Straddling the mighty Mississippi River in eastern-central Missouri, the city of St. Louis is home to many firsts — the country's first kindergarten, the first U.S. highway, and the first American city to host an Olympics. St. Louis also is noted for its famed Gateway Arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, as well as popular attractions such as the Missouri Botanical Garden and St. Louis Zoo.
The major port city also is home to the oldest university west of the Mississippi River, St. Louis University. There are more than 40 colleges in St. Louis, including 19 institutions where students can earn undergraduate degrees.
Ranken Technical College is one of the leading trade and vocational colleges in St. Louis. A few of the college's most popular certificate programs include HVAC training, automotive mechanical technology and welding. St. Louis Community College, which has the largest enrollment of any postsecondary institution in the city and the second-largest college enrollment in the state of Missouri, also offers many vocational education programs. Popular certificate programs at STLCC, which has six campuses in the greater St. Louis region, include computer systems and networking telecommunications, surgical technology, and automotive technologies.
There are several large higher education institutions in the city, including Washington University of St. Louis, University of Missouri-St. Louis and Webster University.
The city's oldest college, St. Louis University, was founded as a private Catholic college in 1818. St. Louis University established the country's first medical school west of the Mississippi in 1836, and it created the first law school in the west in 1843.
The University of Missouri at St. Louis, is part of the public University of Missouri educational system, while Washington and Webster are both large, private, nonprofit institutions.
Graduate students have a host of options to earn advanced degrees from universities in St. Louis. In addition to the four-year colleges mentioned above, which all offer post-baccalaureate degrees, the city is home to many additional schools that offer graduate and doctoral degree programs. These include St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Fontbonne University, Maryville University of St. Louis, and Missouri Baptist University.
To see more higher education opportunities in the state, check our list of Missouri colleges.