There are a wide variety of universities and colleges in and near Tampa, Florida. Whether you are looking to get your Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, your Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art or your Juris Doctor to practice law, Tampa and the surrounding areas have options for any aspiring academic on both the public and private level.

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida has its main campus in Tampa, with additional campuses in St. Petersburg and Sarasota. The Tampa campus has programs for students interested in medicine, arts, social sciences, humanities and more. The St. Petersburg campus is known for its program in marine biology and its proximity to Tampa Bay. In Sarasota, there are programs in the humanities and education. Tuition is extremely affordable, especially for in-state residents.

Eckerd College

Eckerd College in St. Petersburg is known for its biology, marine sciences and environmental studies programs. It is on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. From its humble beginning as a Presbyterian college in 1959, Eckerd has grown to become a fixture in St. Petersburg for religious and non-religious students alike. It has earned numerous accolades in the academic ranking world.

Stetson University

There is only one university in Tampa where you can get your Juris Doctor, and that is the Stetson University College of Law. Founded in 1900, Stetson is the oldest law school in Florida. In 2004, Stetson opened a satellite campus in Tampa. You can focus on a variety of areas of law.

University of Tampa

When looking at the Tampa skyline, you cannot miss the minarets that mark the University of Tampa (UT). Formerly a hotel with Islamic-style minarets, domes and cupolas, UT is now a pillar of private education in Tampa. UT offers 125 areas of study for both undergrads and graduate students, focusing on career-oriented disciplines such as business, finance and health sciences. Enrollment hovers at approximately 6,500 students. Financial aid is common.

State College of Florida

The State College of Florida (SCF) is in Bradenton, just over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that stretches over Tampa Bay. Formerly Manatee Community College, SCF has grown into a state college with the introduction of its 4-year nursing program. Ample scholarships are available.

St, Petersburg College

St. Petersburg College (SPC) is excellent for those on a budget. SPC is known for its programs in health sciences, business, information technology and nursing. There are also programs in the humanities, social sciences and veterinary technology. This is a great place to go if you want to have a career right away, or if you want to move on to graduate level education.

New College of Florida

The New College of Florida is a public honors college that competes with private colleges such as Pitzer College or Sarah Lawrence College in its academic rankings. Founded in 1960, New College of Florida has been named a best value on Kiplinger's List of "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" for 2011. This is the perfect school for the budding anthropologist, social scientist or psychologist.

Ringling College of Art and Design

The Ringling College of Art and Design is in the heart of Sarasota, just 45 minutes from Tampa. Named after the famous Ringling Brothers, the school has top-notch academic programs in art. The faculty of Ringling College are all exceptional artists, and the student body is known for its talent in all areas of art and design. This college is best for both classical-style and new-media artists.

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