10 Best Colleges In Palo Alto 2022

Due to the high level of innovative advancements going on in the city, Palo Alto tends to have one of the most educated and sharpest minds of the country flocking to the region. Colleges in Palo Alto are reputed for having an outstanding school curriculum with especially high rankings both nationally and internationally.

Are you interested in attending one of the colleges in Palo Alto? This article will highlight everything you need to know about the top colleges in the state and the benefits of attending them.

A Brief Overview of Palo Alto

The city Palo Alto is named after a redwood tree and the name means “tall tree” in Spanish. It is widely known to be the birthplace of Silicon Valley. Being the birthplace of Silicon Valley makes it a center for core global technological and innovative feats. Palo Alto is a base for many international facilities and companies. These various factors tend to make the city one of the most expensive states to reside in America.

The school and colleges in Palo Alto are focused on ensuring that students obtain a personalized experience in the learning process. The numerous tech companies in the region attract college students who are interested in tech and computer science.

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What Are The Benefits Of Attending A College In Palo Alto?

Attending one of the colleges in Palo Alto comes with various benefits and advantages. The most relevant perks include:

  • Being home to many tech companies like Google, Hewlett Packard, Facebook, and many more. The region is suitable for students who are interested in tech and computer sciences.
  • The various tech giants and communities in the area provide steady employment options available to you both as a student and a graduate.
  • According to research, the city of Palo Alto spends a considerable percentage on students.
  • The amount of students in Palo Alto supersedes the no of teachers, this helps in ensuring effective teaching as the class size is relatively smaller.
  • Palo Alto is one of the safest communities in the United States.
  • The city has five libraries with an impressive number of collections. This helps residents and students of colleges in Palo Alto to enrich their minds with information.
  • Being a center for many business ventures, the community has a steady economic footprint that runs similarly to the rest of Silicon Valley

What Is The Cost Of Attending A College In Palo Alto?

What exactly will it cost you to attend one of the prestigious colleges in Palo Alto? The cost of various colleges in Palo alto varies and depends on the location, the type of college, and the program you are applying for.

Check out the estimated cost for attending colleges in Palo Alto:

  • Tuition: residents: $3,200, Non-residents: $6,800
  • Books and supplies: $1,674
  • Miscellaneous fee: $1,000
  • Other expenses: $5,000

What Are The 10 Best Colleges In Palo Alto?

Here’s a list of the 10 best colleges in Palo Alto:

1. Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley

Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 2002 at the NASA Ames research center. It is a degree-granting university which is situated at the heart of Silicon Valley. The college offers you the choice of selecting between a full-time or part-time program. The Various master’s programs run in this college in Palo Alto include the software engineering and management programs, and electrical and computer engineering masters program.

Carnegie Mellon University is focused on imparting its students with knowledge via the practical approach. The college provides ample opportunities for long-distance education hence most students do not live in the region and might only visit when completely necessary. Most of its students also work in top giant tech firms like Yahoo or IBM while in school.


Related Post: Study at Carnegie Mellon University: Admission Requirements, Courses Offered Tuition Fee, Ranking

2. Stanford University

The private research university “Stanford” is one of the colleges in Palo Alto with the greatest application rate. The university sits on 8,180 acres of land, by far one of the largest in the country. Stanford is currently ranked as one of the top best universities not just in America but internationally. It is a very selective school and has an acceptance rate of less than 5%.

To be considered for admission into this prestigious college you should have an impressive SAT score as well as a steady Grade point average. Letters of recommendations and posts held in schools also help in getting admitted.


Related Post: Study in Stanford University: Admission Requirements, Courses Offered Tuition Fee, Ranking

3. Palo Alto University

Palo Alto University is a private university in Palo Alto, California. It is one of the best colleges in Palo Alto for psychology. It was founded in 1975 initially as the “pacific graduate school of psychology”. The undergraduate programs offered in the college include the Bachelor of Science in business psychology and the Bachelor of Science in psychology and social action. It also offers graduate programs and master’s degree programs in counseling and psychology.

Palo Alto University offers the most affordable tuition in psychology when compared to similar universities situated in the area. Palo alto university and the Stanford university can be said to have an interlinked relationship as their doctoral programs are mostly analogous to each other. 


