If you are looking for the best small colleges in Florida, this guide unveils a tapestry of unique institutions offering personalized education and vibrant experiences.

From the historic charm of St. Augustine’s Flagler College to the coastal beauty of Palm Beach Atlantic University, each school brings a distinctive flavor to the Sunshine State’s academic landscape.

Dive into the intimate communities of Saint Leo University and Florida State College at Jacksonville, where personal attention and practical skills merge.

Whether you seek a Christian-centered education, a liberal arts exploration, or flexible learning options, discover the enriching opportunities these small colleges offer in the heart of Florida’s diverse landscapes.

But just in case you did not find the college of your preference here in Florida, feel free to check out other small schools by exploring our archive of the best small colleges in other states of the US.

What is the #1 college in Florida?

The University of Florida is Florida’s flagship public university and tops the rankings for the best college in the state.

The University of Florida boasts a 96.7% retention rate.UF enrolls nearly 56,000 students and awards close to 16,000 degrees each year from its sprawling, historic campus in Gainesville.

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What are the best small colleges in Florida?

Without further ado, we lead you to the top colleges with small class sizes and student populations in Florida. Our job here at Ziiky is to make school searching easy and seamless for you.

Now here are the top 10 small colleges in Florida:

1. Nova Southeastern University

  • Phone: +1 800-541-6682
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 6,578 (2020–21)
  • Address: 3300 S University Dr, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328

Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale excels in its commitment to cutting-edge research and diverse academic programs.

With a dynamic atmosphere that encourages experiential learning, NSU is an excellent choice for students seeking a forward-thinking education in the heart of South Florida.

Nova Southeastern University offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs for students looking to gain a competitive edge in their field.

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2. Florida Institute of Technology

  • Phone: +1 321-674-8000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,219 (2020–21)
  • Address: 150 W University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901

Florida Institute of Technology is a tier 1 ranked private university located in Melbourne This college is a good option for science-related students, as it stands out for its strong focus on STEM education.

With a beautiful campus and faculty dedicated to student success, the university is an ideal destination for those passionate about science, engineering, aeronautics, business, the humanities, psychology, communication, and technology.


3. University of West Florida

  • Phone: +1 850-474-2000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 8,881 (2020–21)
  • Address: 11000 University Pkwy., Pensacola, FL 32514

The University of West Florida in Pensacola offers a personalized approach to education with small class sizes and a commitment to student success.

Its focus on engaged learning and community impact makes UWF a standout choice for those seeking a well-rounded education on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

UWF offers more than 110 undergraduate and graduate programs to choose from, which makes it a viable option for students looking for a variety of options.


4. Florida Southern College

  • Phone: +1 863-680-4111
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,741 (2020–21)
  • Address: 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, FL 33801

In Lakeland, Florida, Southern College is renowned for its stunning Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and strong liberal arts foundation.

Florida Southern College is a private college and the oldest four-year private college in the state of Florida.

The college’s commitment to experiential learning and leadership development, combined with a vibrant campus life, makes it an attractive option for students seeking a holistic and aesthetically inspiring education.


5. New College of Florida

  • Phone: +1 941-487-5000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 632 (2020–21)
  • Address: 5800 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, FL 34243

Located in Sarasota, the New College of Florida, a public liberal college, is recognized for its student-driven, interdisciplinary education.

With a rigorous honors curriculum and a focus on independent research, the college cultivates critical thinkers and innovators in a setting that encourages intellectual exploration.

The New College of Florida focuses on educating free thinkers, risk-takers, and trailblazers in public arts and science education courses.


6. Rollins College

  • Phone: +1 407-646-2000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,501 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789

Rollins College in Winter Park offers a picturesque campus and a liberal arts education with a global perspective.

The college’s small class sizes, commitment to experiential learning, and emphasis on community engagement create a transformative educational experience for students in Central Florida.

Rollins is one of only a few U.S. colleges that offers need-based aid to international applicants. So if you are looking for a small college with a need-based scholarship, Rollins College should be your best bet.


7. Stetson University

  • Phone: +1 386-822-7000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,826 (2020–21)
  • Address: 421 N Woodland Blvd., DeLand, FL 32723

Stetson University is a nationally ranked private university founded in 1883, with four colleges and schools located across central Florida.

Stetson University in DeLand is known for its strong business and law programs, coupled with a foundation in liberal arts.

The university’s commitment to ethical leadership and community service, combined with a vibrant campus atmosphere, makes it an excellent choice for students seeking a comprehensive and socially conscious education.


8. Eckerd College

  • Phone: +1 800-456-9009
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,026 (2020–21)
  • Address: 4200 54th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33711
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Eckerd is a private liberal arts college in St. Petersburg, Florida. Eckerd is one of 40 schools featured in Colleges That Change Lives and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

The college stands out for its emphasis on environmental studies, physiology, biology, marine science, and international education.

With a waterfront campus and a commitment to experiential learning, Eckerd provides students with unique opportunities for hands-on exploration in a supportive and globally-minded community.


