Accredited colleges and universities have had their educational programs and faculty evaluated by an outside agency. Those agencies ensure that the school provides a high-quality education to its students, so to have your degree recognized by employers, it’s critical to attend an accredited institution. Below you’ll find information on higher education in the state and helpful resources on online colleges in Florida.
- School Search
- Accreditation Agencies
- Education Links
- Notable Schools
Accredited Online Colleges Database
The following agencies accredit schools in Florida. It’s important to note that this list includes institution-wide accreditors only. Accrediting agencies that specialize in specific types of programs, such as business or architecture, are not included here. For details on program-specific accreditation, look through our subject pages.
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commision on Colleges (COC)
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
- Council on Occupational Education (COE)
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)
Higher Education Links
To find out more about higher education in the state of Florida, including reforms and propositions that affect students, visit the state’s higher education boards and council websites. You can also contact individual schools for more general college and university information.
Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of institutions there are in the state. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for online colleges in Florida. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable accredited online and campus-based schools in the state to help you begin your school search.
Collegiate-level students in Florida enjoy some of the largest universities in the nation, as well as some of the most diverse and innovative. Learn more about educational opportunities in Florida below.
Miami Dade College
Miami Dade college is the largest and most diverse college in the U.S., with 66,701 undergraduates enrolled in 2013-2014, and more than 175,000 overall students enrolled on its seven campuses, two centers, and outreach facilities. Miami Dade opened in the 1960s, amidst an influx of Cuban refugees and heightened racial tensions in Florida, with the mission that anyone who desired a college education should have the opportunity to receive one. It became Florida’s first integrated junior college. Notable graduates include Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz, Sylvester Stallone, and New York Yankees player Raúl Ibañez.
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida is made up of 12 colleges, and is the second-largest university in the nation, with 59,601 students enrolled in 2013-2014. Ranked a “Top Up-and-Coming” national university by U.S. News and World Report, University of Central Florida has gained more and more recognition for its programs and academics in recent years. The incoming freshman class for the 2012-2013 academic year had an average SAT score of 1244 and a high school grade point average of 3.9, highlighting the university’s focus on academic excellence.
Florida State University
Founded by the grandson of Thomas Jefferson, Florida State is the oldest continuous institution of higher education in the state of Florida. The university enrolled 40,695 students during the 2013-2014 academic year. Florida State’s programs in physics, chemistry, statistics, ecology and evolutionary biology, meteorology, political science, psychology, sociology, criminology, creative writing, public policy, and business and law consistently rank in the top 25 in the nation among public universities. Notable graduates include Burt Reynolds, criminal profiler Dayle Hinman, Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), Olympic volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, and many famous NFL football players who once played for the Florida State Seminoles.
Florida’s private colleges and universities allow for a specialized education that tends to be able to dedicate more resources to each student’s specific needs and desires. Whether a student wants to study surrounded by beautiful beaches or in a busy, urban area, Florida’s private colleges, including the notable ones below, have plenty to offer.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University has 28,808 students enrolled for the 2013-2014 academic year, and offers more than 140 degree programs. Classes at Nova Southeastern University are always taught by credentialed professors, rather than teaching assistants or graduate students. The school is particularly known for its scientific and research programs in subjects such as medicine, biology, psychology, dentistry, and oceanography.
Full Sail University
This school, located north of Orlando, offers both campus-based and online learning and has a strong focus on entertainment and media, including programs in entertainment business, creative writing, digital arts and design, the music industry, web design, recording arts, and game art and development. The school recently launched four new degree programs in film production, business intelligence, mobile gaming, and software development. It enrolled 23,497 students in 2013-2014.
With 33,852 students enrolled on its South Orlando campus, Everest University has a vibrant, active campus located in the busy metropolitan region of South Orlando. Opened in 1987 as Orlando College, the South Orlando campus is one of Everest University’s largest facilities – the main building alone is more than a quarter mile from end to end. The school is known for employing instructors who have industry-specific, professional experience and for preparing students for the work world with hands-on career training.