4. Menlo College

Founded in 1927, Menlo college is one of the best private colleges specializing in business education. Menlo has various bachelor’s degree programs in finance, human resource management, accountancy, international management, marketing, real estate, and many more. Menlo college gives you the choice of creating a personal major.

Students of this college can study in various universities abroad like Germany, Japan, and Mexico. With many positive recommendations and rankings, Menlo college is undoubtedly an impressive college in Palo Alto. The Princeton Review in its 2019 edition named Menlo college as one of the best colleges in the west. 

The college currently has accreditation with the “Association to advance collegiate schools of business”


5. Sofia University

The private for-profit university “Sofia University” was originally founded as the California Institute of transpersonal psychology in 1975. It is a very small higher education college in Palo Alto. The university is made up of four schools: the school of transformative education, the school of business, the school of technology, and the school of engineering.

Sofia University has currently expanded its degree programs to include a core focus on computer science, artificial intelligence, software analysis, and design. The college is focused on fusing your selected discipline with innovation to enable students to think up new ideas that would bring about positive impacts globally.

The university is currently accredited by the WASC senior college and university commission.


6. Foothill College

Foothill College is a public community college in California. It was founded in1957 and is part of the Foothill community college district. The college offers 79 associate degree programs as well as over 100 certificate programs. It has accreditation with the accrediting commission for community and junior colleges of the western association of schools and colleges, American veterinary medical association, American dental association, and commissions on accreditation of allied health education programs.

The foothill college is a beacon of excellence with most of its professors having the Hayward award of the academic senate of California community colleges. This recognition is given annually for a particular faculty member who has a stellar track record in his area of discipline and teaching.


7. Stanford Graduate School of Business

Also known as GSB or Stanford GSB, it is the graduate business school of Stanford University. It is reputed to be the most prestigious and one of the most selective business schools in the country. The business college offers interested students different business programs: master of business administration, MS in management for mid-career executives. The school is one of the few colleges in Palo Alto that offers the LEAD business program, which is a professional business certificate program. 

The Stanford graduate school of business allows you to complete your master of business administration program in a maximum of 2 years. The MBA program is usually a full-time program and accepts about 400 students annually. The Stanford GSB is a major player in producing students with developed business and entrepreneurial mindsets. It is a forefront for innovative research and teachings.


8. Founders institute

Mostly referred to as a business incubator and not a college. This training program was founded in Palo Alto in 2009. It is currently present in over 180 cities and over 60 nations. It is a program centered on helping budding entrepreneurs develop their ideas and build their companies. The founders institute is a 4- month duration part-time program.

The Founders institute chapter located in silicon valley is the earliest version of the founder institute system. To graduate from this institute requires you to be able to create a fully operational startup company by the end of your program duration. 


9. De-Anza College

De Anza College is one of the public community colleges located in California. The college is part of the foothill De Anza community college district. It was named after the explorer “ Juan Bautista de Anza”. The college has a small class size hence making more room for an effective one-on-one personalized learning process.

De Anza College has an impressive international student population. It offers career technical education in automotive technology, applied technology, design and manufacturing technologies (computer-aided manufacturing), and many others.


10. Oaksterdam University

Talk about being the weirdest on the list. Oaksterdam University is recognized as the first cannabis college in the world. It was founded in 2007 by Richard Lee who was an active marijuana promoter. The goal of the founder was to offer quality training to interested students in the cannabis industry. The main goal of the college is to legitimize cannabis and teach students how to effectively produce it. 

The Curriculum of the Oaksterdam college covers all branches of medicinal marijuana: business management, horticulture, economics, bud tending, civics, history, extraction, Pain management, and others.

The university offers students the choice of selecting between a live semester or a self-paced one. Self-paced courses can take place anytime while semesters are split into different courses for 17 weeks. You should note that this college presently does not have any accreditation and that certificates awarded after the end of the programs are issued by the school.


Palo alto with its sunny temperature and ever-evolving innovative sectors are major choices for college students. The various colleges in Palo Alto strive to equip their students with adequate knowledge and follow the big steps of Stanford University in the region.

Frequently Asked Questions On Colleges In Palo Alto

What is the No1 College in Palo Alto?

The best college in Palo Alto is Stanford University.

Is Palo Alto a safe place to live?

With a relatively low crime rate, it is one of the safest places to live.

Is Stanford University difficult to get into?

With an acceptance rate of less than 5%, it is one of the most difficult schools to gain admission into.


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