Adventurers, historians, and artisans take note: Sacramento colleges and universities exist in a land you’ll love. Since its birth as a city, Sacramento has been a popular destination for Californians and non-Californians alike. While the lure of politics and power has drawn many to the city (think Arnold Schwarzenegger!), so too have the area’s beautiful rivers and landscape, its rich history, and its bustling neighborhoods. Today, this city of 500,000 people provides an attractive and vibrant place to live and study.
Sacramento is California’s capital, but it’s not its first. Under Spanish and then Mexican rule, California’s capital cities were Monterey and San Jose. Then, when California was ratified as a state in 1850, state administrative power shifted to Vallejo, Benicia, and then, in 1879, Sacramento.
To learn more about Sacramento colleges and universities and to imagine what it might be like to live in the city, read on.
1. First, as one of the older cities in the state, Sacramento architecture has much to offer. The state capital building, the symbol of California’s democracy, is adorned with mosaics that highlight the state’s seal and flora and has a museum to learn more about the capital, state, and government. Beyond the capital building, the city offers restored mansions, saloons, theaters, and other structures, including a fort. If old cemeteries are your passion, the Old City Cemetery offers a window into the city’s rich and diverse past.
Pursue a Master of Arts in Leadership, Public Policy, and Social Issues and picture yourself one day climbing the steps to the state capital building. Or, earn a Master of Arts in History and Culture and learn how to analyze and better understand Sacramento’s social and cultural underpinnings.
2. Second, active people love Sacramento. The American River, which flows into the Sacramento River, is a wildly popular rafting destination. The city offers running events, from 10Ks to the “Run to Feed the Hungry” Thanksgiving event. There are mountain biking trails, and the many bike lanes on the city’s roads will help you get around town without a car. Golf courses dot the area, and in the winter, you can even go ice skating a lá Rockefeller Square on the downtown plaza! There are parks throughout the city and along the river where you can take long walks or just relax with a good ol’ fashioned book.
Once you start pursuing your graduate degree in Sacramento, you can claim your right to use one of its many nicknames: the “Camellia Capital of the World,” the “City of Trees,” “River City,” or, as the locals say, “Sactown.” You can also participate in the state-wide battle to claim California’s coolest area: Nor Cal or So Cal.
3. Third, the arts scene in Sacramento is impressive. Since 1885, the Crocker Art Museum has led the state in exhibiting California’s best art, though its collection contains works from the around the globe. Other museums focus on art, railroads, automobiles, and history. There are art galleries around the city, including on some the colleges and universities, as well as photo galleries. Theater and dance groups, small and large, provide audiences with a wide range of performances throughout the year. When coupled with a music scene that supports local and international talent, Sacramento is a cultural delight.
One of our sponsored schools, the University of California, Davis, offers graduate degrees in Dramatic Art, Art History, Music, Textile Arts and Costume Design, and Studio Art. UC Davis is one of a few universities near Sacramento that offers graduate degrees in fine arts and design and beyond. Why not advance your studies in art and apply what you learn to Sacramento’s creative scene?
2017, Sacramento had an estimated population of 495,765 and a median age of 34 years. Of the city’s population, 10.74 percent had a graduate degree. There are 13 universities in Sacramento and 48 within 50 miles.i
Old Town Sacramento had its roots in the mining and Railroad boom from the 1850s and 1860s and many of the original buildings remain. A stone’s throw from the Sacramento River, the district sports restaurants, cafes, and bars and a lively music and comedy scene. If you want to get on the water to learn about the history of the area, or just relax, there are a number of day and overnight riverboat options.The midtown district is where many go for the arts and entertainment. Filled with galleries and concert venues, the district provides residents and visitors with plenty to do year-round, day and night.
The art walks are as much about art as they are about being social. The district is diverse and its businesses, shops, and art scene reflect that diversity.
In July, the “Sacratomato Week” offers, as you would expect, a week of glorifying all things tomato. The farmers market pulls in some of California’s finest fruits and vegetables. The district is also close to the state capital so the state’s politicians can sometimes be seen in the district.
Wouldn’t it be cool to live in a city below a city? Sacramento is actually two cities in one. An extensive network of tunnels and underground streets mark the first city’s existence. Once a victim to a devastating flood, the City built a second city higher than the first to avoid facing a similar fate in the future. Despite its new and improved “higher” city, Sacramento still sits just 17 feet above sea level.
