Top University for a Degree in Business Administration - Irvine, CA

Students interested in studying business administration in Irvine, California, have nearly 20 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

There are close to 20 schools in the Irvine area that offer degrees in business administration. The following schools are considered the top three based on rankings, number of business administration degrees awarded and tuition rates:

  • Winner: University of California at Irvine came in first place because of its high U.S. News & World Report national rankings, location and great amount of business administration degrees awarded.
  • Runner Up #1: Chapman University, located in Orange, came in second place for its regional U.S. News ranking and multiple levels of business administration degrees offered.
  • Runner Up #2: Vanguard University of Southern California in Costa Mesa is the second runner up for its tuition rates and opportunities for students to study outside the U.S.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of California, Irvine Chapman University Vanguard University of Southern California
Ranking (2014) 49th best graduate business school in the country*
49th best national university in the country*
194th best undergraduate business program nationally*
7th best regional university in the West*
10th best regional college in the West*
Location Irvine, CA Orange, CA (8 miles from Irvine) Costa Mesa, CA (8 miles from Irvine)
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private; not-for-profit 4-year, private; not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $13,122 (in-state undergraduate), $36,000 (out-of-state undergraduate); $12,962 (in-state graduate), $28,064 (out-of-state graduate)** $42,084 (undergraduate); $22,752 (graduate)** $28,500 (undergraduate); $11,093 (graduate)**
Business Administration Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degree Bachelor's and master's degree Bachelor's degree
Business Administration Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 394** 324** 71**
Most Popular Business Administration Degree Program 2011-2012 Master's degrees (281 awarded)** Bachelor's degrees (192 awarded)** Bachelor's degrees (71 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2006 Entering Class 86%** 72%** 54%**
Noteworthy Numerous student clubs to give business students networking opportunities Professional internships are part of the curriculum Study abroad opportunities for business students, such as a semester in Europe

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

Winner: University of California, Irvine

  • 14th top public school in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report
  • High school counselors rated the school as the 52nd best, U.S. News & World Report found
  • Students can take part in business competitions
  • Business school counts numerous honor societies for advanced students

Students who enroll at The Paul Merage School of Business can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. All students take 10 core courses followed by 10 elective courses in business. Within the undergraduate program, students can concentrate on accounting, organization and management, marketing, and finance, among other areas. Students who already hold business experience can consider earning a Master of Business Administration. The full-time program typically lasts 21 months and focuses on decision-making and innovation. The Fully Employed MBA program is for mid-level professionals, while the Executive MBA program is designed for advanced business professionals. Students who are interested in the healthcare industry can consider the Healthcare Executive MBA program.

Runner-Up #1: Chapman University

  • University holds the number 1 spot for up-and-coming schools, according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Business center connects students to careers and internships
  • University is home to research centers and institutes focused on business
  • Specialized Master of Business Administration program involves studies in Prague

This private, liberal arts school offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Students can focus on one area within the bachelor's degree program, such as finance, marketing, or real estate. In general, courses cover business communication, economic development, international business, and business policy. There's also an integrated bachelor's-master's degree program, which can be completed in 5 years and allows students to earn an undergraduate and graduate degree in business administration. Students who may want to further their careers can also consider a Master of Business Administration. There's a traditional full-time program at Chapman, as well as specialized programs that combine food science and film studies with the MBA program.

Runner-Up #2: Vanguard University of Southern California

  • Students can enroll in internships to gain professional business experience
  • School offers a faith-in-the-workplace program
  • Honor society recognizes high-achieving business students
  • School has partnered with a non-profit organization that empowers people through business and higher education

Students who enroll at this private university can major in business administration and gain an overview of the business industry and how to land careers in the field. Students take courses in business communications, ethics, and policy. There's also an internship program, and students can gain experience in teaching business. By the end of the degree program, students take an advanced business strategy class, and they take part in a seminar class that involves a specific topic in business.


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