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Chapman University
Former names
Hesperian College (1861–1896)
Pierce Christian College (1874–1896)
Berkeley Bible Seminary (1896–1912)
California Bible College (1912–1920)
California School of Christianity (1920–1923)
California Christian College (1918–1920, 1923–1934)
Chapman College (1934–1991)
Mottoὀ Χριστòς καì ἡ Ἐκκλησíα (Greek)
Motto in English
"Christ and Church"
TypePrivate research university
EstablishedMarch 4, 1861; 163 years ago (March 4, 1861)
Religious affiliation
Academic affiliations
Endowment$564.6 million (2022)[4]
PresidentDaniele C. Struppa
Academic staff
1,117 total
Administrative staff
752 total
Location, ,
United States
CampusMidsize City, 90 acres (36 ha)
Other campusesIrvine
NewspaperThe Panther
ColorsRed and black[6]
Sporting affiliations
MascotPete the Panther Edit this at Wikidata

Chapman University is a private research university in Orange, California. Encompassing eleven colleges, the university is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".[7] The school maintains its founding affiliations with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, but is a secular university.[8]


Sculpture by Raymond Persinger of Charles C. Chapman, founder of Chapman University
Wilkinson Hall
Schmid Gate, built in 2005
A section of the Berlin Wall in Liberty Plaza

Founded in Woodland, California, as Hesperian College,[9] the school began classes on March 4, 1861. Its opening was timed to coincide with the hour of Abraham Lincoln's first inauguration.[10] Hesperian admitted students regardless of sex or race.[11] Throughout its first decades, the school was renamed and relocated several times. In 1896, Hesperian merged with Piece Christian College to form the Berkeley Bible Seminary in Berkeley, California. The college was subsequently moved to San Francisco as the California Bible College. In 1920, the school was acquired by California Christian College,[a] and moved to southern California, becoming the California School of Christianity, in Los Angeles.[12] In 1923, the school was once again retitled the California Christian College.[13]

In 1934, the school became Chapman College[14] after the chairman of its board of trustees (and primary benefactor), C. C. Chapman. In 1954, Chapman University permanently relocated to its present campus in the city of Orange, the former site of Orange High School.[14] Chapman established a Residence Education Center Program to serve military personnel in 1958, which evolved into Brandman University and later University of Massachusetts Global.[citation needed] The college became Chapman University in 1991.[14] In the same year, James L. Doti became president of the school. The Department of Education also became the School of Education, now known as the Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies. The Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences was established.[15] The School of Film and Television, now the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Marion Knott Studios, opened in 1996.[15]

Between 2000 and 2010, Chapman University expanded to include the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, Leatherby Libraries, Fish Interfaith Center, the Erin J. Anderson Athletics Complex and the Schmid College of Science and Technology, and the Argyros School's Economic Science Institute led by Vernon L. Smith.[15] The Rinker Health Science Campus opened in Irvine, CA. in 2013, becoming the home for the School of Pharmacy.[15] Mathematician Daniele C. Struppa became President in 2016. In the same year, the Musco Center for the Arts opened. The 1,110-seat concert hall hosts professional and student performances, drawing over 30,000 visitors annually.[15]

The Keck Center for Science and Engineering opened in 2018, with the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering opening shortly after. Between 2018 and 2022, Chapman University earned a Carnegie Classification of R2: Doctoral University – High Research Activity, had its first Rhodes Scholar, Vidal Arroyo '19, and became nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report.[15] On September 29, 2023, it was announced that a $10m gift from the Argyros family would elevate the Argyros School to the Argyros College of Business and Economics.[16]

Attallah Piazza and Leatherby Libraries


Donald P. Kennedy Hall, home of the Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Argyros College of Business and Economics

The George L. Argyros College of Business and Economics is located in the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Business and Technology Hall.[17] The school was founded in 1977, and renamed in honor of former U.S Ambassador to Spain, George L. Argyros in 1999. A Chapman alumnus, Argyros chaired the university's board of trustees from 1976 to 2001, and has made significant donations toward increasing the business school's ranking and resources.[18] Thein 1999. In 2019, Argyros College commemerated the 20th anniversary of the school's remaining with a fundraiser dinner featuring President George W. Bush.[19] The event raised approximately $15 million for the school's endowment, $10 million of which was a surprise announcement by the Argyros family.[20] Argyros School became Argyros College in 2023, following another $10m gift from the family.[16]

