Graduate Schools in Jacksonville, Florida

If you always wanted to live in Florida, you might consider all that Jacksonville could provide. Proximity to the ocean, the river, great sports and a thriving economy, Jacksonvillians, or Jaxons, proudly changed their motto from The Bold New City of the South to Where Florida Begins.i

Popular Graduate Programs in Jacksonville, Florida

There is a wide variety of graduate programs near Jacksonville, Florida. Whether you are a local or at the point where you want a change of scenery, explore several options from partner schools below. Then, make sure to do your own search – there are both online and on-campus formats in an array of disciplines. View some of our sponsored schools below to help you get started.

written by Rana Waxman

Why Attend Graduate School in Jacksonville?

Graduate Schools in Jacksonville, Florida situate students on the St. Johns River just south of Georgia and north of Miami. Jacksonville itself is the most populous city in the state of Florida as well as the largest city by area in the U.S.

In fact, the city of Jacksonville saw a population increase of over 13,000 between 2015 and 2016 which brings total head count above 880,000.ii

Its climbing population, mild climate and convenient location in Northeast Florida are only a few of Jacksonville’s charms.ii Jacksonville has both a historical and contemporary side to its personality, and certainly, many stories to tell.

Jacksonville’s Rich History

First inhabitants to the area were native Americans, followed by the discovery of Northeast Florida by Ponce de Leon in 1513. Spanish control of the colony yielded to the English, and it was only in 1832 that Jacksonville got its first charter. Florida itself became a U.S. territory in 1821.

Of course, the story doesn’t end there, or with the Great Fire of 1901 which devastated the area. In fact, Jacksonville got back on its feet and as a virtually blank slate, began to rebuild into the strong port it is today.

Jacksonville Today

Modern Jacksonville boasts the third largest military presence in the United States.iii Aside from its strong naval presence, Jacksonville is a hub for transportation and distribution. Other significant contributors to the local economy include banking, insurance, healthcare and logistics.

Wondering about potential internships and opportunity? Jacksonville is also home to many prominent corporations who take advantage of land availability. In 2017, for instance, Amazon, Mercedes-Benz USA and KLS Martin were among the 10 new company locations announced in addition to the seven local businesses expansions such as Ernst & Young, Kraft Foods – Maxwell House and BMW of North America.iv


The ‘Metro’ in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) was a small studio that began alongside the St. Johns River, where Metropolitan Park now sits.v

What Is it Like to Live in Jacksonville?

Culturally and aesthetically diverse, Jacksonville is linked by seven bridges. Residents in the downtown core easily access the nearby beaches, and the metro area is large enough to provide lots to see and do.

While it is a car-dependent city, and folks report an average of 24.2 minutes commute, you could also get from one side to the other via Or take the Jacksonville Skyway, an automated people mover.

It connects Florida State College at Jacksonville (downtown campus), the Northbank central business district, Convention Center and Southbank locations.

Explore the Neighborhoods of Jacksonville

Jacksonville has over 500 neighborhoods that are divided into six districts: (1) Urban Core, (2) greater Arlington/Beaches, (3) Southeast, (4) Southwest, (5) Northwest, (6) North. Read about several neighborhoods in Jacksonville below to get a sense of a possible future community.vii


On the Northside, residential development has taken over what was once industrial. Close to the airport, Jacksonville Zoo and Huguenot Park, this area is also convenient to downtown and still the most rural section of Jacksonville. Your neighbors might include retirees, families with children, and first-time home buyers.


Riverside: Often a chosen location for young professionals who work downtown, doctors and nurses who work at St. Vincent, Riverside Ave is a beautiful, oak-shaded street. Here you could find homes from the early 1900s, bungalows, brownstones and Mediterranean-revival gems. It is also a short commute to downtown and the St. Johns River, trendy restaurants, clubs and funky shops.

Southside: Families with young children, young professionals who want to buy their first condo or home have helped this area’s growth spurt. A low crime rate, good schools, access to Interstate 95 and an extensive network of parks and recreation areas are pluses.

San Marco: South of downtown and north of Mandarin, San Marco Square is an artsy shopping, dining and entertainment district. It was actually built in the 1920s to resemble the Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy. Now you could find historic estates mixed with trendy bistros, single professionals, young married couples, an LGTBQ community, creative types and artists.


The Beaches – Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach areas are some of the priciest neighborhoods in the Jax. Outdoor life, as one could imagine, is huge here. The locals spend their weekends biking, surfing, running or rollerblading.


On the Westside, an area such as Orange Park tends to appeal to navy families, horseback riders and anyone who wants a fair bit of land and a 45-minute commute to downtown or the Southside.

The Food Scene in Jacksonville

What’s good to eat in J-ville? With a nickname like “River City by the Sea,” this is the place to experience fresh-off-the-boat seafood. There are a number of fish camps where diners enjoy seafood so fresh you actually see the fishermen bring it into the restaurant.

Here you could also find authentic Southern comfort food with a Jax twist. These from the new wave of chefs that have reinvented the region’s dishes.

You may want to head to King Street in the historic Riverside Beer & Food District for the gastro pubs where you could taste yummy American classics. Food Trucks are also an emerging trend and great way to find fresh and creative eats. There are over 90 licensed Food Trucks to look for.

Be Active in Jax

First off, Jacksonville likes its sports. As a past host of the Super Bowl, Jaxons enjoy pro football, College football (Gator Bowl) as much as they do pro golf. Home to over 50 golf courses and every level of game, taking a swing is only one of the ways to stay fit in Jax.

