Brandman University Review

Brandman University is a private, nonprofit school recognized for high student standards and specialized online degree options.

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The Good

Great degree options with many opportunities for specialization:

When it comes to degree options, Brandman University ranks among the very best online bachelor’s programs. The university offers more than 10 different degrees, including business administration, criminal justice, nursing, psychology, early childhood education, and social work, among other options. What’s more, many Brandman University degree programs allow you to concentrate in a specific area within the subject to build specialized professional skills. If you’re interested in the criminal justice program, for example, you can choose to specialize in homeland security, forensics, corrections, or victim advocacy. If you’re interested in business administration, choose from 10 different specializations, including topics from accounting to supply chain management. While there are a couple other top online programs that offer a similar mix of bachelor’s degree subjects, the ability to specialize within a subject area adds a lot of value to Brandman University’s offerings.

Highly selective admissions standards:

According to a recent survey of online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News & World Report, Brandman University admits only 45% of all online bachelor’s degree program applicants. Only a few of the top online bachelor’s programs in the country are as selective as Brandman University. In fact, most online programs report acceptance rates of 85% to 95%. Brandman’s highly selective admissions standards show that the school is dedicated to building a quality online student body and is not overly concerned with increasing tuition revenue without regard for high academic standards.

Good student retention rates:

Given Brandman University’s strict admissions policies, it’s not surprising that a high percentage of first-year students maintain their enrollment past their freshman year. U.S. News & World Report reveals that in each of the last four years at least 74% of Brandman’s freshman students progressed into a second year of study. These are truly excellent results that no online program with similar or larger enrollment numbers can match. In your search for an online program, new student retention rates can give you a lot of insight into how well a school engages, encourages, and motivates its students. It’s clear that Brandman University is a strong performer in each of these areas.

Flexible credit transfer policies:

The Brandman University admissions office is dedicated to helping you get credit for your past education and training. Most credits earned at an accredited two- or four-year college or university are transferable toward a Brandman degree. If you are an active or former member of the military, you may be entitled to credit for your military service and for military school coursework. You can even get credit for workplace training programs and other real-world experience that meets guidelines set by the American Council on Education. If you have past training or coursework, be sure to contact a Brandman admissions counselor to see what kind of credit you are entitled to.

Easy online application:

Brandman University waives all application fees if you complete and submit your documents using the university’s simple online application tool. Many top online bachelor’s programs charge around $50 to process an application, which is pretty expensive if you plan to apply to several schools. To access the Brandman application tool, simply click the “Apply” button found in the upper-right corner of every page on the school’s website. After creating a username and password, the tool guides you through each step of the process, during which you enter your personal data, your academic plan, and detailed information about your past educational history.

The Bad

Entry to bachelor's programs requires prior college credits:

Brandman University requires that all online bachelor’s degree applicants have at least 12 credits of coursework that can be transferred toward a degree program. If you have completed sufficient coursework at an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the past, you’ll have no problem meeting this requirement. Brandman University also grants credit for military service and for certain workplace training programs. If you can’t meet this requirement, you might consider looking into the Brandman University online associate’s degree program, which, upon completion, would qualify you for transfer into most of the school’s bachelor’s programs.

Nursing program requires a campus visit:

Like virtually all online nursing bachelor’s programs in the country, entry into the Brandman University nursing program is limited to students who hold both an associate’s degree from an accredited college and a current registered nurse (RN) license. However, in contrast to many other quality online nursing bachelor’s programs, Brandman University requires all online nursing students to participate in an initial four-day immersive study session at the Brandman campus in Irvine, California. Depending on where you live and what your work schedule is like, this requirement can potentially cost you a lot of money to fulfill.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2008 - 2009
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Application Requirements: Transcripts
  • Location: CA
  • Number of Bachelor's Programs: 12
  • Region: West
  • School Type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Trimester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $500
  • Out-of-State: $500

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 45%
  • Average Student Age: 32
  • Gender Ratio: 66.1% female, 33.9% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 35
  • Total Enrollment: 1,097


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 3 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 22
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 261

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 78%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 74%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2012): 74%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 85%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2009-2010): N/A
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2010-2011) : N/A
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2011-2012): 43%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2012-2013): 44%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 45
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 73/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 22
  • Student Engagement Score: 79/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 30
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 60/100

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