California is home to many of the top-ranked engineering schools in the nation. Students wishing to study engineering in California can chose between some of the best public and private engineering schools in the country. High-ranking engineering schools in California generally recommend that prospective students take as many advanced math and science classes in high school as possible to better their chances of gaining admission.

Stanford University

Stanford University offers one of the top engineering programs in the country and was ranked as the second best school of engineering by U.S. News and World Report in 2010. This program is also ranked second best by Graduates Hotline. Located between San Jose and San Francisco, Stanford engineering students can choose to major in fields such as chemical engineering, civil engineering, and aeronautics and astronautics. Once students are admitted to Stanford, they can take a freshman seminar in engineering to see if the major is right for them.

University of California, Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley's College of Engineering was the third ranked engineering school by U.S. News and World Report in 2010, and was ranked second by Education Portal. Located across the bay from San Francisco, Berkeley's College of Engineering offers students a choice between seven majors, including bioengineering, mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering. Notable alumni from The University of California at Berkeley include Bernard Amadei, who is the founder of Engineers Without Borders.

Three other campuses of the University of California that have high-ranking engineering schools are UC San Diego, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara.

California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology is ranked as having the seventh best engineering school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in 2010. Graduates from the California Institute of Technology's engineering school earn the second highest salary after college of all engineering schools. Located in Pasadena, the Caltech offers five engineering degrees, including mechanical engineering and environmental science and engineering. Notable alumni from the California Institute of Technology include former Intel vice president Gerhard Parker, and Robert Bower, a pioneer in three-dimensional microelectronics.

University of Southern California

Located in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering was ranked as the 10th best engineering school in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2010. Graduate Hotline ranked this program as the 21st best engineering program in 2011. Engineering students can choose from several majors, including biomedical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and electrical engineering. Students interested in applying to USC's school of engineering need only to be accepted by the university and declare engineering as their major.