List of the largest United States colleges and universities by enrollment

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This is a list of the largest United States colleges and universities by enrollment for colleges and universities in the United States.

What this list includes:

  • Colleges and universities within the United States
  • University systems if the system is run under a single administration
  • Enrollment is the sum of the headcount of undergraduate and graduate students
  • Enrollment is counted by the Integrated Post-secondary Education System within the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Enrollment is the 12-month unduplicated headcount, indicating the number of unique students who attended the university during the year.

What this list does not include:

  • Any indication of how many of the enrolled students are full or part-time (e.g., some universities may have a high enrollment, but have most students enrolled in only a single class)

For other lists that measure university enrollment, see the See Also section below.

US Department of Education Ranking[edit]

The US Department of Education's Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System contains information on all 7,316 officially-recognized institutions of higher education in the United States. The following is a list of the 20 largest institutions of higher education by Fall 2011 enrollment, meaning it is the number of unique individuals who were enrolled in at least one class on the 21st day of the Fall 2011 semester. Whether a system of individual campuses is counted as one or multiple institutions depends on how that institution is accredited and chartered. All data can be verified on the IPEDS system website.[1]

US Department of Education Fall 2011 Enrollment[2]

Ranking College Classification Location Enrollment
1 University of Phoenix For-Profit 4-year Online and multiple ground Campuses (Headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona) 300,000
2 Pennsylvania State University Public 4-year Multiple Campuses (Headquartered in University Park, Pennsylvania) 96,562
4 Arizona State University Public 4-year Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Arizona 76,000
3 Ashford University For-Profit 4-year Multiple Campuses (Headquarters in Clinton, Iowa) 74,596
5 University of Minnesota Public 4-year Multiple Campuses (Headquarters in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota) 68,418
6 Liberty University Private 4-year Lynchburg, VA 64,096
7 Miami Dade College Public 4-year Miami, Florida 63,736
8 Lone Star College System Public 2-year The Woodlands, Texas 63,029
9 Houston Community College Public 2-year Houston, Texas 63,015
10 University of Central Florida Public 4-year Orlando, Florida 58,465
11 The Ohio State University Public 4-year Columbus, Ohio 56,867
12 Kaplan University For-Profit 4-year Multiple Campuses (Headquarters in Davenport, Iowa) 56,606
13 University of Texas at Austin Public 4-year Austin, TX 51,112
14 American Public University System For-Profit 4-year Online (Headquarters Charles Town, WV) 50,838
15 Texas A&M University Public 4-year College Station, TX 50,230
16 Tarrant County College District Public 2-year Fort Worth, Texas 50,062
17 Northern Virginia Community College Public 2-year Annandale, Virginia 50,044
18 University of Florida Public 4-year Gainesville, Florida 49,589
19 Walden University For-Profit 4-year Online Campus (Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN) 48,982
20 Michigan State University Public 4-year East Lansing, Michigan 47,825

Additional Rankings. This list of rankings is gathered from individual institution websites, and may contain non-credit students and university systems containing separate institutions.

Largest U.S. colleges and universities by total enrollment
Ranking College Location Enrollment Year
1 City University of New York New York, New York 540,000[3]
2 State University of New York 64 Campuses, New York State 467,991 2010[4]
3 University of Phoenix Online / Multiple Campuses 455,600[citation needed]
4 California State University 23 Campuses, California 450,690[citation needed]
5 Community College of the Air Force Multiple Campuses 332,095[citation needed]
6 Maricopa County Community College District Multiple Campuses, Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Arizona 260,000 2009[5]
7 University of California Multiple Campuses, California 222,000 [6]
8 Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Multiple Campuses, Indiana 165,000 2008-2009[7]
9 Miami Dade College Multiple Campuses, Miami, Florida 161,668 2007-2008[8]
10 Indiana University 8 Campuses, Indiana 110,436 2011[9]
11 City College of San Francisco Multiple Campuses, San Francisco, California 100,544 2000-2001[10]
12 The Pennsylvania State University Multiple Campuses, Pennsylvania 96,562 2011-2012[11]
13 Florida State College at Jacksonville Multiple Campuses, Jacksonville, Florida 81,370 2008-2009[12]
14 Arizona State University Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Arizona 70,440[13]
15 Houston Community College System Multiple Campuses, Houston, Texas 68,011[citation needed]
16 University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota 65,622[citation needed]
17 University of Puerto Rico Multiple Campuses, Puerto Rico 64,511[citation needed]
18 Northern Virginia Community College Multiple Campuses, Virginia 63,000[citation needed]
19 Lone Star College System Harris County, Texas 62,707[citation needed]
20 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 60,466[citation needed]
21 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 59,050[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ IPEDS Datacenter US Department of Education. Data can be obtained by "comparing institutions on a single variable," and then choosing to compare ALL US INSTITUTIONS by Fall 2012 enrollment.
  2. ^ IPEDS Datacenter
  3. ^
  4. ^ Retrieved 2010-12-31.
  5. ^ Student Enrollment Totals and Demographics and Employee Totals Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  6. ^ Student Enrollment Totals Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  7. ^ Ivy Tech Office of Institutional Research Annual Unduplicated Headcount Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  8. ^ "Facts in Brief". Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  9. ^ [1]. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
  10. ^ Enrollment in the City College of San Francisco through 2001 Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  11. ^ Pennsylvania State University Retrieved 2010-10-20.
  12. ^ "Recent Enrollment Growth". Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  13. ^