Top 12 Universities in Washington, D.C. That You Need to Know About

Washington, D.C. is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the country. With 15 degree-granting institutions in the District, it can be hard to know which schools to consider. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 12 colleges and universities in Washington, D.C.

To help you find the perfect school for your educational journey, we also took into account factors like academic reputation and campus culture. From well-known private institutions to public universities, this list of universities in Washington, D.C., has something for everyone looking to study in the nation’s capital.

Universities in Washington, D.C.
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1. Georgetown University

Acceptance Rate: 15%

Tuition: $56,058

Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit university located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, Georgetown is one of the oldest universities in the country, with a rich history that includes alumni such as former President Bill Clinton and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Popular majors at Georgetown include:

  • International Relations
  • Political Science
  • Economics
  • Biology

The university has a vibrant campus culture with a strong emphasis on social justice and community engagement. In addition, Georgetown University is committed to providing need-based scholarships to undergraduate students, with individual awards ranging from $1,000 to over $60,000 per year.

2. American University

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Tuition: $51,720

American University is a private university in Washington, D.C., founded in 1893. With a beautiful campus overlooking the city, American University offers a number of popular majors, including:

  • Political Science
  • Communications
  • International Relations
  • Business

In addition, through its freshman scholarships, awarded to students based on academic achievement and merit regardless of nationality, American University is committed to making higher education accessible.

3. Howard University

Acceptance Rate: 36%

Tuition: $28,440 (in-state), $28,440 (out-of-state)

Howard University (HU) is a historically black university located in Washington, D.C., with a storied history dating back to 1867. As one of the top HBCUs in the country, HU is known for its academic excellence and commitment to social justice. Popular majors at HU include:

  • Business
  • Communications
  • Political Science
  • Pre-Medicine
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Moreover, HU offers several undergraduate scholarships, including the Presidential Scholarship, Founders Scholarship, and Leadership Scholarship, which recognize students with exceptional academic achievement and leadership potential.

4. George Washington University

Acceptance Rate: 41%

Tuition: $56,935

George Washington University (GWU) is one of the top private universities in Washington, D.C., known for its academic programs and commitment to research and innovation. With a rich history dating back to 1821, GWU has evolved into a dynamic institution offering a range of popular majors, including:

  • International Affairs
  • Political Science
  • Engineering
  • Health Sciences

Furthermore, there are a number of GWU scholarships for new and continuing undergraduate and graduate students, including merit-based scholarships, need-based scholarships, and awards for academic achievement and leadership potential.

5. Catholic University of America

Acceptance Rate: 83%

Tuition: $49,416

The Catholic University of America is one of the few Catholic universities in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1887, Catholic University has a long-standing commitment to academic excellence, social justice, and the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Some of the most-sought majors at the university include:

  • Architecture
  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Theology

Most importantly, the university is dedicated to making higher education accessible through its robust scholarship program. The average need-based scholarship or grant awarded to first-year students at Catholic University is $37,885, with a number of merit-based scholarships and grants also available to deserving students.

6. Gallaudet University

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Tuition: $17,038 (in-state), $17,038 (out-of-state)

Gallaudet University is a unique institution in Washington, D.C. that provides affordable higher education to deaf and hard-of-hearing students from around the world.

As one of the few universities in the world to serve this community, Gallaudet has a rich history and a strong commitment to providing an inclusive and supportive learning environment. Gallaudet’s campus culture is characterized by a vibrant and diverse community that celebrates Deaf culture and sign language.

In addition, the university offers a number of scholarship opportunities, including merit-based scholarships and endowed scholarships.

As one of the cheap universities in Washington, D.C., Gallaudet University provides an excellent opportunity for deaf and hard-of-hearing students to pursue their academic and professional goals without breaking the bank.

7. Trinity Washington University

Acceptance Rate: 86%

Tuition: $27,060

Trinity Washington University is a small, private institution in Washington, D.C. that provides a welcoming and supportive environment for students from diverse backgrounds.

As one of the few universities in Washington, D.C. for international students, Trinity offers a number of programs and services to help these students succeed both academically and socially. Popular majors at the university include nursing, education, and business.

Moreover, Trinity offers a variety of scholarship opportunities to help make higher education more accessible to students. When applicants apply to the University, they are automatically considered for a number of scholarships, including:

  • Trinity Tower Scholarship
  • Murchison Scholarship
  • International Student Scholarship

8. Johns Hopkins University – School of Advanced International Studies

Acceptance Rate: 31%

Tuition: $54,160

Johns Hopkins University – School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is widely regarded as one of the best universities in Washington, D.C., and is particularly known for its rigorous programs in international relations and public policy.

With a campus in the heart of the nation’s capital, SAIS offers students unparalleled opportunities to engage with policymakers and thought leaders on some of the most pressing global issues of our time.

SAIS is committed to diversity and inclusion and offers scholarships to outstanding students from underrepresented minority groups in the United States. For students who are passionate about global affairs and want to make a meaningful impact on the world, SAIS is an excellent choice.

9. University of the District of Columbia

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Tuition: $17,038 (in-state), $17,038 (out-of-state)

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is a public university located in the heart of Washington, D.C. As one of the universities in Washington, D.C. with high acceptance rates, UDC is committed to providing access to higher education for all students, regardless of their academic background.

UDC also stands out for its robust scholarship program, which offers more scholarships than any other university in the District.

These scholarships are awarded based on a variety of criteria, including academic achievement, leadership potential, and financial need, making UDC a great choice for students seeking an affordable and accessible college experience.

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10. Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University

Acceptance Rate: Not available

Tuition: $56,935

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is a vibrant and dynamic arts institution located in the heart of Washington, D.C. With a rich history dating back to the 19th century, the Corcoran School is known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to art and design education.

The school offers a wide range of programs, including fine arts, graphic design, photography, and museum studies, among others.

One of the outstanding features of the Corcoran School is its Corcoran Scholars Program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional talent and academic achievement.

11. National Defense University

Acceptance Rate: Not available

Tuition: Not available

The National Defense University is a unique and prestigious institution located in Washington, D.C. As one of the few public universities in Washington, D.C., NDU plays a critical role in preparing military and civilian leaders to meet the complex national security challenges of the 21st century.

The university offers a wide range of programs and courses, including professional military education, international relations, and strategic studies. For individuals who are passionate about serving their country and making a difference in the world of national security, NDU is an excellent choice.

12. Strayer University

Acceptance Rate: Open admission policy

Tuition: $13,515

Strayer University is a private institution with a strong reputation for innovation and practical learning. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in fields like business, technology, and education.

Strayer’s unique blend of online and on-campus instruction makes it a great choice for students who need flexibility and convenience, without sacrificing quality.

The university also offers a number of scholarships to help students offset the cost of their education, including the Strayer University Scholarship and the Graduation Fund Scholarship, among others.

Final Verdicts

In conclusion, Washington, D.C. is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the country, offering a wide range of programs and opportunities for students.

Whether you’re interested in attending a large public university, a small private college, or a specialized institution, there’s sure to be a school that meets your needs and aspirations.

But don’t forget that there are also amazing colleges and universities in other cities like San Francisco and New York, each with its own unique culture and academic offerings. Be sure to check out our blog posts about colleges and universities in San Francisco and New York to discover even more options for your education.

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