List of Online College Programs in District of Columbia


POPULATION (2021): 712,000


LARGEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN WASHINGTON, D.C.: University of the District of Columbia


The capital of the United States of America, Washington D.C. offers a very unique experience to those students who choose to go to college here. “The District” is a whopping 68 square miles, but in true American fashion, the city packs as much as it can into its small area. Cultures from all over the world mesh and brush shoulders in the capital city, and bring with it an abundance of art, food, music, and a general feeling of acceptance, even in the shadow of the workings of the federal government. 

With the proximity to the Capital Building, White House, etc., many of the colleges and universities in Washington, D.C. offer pathways to jobs related to politics, including lobbying for any of the major economic industries in the country. 

It is also a nice central hub for students who want to stay on the East Coast but don’t want to pick a specific city. Within a few hours of Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and Boston to the north, job and internship opportunities for college students in Washington, D.C. are nearly endless

Universities in Washington, D.C – 4-Year Colleges and Online

There is certainly no denying that the District of Columbia is small, but that certainly doesn’t mean a lack of education opportunities. Within the limits of The District, there are 19 colleges and universities, and many of them have a lot of prestige in addition to the benefits of being so close to so many opportunities. 

Public Universities in Washington, D.C.

Public school pickings are pretty slim for college students in Washington, D.C., with the only “real” public college being the University of the District of Columbia, a college with about 4,500 students. This historically black college/university (HBCU) was established in 1951 under the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and has been the city’s only true public university since its inception. 

There is one other college in Washington, D.C. that receives funding from the state, but it is the National Intelligence University, which is a special-focused institution for individuals going to work for one of the several intelligence agencies of the United States Department of Defense. 

Private Universities in Washington, D.C.

Arguably the most prominent of Washington’s 19+ colleges and universities, Georgetown is a staple of the city and is also the oldest college in Washington, D.C. Georgetown is considered a Catholic institution, as are 4 other colleges that are located in Washington, D.C. Here is a list of the religiously affiliated universities in Washington:

  • The Catholic University of America
  • Trinity Washington University
  • Washington Theological Union
  • The Dominican House of Studies

In addition to being the city’s namesake, George Washington also has his name on one of the largest private universities in D.C., George Washington University. Its 25,000 enrollment is nearly 8,000 higher than cross-city Georgetown. American University and Howard University are also both in the city and boast enrollments of more than 10,000 students. There are also a handful of hyperfocused colleges, mostly surrounding the world of politics. 

Community Colleges in Washington, D.C.

There is only one community college in Washington, and it is part of the University of the District of Columbia. It has an open enrollment and also sets up students with pipelines into the local workforce. 

Prominent Online Colleges in Washington, D.C.

George Washington University leads the way as far as online offerings by colleges in Washington D.C. There are also several schools in Baltimore and other surrounding areas that students who live in D.C. can access, even if occasional in-person classes are required for a given online program. 

Get to Know Washington, D.C.

Most people know that there is certainly no shortage of history to explore in and around Washington, D.C. It is the capital of the United States and has been since 1790, and countless monuments and statues have been erected throughout the city to commemorate figures who were instrumental in shaping what we know as the United States of America. Some of those individuals have histories of their own that make some residents question whether or not they should be praised, but that’s kind of a microcosm of the city. 

There is no completely escaping the political prevalence of D.C., but there are a large number of parks and places of respite. The music scene is booming, and there is food from (literally) all over the world, as the number of foreign nationals around the capital city is also higher than in many other places in the country. A lot of college students enjoy the abundance of nightlife in the winter when most places are a bit too cold to be enjoyed outside. When it is warm, Washington also serves as a nice central point for students who like to explore other cities, with Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston all within a few hours, as well as the beaches of Delaware and Maryland.

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