List of Washington, DC Area Universities

There are over twenty schools located within the District of Columbia. See how four of these schools stack up against each other to find the school for you.

School Ranking Overview

The District of Columbia has 26 public and private institutions within its city limits. This article will examine the four schools with the largest undergraduate enrollment, ranking the top three in the following categories:

  • Program Variety
  • Net Price
  • Graduation Rate
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Program Variety

Schools that offer a wide variety of academic programs give students the chance to explore a multitude of scholastic topics. Listed below are the three schools with the largest program variety:

1. George Washington University

George Washington University (GWU) is located in southwest Washington D.C., and offers its students the chance to explore 174 different academic programs. GWU provides its students with the opportunity to major in programs such as philosophy and Latin American studies.

2. Howard University

Northeast Washington D.C. is home to Howard University (HU), offering its students 133 academic programs. With majors in journalism, mechanical engineering, and psychology, HU helps its students satisfy their academic curiosities.

3. American University

Ranking third in this category is American University (AU), which provides 111 academic programs for its scholars. Nestled within northwest Washington D.C., AU has programs focusing on criminal justice, environmental science, and cinematography, among many others.

Net Price

Cost is an important factor for prospective students to consider before enrolling in any institution. The NCES College Navigator calculates the average net price that students pay for the school year. Below are the three schools with the lowest average net price for the 2013-2014 academic year:

1. Howard University

Undergraduate students at Howard University paid an average of $22,337, making HU first in this category. 74% of all undergraduate students received grants or scholarships to help reduce the cost of enrollment.

2. Georgetown University

Situated in Northwest Washington D.C., Georgetown University (GU) undergraduate students paid an average of $25,786, making it second in this category. 51% of GU's full-time beginning students received some form of financial aid to help with the cost of attendance.

3. George Washington University

George Washington University ranks third in this category with its students paying an average of $32,826. Students at this university can apply for federal loans and other types of federal aid to help with their financial obligations.

Graduation Rate

Looking at a school's graduation rate can help you gauge its dedication to seeing its students succeed. The NCES College Navigator calculates this percentage by identifying the number of students who graduated within six years of first enrolling in classes. Ranked below are the three schools with the highest graduation rates:

1. Georgetown University

Georgetown University ranks first in this category with an extraordinary graduation rate of 95%. GU also saw 96% of its first-year students return for their second year of schooling, which demonstrates this university's deep commitment to ensuring that its students are on track for graduation.

2. American University

Ranked second in this category is American University with a graduation rate of 82%. AU has seen a five percent increase in its graduation rate for students who started in the fall of 2008, as compared to students who started in the fall of 2006. These statistics implicate this school's devotion to improving the academic success of their students.

3. George Washington University

Third in this category is George Washington University, registering a graduation rate of 79%. GWU has a retention rate of 93%, illustrating the pleasurable experience that this university has to offer.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Schools that have lower student-to-faculty ratios can provide their students with smaller classroom sizes and more personalized instruction. Of the four District of Columbia schools used in this guide, these are the three schools with the lowest student-to-faculty ratios:

1. Howard University

Howard University has an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio, making this university first in this category. The staff at HU consists of 1,379 full-time and 13 part-time faculty members, which allows this institution to offer an intimate classroom setting.

2. Georgetown University

Ranked second in this category is Georgetown University, boasting a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1. In addition to the 2,499 faculty members, GU has 336 instructional graduate assistants that can offer additional help to both students and instructors.

3. George Washington University

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1, George Washington University ranks third in this category. GWU staffs 2,733 full and part-time faculty members, permitting instructors to attend to the needs of the university's 25,613 students.

Washington D.C. Schools: At a Glance

School NameLocation School TypePrograms OfferedArea Ranking
American University District of Columbia Private, not-for-profit Less than one year, one but less than two years, and post-baccalaureate certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #3 in Program Variety, #2 in Graduation Rate
George Washington University District of Columbia Private, not-for-profit One but less than two years, post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #1 in Program Variety, #3 in Net Price, #3 in Graduation Rate, #3 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Georgetown University District of Columbia Private, not-for-profit One but less than two years and post-baccalaureate certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #2 in Net Price, #1 in Graduation Rate, #2 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Howard University District of Columbia Private, not-for-profit Two but less than four years, post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #2 in Program Variety, #1 in Net Price, #1 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio

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