About Miami Dade College
Today, more than 174,000 students attend Miami Dade College, a state-supported college with eight campuses and numerous outreach centers. We are the largest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the most highly regarded colleges in the nation.
Each of our campuses has its own distinct identity and specialties. But, they also offer a broad base of general education courses, allowing you to take first-year classes at any of our campuses (except the Medical Campus). That means you get to decide what campus you want to attend. Take all of your first-year classes at one campus, or follow the path of some of our working students and take morning classes near your home and evening and weekend classes near your place of work. As you begin to take more advanced courses, you may need to focus your studies at a specific campus where your program is offered.
To find out more about what each campus has to offer, visit our Campus listing page.
A Rich History of Educational Innovation
Miami Dade was created with the idea that anyone with a desire to get a college degree should be given that opportunity. Miami Dade first opened its doors in the 1960s, amidst the strain of desegregation and the influx of thousands of Cuban refugees. Initially, 1,428 students entered “Chicken Coop College,” nicknamed for the original buildings that were transformed into classrooms. Dade County Junior College, as it was known back then, was open to any county resident who had graduated from high school. When it opened, the College became Florida’s first integrated junior college. By the mid-1960s, enrollment had grown to more than 15,000 students. By 1967, the College was the largest institution of higher education in the state of Florida.
During the next decade, Miami Dade further increased its expectation of students, setting a new standard for community colleges throughout the nation. It was during this time that K. Patricia Cross, visiting professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, called Miami Dade, “the most exciting institution of higher education in the country.” Almost 66 percent of students were minorities and 56 percent were women. Part-time students were common. In 1984, Miami Dade started Books by the Bay, which evolved into the Miami Book Fair International.
The next two decades were marked by comprehensive reforms of academic programs, as well as the creation of more than 50 new degree and short-term certificate training programs. Miami Dade also introduced multimedia classrooms and the Virtual College, followed by the prestigious Honors College and the Emerging Technologies Center of the America’s (ETCOTA), as well as took on management of the reinvigorated Miami International Film Festival. In 2003, Miami Dade also introduced four-year degrees and changed its name to Miami Dade College.