Best Colleges in Norfolk

The Heart of the Virginia Waterfront

On the water and on the national stage for young professionals

Nestled where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Norfolk is an aquatic play land that will enchant you with its equally alluring nightlife, delicious seaside cuisine, and arts and entertainment offerings. Surrounded by the water, it's not surprising to learn that Norfolk will keep you busy with all the kayaking, sailing, fishing and water skiing you can handle. Beyond its waterfront lifestyle, Norfolk's higher education portfolio is stacked. With 3 major universities in town and 40 education institutions within reach, Norfolk has a robust list of major options whether you fancy fashion merchandising or aim to be a marine biologist. Norfolk's nautical charm is also met with some pretty stellar career options, too. Home to highly respected organizations like BlackHawk Products Group, FHC Health Systems, Landmark Communications and Portfolio Recovery Associates, and named in the top 10 markets for business relocation and expansion by Expansion Management Magazine, you'll want to set your sea legs in Norfolk even after graduation.

Norfolk, with its 144 miles of shoreline, wealth of premier festivals and special events, one-million square foot McArthur Shopping Center, and highly adored Greens on the Green farmers market, is a city that will have you feeling like you're on vacation 24-7. But Norfolk is so much more than just an entertainment hotspot. Norfolk is home to the world's largest naval base and the North American Headquarters for NATO. In addition to its prominence in the military community, Norfolk has been named one of the top 10 booming downtowns by USA Today, a testament to its ever-growing marketplace. With an average temperature of 69 degrees, you'll be soaking up the sun and surf year around. Trust us, you don't want to miss out on Norfolk's friendly, work hard play hard culture and outstanding collegiate environment.

*visitnorfolktoday.com *norfolk.gov *“Norfolk” Wikipedia *usclimatedata.com

Best Four Year Universities in Norfolk

Rank School Name Location Description   Rating
1 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA

College of William and Mary offers 95 Degree programs. It's a medium sized public university in a small suburb. In 2015, 2,947 students graduated with students earning 2,117 Bachelor's degrees, 565 Master's degrees, 256 Doctoral degrees, and 9 Certificates degrees.

Based on 16 Reviews
2 Christopher Newport University Newport News, VA

Christopher Newport University offers 44 Degree programs. It's a medium sized public university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 1,369 students graduated with students earning 1,204 Bachelor's degrees, and 165 Master's degrees.

3 Hampton University Hampton, VA

Hampton University offers 118 Degree programs. It's a medium sized private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 972 students graduated with students earning 694 Bachelor's degrees, 150 Master's degrees, 124 Doctoral degrees, 4 Certificates degrees.

4 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA

Old Dominion University offers 171 Degree programs. It's a large public university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 5,673 students graduated with students earning 4,063 Bachelor's degrees, 1,132 Master's degrees, 313 Doctoral degrees, and 165 Certificates degrees.

Based on 20 Reviews
5 Regent University Virginia Beach, VA

Regent University offers 118 Degree programs. It's a medium sized private university in a large city. In 2015, 1,688 students graduated with students earning 610 Master's degrees, 574 Bachelor's degrees, 348 Doctoral degrees, 136 Certificates degrees, and 20 Associate's degrees.

6 Norfolk State University Norfolk, VA

Norfolk State University offers 60 Degree programs. It's a medium sized public university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 1,284 students graduated with students earning 1,011 Bachelor's degrees, 248 Master's degrees, 15 Associate's degrees, and 10 Doctoral degrees.

7 Virginia Wesleyan College Norfolk, VA

Virginia Wesleyan College offers 82 Degree programs. It's a small private university in a large city. In 2015, 378 students graduated with students earning 378 Bachelor's degrees.

8 ECPI University Virginia Beach, VA

ECPI University offers 58 Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 4,666 students graduated with students earning 2,173 Associate's degrees, 1,267 Certificates degrees, 1,194 Bachelor's degrees, and 32 Master's degrees.

