Chapman University is one of California’s oldest and most respected private universities, offering distinguished undergraduate and graduate degrees in the context of a liberal arts and sciences university. For more than 150 years, Chapman University has served as a symbol of educational access and excellence in the state of California.
Founded as Hesperian College in 1861 in Woodland, California by members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we admitted men and women and people of color from our earliest days. Endowed by the Valencia orange magnate Charles Clarke Chapman, the institution changed its name to Chapman College in 1934, and by 1954 had moved to the former campus of Orange Union High School in Orange, California. The college again extended higher educational access when it began offering classes to military personnel at El Toro Marine Base.
In 1965, Chapman took undergraduate education to the high seas when it began running World Campus Afloat, the program that would eventually become Semester at Sea, a tradition that continues at Chapman through our world-wide study abroad programs.
Since our founding, Chapman has grown into a highly regarded university that attracts high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students from all over the United States, and more than 60 nations around the world.
Our mission statement: To provide personalized education of distinction that leads to inquiring, ethical and productive lives as global citizens.