The majority of out of state students who want to spend their undergraduate years in California are aiming for admission to the state’s many well known public universities. What California is less well known for are its handful of strong private universities. At the top of my list for California’s strongest all-around private universities are, respectively, Stanford University, University of Southern California, and Santa Clara University. While Stanford and USC are well-known commodities, Santa Clara is the dark horse of the three, which is why today I’ve decided to shine a spotlight on this impressive northern California institution of higher learning.
Santa Clara University is a private, Jesuit Catholic university located in Santa Clara, California. Founded in 1851, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of California. With a student population of over 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students (5,800 undergraduates), Santa Clara University offers a dynamic and diverse learning environment that provides students with numerous opportunities for personal and academic growth.
Admission to Santa Clara University is competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 52% for its Class of 2026. The university considers a variety of factors when making admission decisions, including academic performance, extracurricular activities, standardized test scores, and essays. A strong high school record, including challenging courses and good grades, is important for admission consideration. For the 2022 application cycle, 42% of SCU applicants submitted a test 53% of admitted students submitted a test. The university also requires that applicants submit one teacher letters of recommendation, which provides insight into the student’s character and abilities.
Strongest Undergraduate Majors
Santa Clara University offers a wide range of undergraduate majors, including business, engineering, and the liberal arts. Yet, the university is particularly known for its strong programs in computer engineering and software engineering. The computer engineering program at Santa Clara University is one of the best in the country and prepares students for careers in areas such as computer hardware and software design, computer networks, and computer systems.
The university’s software engineering program is also highly regarded and prepares students for careers in software development, software project management, and software quality assurance. The program emphasizes hands-on experience and provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop and maintain software systems.
In addition to its strong programs in computer engineering and software engineering, Santa Clara University also offers excellent undergraduate programs in business administration and economics. The business administration program provides students with a solid foundation in the principles of business, economics, and finance, while the economics program prepares students for careers in the fields of economics, finance, and business.
Students and Student Life on Campus
Santa Clara University is known for its welcoming and inclusive community, which is comprised of students from a variety of cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds. The university offers a wide range of student organizations, clubs, and activities, including cultural and ethnic organizations, recreational sports teams, and service organizations. The university’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley provides students with access to numerous internships, job opportunities, and cultural events.
Student life on campus is vibrant and active, with numerous events and activities taking place throughout the year. The university’s strong sense of community and commitment to social justice and service are evident in the many community service and volunteer opportunities available to students. The university’s location in Santa Clara also provides students with easy access to the many attractions of the San Francisco Bay Area, including museums, theaters, and sporting events.
The university’s residence halls provide students with a variety of housing options, including traditional dormitory-style housing, apartment-style housing, and suites. The university’s dining facilities offer a range of healthy and delicious meal options, and the campus is equipped with numerous study spaces, computer labs, and recreational facilities.
Santa Clara University’s campus is well-known for its beautiful and historic architecture, its numerous green spaces, and its commitment to sustainability. Here are some of the highlights of the university’s campus:
- The Mission Santa Clara de Asis: This historic mission is the oldest building on the Santa Clara University campus and is one of the few remaining examples of early California architecture. It serves as a reminder of the university’s Jesuit heritage and provides a beautiful setting for spiritual retreats and other events.
- The de Saisset Museum: This museum houses one of the largest collections of art, artifacts, and historical objects in the region, including works by famous artists such as Rembrandt and Pablo Picasso.
- The Leavey Center: This student center serves as the hub of student life on campus, offering a variety of dining options, meeting spaces, and recreational facilities.
- The Bronco Student Center: This modern building provides students with a variety of services, including a bookstore, a post office, and a computer lab.
- Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation: This massive project will create classrooms, labs, research, study and office space for the School of Engineering and the College of Arts and Science. This complex will bring together multiple departments to create a collaborative learning environment where students and faculty alike can benefit from the expertise of their peers. This 270,000 square foot building will be built on the site of the previous engineering and law buildings with a 4-story wing on the east side and 3-story wings on the north and south. The courtyard in the middle will open up towards Heafey Hall and Bergin Hall to create an interconnection between all of the STEM facilities.
Overall, Santa Clara University is a dynamic and diverse institution of higher learning that offers students numerous opportunities for personal and academic growth. With a wide range of undergraduate majors, the university provides a challenging and stimulating learning environment that prepares diverse students for success in their chosen careers.
If you are willing to consider a private college in California, you can’t do much better (and could do a lot worse) than Santa Clara University. Do you want to learn more about Santa Clara University? Take a virtual tour of the campus and visit its admissions website.