Higher Education

Colleges, Universities, and Vocational Schools

Over 40 colleges and universities are within easy reach of Solano residents. You will find top-ranked universities mixed with lesser known, equally dynamic, local institutions that are focused on careers.

Featured Schools

Touro University California

In Vallejo, Touro University educates medical professionals, providing graduate degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, nursing, public health, and education. Their scenic campus occupies 23 historic buildings on 44 acres of the former Mare Island military base. The Touro College and University System is a private, nonprofit, Jewish-sponsored educational institution, founded in New York in 1970. There are schools in 30 locations, domestically and abroad, focused on different academic concentrations. Visit Touro University website.

Cal Maritime

CSU Maritime Academy, located on a waterfront campus in Vallejo, is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. The college boasts the highest employment rate in the CSU system, with 92-94% finding employment within three months of graduation; 8% graduate as commissioned officers in the U.S. military. The school offers an all-nautical curriculum, featuring one master's and six undergraduate degrees. Majors include international business and logistics, global studies, and various marine and transportation engineering programs. A highlight for students is the annual cruise on the training ship, Golden Bear. Visit Cal Maritime website.

Solano Community College

Solano’s College’s main campus is in Fairfield, with centers in Vacaville, Vallejo, and at Travis AFB. As a community college, Solano’s main objective is 2-year degrees and certificates, but it was recently selected as one of the first California community colleges to offer a bachelor’s degree — a BS in biomanufacturing. The first class will graduate in 2019. Other disciplines of note at Solano College: 

  • Nursing
  • Computer and information science
  • Career technical education (includes aeronautics, automotive, industrial education, welding and others)
  • Business (includes accounting, management, marketing and others)
  • Alternative and renewable fuel vehicle technology 
  • Engineering
  • Water and wastewater technology

Visit Solano Community College website.

UC Davis

The 5,300-acre UC Davis campus is directly adjacent to Solano County, on I-80. UC Davis is a research university that is particularly well known for its ag/food/wine and health sciences expertise. During FY2014-15, 229 records of inventions were filed at UC Davis, and they ran the gamut: medical, agriculture, electronic, veterinary, energy, transportation, research, and materials. Professional degrees are available in nursing, medicine, veterinary medicine, education, business, and law. Features of interest include:

Visit the UC Davis website here.

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley, 22 miles south of Solano County, is frequently ranked #1 among public universities in the nation (US News). Engineering and business majors play a large role in the school’s stellar reputation. Berkeley’s current faculty includes 7 Nobel Prize winners. Features of interest include:

Visit UC Berkeley website

Universities & Colleges

California’s Education System – An Overview. California’s 3-tiered system of higher education sets the benchmark in the U.S. for preparing an educated workforce at a reasonable cost.

  • University of California (UC) is the most competitive system, targeting the top 12.5% of graduating California high school students. These top-ranked research institutions offer bachelor’s through doctorate degrees. UC Davis and UC Berkeley are the two campuses closest to Solano.
  • California State University (CSU) targets the top 33% of California’s high school graduates, offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Employers seek out CSU grads for their practical know-how in many technical fields. The Maritime Academy in Vallejo belongs to the CSU system, and there are four additional CSU campuses within a 50-mile radius.
  • California Community Colleges are the most financially accessible. They offer mostly 2-year associate degrees and vocational certificates to career-minded individuals, as well as college-transfer courses. Solano Community College was recently selected for a pilot bachelor’s degree program, as well.

The list below shows the wide breadth of colleges — both public and private — within easy reach of Solano. Distances are from the county seat (Fairfield) and may be closer, depending on your location.

