Top Universities Near Walnut Creek, California

With an estimated total population of 70,166, Walnut Creek serves as a gateway for its surrounding cities due to its position at the intersection of the Sacramento and San Jose (I-680) and San Francisco / Oakland (SR-24) highways and its BART accessibility. Because of Walnut Creek’s geographic location, students are wondering which schools are the best to apply for. 

Students willing to travel a few miles outside Walnut Creek, CA, would have access to about 50 non-profit public and private colleges, including a well-known state university. These local schools are measured in terms of proximity to Walnut Creek, student demographics, expected costs and graduation rates, based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

There are six schools within 10 miles of Walnut Creek, CA for students who are not interested in a lengthy commute. The closest alternative is Saint Mary’s College of California, which is about 3.4 miles from downtown. The other five institutions nearest to him are:

  • Diablo Valley College (centrally situated 5.8 miles)
  • John F. Kennedy University (centrally located 5.8 miles)
  • University of Holy Names (a 8.2 miles from downtown)
  • Merritt College (8.2 miles to the city centre)
  • Mills College (in the city centre)

With so many schools in the region it is pretty important to find one that is the right size for you. For some cases, larger schools may have more opportunities for students than smaller institutions, with more extracurricular clubs, social activities, or even academic programmes. According to NCES student population reports from 2015 here are the five largest schools in the area:

  • University of California-Berkeley (38,189 students enlisted)
  • San Francisco State University (30,256 students enlisted)
  • City College of San Francisco  (23,391 students enlisted)
  • Diablo Valley College (19,694 students enrolled);
  • State University of California-East Bay (15,528 students enrolled)

Since Walnut Creek is part of the East Bay Area, you can also consider other higher education institutions that serve The East Bay:

Colleges (Two-year community colleges)

  • Berkeley City College
  • Chabot College
  • College of Alameda
  • Contra Costa College
  • Laney College
  • Ohlone College


  • Private
    • California College of the Arts
    • Patten University
    • Samuel Merritt University

Below are the centers for higher learning you don’t want to miss near Walnut Creek, California:

  • Diablo Valley College 
  • John F. Kennedy University 
  • Holy Names University 
  • Merritt College 
  • Mills College
  • Las Positas College 
  • Los Medanos College
  • Brandman University
  • Saint Mary’s College of California

All of these wonderful universities are located just a short distance from our location located at 1261 Locust St #9 in Walnut Creek! Stop by for a visit anytime!