Vermonters value education, so it’s no surprise that we have the highest number of colleges per capita of any U.S. state.
Our colleges and universities are varied in enrollment and vibe, ranging from fairly big (more than 12,000 students at the University of Vermont) to small (Sterling College has fewer than 100), and tech-savvy (Vermont Technical College) to arts-focused (Goddard College). A recent study from the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges reports that 80% of our private college students come from out of state and concludes higher education is a key reason people decide to move to Vermont.
College students contribute to the fabric of our communities, not just adding youthful energy, but also providing countless hours of community service from staffing rescue squads to mentoring kids to helping communities clean up after major weather events like Tropical Storm Irene.
Explore the 22 private and public colleges and universities in the state, which include six schools offering advanced degrees and a law school.
Located smack-dab in the middle of bustling Burlington, Champlain College blends an intimate, private-school feel with the cosmopolitan flavor of the city. Frequently cited as an up-and-coming college, business and computer science represent two of Champlain’s most popular majors.
Student body: 3,124
Known for its unconventional approach to education, Goddard employs a low-residency academic calendar in which students meet on campus for roughly one week every six months. The majority of students (70%) are in graduate programs.
Location: Plainfield (9 miles from Montpelier)
The most liberal arts-focused of the Vermont State colleges, Johnson prides itself as an environment where individuality can flourish. 64% of the student body is female, and the department of fine arts (featuring majors in creative writing and studio arts) provides two of the most popular programs.
Location: Johnson (Nine miles from Morrisville)
Student body: 1,759
Originally founded as a teachers’ college in 1911, Lyndon state has grown into the Northeast Kingdom’s hub for higher learning. Primarily known for its atmospheric science programs, LSC features 21 bachelor’s programs and, true to its roots, a graduate program for masters of education.
Location: Lyndon (10 miles from St. Johnsbury)
Student body: 1,519
For those who prefer to cook during class, the New England Culinary Institute gets students restaurant ready. Founded in 1980, this for-profit school grants associates, bachelors, and certificate degrees and operates several dining establishments in Montpelier.
Student body: 615
The state’s largest religious-affiliated institution, the Catholic St. Michael’s College is located in the Burlington suburb of Colchester. Business, psychology, and biology are among the most popular courses of study.
Student body: 2,316
Environmentally minded? Sterling is the place. Nestled in the Northeast Kingdom, this tiny school features just five majors, all pertaining to sustainable stewardship of the planet. The highly-regarded dining hall frequently serves homegrown food.
Founded in 1791 by Green Mountain Boy Ira Allen, the University of Vermont is by far the state’s largest institution of higher learning and its only public research university. As it has grown in prestige in recent years it has increasingly admitted out-of-state students (61% of the student body in 2015). Business and Environmental Science are two of the most popular and well-regarded majors.
Student body: 12,856
Vermont’s most selective college, Middlebury is located in a quaint corner of Addison county. Host of the prestigious annual Breadloaf Writers’ conference, Middlebury provides a classic liberal arts atmosphere, with English, political science and foreign languages among the top programs.
Student body: 2,526
The oldest private military college in the United States, Norwich prides itself on its cadet program, in which students undertake an intense military-style training regimen in addition to their normal coursework. Roughly a third of the students are civilians, of which about half commute to campus.
Location: Northfield (11 miles from Montpelier)
Student body: 2,649
Offering a wide range of master’s of the arts degrees, VCFA uses a low-residency model, allowing its students to focus on their work largely away from campus. When pupils do assemble for class, though, they do so at a picturesque hilltop campus dotted with century-old buildings.
Vermont’s only law school, VLS is renowned for its environmental law program, considered among the best in the country. Graduates boast an impressive 85% bar exam pass rate.
Location: South Royalton (18 miles from White River Junction)
Student body: 601
The most hands-on of Vermont’s Colleges, VTC provides valuable real-world skills to its students. Based in idyllic and centrally located Randolph Center and with a Williston campus, students can earn degrees in everything from nursing to welding. A VTC degree is among the hottest in Vermont: the class of 2014 had a 96% job placement rate.
Location: Randolph Center
Student body: 1,453
Located in the scenic hills of southwestern Vermont, Bennington College has a strong arts focus that has ignited the careers of alumni such as Peter Dinklage and Bret Easton Ellis. Small classes are the norm: the average number of pupils is 13.
Student body: 755
Recently growing from a college to a university, Castleton prides itself on student-faculty interaction. Some 70% percent of courses have class sizes of 20 students or less, a rate made possible by a 10:1 student to faculty ratio. An easy drive to major ski areas such as Killington and Okemo, there is a distinct outdoorsy culture on campus.
Location: Castleton (12 miles from Rutland)
Student body: 1,985
One of two catholic colleges in the state (along with St. Michael’s), the College of St. Joseph offers programs in business, criminal justice, and more. Its sports teams, the Fighting Saints, compete in NCAA Division II.
Student body: 377
Environmental responsibility is the central message of this small, private college. The most popular undergraduate major is parks, recreation, and leisure studies. Four distance master’s programs are offered for graduates, including environmental studies and business administration.
Location: Poultney (21 miles from Rutland)
Student body: 710
The nation’s first college specifically for students with learning disabilities, Landmark College opened in 1985 to serve young men and women with diagnosed conditions such as dyslexia and ADHD. Landmark offers high school and graduate programs in addition to associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.
Location: Putney (10 miles from Brattleboro)
Student body: 500
Marlboro epitomizes the Vermont small college feel, emphasizing self-direction of students and an intimate 5:1 student to professor ratio.
Location: Marlboro (10 miles from Brattleboro)
For those who have earned an undergraduate degree and want to make a difference in the world, the School of International Training is the place to start. With graduate programs in international education, sustainable development and more, this school is perfect for big-picture thinkers.
Student body: 470
Situated on the former estate of wealthy businessman Edward Everett, Southern Vermont College offers 15 bachelor’s degrees ranging from creative writing to nursing. In 2014, the school began a Veteran’s Scholar Program aimed at military members and their families.
Student body: 500
Second only to UVM in enrollment, the Community College of Vermont boasts over 7,000 pupils across its 12 campuses. With the lowest tuition of any of the Vermont State colleges, many students attend part-time while holding a day job. This provides CCV with an incredibly diverse student body—men and women of all ages and backgrounds come together to pursue associate’s degrees ranging from visual arts to criminal justice.