Parks: What you may not know is that Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States with over 80,000 acres of green space.viii In case this conjures up images of swing sets, grown-ups could find plenty of ways to stay in shape and outdoors.

For instance, there’s a great boardwalk in Hanna Park and about 15 miles of bicycle paths. Other areas might invite hiking, biking, running, jogging, power walking, yoga in the park, swimming, kayaking, and many other exciting exercises.

Beaches: Pair your academic experience at one of the universities in Jacksonville with time off at a local beach. There are about 20 miles of gorgeous white sand beaches just minutes from downtown. Main beaches include Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach.

Studio Life: If an outdoor jog isn’t your ideal workout, Jacksonville sports a wide variety of yoga studios, Pilates studios, Pure Barre studios, 24-hour gyms, CrossFit gyms, running groups, dance studios, boot camps, and even a trampoline-based exercise gym.

Things to Do in J-Ville

There are 840 square miles to get to know in Jax whether you love nature, nightlife or culture. Here are 10 things you may want to do apart from research and intense study.

  1. Take a tour of Budweiser brewery. Get a brewery passport to take in the thriving craft brewery scene
  2. Get to the waterfront complex at Jacksonville Landing, especially for the 4th of July
  3. Catch the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. It is usually around Memorial Day
  4. Support local artists at The Art Walk, a monthly outdoor art festival on the first Wednesday of each month
  5. Find your happy place at a hot spot whether it’s a beachy brewery, live music venue, swanky lounge or late-night munchies
  6. Catch a performance at the historic Florida Theatre – (Elvis performed one of his first indoor concerts there). Today, tunes span country, rock and classical music favorites to dance and more
  7. Laugh it up at a comedy Improv
  8. Take a selfie at Friendship Fountain, which opened in 1965 as the world’s largest and tallest fountain
  9. Shop at an open-air mall
  10. Catch a flick at the historic Sun-Ray Cinema at Five Points Theater

Graduate Schools in Jacksonville, Florida

Explore the Graduate Schools in Jacksonville, FLA such as partner school, Nova Southeastern University (NSU). NSU’s Jacksonville campus is located off I-95 and Bowden Road in Southpoint.

Criminal Justice Graduate Programs in Jacksonville

Earn a Masters or PhD in Criminal Justice at one of the Graduate Schools in Jacksonville. NSU was ranked No. 26 by U.S. News and World Report for its online criminal justice graduate programs.ix Lectures are recorded and archived on a web platform so students could access the class material at their convenience.

MS in Criminal Justice: A 30 credit program, students take a core of 5 courses (15 credits) along with one elective (3 credits) and four courses (12 credits) in their chosen emphasis. With a dozen concentrations, students might develop in-depth knowledge and skills in some of these areas.

  • Behavioral Science
  • Business Administration
  • Child Protection and Juvenile Justice
  • Emergency Preparedness Leadership

Core courses could provide an overview of criminal justice legal issues and systems. Students might also review some of the main influences related to criminal justice policy development. A course in research and methodology could introduce students to statistical analysis and the use of current technology. Felony cases could be used to show examples of criminal principles and investigative processes.

PhD in Criminal Justice: As a terminal research degree, a PhD in Criminal Justice might prepare one to examine, analyze and propose solutions to crime and problems in the Criminal Justice system.

In NSU’s 60 credit program, online PhD students could develop both breadth and depth of knowledge. The core curriculum is comprised of eleven courses (33 credits). The concentrations are comprised of five courses (15 credits) and 12 Credits of dissertation work.

Core courses cover topics such as criminal law and theories of crime causation. Other courses may discuss current issues in law enforcement through the lens of social psychology. Courses in statistics, research methods and data analysis may round out the compulsory core. Students could also choose one of the focus areas below to study more deeply.

  • Organizational Leadership
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Juvenile Justice

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Programs in J-Ville

Continue to grow professionally as you strive to earn a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling degree in Jacksonville. Masters level instruction could take the shape of interdisciplinary collaboration, prevention of dysfunction, and direct service.

The MS in mental health counseling degree program at NSU requires 60 semester hours of graduate credit. This includes 9 semester hours of counseling practicum/internship and completion of a comprehensive examination. Classes are usually scheduled on weekends, about once per month. Practicum/Internship is scheduled over 3 continuous semesters (schedule varies).

MS students could study a broad range of issues such as substance abuse, family violence, divorce, aging, and general emotional problems. Core courses might cover human sexuality, human growth, ethics, counseling theories and practices in the field of mental health. Other courses could draw from the examples below.

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Adult Psychopathology
  • Psychological Testing
  • Group Theory
  • Couples and Family Counseling

Compare with a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy degree. A DMFT is a practitioner-oriented terminal degree. Students who pursue their DMFT degree in Jacksonville at NSU typically build off masters knowledge and work to define their clinical skills.

Choose a Graduate School in Jacksonville

Easily compare other graduate programs in Jacksonville with the help of some filters. Choose your degree level (masters, doctorate, certificate), program format (online, campus) and subject. Then, take the next step and select the graduate schools in Jacksonville Florida you want to apply to. Use the on-page form to get started.

[i],_Florida | [ii] | [iii] | [iv] org/news/economic-development-flourishes-in-northeast-florida/ | [v] | [vi],US/PST045216 | [vii] |[viii] | [ix]

  • Wake Forest University

  • The University of Arizona Global Campus

  • Western Governors University

  • California State University, Northridge

  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

  • Trinity Law School

  • Jacksonville University

  • University of North Florida

  • Florida Coastal School Of Law

  • Logos Christian College And Graduate Schools

  • Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

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