9 Centura College-Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, VA

Centura College-Virginia Beach offers 11 Degree programs. It's a very small private university in a large city. In 2015, 234 students graduated with students earning 194 Associate's degrees, and 40 Bachelor's degrees.

10 South University, Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, VA

South University, Virginia Beach offers 33 Degree programs. It's a very small private university in a large city. In 2015, 184 students graduated with students earning 123 Bachelor's degrees, 51 Master's degrees, 10 Associate's degrees.

Best Community Colleges in Norfolk

Rank School Name Location Description   Rating
1 Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE

Northeast Community College offers 112 Degree programs. It's a medium sized public college in a remote town. In 2015, 1,037 students graduated with students earning 855 Associate's degrees, and 182 Certificates degrees.

2 Thomas Nelson Community College Hampton, VA

Thomas Nelson Community College offers 80 Degree programs. It's a large public college in a mid sized city. In 2015, 1,797 students graduated with students earning 925 Associate's degrees, and 872 Certificates degrees.

3 Tidewater Community College Norfolk, VA

Tidewater Community College offers 111 Degree programs. It's a very large public college in a mid sized city. In 2015, 4,553 students graduated with students earning 3,080 Associate's degrees, and 1,473 Certificates degrees.

Based on 4 Reviews
4 Rappahannock Community College Glenns, VA

Rappahannock Community College offers 38 Degree programs. It's a small public college in a far away rural. In 2015, 783 students graduated with students earning 530 Certificates degrees, and 253 Associate's degrees.

5 Riverside College of Health Careers Newport News, VA

Riverside College of Health Careers offers 9 Degree programs. It's a very small private college in a mid sized city. In 2015, 216 students graduated with students earning 138 Certificates degrees, and 78 Associate's degrees.

6 Fortis College-Norfolk Norfolk, VA

Fortis College-Norfolk offers 13 Degree programs. It's a very small private college in a mid sized city. In 2015, 250 students graduated with students earning 231 Certificates degrees, and 19 Associate's degrees.

7 Centura College-Newport News Newport News, VA

Centura College-Newport News offers 9 Degree programs. It's a very small private college in a mid sized city. In 2015, 183 students graduated with students earning 109 Associate's degrees, and 74 Certificates degrees.

8 Centura College-Norfolk Norfolk, VA

Centura College-Norfolk offers 8 Degree programs. It's a very small private college in a mid sized city. In 2015, 328 students graduated with students earning 230 Certificates degrees, and 98 Associate's degrees.

9 Centura College-Chesapeake Chesapeake, VA

Centura College-Chesapeake offers 8 Degree programs. It's a very small private college in a large suburb. In 2015, 153 students graduated with students earning 153 Associate's degrees.

List of all Colleges in Norfolk

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School Logo School Name Average tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
College of William and Mary College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
4/5
12 : 1 8,484
Christopher Newport University Christopher Newport University Newport News, VA
3/5
16 : 1 5,172
Hampton University Hampton University Hampton, VA
4/5
13 : 1 4,269
Old Dominion University Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
3/5
25 : 1 24,672
Regent University Regent University Virginia Beach, VA
4/5
47 : 1 6,950
Norfolk State University Norfolk State University Norfolk, VA
3/5
18 : 1 5,107
Virginia Wesleyan College Virginia Wesleyan College Norfolk, VA
5/5
14 : 1 1,441
ECPI University ECPI University Virginia Beach, VA
3/5
21 : 1 11,735
Northeast Community College Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE
2/5
29 : 1 5,051
Thomas Nelson Community College Thomas Nelson Community College Hampton, VA
2/5
39 : 1 9,316
Tidewater Community College Tidewater Community College Norfolk, VA
2/5
38 : 1 25,927
Rappahannock Community College Rappahannock Community College Glenns, VA
2/5
50 : 1 3,566
Tidewater Tech-Trades Tidewater Tech-Trades Norfolk, VA
4/5
12 : 1 334
Riverside College of Health Careers Riverside College of Health Careers Newport News, VA 8 : 1 208
University Logo The Chrysm Insitute of Esthetics Virginia Beach, VA 23 : 1 135
University Logo Suffolk Beauty Academy Suffolk, VA 12 : 1 36
Central School of Practical Nursing Central School of Practical Nursing Norfolk, VA 11 : 1 44
University Logo Empire Beauty School-Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, VA 16 : 1 139
Centura College-Virginia Beach Centura College-Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, VA
4/5
11 : 1 164
Virginia Beach City Public Schools School of Practical Nursing Virginia Beach City Public Schools School of Practical Nursing Virginia Beach, VA 15 : 1 60
Fortis College-Norfolk Fortis College-Norfolk Norfolk, VA
4/5
18 : 1 292
Centura College-Newport News Centura College-Newport News Newport News, VA
4/5
12 : 1 189
Centura College-Norfolk Centura College-Norfolk Norfolk, VA
4/5
19 : 1 201
University Logo Virginia School of Hair Design Hampton, VA 29 : 1 57
South University, Virginia Beach South University, Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, VA
4/5
15 : 1 692

