Eight colleges and universities have campuses in the Providence/Warwick area, making an indelible impact on the region's intellectual, cultural and social life. 

Brown University is a leading Ivy League institution with a distinctive undergraduate academic program, a world-class faculty, outstanding graduate and medical students, and a tradition of innovative and rigorous multidisciplinary study.  A commitment to diversity and intellectual freedom has remained a hallmark of the University since its establishment.  Founded in 1764 in Warren, RI, Brown moved to Providence's East Side in 1770 and has been a dynamic force in the community ever since.  Notable alumni include John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Actress Laura Linney.

From its modest beginning with 325 students in 1964, the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) has grown to its present enrollment of more than 16,000 students.  CCRI provides academic transfer programs, career-oriented training and student support services to a diverse population of students at campuses across Rhode Island, including one in Providence and one in Warwick.

Johnson & Wales University (J&W) offers its students a unique blend of hands-on experience and classic academic instruction.  The University has two campuses in Providence. The Downcity Campus, in the heart of the downtown area, houses The Hospitality College and the College of Business, while the Harborside Campus, on the edge of the city, is home to the College of Culinary Arts.   J&W was founded in 1914 by two women - Gertrude Johnson and Mary Wales - and continues to leave its mark on the city, most notably through its impact on the critically acclaimed restaurant scene.  Notable alumni include Celebrity Chefs Emeril Lagasse and Tyler Florence.

Providence College (PC) is a primarily undergraduate, liberal arts, Catholic institution of higher education. Committed to fostering academic excellence through the sciences and humanities, the College provides a variety of opportunities for intellectual, social, moral and spiritual growth in a supportive environment.  Nationally recognized for its academic programs, PC is also known for its Division I sports program which has included several nationally ranked men's and women's basketball teams.  Founded in 1917, PC makes its home in the city's North End.  Notable alumni include NBA Hall of Fame Player and Coach Lenny Wilkins and NBC News Correspondent Mike Leonard.

Part of Providence's Mount Pleasant neighborhood, Rhode Island College (RIC) is a public institution of higher education whose primary mission is to offer a quality, affordable education to all Rhode Islanders. Founded in 1854, RIC offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences and in a variety of professional fields. It also has a range of selected graduate programs in the arts and sciences, and in areas of social, public, and community service.  Its performing arts program is highly regarded and draws large audiences to its theater productions. 

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is one of the country's leading visual arts, design, architecture and art education institutions.  Founded in 1877, RISD infuses Providence's College Hill neighborhood with vibrancy and color.  It is an eclectic community of artists and designers that includes 2,200 students from around the world, approximately 350 faculty and curators, and 400 staff members.  Notable alumni include film director Gus Van Sant and "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane.

While its main campus is in the seaside community of Bristol, RI, Roger Williams University (RWU)maintains a strong presence in Providence, with a satellite campus in the downtown area.  One of the fastest growing liberal arts universities in the country, RWU offers undergraduate and graduate programs and is home to Rhode Island's only law school.  Founded in 1956, the University is perhaps best know for its stellar architecture and art preservation programs.

The University of Rhode Island's (URI) flagship campus is located in Kingston, RI but has a satellite campus in Providence's downtown.  URI offers degree programs at the bachelor's master's and doctoral level and is a highly regarded research institution.  It was founded in 1888 as the state's agricultural school and has developed into a world-class institution with many stellar programs, including the College of Pharmacy and the Graduate School of Oceanography.  Notable alumni include CNN International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour and Titanic Discoverer Robert Ballard.