Of the nine colleges or universities in St. Petersburg, the most established or well-known include the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg College and Eckard College. The city's Web page promotes these colleges as a benefit to the community.
The University of South Florida in downtown St. Petersburg is the 13th largest university in the United States. USF has a nationally ranked sports program and a beautiful location on the Bayboro Harbor, just a short walk from downtown. This public institution has been named as a Level I research university and boasts the Knight Oceanographic Research Center amongst its numerous facilities.
St. Petersburg College is now a four-year college, a shift from its former position as Florida's oldest two-year program. The college claims to be number one in online education and ranks at number six for the number of associate degrees it grants. The college also features a corporate training center to link employers and students.
Eckard College is the only private liberal arts college in Florida. The college offers an intimate experience with only 1,500 students, but prides itself on being named one of the five most innovative colleges in the nation. Eckard promotes its small class sizes, a focus on community service and the Program for Experienced Learners, which allows working professionals to maintain their jobs while receiving an education.