Graduate Schools in Los Angeles: Masters & Doctorate Degree Programs

Graduate Schools in Los Angeles offer students the chance to live and learn in the sunny, southern part of California. Nicknamed the City of Angels, L.A. is a dynamic metropolis. It is home to Hollywood, 10 sports teams, a multicultural vibe and an innovative spirit. Start here to learn about popular graduate programs from our sponsored schools in Los Angeles and what it would be like to live and study in sunny LA!

Graduate Schools in Los Angeles

University of Southern CaliforniaNursingM.S.N.
California State UniversityPublic AdministrationM.P.A.
California Institute of Advanced ManagementExecutive Management and EntrepreneurshipM.B.A.
Pacific States UniversityFinanceM.S.
Pepperdine UniversityLegal StudiesM.L.S. (Master of Legal Studies)

written by Rana Waxman

Why Choose Graduate Schools in Los Angeles?

Attending one of the graduate schools in Los Angeles situates you in an area that is both urban and coastline, eclectic, progressive, laid back, and on-the-go.  LA’s distinct personality could be described as trend setting meets cultural heritage.

Los Angeles Then and Now

LA is to the West Coast what New York is to the East Coast. Its rich tapestry could serve as a backdrop for a lively lifestyle and enriching education.
As the most populous city in California, LA has a population if 3.9 million plus based on 2016 US Census data.While known as a center of the motion picture industry, Los Angeles is also a cultural, financial and commercial center. It blends, one might say, the creative with the professional. LA was first settled by Native American tribes thousands of years back, then claimed by the Spanish in 1542. It was then ruled by Mexico until 1847. Railroads and oil discovery factored into the fight for this petroleum rich territory. Of course, oil brought money and employment. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 meant that water could be delivered from Eastern California. Therefore, LA continued its rapid growth. This development was furthered with the expansion of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950’s and 60’s. By the 1960’s, Los Angeles had sprawled out. Its heritage still present in its cultural diversity, and its economic presence strongly visible in its role as a global city.ii

The Neighborhoods of Los Angeles

Most of Los Angeles is characterized by low rises outside of the downtown core.
  • Downtown LA – central business district and diverse residential neighborhood, home of a fashion district and skid row
  • East LA – several residential areas
  • Northeast LA – much of this area is located on or around the San Rafael Hills
  • South LA – home to Mount St. Mary’s University and University of Southern California (partner schools), and scene of some race-related riots
  • Harbor Area – Pacific Ocean on the south, and South Bay on the West (e.g. Manhattan Beach)
  • Greater Hollywood – ethnically diverse and densely populated, home of the U.S. film industry, the famous Hollywood sign and some gentrification
  • Wilshire – well known for Wilshire Boulevard, a major artery that extends from Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica to Grand Avenue in the financial district
  • Westside – includes cities such as Beverly Hills, Century City and West Hollywood and is also home to UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • San Fernando Valley –urbanized location that includes Glendale, Burbank and Calabasas
  • Crescenta Valley – a mature suburban area

Getting Around LA

How does one get around in LA? While your own borough and university campus may be walkable, and there are some great bike paths, LA is pretty much a car culture. Los Angeles is connected via an extensive network of freeways, and the average commute is about 30 minutes. i The city is also well serviced by light rail and subways, buses and a commuter rail called Metrolink which transport hundreds of thousands of daily riders. Metro joins LA to its neighbor counties and some suburbs.
FUN FACT ABOUT LA LA is a winner in the 2017 Digital Cities Survey awarded by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) iii

Is It Always Sunny In LA?

Many people flock to LA to spread their wings in the Mediterranean-like climate. There is usually plenty of sunshine year-round but there are still seasons. For instance, winter is both the rainy and sunny season so you may still need an umbrella as you head to class. Temperatures in early December could average in the high 70’s and low 50’s and 40’s. You may need a sweater and jacket since it is possible it could get too chilly to wear traditional summer clothes. In around May, the layer of marine clouds called June Gloom descend and could hang around throughout summer, so it may be overcast these days until noon. Especially at the beach. On that note, the average temperature at LA area beaches is about 70 degrees, though early fall could see heat waves in the upper 80s or 90s.

