The 6 Largest Universities in the U.S.


Mar 13, 2023

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The United States has 4,313 high education institutions, from two-year to four-year colleges to vocational schools. Among these, the largest universities in the U.S. offer students ample learning opportunities and resources to enable their academic achievements. 

Of course, attending a large university may not be for everyone — some might prefer a smaller learning environment that boasts community. Regardless, thousands of students flock to the biggest schools each year. 

What’s Considered a Large University?

According to CollegeBoard, any school with over 15,000 students is considered large — smaller schools have less than 5,000 students. Some of the advantages of attending the largest universities in the U.S. include the following:

  • An abundance of majors and courses to choose from
  • An expansive library or multiple libraries
  • Several housing options
  • Renowned faculty
  • State-of-the-art research facilities
  • Reputable sports programs
  • Hundreds of clubs and activities

Of course, bigger schools lack the intimate, hands-on learning small colleges can provide. Students may also feel overwhelmed at a larger university as they adjust to their new living environment and schedules.

6 of the Largest Universities in the U.S.

Interested in attending one of the largest universities in the U.S.? These six schools have the highest student enrollment among all U.S. schools.

1. Texas A&M University

Total Enrollment: 74,829

Texas A&M University ranks number one for having the greatest student population — over 74,000 enrollees — in the U.S. Of that, 58,269 are undergraduate students majoring in over 140 different degree programs. 

Texas A&M also offers over 270 graduate programs to its graduate and professional students. Most students at Texas A&M pursue multidisciplinary studies, biomedical sciences, or psychology.

2. University of Central Florida

Total Enrollment: 68,442

Located in the vibrant city of Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida (UCF) is home to over 68,000 students. UCF offers 104 bachelor’s and 97 master’s programs, conferring 18,582 degrees in 2022.

Perhaps most impressive, UCF set a new diversity record in the Fall 2022 semester. Nearly 49.1% of students are minorities, while 28.2% are Hispanic.

3. Ohio State University

Total Enrollment: 65,795

Ohio State University enrolls over 65,000 students but is also making strides in boosting diversity. Per Ohio State’s 2022 Enrollment Report, there were 17,067 minority students across all campuses — a record high for the institution. 

Because the school is so large, it has 10 libraries on the main campus and several specialty collections for students to access. Each satellite campus also has its own libraries. University libraries are essential for students to find print copies and digital resources to excel at their studies.

4. University of Florida

Total Enrollment: 61,112

Who can resist year-round sunshine and warm weather? Florida is one of the most desirable states for college students — which could be why it has three of the six largest universities in the U.S. Not only does the University of Florida (UF) enroll over 61,000 students, but 82.73% were enrolled full-time in 2021.

UF is often a first-choice school for students pursuing engineering, biomedical sciences or business degrees.

5. Florida International University

Total Enrollment: 56,732

Florida International University (FIU) is home to a remarkable student body of over 56,000 undergraduates and graduates. Located in the heart of Miami, the university’s demographics are as diverse as they are talented, with over 270,000 alumni making waves in their respective fields.

For example, John McKibbon graduated in 1975 and became the CEO of McKibbon Brothers, Inc. Since starting the business, McKibbon opened 85 hotels under five global brands across 31 cities. Meanwhile, Adam Stewart graduated from FIU in 2003, eventually becoming the CEO of Sandals Resorts International, with 24 locations across seven countries.

6. University Of Illinois Urbana–Champaign

Total Enrollment: 52,679

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) had 52,679 enrolled students, with an impressive 94% retention rate for full-time undergraduates in 2020. The most popular majors at the school include economics, psychology, accounting, and computer engineering.

UIUC’s student body also comes from all 50 states and 126 countries, ranking the school as the most diverse university in the midwest with over 19,000 minorities.

Is Attending a Large University Right for You?

There are advantages to attending one of the largest universities in the U.S. Students who opt for a big school often have access to more programs, resources, and opportunities. However, keep your options open — small colleges offer plenty with regard to more intimate classroom settings and a stronger sense of community.

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