Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland Stanford, former Governor of and U.S. Senator from California and leading railroad tycoon, and his wife, Jane Lathrop Stanford, in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford admitted its first students on October 1, 1891 as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Tuition was free until 1920. The university struggled financially after Leland Stanford’s 1893 death and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, Provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates’ entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley. By 1970, Stanford was home to a linear accelerator, and was one of the original four ARPANET nodes (precursor to the Internet).
The main campus is in northern Santa Clara Valley adjacent to Palo Alto and between San Jose and San Francisco. Stanford also has land and facilities elsewhere. Its 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus is one of the largest in the United States. The university is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.
Stanford’s academic strength is broad with 40 departments in the three academic schools that have undergraduate students and another four professional schools. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference. It has gained 108 NCAA team championships, the second-most for a university, 476 individual championships, the most in Division I, and has won the NACDA Directors’ Cup, recognizing the university with the best overall athletic team achievement, every year since 1994-1995.
Stanford faculty and alumni have founded many companies including Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Sun Microsystems, Instagram, Snapchat, and Yahoo!, and companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world. It is the alma mater of 30 living billionaires, 17 astronauts, and 20 Turing Award laureates. It is also one of the leading producers of members of the United States Congress. Sixty Nobel laureates and two Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, alumni, faculty or staff.
University of California Berkeley
It is considered by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as one of six university brands that lead in world reputation rankings in 2015 and is ranked third on the U.S. News’ 2015 Best Global Universities rankings conducted in the U.S. and nearly 50 other countries. The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) also ranks the University of California, Berkeley fourth in the world overall, and first among public universities. It is broadly ranked first in science, third in engineering, and fifth in social sciences, with specific rankings of first in chemistry, first in physics, third in computer science, fourth in mathematics, and fourth in economics/business. The university is also well known for producing a high number of entrepreneurs.
Established in 1868 as the result of the merger of the private College of California and the public Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College in Oakland, UC Berkeley is the oldest institution in the UC system and offers approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The University of California has been charged with providing both “classical” and “practical” education for the state’s people. Cal co-manages three United States Department of Energy National Laboratories, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Berkeley faculty, alumni, and researchers have won 72 Nobel Prizes (including 30 alumni Nobel laureates), nine Wolf Prizes, eight Fields Medals (including 3 alumni medalists), 20 Turing Awards, 45 MacArthur Fellowships, 20 Academy Awards,11 Pulitzer Prizes and 105 Olympic gold medals (47 silver and 33 bronze). To date, along with Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley scientists and researchers have discovered 16 chemical elements of the periodic table (californium, seaborgium, berkelium, einsteinium, fermium, lawrencium, etc.) – more than any other university in the world. Lawrence Livermore Lab also discovered or co-discovered six chemical elements (113 to 118).Berkeley is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and continues to have very high research activity with $730.7 million in research and development expenditures in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014.
San José State University
Aerial View of San Jose State University
Located in downtown San Jose, the SJSU main campus is situated on 154 acres (62 ha), or roughly 19 square blocks. SJSU offers 134 bachelor’s and master’s degrees with 110 concentrations and five credential programs with 19 concentrations. The university also offers three joint doctoral degree programs and one independent doctoral program as of 2014. SJSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
SJSU’s total enrollment was 32,773 in fall 2015, including nearly 6,000 graduate students. As of fall 2015, graduate student enrollment at SJSU was the highest of any campus in the CSU system. SJSU’s student population is one of the most ethnically diverse in the nation, with large Asian and Hispanic enrollments, as well as the highest foreign student enrollment of all master’s institutions in the United States.
As of fall 2014, the top five most popular undergraduate majors at SJSU were (in descending order of popularity): psychology, accounting, marketing, business management and biological sciences. As of fall 2014, the top five most popular graduate programs were (in descending order of popularity): software engineering, electrical engineering, library and information sciences, social work and occupational therapy.
More San José State University alumni are hired by Silicon Valley firms than graduates of any other college or university, and philanthropic support of SJSU is among the highest in the CSU system. SJSU sports teams are known as the Spartans, and compete in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) in NCAA Division I.
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University (also referred to as Santa Clara) is a private non-profit Jesuit university located in Santa Clara, California. It has 5,435 full-time undergraduate students, and 3,335 graduate students. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University is the oldest operating institution of higher learning in California, and has remained in its original location for 164 years. The university’s campus surrounds the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asis, which traces its founding to 1776. The campus mirrors the Mission’s architectural style, and provides a fine early example of Mission Revival Architecture.
The university offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees through its six colleges, the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education and Counseling Psychology, Leavey School of Business, School of Engineering, Jesuit School of Theology, and School of Law. Santa Clara has produced Rhodes Scholars and has been recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars.
Santa Clara’s sports teams are called the Broncos. Their colors are red and white. The Broncos compete at the NCAA Division I levels as members of the West Coast Conference in 19 sports. The Broncos own a long history of success on the national stage in a number of sports, including NCAA championships in both men’s and women’s soccer. Santa Clara’s student athletes have also achieved success after graduation, with 54 MLB, 24 NFL, and 12 NBA players having attended the school. Of Santa Clara’s Olympians, 14 have won gold medals.