When it comes to choosing a university, there is a lot that goes into it. What will the college life be like? Is it in a college town or a city setting? Or, how do the academics rank from school to school? Whatever your needs, Orange County offers a slew of top universities to choose from. Here are our picks for the best:
California State University Fullerton
800 N State College Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92831
Seeking to be the national model of a public university leader when it comes to a low cost school, California State University Fullerton (CSUF) or Cal State Fullerton was founded in 1957 and offers a comprehensive list of academic departments for studies including business and economics, education, engineering, arts, IT, kinesiology, and many more. With a total enrollment of 38,325 students, Cal State Fullerton also has the largest student body out of all 23 Cal State University campuses and boasts being the 2nd largest university right behind UCLA. Offering 240 degrees including 120 bachelor’s degrees, it is known for its wide array of students that come from far and wide to study a variety of topics.
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697
As a top college and public research institution, UCI is part of the general campuses which make up the University of California (UC) system. UCI’s Orange County campus is the fifth largest in the UC system and boasts over 29,000 students, 1,100 faculty members and 9,000 staff members. Considered a Public Ivy, which refers to the top tiered ivy leagued system, UCI offers 80 undergraduate degrees, and 98 graduate degrees from top academic fields such as in the arts, law, business, humanities, education, nursing, engineering and more. Established in the 1960’s to accommodate the growing need for education across the OC system, the campus stretches itself out from the center being Aldrich Park and offers a sprawling and green campus. Surrounded by the safe neighborhoods or Irvine, UCI is close to beaches, mountains and many attractions in SoCal. Known for its world renowned research faculty which includes Nobel laureates, the school also claims its UC Irvine Medical Center and celebrated law school.
1 University Dr
Orange, CA 92866
First named Hesperian College when it opened in 1954, the school and campus relocated to Orange County from Northern California and was renamed Chapman University after Charles C. Chapman, a philanthropist. With more than 6,000 students and sitting on 75 acres in historic Old Towne Orange, this private, non-profit university is located in Orange and affiliates itself with the Christian Church. The university has seven schools and colleges under the Chapman name including the Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, the Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, the Schmid College of Science & Technology, College of Performing Arts, the Dale E. Fowler School of Law and the College of Educational Studies. Like other top universities, the school offers top degree’s and programs including accounting, art, English, business, history, graphic design, film, law, sociology,
mathematics, dance, economics, education and many more. The school also can boast that it was ranked 6th among masters-level universities in the Western region by the U.S. news & World Reports in 2013.
Irvine, CA 92612
With a student ratio of just 15:1, this smaller school with just over 3,000 students (roughly 2000 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate), is a private Christian university located in Irvine offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and adult degree programs as well as online options. While most universities date back several decades, Concordia is relatively new with its 1976 establishment. Currently offering 20 undergraduate majors and 50 specializations along with 9 graduate programs, 4 adult bachelor’s degree completion program and 3 nursing programs, students pick from either the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business, Christ College, the School of Education or the School of Professional Studies. Located fifty miles south of L.A. proper and eighty miles north of San Diego, the campus, which rests on a 70-acre plateau overlooking OC, sits in an area consistently ranked and rated as one of the safest areas for its size in the U.S and is surrounded by wildlife and hiking trails. Athletics include baseball, volleyball, water polo and lacrosse for men and softball, basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, water polo, lacrosse and cheer for women.
Vanguard University of Southern California
55 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Based in Costa Mesa, Vanguard University of Southern California is a private, 4 year university offering liberal arts and professional studies in four graduate degrees, along with 21 undergraduate degrees in 15 departments. Named in the 2012-2013 Christian Colleges of Distinction, Forbes also ranked the school #495 of America’s Best Colleges. Halfway between LA and San Diego, students pick Vanguard for its liberal arts degree’s and sports. The school was established in 1920.