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What and Where Are the 5 Best Colleges Near Marina del Rey, California?

What and Where Are the 5 Best Colleges Near Marina del Rey, California?

Check out our guide to the top colleges near Marina Del Rey and learn where to best continue your educational future. Team


2 min read

October 31, 2023

Marina del Rey, a picturesque coastal community in Los Angeles County, is not just known for its world-class marina, but also for its proximity to some of the finest colleges and universities in California. Whether you’re a student looking for a prime educational institution or simply curious about the academic landscape near the Marina, here are the five best colleges within a reasonable distance of Marina del Rey.

1. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Just a short drive from Marina del Rey, UCLA is one of the premier public universities in the United States. Established in 1919, it's the second-oldest of the ten campuses of the University of California system. UCLA offers over 125 undergraduate majors and a multitude of graduate programs. Known for its rigorous academics, top-tier athletic programs, and outstanding faculty, UCLA also boasts beautiful architecture and a dynamic student life. Its location in the heart of LA means students have access to a vast array of cultural and professional opportunities.

2. Loyola Marymount University (LMU)

Located atop the bluffs overlooking Playa Vista and Marina del Rey, LMU is a private Jesuit and Marymount research university. It is known for its programs in film and television, business, education, and liberal arts. With a commitment to fostering a diverse academic community, LMU emphasizes rigorous academics, a global perspective, and social justice. The picturesque 142-acre campus provides a serene environment for study while being just a stone’s throw from the bustling entertainment and business sectors of Los Angeles.

3. Santa Monica College (SMC)

Just north of Marina del Rey, SMC is one of the leading community colleges in California. Known for its transfer rates to four-year institutions, it offers more than 90 fields of study. While primarily a two-year college, SMC provides a high-quality education that often rivals that of four-year universities. It's also recognized for its robust arts program, particularly in media and filmmaking, given its proximity to the entertainment capital of the world.

4. Pepperdine University

Although a bit further up the coast, Pepperdine’s stunning campus in Malibu is worth the drive. This private research university is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It offers top programs in law, business, liberal arts, and more. The campus provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, creating a tranquil environment for academic pursuit. Beyond its beauty, Pepperdine is known for its commitment to Christian values, academic excellence, and a strong sense of community.

5. California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) 

A short drive southeast of Marina del Rey, CSUDH is a diverse and community-focused institution within the California State University system. With strong programs in business, education, the arts, and the sciences, CSUDH offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is recognized for its efforts in supporting first-generation and minority students, making it an integral part of the educational landscape in the South Bay region of Los Angeles.

Marina del Rey’s enviable location means it's not just a hub for beach lovers and boaters, but also for students and academics. The aforementioned institutions represent just a slice of the educational opportunities available in the vicinity. Each college and university brings its unique strengths, offering a range of options for students of all interests and ambitions. Whether you’re looking to dive into rigorous research, develop creative projects, or engage in community-focused learning, you’ll find a suitable academic home near Marina del Rey.

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