You don't have to venture far from home to find outstanding higher education in Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa County.
Getting students ready for the high-demand professions of tomorrow is what the eight college and university campuses in Okaloosa County are all about. If you’re thinking about moving to Fort Walton Beach and its surrounding communities, it’s time to study up on your options.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Headquartered in Daytona Beach, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has an Okaloosa County campus at Eglin Air Force Base to provide students with education and training for careers in aviation and aerospace. Embry-Riddle offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and it also has undergraduate certifications in subjects such as aviation maintenance technology.
Florida A&M University – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Crestview is home to the FAMU College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the local campus celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2023. Florida A&M has the only pharmacy program in the nation fully accredited by the National Institutes of Health.
Northwest Florida State College Aviation Center of Excellence
Opening in Crestview in 2021, the Aviation Center for Excellence is a Federal Aviation Administration-certified program to prepare students for careers in the aerospace industry. Classes take place at HSU Innovation Institute North, and there are programs such as professional pilot technology, airframe and powerplant, and unmanned vehicle systems operations.
Okaloosa Technical College
Fort Walton Beach is home to Okaloosa Technical College, which prepares students for success in high-tech, high-paying careers. Several programs have achieved national industry certification, and classes are offered in air conditioning, automotive service technology, carpentry, cosmetology, culinary arts, electrician, practical nursing, solar technology, welding technology and more.
Northwest Florida State College
There are six campuses under the Northwest Florida State College umbrella. The Fort Walton Beach site offers certificate and associate degree programs in a variety of technical fields, including aerospace, electronics, manufacturing, metal fabrication, welding, 3D printing and other related industries.
Troy University – Fort Walton Beach
Alabama-based Troy University has a Fort Walton Beach campus located on Beal Parkway, and the university’s slogan is “Everyone Dreams, We Make It Real.” Students at the Fort Walton Beach site can choose from in-class instruction as well as online classes, and the wide variety of course offerings ranges from American Sign Language and environmental science to criminology forensics and computer science.
University of Florida – Research and Engineering Education Facility
Located in Shalimar, UF-REEF is adjacent to Eglin Air Force Base and works closely with the Air Force Research Lab for the advancement of war fighter and advanced weapon systems technology. UF-REEF offers engineering programs in aerospace, electrical and computing, industrial and systems, and mechanical.
University of West Florida Emerald Coast
The Fort Walton Beach campus allows students to earn associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in arts & sciences, business and professional studies programs. UWF Emerald Coast offers 11 undergraduate programs in accounting, communication, computer engineering, computer science, criminal justice, electrical engineering, general business, global hospitality & tourism management, interdisciplinary social sciences, management and mechanical engineering.
Get to Know Okaloosa County
Want to learn more about living and working in Greater Fort Walton Beach, FL? Check out the latest edition of Livability Okaloosa County, Florida.