Higher Education Options in Irvine

Irvine’s two-year colleges include state-sponsored community colleges. Part of the California Community Colleges System, Irvine Valley College offers certificate and associate’s degree programs in many different fields, including business, fine arts, life sciences, and humanities. With ten academic divisions, 60 majors, and 43 career programs, Irvine Valley College is the city’s only public community college. Students who earn a transfer associate’s degree (AA-T or AS-T degree) at Irvine Valley College receive guaranteed transfer to any institution within the California State University system.

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is Irvine’s top ranked public research university. Featuring 15 colleges and schools, UCI boasts 87 undergraduate and 59 graduate degree programs. Academic majors at UCI include education, physical science, humanities, and nursing. UCI also offers professional programs in law, medicine, and pharmaceutical science.

Colleges and Universities in Irvine

Institution Type Degrees/Training
Irvine Valley College Two-Year, Public Certificates and Associate’s Degrees
University of California Irvine Four-Year, Public Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees
Concordia University -Irvine Four-Year, Private Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Irvine Four-Year, Private Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Marriage and Family Counseling, Psychology and Clinical Psychology
California Southern University Four-Year, Private Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees

Online Colleges in Irvine

Irvine Valley College offers hundreds of online courses; however, there are currently no fully online degree programs available. Students who are able to travel to campus can take a combination of online and on campus courses. Irvine Valley College utilizes the Blackboard learning system, a virtual classroom in which students can submit assignments, participate in discussions, and access print and visual learning materials.

UC Irvine Extension offers online and hybrid certificate programs in areas such as business and management, education, engineering, and information technologies. Many of the certificate programs require some on campus participation, although some programs, including teacher-credentialing programs, are offered fully online.

Concordia University, a private Christian college, offers six fully online degree programs, including bachelor’s degree programs in liberal arts and business, and master’s degree programs in educational administration, and curriculum and instruction. For students who can travel to campus, hybrid programs are also available.

Brandman University offers online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, nursing, education, and arts and sciences. The institution also offers online certificates, teaching credentials, and extended education programs. California Southern University (CalSouthern) offers fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees programs in business, psychology, and law, including a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program and a Juris Doctorate (JD) program. CalSouthern’s online programs are approved by several specialized credentialing agencies, including the California Committee of Bar Examiners and the California Board of Psychology.

Top Industries, Careers, and Employers

Education is one of Irvine’s top industries, with more than 17,000 workers employed in area colleges and public schools, according to the Irvine Chamber of Commerce Economic Development. Other top industries in the Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine metropolitan area include manufacturing, professional services, government, and leisure and hospitality, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Orange County is also home to a large cluster of technology companies. Many of these companies, including Verizon Wireless and Broadcom Corp., are located in Irvine.

Occupations in Orange County with the highest rate of job growth include health educators, personal care assistants, and biomedical engineers. More than 89,000 workers in the Santa Ana-Irvine-Anaheim metropolitan area are employed in business and financial operations, with accountants and auditors, as well as real estate appraisers, holding the most positions. An affluent community with a high rate of college graduates, Irvine boasts one of the highest mean hourly wages in the U.S.

Irvine’s two largest employers are in the field of education, with manufacturing and technology companies trailing close behind. According to the city of Irvine, the city’s largest employers are:

  • University of California Irvine
  • Irvine Unified School District
  • Broadcom Corp.
  • Edwards Lifesciences Corp.
  • Cellco Partnership/Verizon Wireless
  • Allergan
  • Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
  • Parker Hannifin
  • St. John Knits
  • B Braun Medical

Colleges & Universities in Irvine

Colleges & Universities in Irvine

University of California-Irvine 29,200 $11,220 Public
Brandman University 10,081 $9,858 Not For Profit (Private)
Concordia University-Irvine 3,916 $26,700 Not For Profit (Private)

Community Colleges and Vocational Schools in Irvine

Irvine Valley College 23,330 $1,103 Public

Online Colleges in Irvine