U.S. News & World Report ranked schools based on several factors, including fall 2011 acceptance rate, freshman retention rate and graduation numbers.
Harvard University and Princeton tied in first place for the second year in a row, followed by Yale. Caltech tied with Dartmouth in 10th place.
Other Southern California schools listed among the top performers were UC San Diego in 38th place, UC Santa Barbara in 41st place, and UC Irvine in 44th place.
Loyola Marymount University was listed a "best value" school and it moved up to No. 3 in regional universities.
City News Service contributed to this report.