It depends what universities you are looking to buy next to. I would recommend around UCLA or on the Westside of Los Angeles and you will be in the $550K range for a 3 bedroom. As you head further east you can find condos in good areas for around $400k or less that may work as well.
I agree with Andrew that having a house may be a good investment for you as well and there are several more affordable options and typically houses appreciate more than condos.
I'm happy to help in your search. I have sold condos and homes all across Los Angeles.
Keller Williams Realty