The 10 Best Hidden Gem Universities in California

5) Biola University (La Mirada, CA)

One of the nation’s top private Christian universities, Biola was recently ranked by The Princeton Review among the nations Best Western Colleges. Additionally, it is ranked among the top 10% of all universities nationwide according to US News.

Few schools are as committed to integrating religious study into their curriculum as Biola, who annually hold the second largest Missions conference worldwide, aptly titled the Missions Conference.

During the conference, students participate in cultural awareness field trips, speak with missionaries, and participate in team-building activities on campus designed to strengthen bonds among students.

However, the school’s devotion to faith is not it’s only landmark feature; many of the school’s programs are among the very best in California, including the school’s dedicated conservatory of music. Alumni of their conservatory have matriculated into the nation’s finest conservatories for graduate study, including Eastman School of Music as well as Manhattan School of Music.

Despite an enrollment of over 6,000 students, the student:teacher ratio at Biola is a comfortable 15:1, ensuring every pupil has ample 1-on-1 opportunity with the university’s professors.


4) California Baptist University (Riverside, CA)

photo by Edgar Garcia via Wikimedia Commons

Throughout the last decade, California Baptist has seen a significant surge in growth. 

Newly constructed facilities created in the last decade include a building for the CBU’s business school in 2012, an events center in 2017, and even a new engineering building in 2018. 

Additionally, the school’s curricular growth has been substantial, having added a Doctor of Nursing program as well as over a dozen other programs, including new MBA concentrations as well as a sought-after software engineering program.

Growth is a constant at California Baptist, however what makes the school special is not just its focus on growth, but rather the accomplishments of their students. 

Perhaps CBU’s most notable student-involved initiative is the ISP, an abbreviation for International Service Projects. For three weeks in a summer, CBU students can travel internationally to other countries to facilitate sports camps as well as create cross-cultural interactions.

The impact these students have is significant; over 5,000 students since the program’s inception have provided service internationally

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