Institution Location Distance Public/Private Enrollment Graduates
Brandman University Fairfield 7.9 Private N/A N/A
California State University – East Bay Hayward 39 Public 16,253 3,112
California State University Maritime Academy Vallejo 11 Public 907 178
California State University – Sacramento Sacramento 46 Public 31,510 9,435
Dominican University of California San Rafael 26 Private 2,166 602
Golden Gate University – San Francisco San Francisco 33 Private 3,387 801
Holy Names University Oakland 45.9 Private 1,014 370
Lincoln University Oakland 41.4 Private 573 110
Mills College Oakland 45.1 Private 1000 400
Pacific Union College Angwin 46.2 Private 955 261
Saint Mary's College Moraga 37 Private 3,439 1,086
Samuel Merritt University Oakland 40.4 Private 2,050 676
San Francisco State University San Francisco 53.6 Public 24,025 7,400
Sonoma State University Rohnert Park 43 Public 7,182 2,500
The Wright Institute Berkeley 39 Private 483 138
Touro University Vallejo 20.7 Private 1,321 368
University of California – Berkeley Berkeley 37.7 Public 31,814 13,056
University of California – Davis Davis 27.4 Public 39,074 11,716
Hastings College of Law San Francisco 46.6 Public 954 228
University of California – San Francisco San Francisco 49.6 Public 3,201 960
University of San Francisco San Francisco 48.9 Public 10,068 3,385
University of the Pacific Stockton 50.8 Private 6,066 2,000
Total Students Enrolled       187,442  
Total Graduates         58,782
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2021 school Data; Distance is from Fairifeld, county seat May 2021  
Institution Location Distance Public/Private Enrollment Graduates
American River College Sacramento 52.6 Public 25,422 4,329
Berkeley City College Berkeley 37.5 Public 6,097 10,290
Carrington College – Citrus Heights Citrus Heights 50 Private 217 57
Carrington College – Pleasant Hill Pleasant Hill 27 Private 362 158
Carrington College – Sacramento Sacramento 50 Private 1,709 508
Carrington College – San Leandro San Leandro 53 Private 259 70
Carrington College – Stockton Stockton 49.2 Private 332 120
Chabot College Hayward 57.8 Public 13,833 2,085
City College of San Francisco San Fransisco 51.7 Public 24,441 4,530
College of Alameda Alameda 43.6 Public 5,667 300
College of Marin Kentfield 47 Public 5,182 469
Contra Costa College San Pablo 29.3 Public 7,127 1,258
Cosumnes River College Sacramento 53.4 Public 14,667 1,258
Diablo Valley College Pleasant Hill 26.2 Public 18,693 3,728
Laney College Oakland 43 Public 9,225 1,130
Las Positas College Pittsburg 54.5 Public 8,005 1,440
Los Medanos College Pittsburg 36.5 Public 8,521 2,631
Merritt College Oakland 46.5 Public 6,261 1,273
Napa Valley College Napa 16.9 Public 4,931 1,095
Sacramento City College Sacramento 45.3 Public 20,027 2,619
an Joaquin Delta College Stockton 55.1 Public 18,224 2,343
Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa 58.2 Public 16,757 7,044
Solano Community College Fairfield 5 Public 9,251 1,698
Woodland Community College Woodland 37.5 Public 4,598 470
Total Students Enrolled       229,808  
Total Graduates         51,367
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2021 school Data; Distance is from Fairfield, county seat May 2021

Vocational Education

The large Bay Area labor force also supports many vocational schools. Distances will vary depending on your location in Solano; the mileages shown are from the county seat (Fairfield).  

Vocational Training/Certificate Programs (sampling within 50 miles)
Provider Location Distance Programs
Asher College Sacramento 39.2 mi Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services;
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services;
Engineering Technology and Engineering-Related Fields;
Health Professions and Related Programs; Mechanic and
Repair Technologies/Technicians
Aviation Institute of Maintenance Oakland 37.9 mi Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician
Bay Area Medical Academy San Francisco 40.4 mi Health Related Programs: Medical/Clinical Assistant;
Pharmacy Technician/Assistant
Blake Austin College Vacaville 5.1 mi Health Professions and Related Programs;
Personal and Culinary Services
Brightwood College Sacramento 41.4 mi Health Professions and Related Programs; Homeland Security,
Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services
California Apprenticeship
Coordinators Association
Fairfield 3.7 mi Building and construction trades; layout, fabricate,
and assemble sheet metal products; heating, ventilating,
and air conditioning, metal roofs, kitchen equipment,
blowpipe systems, chutes, and hoppers.
Cambridge Junior College Woodland 29.7 mi Medical Reception/Receptionist, Medical/Clinical Assistant
Carrington College

Citrus Heights

Pleasant Hill


San Leandro


47.3 mi

23.3 mi

39.3 mi

40.8 mi

42.1 mi

Health Information Technology, Dental Assisting,
Pharmacy Technology, Medical Assisting,
Medical Office Administration, Medical Insurance Billing & Coding,
Entrepreneurship, Construction Management,
Software Technologies, Sales & Marketing,
Hospitality and Tourism, Accounting,
Business Administration, Office Skills, Paralegal,
Criminal Justice, Network Security, Network Systems Administration, Electronics Technology
Carpenters Training
Committee for Northern California
Fairfield 3.7 mi Carpenters, acoustical installers, drywall/lathers,
hardwood floor layers, insulators, Mill & Cabinet makers,
scaffold erectors, shingles
Field Ironworkers Apprenticeship & Training Program Benicia 17.7 mi Steel and cable reinforcing in concrete construction (rebar work),
erections of steel skeleton of buildings, window wall and curtain wall exteriors, rigging of heavy machinery and welding
Intercoast Colleges Fairfield
Elk Grove

