Colleges and Universities

Higher education

Higher education is a time to challenge and an opportunity to create, innovate and explore. Okaloosa County’s higher educational partners all subscribe to these tenets while proudly offering programs closely aligned with the high demand professions of tomorrow.




Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle.jpgEmbry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide is the world’s pre-eminent university for aviation and aerospace education. In addition to online classes, the university has several satellite campuses in Okaloosa County. These campuses offer associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, as well as undergraduate certifications such as Aviation Maintenance Technology Part 65. 

Florida A&M University - College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences

FAMU-Crestview.jpg In 2012, Florida A&M University established the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Crestview, Florida. The Crestview Instructional Center has students from P1 through P4 years. Students in Crestview are linked via synchronous distance-learning technology and receive didactic instruction simultaneously with Tallahassee students in real time. Although students enrolled in Crestview do not attend classes in Tallahassee, they still have the benefits of tutoring, advising, and other amenities afforded by a student who attends the main campus.

Northwest Florida State College

Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) is a public institution and serves approximately 17,000 students annually at six full-time campuses. Bachelor's programs currently include a B.A.S. degree program in Project and Acquisitions Management. Northwest Florida State College has programs to prepare students for employment or provide additional training for persons previously or currently employed in the manufacturing, electronics, aerospace, or other related industries. NWFSC can provide customized training for businesses and industry. The college launched its Applied Welding Technologies program during fall semester 2013 to meet the demand for high-skill, high-wage jobs in Northwest Florida. Welding students have the opportunity to earn nationally recognized NCCER certification. Other nationally recognized certifications during the six-course program include Shielded Metal Arc Welder, Gas Metal Arc (MIG) Welder, Flux Core Arc Welder, Gas Tungsten Arc (TIG) Welder and Pipe Welder. Each certificate level provides proof of skill level in various forms of welding, cutting, base metal preparation, welding inspection, safety and metallurgy. In addition to a certificate, the Applied Welding Technologies program also provides a pathway to an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Engineering Technology. The Engineering Technology AS degree at Northwest Florida College offers a planned sequence of instruction tailored specifically for four specializations:  Mechanical Design and Fabrication, Digital Design and Modeling Advanced Technology, and Digital Manufacturing. NWFSC College’s ET Degree supports a broad range of high tech manufacturing and high tech industry sectors including aviation and aerospace, electronics, metal fabrication, automated production and precision machinery. Additional programs at NWFSC include CAD, graphics, 3-D printing, machining, and electronics. In 2016, NWFSC was named one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges by the Aspen Institute.

Northwest Florida State College Aviation Center of Excellence (ACE)

ACE-Northside-D-Straight-On-View.jpgNorthwest Florida State College’s 27,000 SF state-of-the-art Aviation Center of Excellence (ACE) opened in September 2021 at the HSU Innovation Institute North in Crestview. The beneficiary of a $7.2 million grant from Triumph Gulf Coast, this FAA certified program is poised to set students up for success in the aerospace industry, with programs offered in Professional Pilot Technology, Airframe and Powerplant as well as Unmanned Vehicle Systems Operations. Over the next 10 years, the program anticipates at least 307 students will earn 1,255 FAA industry-recognized certificates, with 184 to be certified in airframe and powerplant mechanics and 123 to gain professional pilot certificates, providing an expanded talent pool that will bolster Northwest Florida’s economy. 

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Okaloosa Technical College

OTC.jpgOkaloosa Technical College offers quality high school and adult education programs featuring state-of-the-art training facilities and professional, industry-experienced instructors. Programs provide nationally recognized industry certifications.

Classes are offered in: Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Technology; Automotive Service Technology; Carpentry; Cosmetology; Commercial Foods & Culinary Arts; Electrician; Practical Nursing; Marine Service Technology; Medical Administration Specialist; Solar Technology; Welding Technology

University of Florida-Research Engineering & Education Facility (REEF)

UF-REEF.jpgThe UF-REEF offers Masters and Doctorate degree programs and courses in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Industrial and Systems Engineering. The REEF is located adjacent to the Eglin Air Force Base in Shalimar and maintains a close working partnership with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), providing the warfighter with leading edge research in the areas of advanced weapons systems technology and autonomous / unmanned systems, among others. 

University of West Florida

UWF-Emerald-Coast.png The University of West Florida’s (UWF) Fort Walton Beach Campus serves the changing needs of the non-traditional, employed and military personnel student population and focuses on demand-driven higher education programs that meet the needs of both students and the local community. The UWF campus in Fort Walton Beach facilitates many advanced learning classes to provide bachelor and graduate programs.

UWF's Emerald Coast Campus also houses state-of-the-art labs very similar to those located in Pensacola. With several full-time faculty based on the campus and high-tech, synchronous, fully interactive distance learning teaching labs, Computer, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering programs can be completed.  The university serves approximately 11,630 students offering degrees such as an Associate of Arts, Bachelor’s Master’s, Education Specialists, and Doctoral degrees through its Arts & Sciences, Business and Professional Studies programs. The FWB Campus features a 3D printing makerspace area to design and print 3D objects. This resource can be utilized by the public to create prototypes and physical models.

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