Argyros College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, including the Master of Business Administration and Master of Science.[21] The Argyros College of Business and Economics became nationally ranked as the 60th Best Undergraduate Bloomberg BusinessWeek Business School in 2014.[22] In 2016, the Argyros College of Business and Economics rose to 34th.[citation needed] In 2023, Argyros was ranked the #60 business school in the country by U.S. News & World Report.[23]

The Argyros College is home to several research centers and institutes, including the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research, the C. Larry Hoag Center for Real Estate and Finance, the Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Ethics, the Walter Schmid Center for International Business, the Economic Science Institute (founded by Nobel Prize winner Vernon L. Smith and others in 2008),[24] the Institute for the Study of Religion, Economics and Society (founded by Dr. Laurence Iannaccone in September 2009),[25] and the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy.[26] The Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics is a program whose scope includes original research, scholarship, and the publication of several scholarly journals.

Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies

The Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies[27] offers an undergraduate Integrated Educational Studies (IES) degree;[28] teaching, school counseling, and school psychology credentials; and graduate degrees in teaching, special education, school counseling, school psychology, and leadership, including a Ph.D. in education.[29] The college is also home to various centers and programs for community engagement and research, including the Centro Comunitario de Educación,[30] Paulo Freire Democratic Project (PFDP),[31] and Thompson Policy Institute on Disability and Autism.[32] The Attallah College or its programs are accredited by the Council Accreditation of Educator Preparation, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, National Association of School Psychologists, and International School Psychology Association.[33]

The School of Education at Chapman University became the College of Educational Studies in August 2008. In 2017, the college was named in honor of Donna Ford Attallah. Attallah College is located in Chapman's Reeves Hall, one of the first buildings constructed on the site in 1913. It was added to the National Register for Historic Places in 1975, and renovated and reopened to the public in February 2018.[34]

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

Main article: Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

The college has been recognized as one of the top ten film schools in the world and ranked #4 by The Hollywood Reporter among American film schools.[35]

Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences

Formerly part of Chapman University's Schmid College of Science and Technology, the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences officially became its independent college at Chapman University on June 1, 2014.[36] Undergraduate programs in Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences include: B.S. Applied Human Physiology, B.S. Health Sciences, and B.A. Psychology. Graduate and post-baccalaureate programs include an M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), an M.S. Communication Sciences & Disorders, an MMS Physician Assistant (set to open in 2015), a Doctor of Physical Therapy (PT) (accredited since 1928, making it one of the oldest such programs in the United States), and a Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy. The physical therapy, communication sciences & disorders, and physician assistant programs are housed on Chapman University's Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, California.[citation needed]

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is the largest college at Chapman University and is composed of the departments of art, English, history, world languages and cultures, peace studies, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and sociology.[citation needed]

Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Main article: Chapman University School of Law

The Chapman University School of Law is located in Kennedy Hall. Law degrees offered include the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees in various specialties.

Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering

The Fowler School of Engineering is the newest school within Chapman University. The school opened in 2019, and offers undergraduate programs in computer science, data analytics, software engineering, and game development programming. Degrees within the school include a BS in Computer Engineering, BS in Computer Science, BS in Data Science, BS in Electrical Engineering, and BS in Software Engineering, and MS in computer science.[37] Several minors, such as Game Development Programming, are also housed within the school as well as several other graduate programs. The school is housed in Chapman's new Swenson Hall of Engineering, which comprises various lab and maker spaces. Prospective expansion targets programs in biomedical and environmental engineering.

College of Performing Arts

Chapman University's College of Performing Arts, founded in 2007, operates in departments: the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music, the Department of Dance, and the Department of Theatre.[38] The Conservatory of Music offers a Bachelor of Music (B.M.), the Dance Department offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A) and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), and the Theatre Department offers the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). The Theatre Department also offers two Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) programs—Theatre Performance and Screen Acting—taught in conjunction with the Dodge Film School.

Schmid College of Science and Technology

The Schmid College of Science and Technology was founded in 2008 when science-related degree programs, formerly housed in the Wilkinson School of Humanities and Social Sciences, were transferred to an independent college. In 2014, Schmid College was reorganized to splitting off the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. In 2019, the undergraduate programs in computer science, data analytics, software engineering, and game development programming transferred out of Schmid College to start the new Fowler School of Engineering.

