4 Top Research Universities in California

Check out the most highly ranked research hubs in the Golden State.

By Sydney Nikols | April 14, 2014

California Institute of Technology was named the best university in the world by Times Higher Education.

The best research universities do much more than educate; they also provide innovation in science, medicine and other important fields. If you’re interested in performing exciting research in a field that you love, consider applying to one of these four universities, all widely recognized for excellence in innovation.

1. California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology was named the best university in the world by Times Higher Education, a publication that specifically focuses on excellence in research in its rankings. Cal Tech’s long list of research centers includes proven breeding grounds for innovation in scientific research. The school’s most famous center is its Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which works in conjunction with NASA to lead American research in robotic exploration of outer space.

Now that you know where to apply, you can begin working towards performing important research in a field that excites you.

2. University of California, Berkeley

In 2010, The National Research Council, a nonprofit that provides expert advice on research, published an in-depth analysis of the top doctoral programs in 52 different educational fields. Impressively, 48 programs at University of California, Berkeley, were named in the top ten. The school received particularly high scores for its research programs in agricultural and resource economics, chemistry, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, mathematics and mechanical engineering.


3. Stanford University

Named the third-best research university in the country by The Center for Measuring University Performance and the fourth-best in the world by Times Higher Education, Stanford University boasts 5,100 externally sponsored research projects, a total research budget of $1.35 billion and a faculty that consists of 22 Nobel Laureates and 5 Pulitzer Prize winners. Its medical school was acknowledged specifically by U.S. News and World Report for having one of the country’s best medical programs in research (second only to Harvard University), and its doctoral programs in aerospace engineering, classics, religion, drama and French did particularly well in the National Research Council rankings.

Stanford was named the third-best research university in the country by The Center for Measuring University Performance.

4. University of California, Los Angeles

Named the country’s seventh-best university for research by The Center for Measuring University Performance, University of California, Los Angeles, earned 40 top-ten spots in the National Research Council’s rankings. For the past three years, the school earned more than $1 billion annually in competitively awarded research grants, including large amounts of funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The school boasts 290 medical research centers and institutes and has 1,800 inventions under its belt.

Now that you know where to apply, you can begin working towards performing important research in a field that excites you.

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