Colleges, Universities and Online Colleges in Columbus

Updated November 8, 2022 · 5 Min Read

Get started with your search for accredited online schools in Columbus. Discover which colleges offer programs that fit your needs. 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.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Credit: Mark Gibson | Corbis Documentary | Getty Images

Columbus, the capital city of Ohio, remains the largest city in the state, and it was recently named one of the top ten cities for recent college grads. The city's attractiveness and desirability are based on three main factors: its affordability, its young population and the strength of its workforce. A fifth of the city's residents are between the ages of 20 and 29 and the city's cost of living is low relative to other young metropolitan areas. The median income among bachelor's degree holders, 25 and older, in Columbus is $44,392. 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.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Colleges in Columbus

One of the factors that draws so many young people to Columbus is the plethora of higher education institutions. There are approximately 50 colleges and universities in the Columbus area. While there is a healthy mix of public and private schools in Columbus, the majority of the city's schools are private. Colleges in Columbus vary in terms of their price and overall affordability. Students looking to attend college in Columbus can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $27,000 a year.

With an average cost of attendance of $4,849 Columbus State Community College is one of the most affordable educational options in Columbus. Approximately 51 percent of CSCC's students receive grant or scholarship assistance, while 60 percent received federal student loans. Total enrollment at CSCC amounts to roughly 26,000 students. The school offers two-year associate degrees that allow students to prepare for a career or to transfer to a four-year university through the school's Bachelor's Degree Transfer Program. The Community Education and Workforce Development division also hosts certificate, continuing education, licensure and personal enrichment programs. The school has courses in 55 areas of study including business, health, and human services.

Ohio State University stands out as a major public university in Columbus. The school's total enrollment of 63,058 makes it one of the largest universities in the country. The 2013 U.S. News & World Report ranked OSU as one of the top 20 public universities in the nation. The university is also known for its highly ranked medical center, cancer hospital and research center. Students at OSU can choose from the 175 undergraduate majors and 240 post-graduate degree programs that are offered by the university's 14 separate colleges. Despite the school's large student body, over 70 percent of first-year classes have fewer than 50 students.

Ohio Dominican University is among the numerous private colleges and universities located in Columbus, Ohio. The university is much smaller than either Ohio State University or Columbus State Community College with only 2,660 students. Given this small of a student body, the school also boasts the extremely low faculty-to-student ratio of 14 to 1. The school has 45 undergraduate and 11 graduate degree programs in addition to 20 certificate and licensure options. Like CSCC, the majority, or 96 percent, of Ohio Dominican University's students receive some form of financial aid. In 2014, The U.S. News & World Report ranked the school as one of the top tier colleges and universities in the Midwest region. Ohio Dominican University is also unique in that, in 2007, it founded a public charter high school. The Charles School was opened with the specific objective of allowing students who would be the first in their families to go to college the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and up to 62 hours of college credit, or an associate degree.

Below is a glance at a few of Columbus' colleges and universities and the type of education offered.


Columbus State Community CollegeCertificates, associate degrees
Ohio State University - Main CampusBachelor's degrees, master's degrees, PhDs, post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates


Capital UniversityBachelor's and master's degrees, PhD
Ohio Dominican UniversityAssociate, bachelor's and master's degrees, certificates
Otterbein UniversityBachelor's and master's degrees, PhDs, post-master's certificates
Franklin UniversityBachelor's degrees, master's degrees, MBA
Columbus College of Art and DesignBFA, MFA
Mount Carmel College of NursingBSN, MSN

Online Colleges in Columbus

SPOTLIGHTOhio State University – Columbus, Ohio

The Office of Distance Education and eLearning (ODEE) at Ohio State University aims to serve not just students, staff and faculty, but also the community—whether that means lifelong learners, professionals seeking career skills or adults wishing to take undergraduate courses without pursuing a degree. ODEE has the goal of supporting OSU instructors as they explore technology-enabled education. Those teaching traditional, hybrid or fully online classes can make use of the Carmen learning management system for instruction as well as discussion boards, grade posting and online quizzes.

