Photography Provided By: Vanguard University 
Photography Provided By: Vanguard University 

Here Are the 5 Best Colleges in Orange County to Get Your Degree 

These Universities Rank Among the Best in Orange County

Written by: Nicole Jeffries Best Universities Orange County

Taking the next steps to pursue higher education after high school graduation is exciting! However, the process of finding the perfect school for you can be overwhelming and a little daunting. It’s important to find an institution that aligns with your academic goals, cultivates growth and praises your individuality. To save you hours of scrolling through endless Google pages, we put together a list of the top five universities in Orange County. So, rest easy and save your researching skills for the classroom!


1 | Vanguard University Best Universities Orange County

Coming in at the top of our list is Vanguard University. Vanguard prides itself on the post-college success of their students and is pleased to report that “87 percent of 2017-2018 graduates are either employed or continuing education,” according to Katy Neric, Director of Admissions Operations. Further, while attending school, students have the opportunity to work part-time on campus in their fields of study. Their career service center is top-notch and proves to be a wonderful resource for helping students find jobs during academia and outside of it. 

In addition to offering traditional undergraduate and graduate programs, Vanguard provides a professional studies program which is geared towards individuals with a full-time job and/or family. Students are only required to meet once a week and are likely to finish in less than four years. The university also offers an excellent nursing program, an online RN to BSN program.

​In 2020, Vanguard will be celebrating their 100-year anniversary. When discussing this exciting milestone with Kim Johnson, VP of Enrollment, she said, “There aren’t any other schools here locally who have been educating students as long as we have and doing it in a really authentic, community-based and Christ-centered way like we have.”​ 

Native Knowledge: Come 2020, students can expect a 35,000 square-foot student center to open in the heart of campus. This first-rate facility will boast a cafeteria, fitness center and collaboration/relaxation spaces for students.

Vanguard University
55 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


2 | Soka University Best Universities Orange County

Breathtaking campus grounds aside, Soka University is a wonderful option when considering either your undergraduate or graduate degree, as it ranks in the Top 25 National Liberal Arts Colleges by US News. Soka prides itself on fostering a personalized and attentive environment by employing their 8:1 student/faculty ratio, which reduces the average class size to 12. Additionally, Soka includes a semester of travel abroad in their tuition, as they feel every student should benefit from exploring different cultures. 

Soka University
1 University Dr 
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656


3 | Chapman University Best Universities Orange County

With a passion for molding young minds and inspiring creative thinkers, Chapman houses top-caliber educators the likes of Nobel Prize winners, MacArthur fellows, published authors and Academy Award winners. Given the esteemed mentorship, student success is deeply rooted in communication and collaboration with their seasoned leaders. Not sure which area you want to study? Chapman boasts more than 110 majors and minors for undergrads and over 40 graduate programs.

Chapman University
1 University Dr
Orange, CA 92866

4 | Concordia University Irvine

Concordia expands on higher education by offering traditional undergraduate and graduate programs as well as a nursing program, doctorate program and online degree programs. With a commitment to furthering student education, Concordia was recognized as the 17th fastest-growing master’s university in the nation. Another great attribute of this university is that they encourage students to attend and thrive, no matter their financial situation. Through their $85 Million Forward in Faith campaign, students have received financial support for years.  Concordia University Irvine
1530 Concordia
Irvine, CA 92612

5 | Brandman University

Going to college is a massive time commitment that often involves a structured schedule. If you have prior obligations that prevent you from dedicating consistent time to your courses, then Brandman is just the ticket. Through the university’s MyPath program, you’re able to earn both your bachelor’s and master’s degree fully online and at your own pace. There are no traditional semesters, so you simply stop and go as you please. This level of flexibility is unparalleled and a wonderful alternative for students who can’t solely dedicate their time to school. 

Brandman University 
16355 Laguna Canyon Rd
Irvine, CA 92618


​So, there you have it! Now go put your brilliant mind to use, you go-getter you! ​

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