Top Schools offering Specific Degrees in Norfolk

Questions About Going to College in Norfolk

How are the career opportunities for college graduates in Norfolk?

Location definitely shapes this city. Nestled where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, the economy historically has been defined by military, shipbuilding, and movement of goods. But as a commercial and cultural center for the huge geographical region known as Hampton Roads, Norfolk certainly needs educators, healthcare workers, and all types of other professionals in order to thrive. And aspiring entrepreneurs may find kindred spirits in Norfolk. More than 21,000 business establishments in Norfolk employ fewer than 10 employees.

What major companies/industries are hiring what type of graduates/skills in Norfolk?

Calling all registered nurses, physical therapists, and health administrators –– companies in Norfolk such as Sentara Healthcare, Children’s Health System, and Eastern Virginia Medical Center need your skills. Teachers and other educational specialists find work at Norfolk City Public Schools, Tidewater Community College, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University. (Remember all these institutions also hire people in human resources, communications, IT, and management too.) Or if finance is your thing, submit a resume to Bank of America, Capital Group Companies, or Portfolio Recovery Associates.

Is Norfolk more of a college town or a great place to start a career and family?

With its 25,000 students, $96.2 million in research, and great Division I sports teams, Old Dominion University is a source of pride for Norfolk. But since the city is home to Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval station, we’d have to say that plays the biggest role in Norfolk’s personality. The on base population includes more than 80,000 active duty personnel, 112,000 family members, and 30,000 civilians. Off-base, young professionals try to grab residential lofts in the trendy Granby District downtown, while families that can afford it often flock five miles north to the Larchmont-Edgewater area.

What do the locals in Norfolk like to do for fun?

Residents love their festivals – all 100+ of them! Take in a longstanding tradition such as the Waterfront Jazz Festival, or help a newer event such as Ribtoberfest become an annual favorite. Not surprising given the city’s location, locals also love water activities: kayaking, sailing, fishing, swimming, walking along the beach, or even munching crab legs at Mac’s Place on the Bay. And for family memories, you can’t beat fun at the ballpark. Not only will you watch the Norfolk Tides play Triple-A baseball, you might catch fireworks or get the chance to run the bases.

What's the dating scene like in Norfolk? Will I meet my perfect mate?

With a population of over 1.7 million in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area, opportunities abound to meet people. Check out the budding craft beer scene – you might get a phone number or two along with your beverage samples. Or take in a Norfolk festival such as Puppy de Mayo, where Fido can be your wingman while you sip a Mutt-a-rita during Yappy Hour. If you prefer “meeting” people from the comfort of your own home, try online dating; it’s super popular in Norfolk. Perhaps the two of you can schedule a getting-to-know-you date of walking around the city to find all of the awesome mermaid statues decorated by local artists.

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