Vanguard University of Southern California

Costa Mesa, CA

Vanguard University of Southern California

Costa Mesa, CA

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Christian Life

Christian Life Profile

A first-tier private Christian university in Orange County, California, since 1920

Orange County’s first four-year college, Vanguard has been equipping students since 1920 when we welcomed the first graduating class of world changers. Today we continue to offer a top-rated Christian education combined with practical skills and training in the liberal arts and sciences to prepare you for the next chapter of your life.The mission of Vanguard University is to pursue knowledge, cultivate character, deepen faith, and equip each student for a spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. 

Located right in Orange County, Vanguard University offers exceptional academics, a strong spiritual climate, an authentic community, and endless recreational activities—plus a beach location! Vanguard may be the perfect fit—take a look. We’ve come up with the perfect mix: unbeatable academic training, a caring community where lifelong friendships are born, a beautiful campus near Southern California’s beaches and cultural attractions, and a strong spiritual foundation that puts Christ at the center of it all. We go beyond scholarship, beyond the classroom, and beyond the expected. 

Your story matters. Live it here.

Academic excellence
The combination of outstanding faculty and small class sizes—21 students on average and a 16:1 student-faculty ratio—means every diploma we grant is backed by personal attention. In 2017, Vanguard University received reaffirmation of regional accreditation through the WASC Senior Collegeand University Commission (WSCUC),and several of our signature programshold specialized accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Since receiving a Hispanic-Serving Institution federal designation in 2014, we have received two five-year federal grants—$2.57 million and, most recently in 2017, $3.75 million. 

Spiritual climate
We want students to discover their God-given calling and then engage the culture around them from a Christian point of view. Our local and global mission trips, regular chapel meetings, and more than 20 student-led worship teams and ministry opportunities bring faith and service to life. Vanguard University is affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination, and more than 24 denominations are represented on campus.

Authentic community
Our authentic community builds lifelong relationships. We have 50 campus clubs and intramural sports teams, from Live2Free to volleyball to Asian Pacific Islander Club. And we have strong commuter-life programming and designated staff and student leaders. We are one of the top NAIA (Division I) athletic programs, offering 17 intercollegiate sports. In 2014, our men’s basketball team claimed the NAIA national championship. 

Cost and financial aid
We make a great education affordable. Our direct costs are lower than many private Christian colleges in Southern California, plus we offer generous financial aid. We put the Vanguard experience within reach for all students.  
• 99% of students receive financial aid. 
89% of students receive an academic scholarship.
• Freshmen receive an average of $24,192 in grant or scholarship aid.
• 2019–2020 tuition: $34,500 

BEST COLLEGE IN THE WEST — The Princeton Review

FIRST-TIER REGIONAL UNIVERSITY IN THE WEST — U.S. News & World Report 2020 “Best College” rankings



• 1,600 undergraduates
• 2,100 total enrollment
• 329 days of sunshine a year in Southern California 
• 4.6 miles to the beach 
• 233 palm trees on campus
• 63% of students living on campus 
• 200 types of food available on a typical day in the cafeteria 
• Hispanic-Serving Institution

Programs of Study

Business, Psychology, Kinesiology, Communication, and Biology 

Vanguard’s undergraduate college offers degrees in the following majors, minors, and concentrations: 

• Accounting 
• Business Administration 
• Communication 
- Film/Visual Storytelling
- lnterpersonal/lntercultural Communication Studies
- Public Relations
- Technology and Emerging Media
• English 
• History/Political Science 
• Liberal Studies (Education) 
• Management
• Marketing 
• Music
- Music
- Worship Leadership
• Psychology 
• Religion 
- Biblical Studies 
- Christian Formation and Discipleship Studies 
- General Christian Studies 
- Intercultural Studies 
- Pastoral Leadership Studies 
- Youth Leadership Studies 
• Sociology 
• Theatre Arts 
- Musical Theatre 
- Stage and Screen Acting/Directing
- Technical/Design

• Pre-teacher Certification

• Actuarial Science
• Biochemistry 
• Biology
- Biology
- Biomedical Science
- Neuroscience 
• Chemistry
• Data Analysis
• Engineering Physics 
• Environmental Sciences
• Kinesiology 
- Health and Human Performance 
- Pre-health Professions 
• Mathematics 
• Nursing 

4-year integrated Bachelor’s and teaching credential
• Biochemistry
• Biology
• Chemistry
• Liberal Studies
• Mathematics

• Art (Music) 
• Criminology and Criminal Justice (Sociology) 
• Cultural Anthropology (Sociology)
• Journalism and Digital Media (English) 
• Pre-law Studies (History/Political Science) 
• Public Policy (History/Political Science) 
• Social Work (Psychology and Sociology) 
• Women’s Studies (Sociology) 

An Inside Look