Located at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is best known for tourism, which dominates the local economy. But in fact, Virginia Beach was named among the Top 20 Midsize Metros for College Students by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER).
The AIER ranked college towns for criteria including the concentration of students in the population, research expenditures per capita, cost of living, concentration of cultural and entertainment venues, accessibility without a car, entrepreneurial activity, and year-over-year ratio of college-educated population living in the area. As it turns out, Virginia Beach has a rich variety of educational options for the college student.
Colleges and Universities in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is home to two universities. Regent University, a private Christian university founded by the evangelist Pat Robertson, has mostly focused on graduate education but recently branched out to offer undergraduate degrees. Atlantic University, founded by Edgar Cayce, father of the New Age spiritual movement in the '60s, offers master's degrees in Transpersonal Studies.
For a more traditional education, there's Virginia Wesleyan College, a private, small Methodist liberal arts college on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia. The college offers 30-plus majors in fields spread throughout the humanities, natural science, mathematics and social sciences divisions. Enrollment is about 1,400.
Two Virginia universities with satellite campuses in Virginia Beach are the University of Virginia, or UVa, a pubic research university, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as Virginia Tech, a public institution with 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Tidewater Community College, which enrolls about 46,000 students each year, offers academic programs, transfer programs, and technical education programs. One of its campuses is in Virginia Beach.
Vocational and Trade Schools in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach vocational schools include ECPI College of Technology, which has associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in business, criminal justice, culinary arts programs, health science and technology. The Advanced Technology Institute, another vocation school, offers these programs: automotive technology, commercial driving, diesel/heavy vehicle, maritime welding, and HVAC/refrigeration. The New Approach School for Jewelers offers jewelry classes for novices and more experienced students. World College, with two high-tech bachelor's degrees in computer information systems with network security and electronic engineering technology, prepares students for careers in electronics, computer information systems, network security, PC repair, telecommunications, electrical power and control systems.
Other vocational schools in Virginia Beach, but with a national presence include FORTIS, Bryant & Stratton College and the University of Phoenix.
Schools Near Virginia Beach
The greater Virginia Beach region is home to several additional schools, with three in nearby Norfolk. One, Old Dominion University, is an accredited state school awarding 70 bachelor's degrees, 60 master's degrees and 35 doctoral degrees in various subjects. Norfolk State University, or NSU, is a four-year liberal arts college offering 36 undergraduate degrees, 15 master's degrees and two doctorates. For medicine, there's Eastern Virginia Medical School, a public-private facility in Norfolk.
Explore our list of Virginia Beach colleges and universities for more information on schools in the area and to discover what could be fitting for you. In addition, students who want to enjoy living in Virginia Beach but are seeking a wider variety of educational options might want to consider online colleges.