Or More

For most colleges, a significant portion of the student body was listed as "Unknown Race". We removed that from the calculation and only focused on the known races of students from the College Scorecard data.

We then calculated an HHI-score for each of the 104 schools based on the available data -- a statistical representation of diversity. The lower the score, the more diverse the campus.


So it looks like if you want to get the most diverse student experience, you need to contact admissions at Golden Gate University-San Francisco or Pacific Union College.

Golden Gate University-San Francisco

Location: San Francisco, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 167
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,309

Golden Gate University is a private, nonsectarian university in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1901, GGU specializes in educating professionals through its schools of law, business, taxation, and accounting. The university offers two undergraduate degrees with eight concentrations and 15 graduate degrees with 24 concentrations.

Pacific Union College
Source: Wikipedia

Location: Angwin, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 1,465
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,363

Pacific Union College is a private liberal arts college located in Napa Valley, California. The campus is located in the upper valley town of Angwin, eight miles north of St. Helena, California and within the Howell Mountain wine appellation. It is the only four-year college in Napa County. It is among the top ten employers in the county. A coeducational residential college, it serves an almost exclusively undergraduate student body, the overwhelming majority of which live on campus.

California State University-East Bay
Source: Wikipedia

Location: Hayward, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 9,337
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,483

California State University, East Bay is a public university located in Hayward, California, United States. The university, as part of the 23-campus California State University system, offers 136 undergraduate and 60 post-baccalaureate areas of study. California State University, East Bay has been designated a top-tier institution among master's-granting universities in the west by U.S. News & World Report and has been recognized as a "Best in the West" college by the Princeton Review.

Southern California Seminary

Location: El Cajon, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 99
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,524

Southern California Seminary offers faith-based degree programs grounded in the inerrant Word of God, both Online & On-Campus in San Diego.

Location: Atherton, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 649
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,547

Menlo College is a private, four-year baccalaureate college specializing in business located in the Silicon Valley town of Atherton, California, United States.

California State University-Sacramento
Source: Wikipedia

Location: Sacramento, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 20,342
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,581

California State University, Sacramento, founded in 1947 as Sacramento State College, is a public comprehensive university in the city of Sacramento, the capital city of the U.S. state of California. It is the eleventh oldest school in the 23-campus California State University system. The university enrolls approximately 30,500 students annually, has an alumni base of 215,000 and awards 7,000 degrees annually. The university offers 151 different Bachelor's degrees, 69 Master's degrees, 28 types of teaching credentials, and 2 Doctoral degrees. The university also has extensions in Singapore, offering a unique IMBA.

Holy Names University

Location: Oakland, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 592
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,599

Holy Names University is a private, Roman Catholic university in Oakland, California. It is administered by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

University Of San Francisco

Location: San Francisco, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 4,664
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,600

The University of San Francisco is a Jesuit Catholic university located in San Francisco, California, United States. The school's main campus is located on a 55-acre setting between the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. The main campus is nicknamed \"The Hilltop\", and part of the main campus is located on Lone Mountain, one of San Francisco's major geographical features. Its close historical ties with the City and County of San Francisco are reflected in the University's traditional motto, Pro Urbe et Universitate. The current motto is Change the World From Here. USF's Jesuit Catholic identity is rooted in the vision and work of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order.

John F. Kennedy University
Source: Wikipedia

Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 196
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,617

John F. Kennedy University is a nonprofit, private university in Pleasant Hill, California, with a satellite campus in San Jose. It was founded in 1965 to focus on providing continuing opportunities for non-traditional higher education. Enrollment is approximately 1,600 (as of fall 2010) with no campus housing. The faculty consists of over 700 adjunct faculty employed in their subject areas in addition to about 60 full-time academics.

JFK University has three colleges: Business and Professional Studies, Psychology and Holistic Studies, and Law. The university also has a Continuing Education division and an Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership.

In April 2009, JFKU became an affiliate of the National University System. JFK University retained its name, identity, and accreditation as an independent university.

Stanford University
Source: Wikipedia

Location: Stanford, CA
# Of Undergraduates: 7,886
Diversity Index (HHI): 2,654

Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as one of the world's top-ten universities.

