Discover Distinguished Higher Education in Irvine

October 18, 2017

Irvine is known as a hub for quality education in Orange County. Year after year, IUSD schools rank among the best schools in the country, with high schools like Northwood High School and University High School falling within the top 100 in the country. As students graduate from high school and pursue a college-level education, there are plenty of local universities and colleges to consider. With nationally recognized institutions like University of California, Irvine, Concordia University and Brandman College, Irvine serves as a cornerstone of higher education in the Orange County community.

University of California, Irvine

Ranked #9 on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of public universities, University of California, Irvine, is one of Irvine’s largest universities. With a student body of over 31,000 people, UCI has a dramatic impact not only on the Irvine community, but on Orange County in general. In fact, UCI is Orange County’s second largest employer, accounting for approximately $5 billion of the local economy every year. When it comes to student life, UCI provides students with a progressive and exciting campus experience. Here, students can choose from over 90 majors and 80 minors, pursue a variety of extracurricular activities, join special interest clubs and play sports. Known for its medicine and science programs, over 100 UCI healthcare physicians have made Best Doctors, Inc.’s list of Best Doctors in America. To add to the university’s list of accolades, UCI researchers have received three Nobel Prizes, two in chemistry and one in physics.

Concordia University

Established in 1976, Concordia University offers liberal arts and professional studies in a close-knit community. Concordia University promotes a well-rounded balance of learning, service and leadership. With an undergraduate class of approximately 1,500 students, Concordia University is on the smaller side, which lends itself to a highly personalized education. Students have access to a strong arts program and a full range of majors, with Business Administration and Management, Registered Nursing and Liberal Arts among the most popular. Providing generous aid for veterans and active-duty service members, Concordia University ranks as one of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges for Veterans, Regional Universities West, list.

Irvine Valley College

Those who are interested in attending a community college prior to transferring to a four-year college can start their higher education journey at Irvine Valley College. With the highest transfer rate in the state of California, Irvine Valley College students have gone on to attend world-famous universities. IVC has strong partnerships with the UC system, and, if students meet the Transfer Admissions Guidelines, they are offered guaranteed admissions to UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz. At IVC, students can earn two-year associate degrees in over 80 majors and can complete general academic requirements to transfer to four-year institutions. Cultivating the arts in Orange County, Irvine Valley College is also known for its $32 million performing arts center where actors, artists and musicians perform on a regular basis.

Brandman University

Founded in 1958 as an extension of Chapman University, Brandman University was originally established to serve the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Today, Brandman University continues to deliver quality education to those in non-traditional situations, including adult learners and students with unique schedules. To bring variety to the academic experience, the university provides over 80 accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates and teaching and credential programs online and on-campus. Upholding its military heritage, approximately 25 percent of Brandman University students have an affiliation with the military and the university is an active participant in Troops to Teachers, the Yellow Ribbon Program and the Military Spouse Career Advancement program. With a student-faculty ratio of 15:1, Brandman University classes average fewer than 20 people, so students can receive personalized, hands-on education. In terms of popularity, Business Administration and Criminal Justice are both go-to majors at Brandman University. Students also have the option of enrolling in online courses or taking classes at one of the university’s 26 affiliate locations.


Fashion designers in the making will find plenty of inspiration at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. With a vibrant, award-winning campus, FIDM creates an ideal space for creativity and learning. Here, students can prepare for a career in the fashion industry through several engaging programs, such as Fashion Design, Film & TV Costume Design and Jewelry Design. To supplement their academic education, students are encouraged to attend dynamic on-campus events, including fashion shows, media screenings, book signings, art exhibits and speaker series. Students also have the opportunity to join thriving professional networks and further their careers by making industry connections.

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