Online learning opportunities are evolving at OSU. The university plans to launch new web-based and hybrid initiatives in 2014, and other projects are in development, such as an online master's degree in art education scheduled for 2016. Graduate degree programs include a fully online master's in global engineering leadership that provides different concentrations, for example, automotive systems engineering. Agriculture-based master's degrees are also available online, including a blended program in plant health management that requires one intensive summer course on-campus. Hybrid studies for a master's degree in nursing offer nurse practitioner specializations in family health, adult psychiatric mental health or neonatal care.

While graduate programs outnumber the undergraduate options, OSU does have online bachelor's degrees, all in the field of health care. For instance, OSU's baccalaureate degree completion program in dental hygiene is designed for licensed professionals with associate degrees from accredited training programs. The online RN-BSN program allows registered nurses to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing. This hybrid program is structured to allow students to complete nursing coursework in one year and completely online. Students must also meet requirements for on-site clinical experience and general education courses.

Online certificate opportunities tend to emphasize noncredit career training, ranging from golf course management to paralegal studies. The OSU Office of Geriatrics and Gerontology created a web-based continuing education course for professional service coordinators, while an online nursing certificate program focuses on building knowledge of evidence-based practice. It's wise to confirm the availability and prerequisites of various programs, as well as the mode of content delivery as some online offerings, such as a Six Sigma certificate, contain an in-class component.

COLLEGE NAMEOhio State University
SUBJECTSAgriculture, Engineering, Nursing and Health Care
LEVELSBachelor's, Master's, Certificate

Online programs help fill the education needs of the city's young, working population. In addition to nationally recognized online institutions, many of Columbus' local colleges offer online and distance learning options.

Columbus State Community College, for example, provides its Distance Learning students with the option of enrolling in purely online courses and hybrid programs, which combine independent online study, with face-to-face student-teacher meetings. The community college's online program offers some unique courses like Introduction to Theater and Photoshop for Photographers.

Franklin University specializes in online education. The school promotes the fact that the online education program provides the convenience that many students are looking for, while also allowing access to the university library, bookstore and student services. The university also matches students with academic advisors for more one-on-one support.

Find Online Programs Now

Search Program

Top Industries, Careers and Employers

Columbus' economy is distinguished by its diversified nature, which allowed it to resist the most recent recession more effectively than many other major cities. According to The Columbus Region website, no industry in the Columbus metropolitan area represents more than 18 percent of employment. Some of the largest industries are technology, insurance and education. Manufacturing, logistics and science are also important to the success of the region's economy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, common areas of employment in Columbus in 2013 included the following. Out of a total population of just over 800,000, the number of employees ranged from about 48,000 for managers to 165,000 for office support staff:

  • Management
  • Education, training and library
  • Health care practitioners and technical
  • Production
  • Business and financial operations
  • Transportation and material moving
  • Food preparation and serving related
  • Sales and related
  • Office and administrative support


JPMorgan Chase & Co.20,475
Nationwide Mutual Insurance11,100
Honda of America Mfg., Inc.9,433
L Brands, Inc.7,800
Huntington Bancshares Incorporated5,052

The headquarters of 15 Fortune 1000 companies and five Fortune 500 companies are located in the region. Some of Columbus' most notable employers are JP Morgan Chase, Limited Brands, Huntington Bancshares, Cardinal Health, American Electric Power Co., Abercrombie and Fitch, and Alliance Data Retail Service.

Columbus is known as a technologically savvy city and is home to Battelle Memorial Institute, which is the largest private research foundation in the country. There are also over 2,000 technology establishments in the greater Columbus area. The region's low effective tax rate and the large number of college-educated workers and universities are instrumental in attracting high-tech companies to the area.

Colleges & Universities in Columbus


Ohio State University-Main Campus64,425$8,856Public
Franklin University11,707$9,000Not For Profit (Private)
Capital University4,223$30,450Not For Profit (Private)
Ohio Dominican University3,726$26,260Not For Profit (Private)
Columbus College of Art and Design1,645$26,112Not For Profit (Private)
Mount Carmel College of Nursing1,033$15,727Not For Profit (Private)


Columbus State Community College49,876$2,844Public

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

See All Posts 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.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.