Higher Education in Clearwater

Clearwater, located in Pinellas County, is the smallest of three cities that make up the Clearwater-Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area or Tampa Bay region. There is a variety of higher education options within Clearwater and in neighboring cities throughout the Tampa Bay area. These include four-year public and private universities and colleges, community colleges and a variety of career-focused trade and technical schools. Most of these universities and colleges offer online courses and degrees. The following schools are a sampling of what students will find for higher education in Clearwater and the surrounding areas.

Colleges & Universities

USFSP is the only public university in the area, and is just over 20 miles Southeast of Clearwater. This large, regionally and nationally accredited research university houses several colleges with specialized accreditation. These include the colleges of business, education, journalism, and media studies. USFSP has also earned the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation.

SPC is an accredited state college offering both two and four-year degrees. In addition, SPC is a member of the University Partnership Center.  The University Partnership Center is a group 16 colleges and universities with the common goal of providing access to upper level courses for completion of a bachelors or masters.  Students can participate in these courses through participating colleges with a variety of curriculum options.  These include traditional classroom, web-based or blended classes.

USF is a large, multi-campus research university based in nearby Tampa, and as the fourth largest public university in Florida, provides another great higher education option for Clearwater residents. Along with USFSP, USF is a member of the state university system of Florida, and currently offers around 80 undergraduate degrees and over 130 masters, specialist and doctorate degrees. The University of South Florida houses 14 colleges, including the highly populated Engineering, Business and Health, Arts and Sciences colleges.

With an emphasis on international business, SIU has four international campuses, with one located conveniently three miles south of Clearwater in the town of Largo. SIU offers associates, bachelors, and master’s degrees in areas such as business, engineering and social sciences, with several online degree choices, including several MBA degree options. In addition, students can pursue degrees in areas such as nursing, hospitality and tourism and management.
This accredited liberal arts and sciences college is located on the waterfront in St. Petersburg. In addition to bachelor’s degrees offered in over 40 areas, Eckerd offers an adult degree completion program, executive and professional development courses and continuing education.
Keiser University is a private, not-for profit, Level VI, regionally accredited university by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels.  Founded in 1977 by Dr. Arthur Keiser and Evelyn Keiser, today Keiser University has 21 Florida campuses which includes our local campus in Clearwater.  Offering over 100 degrees from the doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate levels, classes are delivered on-campus, online and in a hybrid format tailored to accommodate working adults and flexibility in degree completion.  Call 727 576 6500 today or stop by our Clearwater Campus at 16120 US HWY 19N, Clearwater, FL  33764 for more information. 

Career & Vocational Training

PTC has campuses in both Clearwater and St. Petersburg, and offers over 60 career-oriented programs, with a focus on preparing students to successfully enter the local workforce. Along with its degree programs, PTC also has a variety other options, including continuing education, commercial and corporate training courses and certification programs. The Pinellas Refugee Education Program, the Youth Connect Program and dual enrollment programs are also available to provide support and workforce training to specific populations within the community.

NAA provides training courses in the areas of aviation maintenance, and advance aircraft systems. Through a Partnership with Polk College, NAA students can use these courses to pursue an AA or bachelor’s degree from Polk College. NAA has two facilities in the area, with the main campus being in Clearwater, and the hands-on training facility at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE).

Ultimate Medical Academy is an accredited, nonprofit higher education institution that offers hands-on dental assistant with privileges, medical assistant, nursing assistant, patient care technician, and phlebotomy technician diploma and associate degree programs at its Clearwater Campus.

UMA’s Online Campus in Tampa offers health and human services, health information technology, healthcare management, healthcare technology and systems, medical administrative assistant, medical coding and billing, medical information technology, medical office and billing specialist, and pharmacy technician, diploma and associate degree programs.

There’s a high demand for skilled workers in Florida, especially those who receive solid career training. Find vocational and trade schools in Florida that provide programs in healthcare, construction trades, technical and more.

Career Advancement & Distance Learning

Those interested in a business career can find several online degree options and career paths, including several MBA degree opportunities. Researching all options is important, and this section highlights some Florida colleges offering online business-related degrees, as well as some helpful links that provide information to making an informed decision.

This school has several online business degree options, many with a focus on international business. Selections include a corporate MBA and a master in international business.

USFSP offers a variety of individual courses, with several degree options with partial online curriculum, to completely online degrees, including a fully online MBA program.

Students will find a ranking list of schools in Florida and other states that they can choose from based on affordability, overall value, online offerings and other important criteria.

Students interested in pursuing the online MBA will want to see out business schools accredited by the AACSB. This guide offers listings with a breakdown by state and lists several Florida universities and colleges with this important accreditation.

This guide provides a wealth of information for MBA students and those thinking of earning an MBA. This site allows potential student to weigh all their options plus research schools within the provided ranking system, and provides a search tool to check out specific colleges.

This resource is a solid starting point for students interested in a bachelor’s degree in business, and provides a ranking of the best online bachelor’s programs in Florida and across the U.S.

This guide aids potential students in the process of choosing an online college, with several important tips and features, including rankings and comparisons.

Resources for Florida Students

As a professional association made up of regionally accredited colleges and universities in the Tampa Bay area, TBHEA works to promote higher education within the community. TBHEA also provides education resources to local businesses. The idea is that by promoting higher education to its employees, non-profit organizations, businesses and corporations can improve employee moral by helping individuals to achieve career goals while at the same time meeting the needs of these businesses.

This education and career resource provided by the Florida Virtual Campus, which is funded by the Florida State Legislature. Florida Shines works with public schools, colleges and universities and provides educational support and resources for those in the K-20 community.

This partnership between UCF, USFSP and FSCJ was formed to provide access to higher education and careers for those with intellectual disabilities. FCIHE assists students with participation in college life, career development and successful completion of a college degree. In addition to students, families and educators can also find support and resources through FCIHE.

Learn about the rise of not-for-profit higher education opportunities and how seeking out the right accreditation matters when considering what school to attend.

This comprehensive guide provides valuable resources for students of a specific population, including women, LGBTQ, veterans, the homeless and students with disabilities.

College Affordability in Florida

This site provides students with higher education financial aid information, including student loans and lender resources along with information and applications for state-funded scholarships and grants for Florida residents.

All students searching for financial aid to attend college should start here. Federal financial aid, along with many school-offered grants and scholarships, starts with filling out the FAFSA.

Unigo is a free service where students can search a variety of criteria for scholarships. The site offers information on dozens of scholarships for Florida students.

Many students looking for financial aid assistance don't know where to begin. This article lists several financial aid options including Student Loans, Scholarships and Grants and how to apply for them.

This guide has valuable pointers and advice to help students optimize their financial aid options, discusses types of aid available and how to apply and provides a search tool to compare tuition costs for specific colleges.

Financing a degree can be hard, but with good resources and diligent research, there are a lot of ways to make it easier. This website provides helpful information on ways to obtain scholarships for MBA students.

This article will help guide you through the process of paying for an MBA degree from the time you need to be applying for Financial Aid, to managing your personal spending habits.

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