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Top Accounting and Finance Degrees - Irvine, CA

Students interested in studying accounting and finance in Irvine, CA, have many schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

Students seeking accounting and finance programs in Irvine can choose from 33 schools within a 25-mile radius of the downtown area. Based on U.S. News & World Report rankings, the best three schools offering accounting and finance programs are the University of California - Irvine (UCI), Chapman University, and California State University - Fullerton (CSUF).

  • Winner: University of California - Irvine is the only one of the three schools to have national ranking, as well as a ranked graduate business school. Its Paul Merage School of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration with minors and specializations in finance.
  • Runner-Up #1: Chapman University also offers a B.S. in Business Administration, as well as a B.S. in Accounting, and a minor in business administration. Graduate program offerings include a number of MBA programs with dual degree options and emphases in finance.
  • Runner-Up #2: California State University - Fullerton, through its Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, offers a B.A. in Business Administration with numerous concentrations, including accounting and finance. The college's graduate program offerings include an MBA in Finance or Accounting and an M.S. in Accountancy.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of California - Irvine Chapman University California State University - Fullerton
Ranking(s) 44th for national universities*, 49th for graduate business schools in 2013, nationwide* 6th for regional universities (West) in 2013* 31st for regional universities (West) in 2013*, 166th for undergraduate business programs in 2012, nationwide*
Location Irvine, CA Orange, CA (7 miles from Irvine) Fullerton, CA (14 miles from Irvine)
School Type Four-year, public Four-year, private not-for-profit Four-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $13,122 (undergraduate, in-state), $36,000 (undergraduate, out-of-state); $12,962 (graduate, in-state), $28,064 (graduate, out-of-state)** $42,084 (undergraduate), $22,752 (graduate)** $6,195 (undergraduate, in-state), $17,853 (undergraduate, out-of-state); $7,461 (graduate, in-state), $17,007 (graduate, out-of-state)**
Business Administration and Management, General Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees** Bachelor's and master's degrees** Bachelor's and master's degrees**
Business Administration and Management, General Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2011-2012 394** 1,851** 324**
Most Popular Business Administration and Management, General Program in 2011-2012 Master's degrees (281 awarded)** Bachelor's degrees (1,638 awarded)** Bachelor's degrees (192 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2005 Entering Class 85%** 72%** 50%**
Noteworthy The Pacific Ocean is five-miles from the campus Student was named Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2013 with a $30,000 scholarship Generates $1B statewide annually and 8,700 regional jobs

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: University of California, Irvine

  • UCI garnered top 50 national rankings from over 40 academic programs
  • Three UCI researchers have won Nobel Prizes, in chemistry and physics
  • 25th for executive MBA program in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report

UCI through its Merage School offers bachelor's degree programs in business administration, which includes a specialization in accounting, and business information management (BIM), with a minor in accounting. An MBA with a specialization in accounting is also offered. The undergraduate business administration program curriculum includes marketing, business management, accounting and managerial finance. Foundation courses cover micro- and macroeconomics, marketing and statistics, with the final capstone project including a retreat and an academic evaluation. The accounting specialization emphasizes income tax preparation, financial statement analysis, and global accounting principles. The BIM program combines coursework in business with computer technology, including information systems utilized by business managers. The accounting minor is for students interested in CPA accreditation or graduate school. The MBA program can be completed in less than three years, with the accounting specialization covering federal taxation, and accounting methodology and strategies related to business taxation.

Runner-Up #1: Chapman University

  • In 2012, Chapman was ranked 1st among up-and-coming schools, according to U.S. News & World Report
  • NCES showed in the 2011-2012 school year, 89% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid, which is the highest of the three profiled schools
  • Boasts a students to faculty ratio of 14:1, according to the NCES

The Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University offers undergraduate majors in accounting, business administration, and economics, with finance coursework and minors in business administration and economics. The school's MBA offerings are full-time, executive, flex, and an integrated five-year undergraduate and MBA. The B.S. in Accounting requires 69 credits in accounting coursework. The upper division core courses cover marketing, management, and finance-focused management. Accounting specific coursework includes cost accounting, auditing, information systems, and more financial accounting courses. The business administration undergraduate program covers areas such as entrepreneurship, business economics, marketing, and finance. The 50-credit full-time MBA program requires 12 credits to be taken in an area of specialty, one of which is finance, with courses covering investments, corporate and international finance, and financial reporting and analysis. The five-year undergraduate and MBA program has 106 undergraduate credits completed into the senior year, with the final one and one-half years covering MBA courses and remaining undergraduate coursework.

Runner-Up #2: California State University - Fullerton

  • 5th for top public schools in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report
  • 1st in state and 8th among universities nationwide awarding bachelor's degrees to Hispanic/Latino students
  • Student body includes students from 79 nations

Students at CSUF and through its Department of Accounting may pursue Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with concentrations in accounting or finance, M.S. in Accountancy or Taxation, and two MBA programs with concentrations in accounting or finance.. The undergraduate program requires 24 upper division core units covering micro- and macroeconomics, marketing, management and organizational behavior. The 21-credit accounting concentration includes cost accounting, information systems, concepts of federal tax, and auditing. Requirements for the M.S. in accountancy include six required credits in auditing and accounting theory, as well as three electives from seminars covering topics such as tax planning, and taxation related to partnerships, s-corporations or international business. The 33-48 unit MBA programs in accounting or finance require 30 core units, with sample courses in financial accounting, managerial finance, operations management, and marketing management.

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