7.5 mi
39.6 mi

Administrative Medical Assistant, Alcohol & Drug Counseling,
Business Technology and Administration,
Computerized Accounting, Electrical, HVAC Technician,
Practical Nursing, Massage Therapy, Medical Assistant,
Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician, Multimedia Specialist,
Paralegal Specialist, Pharmacy Technician
ITT Technical Institute Concord

21.0 mi
35.8 mi

Business Management, Criminology & Forensic
Technology (Concord),Drafting & Design Technology,
Electrical Engineering & Communications Technology,
Electrical Engineering Technology, Graphic Communications
and Design, Information Systems & Cybersecurity,
Mobile Communication Technology, Network Systems Administration, Paralegal , Project Management & Administration (Construction/IT)
Golden State College of Court Reporting Dublin 41.7 mi Court reporting, transcription & captioning
Le Cordon Bleu

San Francisco


41.6 mi

36.1 mi
Culinary Arts Programs, Baking and Pastry Arts Programs, Online Programs, Cooking Classes for Culinary Enthusiasts
Miami Ad School San Francisco 40.7 mi Advertising
MTI Business College, Inc.  Stockton 42.1 mi Business Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services;
Computer & Information Sciences & Support Services;
Health Professions & Programs; Legal Professions & Studies
MTI College Sacramento 44.6 mi Business Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services;
Computer & Information Sciences & Support Services;
Health Professions & Programs; Personal & Culinary Services
National Holistic Institute Emeryville 34.3 mi Massage Therapy, Therapeutic Massage
Northern California Sound & Communication JATC Sacramento 42.7 mi Telecommunications Installers/Technicians work in construction
environment installing circuits and equipment for telephones,
computer networks, video distribution systems, security and
access control systems, and other low voltage systems including,
but not limited to: Fiber Optic Networks, Security Installations, Voice Data Video Technologies, Audio/Video Systems, and Fire and Life Safety Systems.
Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation – SMART Fairfield 6.1 mi Building trades sheet metal, air condition mechanic (building trades), test and balance (building trades)
Solano Community College Fairfield 3.9 mi Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences,
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services,
Communication Technologies/Technicians and Support Services,
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services,
Engineering Technology and Engineering-Related Fields,
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences, Health Professions
and Related Programs, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement,
Firefighting and Related Protective Services, Legal Professions
and Studies, Mechanic and Repair Technologies/ Technicians,
Personal and Culinary Services, Precision Production,
Public Administration and Social Service Professions,
Solano College SBDC Fairfield 6.5 mi Fundamentals of Globalization: Analyzing the Global Environment,
Managing in a Global Environment, The Global Context;
Strategies for Globalization; Key Aspects of the American
Work Environment; Communicating Successfully in the
American Workplace; The Essentials of Budgeting for Non-financial
Professionals; Analyzing Financial Statements for Non-financial
Professionals; The Time Value of Money and Investment Decisions
for Non-financial Professionals; Financial Statements for Non-financial
Professionals; Five-Star Services for Hospitality Employees, Five-Star
Services for Hospitality Managers; Essentials of Interviewing and Hiring:
Screening Applicants for Interviewing, Conducting an Effective Interview;
Recruiting Talent; Retaining Your Talent Pool, Essentials of Interviewing and Hiring: Preparing to Interview, Behavioral Interview Techniques, Selecting the Right Candidate
Solano-Napa Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) Napa 9.0 mi Apprentices, journeymen, electrical, contractors
Underground Utility and Landscape Irrigation – US Local 355 Vallejo 17.4 mi Journeyman Landscape Fitter, Journeyman Utility Fitter
Unitek College


South San Francisco

42.4 mi

49.4 mi
Vocational Nurse, LVN to Registered Nurse, 2-stage Nursing degree, Bachelors degree Nurse, Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician
University of Phoenix Fairfield   Business and management, Education, Nursing and Health Care, Criminal Justice, Arts and Sciences, Human Services, Psychology, Technology
Xavier College of Nursing Stockton 45.4mi LVN, Vocational Nurse training
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2015 School Data, Distance is from Fairfield, County Seat, July 2016 *Includes online students not enrolled on campus;** Includes 1 yr & 2 yr certificates which crosses over a 2 year period