9. Florida College

  • Phone: +1 813-988-5131
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 528 (2020–21)
  • Address: 119 N Glen Arven Ave., Temple Terrace, FL 33617

Temple Terrace, Florida College offers a distinctive Christian faith-based education with a focus on liberal arts.

Emphasizing a nurturing community and spiritual growth, the college provides students with a values-based foundation, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an education that integrates faith and academics.

Florida College has a variety of bachelor’s degree options taught by faculty of various backgrounds. Graduates can be sure that they will get a fine blend of education and Christian learning.


10. Florida Gulf Coast University

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,741 (2020–21)

Florida Gulf Coast University is a public university in Lee County, where learning meets innovation and endless possibilities.

The college is a dynamic hub of academic excellence known for its commitment to sustainability and hands-on learning experiences.

With a scenic campus and a focus on environmental consciousness, FGCU offers students a unique blend of academic excellence and opportunities for real-world impact, positioning itself as an attractive choice for those passionate about sustainability and the natural sciences.


11.  Jacksonville University

  • Phone: +1 904-256-8000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,627 (2020–21)
  • Address: 2800 University Blvd N, Jacksonville, FL 32211

Jacksonville University is a private, liberal arts university located in the vibrant city of Jacksonville that offers a comprehensive education with a focus on professional preparation.

With strong programs in business, marine science, and health sciences, the university provides students with the tools they need to excel in their chosen industries.

The campus’s dynamic urban setting and emphasis on experiential learning make Jacksonville University an exciting choice for those looking to thrive in the heart of Northeast Florida.


12. Flagler College

  • Phone: +1 800-304-4208
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,631 (2020–21)
  • Address: 74 King St, St. Augustine, FL 32084

In historic St. Augustine, Flagler College stands out for its picturesque campus and commitment to a personalized liberal arts education.

Flagler is a private liberal arts college with a faculty dedicated to mentorship and a vibrant student community.

The college provides an intimate setting for students to explore diverse academic interests while enjoying the rich cultural heritage of the nation’s oldest city.


13. Saint Leo University

  • Phone: +1 352-588-8200
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 6,456 (2020–21)
  • Address: 33701 County Road 52, St Leo, FL 33574

Saint Leo University, located near Tampa, is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts university in St. Leo, Florida. The school offers a unique blend of private university education with the personal attention of a small college.

Known for its strong online programs and a welcoming campus community, Saint Leo provides students with flexible learning options and a supportive environment.

This makes the college an ideal choice for those seeking a well-rounded education with a focus on individual growth.

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14. Florida State College At Jacksonville

  • Phone: +1 352-588-8200
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 6,456 (2020–21)
  • Address: 33701 County Road 52, St Leo, FL 33574

FSCJ ranks among the top colleges and universities in Florida and provides affordable, high-quality education that meets the demands of a modern workforce.

The college is a dynamic institution with a commitment to accessible education and diverse programs.

With a focus on practical skills and community engagement, the college provides students with affordable pathways to success in various fields, making it an excellent option for those looking for a comprehensive education in the vibrant city of Jacksonville.


15. Palm Beach Atlantic University

  • Phone: +1 561-803-2000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,274 (2020–21)
  • Address: 901 S Flagler Dr, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Palm Beach Atlantic University is a private Christian university in West Palm Beach, Florida, where you can uncover your passion and flourish in a Christian community.

PBAU stands out for its Christian-centered education and vibrant coastal campus. With a strong emphasis on faith integration and a diverse range of programs, the university offers students a holistic educational experience.

The campus’s tropical surroundings and commitment to service-oriented learning make Palm Beach Atlantic University an attractive choice for those seeking a values-driven education in South Florida.

Keep in mind that the university has nine colleges, all of which focus on the liberal arts with a select collection of professional studies.


FAQS on the best small colleges in Florida

What distinguishes the best small colleges in Florida from larger institutions in the state?

The best small colleges in Florida offer a more intimate learning environment, with smaller class sizes that promote close student-faculty relationships.

Additionally, these institutions often prioritize personalized attention, a strong sense of community, and unique programs, setting them apart from larger universities.

How were the featured small colleges selected?

The selection process involved evaluating factors such as academic reputation, program offerings, campus culture, and student feedback. The information presented is based on available data and reputable sources.

However, prospective students are encouraged to visit the official websites of the colleges for the most up-to-date and accurate details.

How can prospective students determine which small college is the right fit for their academic and personal goals?

Exploring factors like program offerings, campus environment, and special features will help prospective students align their preferences with the characteristics of each small college in Florida, facilitating an informed decision-making process.

Prospective students can determine the right small college fit by

  • Thoroughly researching each institution’s academic programs and campus culture.
  • Considering the presence of extracurricular offerings that align with their academic goals and personal preferences,
  • Additionally, visit campuses or attend virtual information sessions.
  • Connecting with current students can provide valuable insights into the overall atmosphere and community



Grace Iroh
Grace Iroh
Articles: 162

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