Endlessly Explore LA

LA hosts the annual Academy Awards. Cinema buffs may therefore be on the edge of their seats hoping for acceptance letters from the universities in Los Angeles their list. But LA is more than movies. There is pretty much something to explore no matter what the mood. In fact, there are always places like Malibu, scenic hiking trails, and other quieter, more relaxed areas to go to if you feel overwhelmed by your studies, the crowds, or the choices. On the art and culture fronts, there are over 841 museums and art galleries to explore. Among them, renowned Getty Center and Getty Villa, the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). The LA Music Center is also home to the LA Opera, Center Theatre Group, American Ballet Theatre, and the LA Philharmonic. There are tons of lively, fun, and cultural activities in downtown LA thanks to LA Live, Downtown LA Art walk, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Take a Walk. There are some great places (once you are there) to walk around in Hollywood, Downtown LA, the Walk of Fame, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Pasadena and Long Beach. You could watch sports. Head to Dodger Stadium for a baseball game. Catch a football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Watch hoops or the hockey puck at the Staples Center, or head out to the iconic Rose Bowl Center in Pasadena. Sports enthusiasts could also study applied sport psychology in LA. Earn a Master of Arts in Sport Exercise Psychology at partner school, Argosy University. Enjoy the Outdoors in LA. From beachside concerts and neighborhood wide events such as First Fridays in Venice and Downtown Artwalk, to the LA food truck scene or a hike up to the Hollywood sign – LA has an outdoors vibe not to be missed. Beaches and Bicycles. LA is bordered by many distinct and beautiful beaches including Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, and Hermosa Beaches. Head out for a jog, or bring your bike. The area’s most popular bike path starts in the Pacific Palisades and continues to Redondo Beach. LA county’s longest bike path is the San Gabriel River Trail. Other bike paths include Ballona Creek and the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area.

Compare Los Angeles Universities

Below is a compiled list of graduate schools in Los Angeles that represent some of the partner schools on this directory.
  1. University of Southern California (USC)
  2. California State University, Northridge (CSUN)
  3. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, LA
  4. Pepperdine University
  5. Mount Saint Mary’s University

Types of Graduate Programs in LA

There are many graduate programs in LA that may appeal to different career goals, and study needs. For instance, several graduate schools in LA may offer online Masters, Doctorate and Certificate formats, along with hybrid and part-time programs. Below are some choices that represent degree programs offered through partner schools. What to Study in LA? Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale had 162,160 jobs in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media. This accounts for 3.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 1.4-percent share nationally.iv If film and television is your chosen milieu, why not study to earn an online Entertainment Law and Industry Certificate through USC Gould School of Law? Management, business and finance are other major industries, along with technology, engineering and the sciences.iv  In fact LA just expanded its open data initiative with the release of new data sets, a data science partnership with 12 local universities and a new department of data and predictive analytics. iii

Psychology Programs in Los Angeles

A highly populated city, LA might serve as a great backdrop to study the human brain and behavior in depth. Students could look for graduate programs in psychology at several universities at the Masters, PhD or PsyD levels. Below are a few examples, and there is no shortage of other options on our directory. Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology: The Chicago School of Psychology’s LA campus offers a MA in Forensic Psychology – Professional Counselor Licensure Track, Police Psychology Concentration program. Students in this program could learn to apply psychology within law enforcement and the legal system at large to diffuse potential conflicts. As part of their education, students may benefit from hands-on experiences at the school’s Forensic Training Institute. Here, they might make essential contacts within the forensic community as they put classroom learning into practice. This includes the Los Angeles Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, Coroner’s Office, and City Attorney’s office. Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology: Pepperdine’s Drescher Graduate Campus in Malibu offers a MA in Clinical Psychology. Course work could help students build a strong foundation in clinical psychology, counseling, and marriage and family therapy. As part of the program, students gain supervised counseling experience in clinical settings. The program meets educational requirements for licensure as either a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in California. Compare with The Chicago School’s PhD in Psychology, Behavior Analysis Concentration. Students at the Los Angeles campus could establish the academic groundwork needed to pursue Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) credentials.

MSW Programs in LA

Earn a Master of Social Work in Los Angeles. USC’s USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited online MSW program. Students could work to pursue licensure as a clinical social worker (LCSW). They offer a field placement team and several areas of emphasis.

MBA Programs in Los Angeles

Why not strive towards an MBA in Los Angeles? The California Institute of Advanced Management offers a MBA Program where students could work in teams to complete a pro bono consulting project for local businesses. Each course has one such project. Students could therefore end their MBA Program with up to 12 consulting projects to put in their portfolio and real business experience with all 12 course subjects. Courses include topics such as corporate finance, entrepreneurship, marketing and strategic management. Compare with a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at a university such as Argosy. Students could choose from several focused areas of study such as accounting, management, marketing, information systems and international business.

Masters in Accounting Programs in LA

Ready to pursue CPA Licensure in California state? CSUN’s MS in Taxation program is fully accredited and meets California’s 150-hour requirement for CPA-licensure. It is designed for students to join live classes either in person or virtually, and may take only 18 months to complete. Classes meet some evenings and weekends and no classes are scheduled in the busy tax season.

Choose a Graduate School in LA

Easily choose a university in Los Angeles for your graduate studies. Set some filters – degree level, format and subject. A list of graduate schools in Los Angeles is then generated. All you do from there is click to apply. Get started now!

[i] | [ii] | [iii] | [iv]

  • National University

  • Wake Forest University

  • The University of Arizona Global Campus

  • Western Governors University

  • Grand Canyon University

  • Purdue Global

  • Southern California Institute Of Architecture

  • Samra University Of Oriental Medicine

  • Loyola Law School Los Angeles

  • Southwestern University School Of Law

  • University of Philosophical Research

  • Argosy University

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