What to Study in California – Subjects, Cost of Education

The state’s most important industries are agriculture, aerospace, oil production and refining, show business, and information technology.

The programs offered by California universities in these industries are of high quality and have received worldwide recognition.

Programs in Film, Theater, and TV

California is home to the world-famous dream factory, Hollywood. Not surprisingly, Los Angeles is home to two of the three largest film schools in California – the University of Southern California School of Cinematography and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater, Film and Television, in close proximity to major TV studios and film productions.

They are taught by real stars – the world’s strongest experts in their fields, theorists and practitioners, and recipients of prestigious awards.

Another prestigious California film school, which is part of the University of California at Berkeley, has more emphasis on theoretical and historical aspects.

The cost of tuition at California film schools, per year:

  • University of Southern California School of Cinematography – $67,000;
  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater, Film and Television – $43,000;
  • Department of Film and Media, University of California, Berkeley – $22,000.

Technical, Engineering, IT

California is home to the so-called Silicon Valley, the region where the world’s largest information technology companies are headquartered.

The cost of engineering schools in California, per year:

  • Stanford University – $49,000;
  • University of California at Berkeley – $26,000-$44,000;
  • CalTech – $44,000;
  • University of Southern California – $28,000.

Of course, the number of interesting subject areas at California universities is not limited to the list presented – you can find programs in any subject and put together your curriculum in a way that best suits a student’s personal and career interests.

As you can see in the lists provided, the cost of tuition at some universities varies considerably. So there really are choices in California, including the cost of tuition.

Admission to California universities

Requirements for admission depend on the university. If Stanford is accepted only about 7 %, CalTech – 8 %, the University of Southern California – 16 %, the State University of California – 17 % of the students who have applied, it is clear, that the requirements to applicants are very high.

Profile of the student who applied to Stanford University in 2017:

  • Roughly 60% of first-time applicants to this university had a GPA of 4.0+; the rest had at least a 3.7 out of 4.
  • Approximately 70% of applicants scored 1800+ on the SAT in three sections (reading, math, writing) or the ACT at 30-36.
  • The TOEFL iBT minimum score requirement was 100+ and the IELTS minimum score was 7.0.

The profile of the 2018 University of California-Berkeley applicant looks like this:

  • GPA 4.12-4.30;
  • SAT 1940+ scores in three sections,
  • ACT 30-34 scores;
  • TOEFL iBT 80+ scores.

The requirements to the applicants from the University of California are rather high – Russian students are likely to need an extra year of study at the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Level or similar programs.

The University of Southern California admissions committee pays close attention not only to high marks and standardized tests, but also to the extracurricular activities of the applicants, for a detailed description of which a special section consisting of essays and questions is included in the university application form. In addition, before making a final decision on admission the university necessarily conducts an interview with the student – in person or online.

When applying to creative specialties it is necessary to prepare a high-quality portfolio. Read about the secrets of creating a portfolio when applying to creative programs here.

You can apply to California universities through the centralized CA, UCA, and Coalition Application systems, or through the universities’ websites. Schools have more detailed information about the content of the application and how to apply on their websites, in the Admissions section.

Many campuses also have their own centralized application systems. Campuses may have different academic calendars, which affects application deadlines – this is something you need to pay close attention to.