Oakland, nestled on the east side of San Francisco Bay, is one of the most diverse cities in the country. It is home to over 125 languages and dialects, more than 600 churches and temples, incredible architecture, beautiful hiking trails, vibrant urban areas and even giant redwood trees. Such a bustling place also offers a wealth of higher education opportunities through the public and private colleges in Oakland.
The Oakland Unified School District also provides opportunities for high school students to earn college credit through dual and concurrent enrollment programs — credit that can be applied to one of the colleges in Oakland or elsewhere.
Several Oakland colleges provide career and technical education, the largest institutions being Laney College and Merritt College, both part of the Peralta Community College District. Laney has certificate programs in fields such as industrial maintenance, biomanufacturing, carpentry, culinary arts, graphic arts, welding. Merritt offers career-focused programs in paralegal studies, homeland security, fire science, and emergency medical technician (EMT) training, among others.
Moler Barber College and the International College of Cosmetology are two of the Oakland colleges that specialize in preparing students for careers in the beauty business.
Laney College and Merritt College also offer two-year degree options. Noteworthy programs include landscape architecture, African-American studies, Mexican-American studies, radiologic science, and kinesiology.
Those who want to pursue a four-year bachelor's program at one of the universities in Oakland have several options. Mills College, founded in 1852, was the first women's college west of the Rockies. Students at this liberal arts school can study art history, biology, public health, sociology and much more. Holy Names University, founded more than 150 years ago, offers numerous bachelor's programs, including business, nursing, education, and community health. Lincoln University, founded in 1919, is home to bachelor's programs in diagnostic imaging and business administration.
Mills College's advanced degree programs are open to both women and men. The institution offers a number of accelerated bachelor's-to-master's programs in areas like education, business administration, computer science, and public policy. Mills also has a joint master's degree program in public policy and business administration (MPP/MBA).
While Samuel Merritt University offers a few bachelor's degree programs, their primary focus is on graduate programs in the medical and health field, such as those in nursing, podiatry, occupational therapy and advanced nursing practice.
To learn more about higher education in The Golden State, check our California colleges list.