Colleges, Universities & Online Colleges in Cleveland

April 8, 2021 • 4 Min Read

Cleveland’s residents and local government are dedicated to the success of the city’s students. In 2011, after a thorough study of best practices, Cleveland’s government launched the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland. The city made a written commitment to do whatever it can to remove any obstacles that prevent youth from attending and excelling in college. This compact has increased the level of oversight on Cleveland’s higher education system with an eye toward improving its quality and accessibility.

After Columbus, Cleveland is the second largest city in Ohio, covering 77 square miles, with a population of nearly 391,000. The city is an exciting place for students of the arts and natural sciences. University Circle, in the city’s downtown area, hosts cultural landmarks such as the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The city is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Playhouse Square, which is the second largest performing arts center outside of New York. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Colleges in Cleveland

Cuyahoga Community College, or Tri-C as it is often called, serves the educational needs of Cleveland’s residents. It is recognized as the oldest and largest public community college in Ohio. More than 52,000 students take advantage of Tri-C’s 140 career and technical programs, 1,000 credit and 600 non-credit courses a year. Tri-C offers day, evening and weekend classes in addition to classes over the television, the Internet, and as independent study. Throughout the school's numerous campuses, students have access to a variety of career training options. Tri-C hosts associate degree and certificate programs in fields like baking, industrial technology, international business and dental hygiene. Tri-C has an additional division called Corporate College, which delivers professional training and development courses to Ohio’s businesses, organizations and individuals.

Cleveland State University is Cleveland’s only public university. The school promotes a philosophy of engaged learning, which strategically ties into Cleveland’s larger commitment to improve the attainability of higher education in the city. Faculty at the institution seek to engage students in the classroom as well as in the community. CSU comprises over 200 programs, with 17,000 students spread across eight campuses. CSU's curriculum spans fields including business administration, education, human services and urban affairs. As the school gains increasing recognition, its incoming freshman classes have increased by over 20 percent.

Cleveland provides more private educational options than public ones, with a number of institutions that offer a range of courses. Notre Dame College, for example, is a private, Catholic, four-year institution located just outside of Cleveland, with associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in diverse fields such as early childhood education, international business and biology. With an annual tuition of $26,334, the school is more expensive than either CSU or Cleveland’s community college system. In addition to more conventional institutions, the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music offer arts programs drawing inspiration from the city's cultural diversity.

Below is a glance at a few of Cleveland’s colleges and universities, both public and private.


Cleveland State UniversityPublicAssociate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, PhD, JD, graduate certificate
John Carroll UniversityPrivateBachelor’s and master’s degrees, MBA, certificate, post-master’s studies
Cleveland Institute of ArtPrivateAssociate and bachelor’s degrees, diplomas
Cleveland Institute of MusicPrivateBachelor’s of Music, Professional Studies, Artist’s Diploma, PhD of Music
Notre Dame CollegePrivateAssociate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, graduate certificates
Case Western Reserve UniversityPrivateBachelor’s and master’s degrees, PhD, JD, MD
Ursuline CollegePrivateBachelor’s and master’s degrees, PhD, Adult Accelerated Degree Program
Bryant-Stratton CollegePrivateAssociate and bachelor’s degrees, certificates

Online Colleges in Cleveland

Cleveland has sought to increase the accessibility of higher education by hosting a number of online learning platforms. Cleveland State University provides The Center for eLearning, which has more than 500 courses for undergraduate, graduate and certificate students. Subjects range from engineering and nursing to business and education. Students can choose between either online or blended courses. Distance learning options allow students to complete their chosen program online with professor-student communication conducted using online platform tools. In contrast, blended courses require face-to-face meetings with faculty at intervals throughout the semester. Ursuline College has created a similar program with 50 web-based and hybrid classes.

Cuyahoga Community College has a wide range of online options. Not only does the school provide online and blended courses, but it also encourages students to participate in "Webenhanced" studies and Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. Webenhanced courses use a variety of technology platforms to enrich the learning experience. MOOCs are free of charge and open to everyone, whether or not they are enrolled in the school system.

Not all of Cleveland’s schools have quite as extensive a menu of online options. Case Western Reserve University, for example, has two online degree programs: a Master of Science in Social Administration and a Master of Laws degree in Business Law. The school's Master of Science in Social Administration is the ninth-ranked social work program in the nation.

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Top Industries, Careers and Employers

Cleveland’s location on Lake Erie has made the city an important business center. As is true in much of northeast Ohio, manufacturing has been one of the central industries. The city produces automobile parts, machine tools, iron, steel, chemicals and paints among other goods. In more recent years, however, there has been a considerable amount of growth in the service sector. The city is the headquarters for a number of large firms, including Fortune 500 companies, as well as several polymer producers, which has led the city to be known as Polymer Valley.

The list of Fortune 500 companies in Cleveland includes Eaton, Parker Hannifin, Sherwin Williams, KeyCorp and Cliffs Natural Resources. In 2003, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) was created through a merger of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, Cleveland Tomorrow and the Greater Cleveland Roundtable. The GCP offers businesses in the area a number of incentives and job training programs.


Cleveland Clinic Health System41,011
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies9,139
Swagelok Company3,735
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company3,200
Sherwin Williams Company3,134

Cleveland is the base for many science and engineering companies, which have supported the growth of biotechnology and biomedical industries. There are currently over 100 biotech firms and research facilities in northeastern Ohio. Many of the local universities support these industries by providing training programs in the field of bioscience.

Colleges & Universities in Cleveland


Cleveland State University21,717$8,952Public
Case Western Reserve University10,586$38,760Not For Profit (Private)
Notre Dame College2,552$24,002Not For Profit (Private)
Remington College-Cleveland Campus1,076$16,385Not For Profit (Private)
Cleveland Institute of Art546$31,760Not For Profit (Private)


Cuyahoga Community College District46,854$3,554Public

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