Higher Education

From the moment a cherry orchard was donated to become land for a university in 1887, Chico’s identity has been rooted in education. The original school that grew out of the orchard eventually became California State University, Chico, and other schools blossomed alongside it. These institutes of higher learning influence the city in countless ways, and their students contribute to the rich fabric of life in Chico through the arts, culture, and more. 

Recent graduates, in particular, have planted the seeds of change in the community with their contributions to business start-ups. Whether filling employment needs or becoming local innovators, there’s no denying the importance of the students who come from these educational institutions to Chico.

Educational Opportunities

Chico State and Butte College are part of California’s 3-tiered public system of higher education. Our higher education universe also includes the Cal Northern School of Law.

California State University, Chico offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in over 100 different programs to their students. Named one of the “greenest schools in the nation” by The Princeton Review, CSU has a beautiful campus that is walkable and bikeable, allowing its approximately 15,000 students to live, work, and play around campus. The Center for Entrepreneurship promotes startups among students and recent graduates, and many of these businesses can be found in Chico today.

Photo Credit: Butte College

Butte College is an accredited community college serving 9,000 students each semester. A designated wildlife refuge, Butte College rests on 928 acres—making it one of the largest community college campuses in California. With three centers in Chico, students receive high-quality general and transfer education or advance their career and technical skills. First-time, full-time students can attend Butte College tuition-free for up to two years through the Promise Scholarship.

Graduates of the only law school between Sacramento and the Oregon border have an impressive bar exam pass rate. The school offers a Juris Doctor degree and Master of Legal Studies that can be done in four years of night school. They also offer a two-year Master of Legal Studies degree program.

Photo Credit: California Lineman College

For more than 25 years, Northwest Lineman College has provided opportunities for students to receive safety and certification training in the natural gas, power delivery, and telecommunications industries. This institution offers pre-apprentice to advanced training solutions. They also partner with other companies worldwide for international training initiatives.

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