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The Best Colleges in the West

#18. University of San Diego

Location: Far West
Total Students: 8,321

This private, Catholic university has a diverse field of study, with 71 programs available. Its student body is 57 percent female, and popular degrees include business administration and finance.

#17. University of Washington-Seattle

Location: Far West
Total Students: 43,762

Washington is the largest school in the state, and is also the state’s highest-ranked public school, per our metrics. The median post-graduation salary is $49,900, and the average out-of-pocket cost is $9,395.

#16. UC Santa Barbara

Location: Far West
Total Students: 22,225

By our Smart Rating system, UCSB is the No. 5 school in the UC system. Its total research expenditure of $204 million is among the top 10 percent of schools nationally. Popular degrees at UCSB include psychology, sociology and international studies.

#15. Willamette University

Location: Far West
Total Students: 2,855

Willamette is the top school in the state of Oregon, according to our rating system. Its 70 percent four-year graduation rate is in the top 10 percent nationally, and popular majors include psychology, politics and economics.

#14. UC Davis

Location: Far West
Total Students: 33,307

UC Davis is the sixth-largest public school in California. Its total research expenditure of $643 million is among the top 10 percent nationally, and it has a median post-graduation salary of $48,000. Popular degrees include psychology, economics and biology.

#13. Colorado School of Mines

Location: Rocky Mountains
Total Students: 5,790

Colorado School of Mines is the highest-rated public school in the state, according to our rating system. The school is devoted to engineering and applied science, with popular degrees including engineering and math. The median post-graduation salary is $65,000, which is in the top 10 percent nationally.

#12. Occidental College

Location: Far West
Total Students: 2,128

With a tuition of $46,652, Occidental is the most expensive college in California. The school’s four-year graduation rate of 81 percent is among the top 10 percent of schools nationally, and popular degrees include economics, international relations and biology.

#11. Colorado College

Location: Rocky Mountains
Total Students: 2,061

Colorado College is the most expensive school in the state, with a tuition of $44,222. Popular degrees include sociology, economics and biology.

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