Another popular district is Land Park. It has a historic feel to the neighborhoods and houses, many dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. Like midtown, Land Park has lots of restaurants and businesses for a night (or day) on the town and many are located on Broadway Street. Land Park also has William Land Park, a 166 acres of communal meeting ground for those who know and love it. The park is filled with people jogging and walking along the many paths and lakes. The park also has an amphitheater, sports fields, and a golf course. The combination of open space and hip commercial scene make this a great place to land.
Handle your business in Sacramento, whether at a restaurant, sports field, historical hotspot, cultural icon, or administrative office by earning a graduate degree in business. M.B.A.s and degrees in areas such as management, healthcare administration, finance, and organizational transformation are all options at Sacramento colleges, colleges near Sacramento, or online.
Curtis Park has a similar feel and look as Land Park. Named one of the ten hottest neighborhoods by Redfin in 2015, the area provides parks, transit access, great housing, and lots of parks and recreation. It is also close to Downtown. The area also is known for community events that include music and art and its annual Curtis Fest.
As you explore colleges and universities in Sacramento CA, you might wonder: what happens if I earn my graduate degree and fall in love with the city? Where might I work? What might I do? Just in case that happens, we present to you a snapshot of Sacramento’s economy:
First, the top five occupations for workers in Sacramento in 2017 were:i
That same year, the leading industries in Sacramento were public administration, healthcare and social services, scientific and technical services, and retail.i
If you’re interested in working in public administration as a manager or leader, consider pursuing a Master of Arts in Leadership, Public Policy, and Social Issues from our sponsored school Union Institute and University. From the same school, you can pursue a Master of Arts in Health and Wellness or a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Either of these degrees could help you pursue a career in healthcare or social services.
In 2012, the five largest employers in Sacramento were the State of California, Sacramento County, UC Davis Health, Dignity Health/Catholic Healthcare West, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Hill, and three Unified school districts.ii
Why not pursue a graduate degree in education? Consider earning a Master of Arts in Teaching; a Master of Science in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum with a teacher certification track; a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Organizational Leadership; or a degree in Multicultural and Crosscultural Education.
Start your search by browsing some popular graduate programs from our partner schools in Sacramento.
These sponsored colleges and universities in Sacramento offer degrees across disciplines. Explore these schools to get started on your search. Keep in mind that these schools might offer programs on campus in Sacramento or online through distance education. Click on the hyperlinks below to find programs offered through these sponsored schools.
California State University Sacramento, also known as Sacramento State University, is a four-year public school located in the heart of Sacramento. Each year, it enrolls more than 30,000 students and has a relatively diverse student population.
The school offers graduate programs across disciplines, in areas such as the biological sciences, computer science, electrical engineering, education, and others. Amongst others, the Sacramento State nursing program is quite popular, offering an M.S. in nursing and credentialing program at the graduate level.
The University of California Sacramento and the University of California Davis are part of the University of California system. Both are four-year, public institutions with an intensive focus on research.
UC Davis offers graduate degrees across a broad range of disciplines, and UC Sacramento offers the school’s health programs, namely, the Family Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant degree at the graduate level. UC Davis is located in Davis, California, a small city just west of Sacramento.
Alliant International University is a private, not-for-profit university that offers graduate-level programs in business, management, psychology, education, law, and forensic studies. Through its Sacramento campus, Alliant International University offers a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, an M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy, and a Psy.D. in Marital and Family Therapy. Its online division offers graduate degrees across the disciplines mentioned above.
The University of Southern California is a private research institution headquartered in Los Angeles, California. It offers an in-person Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in public policy or health administration through its Sacramento campus. Through its online division, the University of Southern California offers graduate degrees across disciplines, in areas such as nursing, education, mental health, social work, engineering, drug development, and others.
Drexel University is a private, non-profit research university headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On its Sacramento campus, Drexel University offers numerous graduate degrees through a hybrid format—one that utilizes both online and on-campus programming. Students can pursue degrees through a hybrid format in areas such as educational leadership, finance, healthcare administration, public health, and medical science. Alternatively, students can pursue degrees in many of the same subjects and others through Drexel University online.
Whether you’re looking for public or private universities in Sacramento, we’ve collected numerous options for you.
Below you’ll find a list of schools offering master’s degrees, doctorate degrees, and graduate certificates in online, on-campus, or hybrid formats. Click on the school icons or links below to find programs and explore options.
Alternatively, use our search tool to refine your search and browse by program subject, level, or format. Contact schools directly through our site for additional information, to request and information packet, and to launch your advanced education.
i cityofsacramento.org/Economic-Development/Why-Sacramento/Demographics-and-Market-Information | ii en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California#Top_employers