Overview of Virginia Colleges & Schools
The state of Virginia is home to a large number of colleges and universities as well as the vocational, technical and religious schools. Virginia also boasts the second oldest university in the Unites States. The state of Virginia classifies institutions of higher learning into four categories: public, private, private out of state, and religious institutions.
Virginia’s public schools provide a variety of educational opportunities to students. Some school are for graduate studies, others offering a traditional 4 year education, while others still are primarily research institutions. Some of the better known and larger public institutions include:
- College of William and Mary (Williamsburg)
- George Mason University (Fairfax)
- James Madison University (Harrisonburg)
- Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond)
- University of Virginia (Charlottesville)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University [Virginia Tech] (Blacksburg)
Additionally, Virginia is host to a very large number of private institutions. These schools vary in size, and a portion of them are religious institutions. Some of the institutions are branches of out of state schools operating in Virginia, while others are state approved and nationally accredited. Some of the larger private schools include:
- Liberty University (Lynchburg)
- ECPI College of Technology (Virginia Beach)
- Strayer University (Washington DC)
- Regent University (Virginia Beach)
- Roanoke College (Salem)
The state of Virginia also operates many community colleges throughout the state. These two year institutions feed students into 4 year programs, or alternatively prepare them for a career through vocational training. Many of the community colleges also have higher enrollment numbers than either public or private 4 year institutions. Virginia also has many small vocational and technical schools that are privately owned, specializing in only a few fields and preparing individuals for the workplace.
The most populous city in Virginia is Virginia Beach, followed by Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Richmond. While the most populous county in Virginia is Fairfax County with Prince William County close behind. If you are interested in visiting the state of Virginia, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.
Public Universities & Colleges
There are fifteen public 4-year state universities and colleges in Virginia. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in Virginia.
Private Universities & Colleges
In Virginia there are fifty accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in Virginia.
Community colleges are public institutions that offer low cost, high quality education for residents throughout the state. These schools offer 2-year programs that grant associate degrees or offer training courses in specialized trades. Virginia" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in Virginia.
Liberal Arts Colleges
Virginia has sixteen accredited liberal arts colleges. These schools primarily focus on undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences through comprehensive and flexible curriculums. Compare all the liberal arts colleges in Virginia.
Bible & Christian Colleges
Bible and Christian colleges generally provide specialized undergraduate education with a focus on religious or biblical study. There are approximately twenty-six such colleges in Virginia located throughout the state. See a full list of Christian colleges in Virginia along with program and tuition information.
Browse Schools by Career in Virginia
Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.
Medicine & Healthcare
- Medical Schools in Virginia (M.D.) (4 Schools)
- Pharmacy Schools in Virginia (Pharm. D.) (4 Schools)
- Physical Therapy Schools in Virginia (DPT, MPT) (7 Schools)
- Veterinary Schools in Virginia (D.V.M.) (1 Schools)
- Nursing Schools in Virginia (BSN, RN, LPN, ...) (91 Schools)
Law & Criminal Justice
- Law Schools in Virginia (J.D.) (8 Schools)