In addition to its undergraduate and graduate programs, Schmid College is home to various centers for research. Among them are the Center of Excellence in Computation, Algebra and Topology (CECAT), the Center of Excellence in Complex and Hyper-complex Analysis (CECHA), and the Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations (CEESMO). Schmid College is also affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Studies, whose list of physicists, includes a 2013 Nobel Prize recipient and a 2010 Presidential Medal of Honor winner.[39]

Schmid College of Science and Technology recently[when?] expanded and moved into the new 140,000 sq. ft. Keck Center for Science and Engineering on Chapman's main campus in Orange, California. The research facility contains 45 research and teaching labs, 50 faculty offices, seven student-collaboration spaces, and an outdoor amphitheater. The aesthetic of the building was inspired by the work of American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.[40]

School of Pharmacy

The Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP) is located at the Rinker Campus in Irvine. Pharmacy degrees include a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Science (MSPS), and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The Chapman School of Pharmacy also offers an accelerated five-year Doctor of Pharmacy program to qualified high school seniors.

School of Communication

The School of Communication is located on the university's main campus and housed within Doti Hall. The school currently consists of three undergraduate majors for students to choose from, including BA in Communication Studies, a BA in Strategic & Corporate Communication, and a BA in Global Communication and World Languages (which allows students to study communication while also emphasizing a particular language).[41] The school also offers some graduate programs, including an MS in Health and Strategic Communication as well as a PhD program.[42][43][44]

Rankings and admissions

Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[46]121
Washington Monthly[47]356
WSJ/College Pulse[48]171
U.S. News & World Report[49]1298

In U.S. News & World Report's 2020 rankings of the best colleges in America, the university was moved from the master's-level universities in the Western region to the National Universities group, with a debut ranking of tied at 125th. The reclassification was due to Chapman's elevation to R2 status by Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in recognition of its high research activity. U.S. News uses the Carnegie Classifications for its categorization of universities.

For U.S. News & World Report's 2021 rankings, Chapman University was ranked tied for 124th overall among national universities, tied for 39th among 73 national universities evaluated for "Best Undergraduate Teaching", tied for 68th out of 83 for "Most Innovative Schools", tied for 86th of 142 for "Best Colleges for Veterans", and tied at 224th of 389 schools for "Top Performers on Social Mobility".[50] The business school was ranked tied for 74th, and the law school tied for 111th, in the U.S. for 2021[51]

For the Class of 2022 (enrolling fall 2018), Chapman received 14,198 applications, accepted 7,605 (53.6%), and enrolled 1,660.[52] For the freshmen who enrolled, the average SAT score was 640 for reading and writing and 638 for math, while the average ACT composite score was 27.9.[52] The average high school GPA was 3.75 (unweighted) on a 4.0 scale.[52]

Holocaust education

The Barry and Phyllis Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education was founded by Marilyn Harran, Ph.D., in February 2000. It sponsors an annual Holocaust remembrance writing competition and hosts a regular Distinguished lecture series.[53]

The Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library, funded by Henry Samueli, is located on the fourth floor of the university's Leatherby Libraries.[54] On April 11, 2005, sixty years after he was liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp, Elie Wiesel dedicated the Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library,[55] and a large bust of Wiesel stands at the entrance to the facility.

The collection includes a first edition of The Diary of Anne Frank in Dutch.[55]


Chapman's athletic teams are the Panthers. The university is a member of the Division III (non-scholarship) level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA),[5] primarily competing in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) since the 2011–12 academic year; which they were a member on a previous stint from 1950–51 to 1951–52. The Panthers previously competed in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) of the NCAA Division II ranks from 1978–79 to 1992–93, and as an NCAA D-III Independent from 1993–94 to 2010–11.

Chapman competes in 21 intercollegiate varsity sports (10 men's and 11 women's): Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and water polo; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo.

Chapman University has won seven NCAA national titles. As a member of the NCAA Division II, the Panthers won one baseball title (1968) and three men's tennis titles (1985, 1987, 1988). After moving to NCAA Division III, the Panthers won the 1995 Division III softball championship and later the 2003 and 2019 Division III baseball championships.


The Chapman softball team appeared in one Women's College World Series in 1979.[56]

In 2011, the women's lacrosse team won the WCLL National Championships in Arizona. In 2016, the men's lacrosse team won the MCLA National Championship.

In 2014, 2017, and 2019 seasons, the Chapman University Panther football team ended their season undefeated in their conference and won the SCIAC championship.[57]

The 2019 men's baseball team defeated Birmingham-Southern College to become the DIII NCAA National Champions.[58]

In 2022, the men's soccer team won their first SCIAC championship.

The football and basketball teams are broadcast by the Chapman Sports Broadcast Network (CSBN) to local Channel 6 in Orange and on Chapman's athletic website. CSBN is a student-run, student-produced independent sports network created by students at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.[59]

Notable people


Main article: List of Chapman University alumni

Current and former faculty

See also: Chapman University School of Law § Faculty



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33°47′34″N 117°51′05″W / 33.79278°N 117.85139°W / 33.79278; -117.85139