Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C.

Learn About the Four-Year Colleges and Universities In the Washington, D.C. Area

Several top colleges and universities are located in the Washington, D.C. area, and the nation's capital is a particularly good place to study for students interested in pursuing fields such as political science, government, and international relations. But students interested in art, engineering, or the humanities will also find several excellent options. The list below includes four-year, not-for-profit colleges within a roughly 20-mile radius of downtown Washington, D.C. There are, of course, many community colleges and for-profit institutions in the capital region as well.

01
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American University

American University
American University. alai.jmw / Flickr

02
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Bowie State University

Bowie State University
Bowie State University. Mattysc / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Bowie, Maryland
  • Enrollment: 5,430 (4,315 undergraduates)
  • School Type: public historically black university
  • Distinguishing Features: popular programs in business; situated between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.; one of the oldest historically black universities in the U.S.; NCAA Division II athletic programs
  • Learn More: Bowie State University Profile 

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Capitol Technology University

Capitol Technology University (formerly Capitol College)
Capitol Technology University (formerly Capitol College). Ken Mayer / Flickr
  • Location: Laurel, Maryland
  • Enrollment: 804 (417 undergraduates)
  • School Type: private technological institution
  • Distinguishing Features: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; students receive lots of personal attention; focus on hands-on experiences; Space Operations Institute has partnership with NASA
  • Learn More: Capitol Technology University Profile

04
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Catholic University of America

Catholic University McMahon Hall
Catholic University McMahon Hall. Photo Courtesy of Catholic University
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Enrollment: 6,521 (3,480 undergraduates)
  • School Type: private Catholic university
  • Distinguishing Features: students from all 50 states and nearly 100 countries; popular architecture and political science programs; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; easy access to the D.C. Metro; NCAA Division III athletic programs
  • Learn More: Catholic University of America Profile

05
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Gallaudet University

Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University. Mr. T in DC / Flickr
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Enrollment: 1,477 (1,011 undergraduates)
  • School Type: federally chartered private university for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Distinguishing Features: first school for the deaf in the world; historical urban campus; 6 to 1 student / faculty ratio; popular programs in communication studies, audiology, and interpretation; NCAA Division III athletic programs
  • Learn More: Gallaudet University Profile

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George Mason University

George Mason University
George Mason University. funkblast / Flickr

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George Washington University

George Washington University
George Washington University. Alan Cordova / Flickr
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Enrollment: 26,212 (11,157 undergraduates)
  • School Type: private university
  • Distinguishing Features: graduation held on the National Mall; international focus with strong programs in international relations, international business and political science; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; member of the NCAA Division I Atlantic 10 Conference
  • Learn More: George Washington University Profile

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Georgetown University

Georgetown University
Georgetown University. rachaelvoorhees / Flickr

09
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Howard University

Library at Howard University
Library at Howard University. David Monack / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Enrollment: 10,002 (6,883 undergraduates)
  • School Type: private historically black university
  • Distinguishing Features: 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; national leader in educating African Americans; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; member of the NCAA Division I Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)
  • Learn More: Howard University Profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Howard University Admissions

10
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Marymount University

Marymount University Balston Campus
Marymount University Balston Campus. Mo Kaiwen / Flickr
  • Location: Arlington, Virginia
  • Enrollment: 3,363 (2,323 undergraduates)
  • School Type: private Catholic university
  • Distinguishing Features: easy access to the capital; students can easily cross-register at 13 area colleges; popular programs in nursing, business, interior design, and fashion merchandising; NCAA Division III athletic programs
  • Learn More: Marymount University Profile 

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Trinity Washington University

Trinity Washington University
Trinity Washington University. JosephLeonardo / Flickr
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Enrollment: 2,161 (1,592 undergraduates)
  • School Type: private Catholic university for women (at undergraduate level)
  • Distinguishing Features: attractive wooded campus in the northeastern corner of the city; popular nursing and psychology programs; excellent value; NCAA Division III athletic programs
  • Learn More: Trinity Washington University Profile 

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University of the District of Columbia

University of the District of Columbia
University of the District of Columbia. Matthew Bisanz / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Enrollment: 4,805 (4,485 undergraduates)
  • School Type: public historically black university
  • Distinguishing Features: only public university in D.C.; over 75 degree programs including popular majors in business, biology, and administration of justice; 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio; member of the NCAA Division II East Coast Conference
  • Learn More: University of the District of Columbia Profile 

13
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University of Maryland College Park

University of Maryland McKeldin Library
University of Maryland McKeldin Library. Ben Clark / Flickr

14
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Washington Adventist University

Washington Adventist University
Washington Adventist University. Farragutful / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Takoma Park, Maryland
  • Enrollment: 1,044 (877 undergraduates)
  • School Type: private university affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Distinguishing Features: diverse student body from 40 states and 47 countries; active spiritual life on campus; popular nursing program; 7 to 1 student / faculty ratio; Honors Program for academically strong students
  • Learn More: Washington Adventist University Profile 

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Expand Your College Search

The Middle Atlantic Region
The Middle Atlantic Region.

To expand your search, you can also check out these top picks in the region: