How Many Colleges Are In District Of Columbia?

The District of Columbia, or Washington D.C as it also known is the capital of the United States, the seat of power of the United States federal government, and the United States Capitol, which functions as the meeting place of the United States Congress and home to 20 universities and colleges. It is found on the north of the Potomac River. The District of Columbia has to the South, Virginia, and the east, west, and north, Maryland. 

How Many Colleges Are In District Of Columbia?

The District of Columbia has in its geographical location, nineteen colleges and universities. These institutions comprise four master’s universities, ten special-focus institutions, and five research universities. Sixteen post-secondary institutions found in Washington D.C are private, three of which are non-profit. Only three of the post-secondary institution located in the district are public. Given below are some of the colleges found in D.C.

Colleges In District of Columbia

a. Georgetown University:

Georgetown University, a private university was founded in 1789 making it the oldest Catholic university in the U.S. It has a total undergraduate enrolment figure of over 7,300 with a campus size of about 104 acres. The university is situated a few minutes from downtown Washington and it overlooks the Potomac River. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are obligated to live on campus while other students could live in apartments and townhouses surrounding the campus. 

b. George Washington University:

George A private university, GWU was established in 1821. Total undergraduate enrolment in fall 2020, was put at 11,762. It has a campus size of 43 acres and an urban setting. Its location in downtown Washington, D.C makes it perfect for people with interests in politics and city life. The school is close to the State Department and about a mile from museums found on the National Mall and the Washington Monument. It is currently ranked the 63rd best university in the country. In terms of enrollment, it is the institution with the highest figures.

c. American University:

Founded in 1893, American University is ranked #79 in the country. It has a suburban setting with an 84-acre campus size. The university is situated in a pocket of northern Washington and is not far from a stop on the D.C. area Metrorail. Rides downtown usually take 10 to 15 minutes. 

d. Howard University:

One of the most popular black colleges, Howard University was established in 1867. About 7,857 undergraduate students enrolled in the school in fall 2020. The university uses an academic calendar based on semester. Its campus size is 257 acres and it has been ranked as the 83rd best college in the country. Outside of the classroom, students may choose to become involved in any of the school’s student organizations such as academic clubs, fraternities, and sororities.

e. The Catholic University of America:

The Catholic Church’s national university, CUA was founded in 1887. The campus size is 176 acres with the total number of enrolled undergraduates put at 3,055 in fall 2020. 

f. Trinity Washington University: 

Trinity Washington University is a private, non-profit university, with an affiliation with the Catholic Church. It is a comprehensive university comprising five schools. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered at TWU on schedules that can be made flexible. The university was founded in 1897 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and was initially known as Trinity College but was then renamed Trinity Washington University in 2004 after it decided to start recruiting local students considered underprivileged. The school predominantly consists of black and Hispanic students. 

g. University of the District of Columbia:

University of the District of Columbia is an institution found in the D.C area. Established in 1851 as the Normal School for Colored Girls, it went through mergers and consolidation to become the University of the District of Columbia it had an undergraduate enrolment of 3,385 students in the fall of 2020. The campus size is about 22 acres and it has an urban setting. It also makes use of an academic calendar that is semester-based. The school has an open-admission policy. 

Universities and colleges which also offer special programs also exist in the District of Columbia. These universities are characterized below.

a. Security Institutions:

The Inter-American Defense College (IADC), The National Intelligence University, and the Institute of World Politics (IWP) are institutions that are special-focus institutions that educate interested military personnel and officials of governments on subjects such as international affairs, national intelligence, and diplomacy. The IADC is only open to appropriate personnel from member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) with intentions of assuming senior strategic positions within their governments while the IWP is open to graduate students.

b. Theology Institutions:

These institutions offer various degrees in theology, divinity, and arts. The Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies, Wesley Theological Seminary, and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America are the institutions that fall under this category.

c. Gallaudet University:

Gallaudet University is an institution established in 1864 to educate those that are deaf and hard of hearing, with an undergraduate enrolment of 1,019 in the fall of 2020. It has a campus size of 99 acres and was ranked 127th in the U.S. Like Howard University, its academic calendar is also semester-based. 

d. Community colleges:

There are over 34 community colleges in Washington, D.C that offer courses in technical, vocational, and university transfer programs. Most of these colleges award certificates and associate degrees although some also offer specialized bachelor’s degrees. Their programs usually last for two years.


There are several top colleges and universities located in Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital is also an excellent place for students who are interested in fields such as government, international institutions, and political science to study and gain degrees. However, students also interested in fields such as engineering art or humanities can also find prestigious institutions that offer courses in these fields. Many community colleges can also be found in the capital region.

Frequently Asked Questions

a. Is Washington, D.C a good place for students?

Home to the federal government of the United States, Washington, D.C is an excellent place to study especially if your interests lie in U.S history and politics. Breaming with grandiose monuments, alive with political debate, and accompanied by a great cultural scene, the district offers some of the best post-secondary institutions in the U.S.

b. Are there any public colleges in D.C?

Though many national universities and colleges can be found in Washington, D.C. There is only one public post-secondary institution in the D.C. area; The University of the District of Columbia.

c. What is a post-secondary education? A post-secondary institution offers classes, courses, or programs at a level more advanced than high school. Post-secondary institutions generally issue certificates, diplomas, or degrees upon completion of a program of study.

d. What should I consider when choosing a field to major in? It is advised to think carefully about the career one might like to pursue and the professional requirements of such a career before enrolling in a post-secondary education that offers such a program.

How Many Colleges Are In District Of Columbia?

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