There You Have It -- The Most Racially Diverse Colleges In The

If you're looking at universities in California with the most diverse student bodies, this is an accurate list. Below is a complete list of every college and university in California with their diversity index score.

Hopefully, this is helpful for you as you weigh in on all factors while you decide on which institution to attend.

For more reading on colleges around California, check out:

Most Diverse Colleges In California

Rank College Diversity Index
1 Golden Gate University-San Francisco 2,309
2 Pacific Union College 2,363
3 California State University-East Bay 2,483
4 Southern California Seminary 2,524
5 Menlo College 2,547
6 California State University-Sacramento 2,581
7 Holy Names University 2,599
8 University of San Francisco 2,600
9 John F. Kennedy University 2,617
10 Stanford University 2,654
11 San Francisco State University 2,668
12 Dominican University of California 2,710
13 Bethesda University 2,753
14 Loma Linda University 2,773
15 National University 2,782
16 Samuel Merritt University 2,795
17 University of California-Santa Barbara 2,818
18 University of California-Los Angeles 2,818
19 University of California-Santa Cruz 2,848
20 Notre Dame de Namur University 2,861
21 University of the Pacific 2,905
22 University of California-Davis 2,909
23 San Jose State University 2,913
24 San Diego State University 2,941
25 Southern California Institute of Architecture 2,956
26 Otis College of Art and Design 2,971
27 Pomona College 2,998
28 California State University-Long Beach 3,025
29 California College of the Arts 3,066
30 Humphreys University-Stockton and Modesto Campuses 3,070
31 California State Polytechnic University-Pomona 3,099
32 Harvey Mudd College 3,114
33 California Institute of the Arts 3,116
34 San Francisco Conservatory of Music 3,143
35 University of California-Berkeley 3,143
36 California State University-Fullerton 3,155
37 Azusa Pacific University 3,174
38 Mills College 3,176
39 University of Southern California 3,181
40 University of California-Riverside 3,184
41 Coleman University 3,188
42 Loyola Marymount University 3,214
43 California Institute of Integral Studies 3,237
44 University of California-San Diego 3,255
45 California Baptist University 3,261
46 University of California-Irvine 3,262
47 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey 3,265
48 Hope International University 3,319
49 California State University-San Marcos 3,339
50 Saint Mary's College of California 3,351
51 Whittier College 3,361
52 Woodbury University 3,378
53 Columbia College-Hollywood 3,388
54 California Christian College 3,395
55 California State University-Monterey Bay 3,405
56 Brandman University 3,408
57 Marymount California University 3,411
58 Occidental College 3,415
59 Art Center College of Design 3,443
60 Antioch University-Los Angeles 3,450
61 San Diego Christian College 3,459
62 Biola University 3,468
63 La Sierra University 3,470
64 Santa Clara University 3,473
65 California State University-Northridge 3,480
66 California Institute of Technology 3,556
67 Pitzer College 3,577
68 Claremont McKenna College 3,586
69 Pepperdine University 3,614
70 Scripps College 3,630
71 California State University-Fresno 3,648
72 Vanguard University of Southern California 3,657
73 Life Pacific College 3,657
74 University of Redlands 3,704
75 Humboldt State University 3,715
76 California State University-Stanislaus 3,779
77 California Lutheran University 3,788
78 California State University-Chico 3,795
79 Concordia University-Irvine 3,814
80 Fresno Pacific University 3,820
81 Sonoma State University 3,841
82 Laguna College of Art and Design 3,861
83 California State University Maritime Academy 3,906
84 San Francisco Art Institute 3,945
85 University of La Verne 3,992
86 University of San Diego 4,109
87 California State University-Bakersfield 4,114
88 Point Loma Nazarene University 4,238
89 California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo 4,291
90 California State University-Dominguez Hills 4,400
91 Mount Saint Mary's University 4,498
92 Chapman University 4,502
93 Antioch University-Santa Barbara 4,573
94 Pacific Oaks College 4,687
95 Westmont College 4,872
96 California State University-San Bernardino 4,936
97 William Jessup University 4,999
98 Pacific States University 5,000
99 Simpson University 5,012
100 California State University-Los Angeles 5,059
101 The Master's University and Seminary 5,244

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn.

Most Diverse Colleges By State

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