The main difference between UC schools and State schools is the price. UC schools are much more expensive than State schools. The UC schools are also harder to get into. It also depends on what you want to major in as well. If you want to be an elementary school teacher, attending a State school would be better than a UC because the program is better and focuses more on that major. UC schools also tend to be much bigger in population. It is pretty much all a preference and what you want to major in. State colleges and State Universities are the same thing. If you decide to go to San Diego State University, you can easily transfer to any one of the other State Colleges in California. All the schools have pretty much the same transfer system, except for Monterey Bay State. MBSU is kind of a school off on it's own. It's hard to make all your courses transfer there and it's hard for your courses there to transfer anywhere else.
The principal difference between the UC system and the CSU system is that the UC system was designed to produce graduates with bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees with an emphasis on research and theory while the CSU system was designed to produce graduates principally with bachelors with a few masters programs. UC schools make professors, CSU school make working professional adults. Since the UC schools make professors and do extensive research, they have higher reputations than their smaller cousins.
having attended both, I found the quality of education to be consistently better at the CSU system than at the UC sysetm campuses. The more recognized professors in the UC schools have graduate student assistants that perform a great deal of the instruction where as the CSU profs do it themelves,
UC = Research Intensive, CSU = Research (less research).UC is great, absolutely top notch for GRADUATE schools. There are world class professors that write the textbooks, but often they may not be the best teachers. I've graduated from a UC. School is what you make of it. If a teacher can't teach you're going to have to learn on your own or through other means.
I hear CSU's are smaller and pay more attention to their students. Smaller class size has a lot to do with the kind of learner you are. At my UC, I have to create my own study groups, tutors, go to professor office hours, and look at extra books, study guides, old textbooks to get the kind of learning I work best with, direct and small. Some people don't even go to lecture, and do fine, the UC works best for these people- because they would understand it with or without great learning aids.
Some people pickup a golf club and hit it a mile. Others, like me take lessons, practice for hours, pay a lot of money, etc. UC's are great for the students that are already great. The learning you get will prepare you to advance your field in Academia. In terms of getting a job, CSU may do it better with their focus on "learning by doing."
There's the best college, and then there's the best college for you - By this I mean you should pick a college that suits your learning needs and career goals. If you want to be a professor, you should look into a UC eventually, because they have access to the tools, funds, research labs, that CSU's may not. On the other hand if you want a job and stop at your bachelor's either or may work. Then there's the teaching style. Since professors do research in UC's they may be hard pressed for time to care for your grade as opposed to dedicated teachers from CSU that only have teaching on their agenda.
Someone seriously considering college should do their own research into the programs offered by each university (UC/CSU or not). More importantly, it isn't as much the college you choose as compared to the work you put into your undergraduate studies. Your future employer will be looking at: Experience, GPA, & Prestige. Yes, there are minimum GPAs for most competitive positions, especially because over
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