Overview of Rhode Island Colleges & Schools

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Finding the Best College in Rhode Island

Leverage our proprietary search tools today to find the best college in Rhode Island for you.  Quickly sort and search for specific 2-year colleges and 4-year universities in Rhode Island in a snap.  Students can access the latest published information to align their personal priorities with school offerings.  We provide free access to school-based information such as tuition, financial aid trends, enrollment numbers, student to teacher ratios, sports programs, and 3D campus tours.  In addition, you can locate specific college degree programs for top ranked Rhode Island colleges to further narrow down your search. Simply request information from any number of accredited schools to learn more about programs of interest.

Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island

The state of Rhode Island is the smallest in terms of landmass in the United States, and as a result only has a limited number of colleges and universities. Institutions of higher learning are predominantly private, with only three schools operated by the state. Rhode Island’s largest city is Providence, which also serves as the state’s capital, and is twice as large as the states next largest city. Warwick. Rhode Island is bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east, Connecticut to the west, and New York through a water border at the southwest.

Public institutions include the Community College of Rhode Island, which operates six locations throughout the state and provides residents technical and career training as well as academic opportunity. The state operates two four year institutions that provide undergraduate and graduate education programs.

  • The University of Rhode Island (Kingston) is the largest school in the state, and is the flagship public school, serving nearly 17,000 students a year.
  • Rhode Island College (Providence) serves nearly 10,000 students a year and is designated a master’s college.

Rhode Island is also home to a larger number of private institutions which provide more specialized educations. Some schools are founded by religious denominations, others serve artistic endeavors, and other provide a liberal arts education that allows students to experience a number of subjects even as they pursue their major. Among private schools in the state Brown University is the oldest, considered an Ivy League College and founded prior to American Independence.

Other colleges and universities in Rhode Island include:

In addition to the public and private four year institutions available in the state, a number of career and technical schools are also available. These schools provide short programs that educate and train individuals to complete tasks and duties professionally in their given field of study. Costs are normally higher than those of a community college, but the speed with which one completes the program as eligible for employment is considered the trade off.

The most populous city in Rhode Island is Providence, followed by Warwick, Cranston, and Pawtucket.  While the most populous county in Rhode Island is Providence County with Kent County and Washington County a distant second and third.  If you are interested in visiting the state of Rhode Island, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.

College Degree Breakdown for the State of Rhode island

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online

Doctoral or professional degree 14,570 3.1
Master's degree 9,610 2.0
Bachelor's degree 101,740 21.4
Associate's degree 11,990 2.5
Postsecondary nondegree award 29,940 6.3
Some college, no degree 13,400 2.8
High school diploma or equivalent 166,690 35.1
No formal educational credential 127,250 26.8

Public Universities & Colleges

Image of Public College Campus

There are zero public 4-year state universities and colleges in Rhode Island. 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 Rhode Island.

Private Universities & Colleges

Image of Private College Campus

In Rhode Island there are zero 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 Rhode Island.

Community Colleges

Community College in Rhode Island

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. Rhode Island" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in Rhode Island.

Liberal Arts Colleges

Liberal Arts Colleges

Rhode Island has zero 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 Rhode Island.

Bible & Christian Colleges

Christian Colleges

Bible and Christian colleges generally provide specialized undergraduate education with a focus on religious or biblical study. There are approximately zero such colleges in Rhode Island located throughout the state. See a full list of Christian colleges in Rhode Island along with program and tuition information.

Browse Schools by Career in Rhode Island

Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.

Medicine & Healthcare

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Rhode Island College Student Resources

Spend time to understand what is important to you with respect to your college experience. Align you unique priorities with the school’s mission and vison to ensure a solid match up front. Drill-down further into your priorities by reading any number of our thousands of free resources to help you determine the very best college program for you. Make the most of your talents by getting into the perfect college to fit your unique abilities.

Rhode Island State Educational Resources