Rhode Island Colleges and Schools

There are three public institutions of higher learning in Rhode Island. Community College of Rhode Island provides postsecondary education to nearly 18,000 students each year from four campus locations and one satellite campus. Students who earn associate degrees at Community College of Rhode Island may be able to transfer as juniors to the four-year public Rhode Island colleges under the RI Transfers initiative.

Rhode Island College in Providence, founded in 1854, was the first public institution of higher education in the state. The University of Rhode Island, meanwhile, is the state's public research university. URI has four campus locations.

In addition to Brown University, the New England Institute of Technology, and the Rhode Island School of Design, five other independent institutions are members of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island has more than a dozen technical schools that offer certificate and associate degree programs. These schools focus on a range of niches, from the International Yacht Restoration School to automotive training and hairdressing.

Online Education in Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island offers several fully online certificate and degree programs. The Community College of Rhode Island also offers online courses. While other universities in Rhode Island may offer online learning opportunities, Johnson & Wales University perhaps offer the most extensive range of online undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs. Distance learners in Rhode Island can additionally pursue degrees at colleges in other states through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.

Students who want to know more about colleges in Rhode Island can check with the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner or the New England Board of Higher Education.


  • Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island, http://aicuri.org/
  • General Information, Community College of Rhode Island, http://www.ccri.edu/about/general.html
  • RIC Facts, Rhode Island College, http://www.ric.edu/admissions/Pages/RIC-Facts.aspx
  • Welcome to Brown, Brown University, https://www.brown.edu/about
Education Institutes in Rhode Island
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in Rhode Island
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/