Higher Education Institutions

Mesa is home to more than 10 colleges and universities with more than 40,000 students currently enrolled in higher education.



ASU Polytechnic (ASU Poly) campus is located on 600 acres adjacent to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The Mesa campus is home to more than 80 undergraduate degrees and 20 graduate degrees, as well as thousands of students.

ASU Poly is recognized for innovative partnerships and creative collaborations with industry and other educational institutions. Assets include state-of-the-art infrastructure, research capabilities, and student and faculty in key areas. 

Aerospace / Aviation / Manufacturing Assets

  • The Ottosen Air Traffic Control Simulation Lab provides air traffic management students with simulators similar to the ones used at the FAA's Air Traffic Control (ATC) Academy.  The program also has a simulation lab consisting of 10 individual part-task training simulators and a radar simulation lab that is arguably the most advanced simulation system currently available.
  • The Del E. Webb Altitude Chamber Lab allows students to experience the Physiological effect that oxygen deprivation has on the body.
  • Haas Technical Center is equipped with the tools that mechanical and manufacturing engineering students use to design and build prototypes for the aerospace, automotive, and manufacturing industries.
  • A Fuel Cell Laboratory provides electronics engineering students with a hands-on environment where they can design and build more efficient hydrogen fuel cells.
  • The Additive Manufacturing Center is the largest such center in the Southwest. The center uses cutting-edge plastic, polymer, and 3D printing equipment, along with advanced process and analysis capabilities to develop the next generation of manufacturing engineers.

Healthcare / Biosciences Assets

  • State-of-the-art greenhouses and the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) is where researchers are converting algae into biofuels and other bio products, using algae for water quality remediation and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. 
  • A Clean Room Laboratory supports a variety of research from the Center for Innovation in medicine-to-wafer fabrication tools, integrated electronic systems, electronic packaging and testing equipment, and inspection equipment.
  • Unique research at ASU Poly includes the U.S. Department of Energy funded Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership (ATP3), which serves as a learning environment for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and business leaders to help accelerate the research and development of algae-based technologies and the commercialization of algae-based biofuels and other biomass co-products.

High Tech / Information Technology Assets

  • The I3DEA Laboratory provides students with a focus on imaging and 3D data.  The research lab has several federally funded projects involving geospatial reasoning based on remote sensing data.
  • Advanced Innovation Technology Center (ATIC) is an ABOR Center that aims to connect industry with faculty research and training activities.  ATIC is very engaged in global activities involving renewable energy and runs a research program with funding from SRP on renewable energy and water conservation. 
  • The Health Engineering Applications Lab specializes in software, robotics, gaming, and human factors for health applications.


Established in 1892, A. T. Still University (ATSU) began as the nation’s first college of osteopathic medicine and has evolved into a leading university of health sciences comprised of one college and four schools on two campuses and online. The School of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona trains more than 2,000 physicians and allied healthcare professionals in whole-person care. The School offers an innovative 56-seat virtual anatomy lab that is offered to students and the community alike. The half-million dollar lab is presented in a virtual setting offering the same anatomy practicum, but without actual cadaver dissection. The technology is the first of its kind for any medical school in Arizona and is able to simulate everything from bones to blood vessels in 3-D.


Northern Arizona University (NAU) has served Mesa residents for more than 20 years, providing students with access to an accredited, high-quality university education. Two of NAU’s more than 20 statewide campuses are located in the Greater Phoenix area – one in the heart of Downtown Mesa – and serve more than 1,600 students. NAU provides affordable bachelor’s degree pathways with some programs accepting up to 90 community college credits. NAU programs include some of the following degree options:

  • Business Administration
  • Elementary & Special Education
  • Educational Leadership
  • Psychology & Sociology
  • Technology Management
  • Public Administration
  • Justice & Intelligence Studies
  • Emergency Management

Since 1993, NAU has helped prepare Mesa Public Schools’ teachers and administrators to lead the future as the only institution in the state with education programs accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

NAU has partnered with Mesa Community College to create the award-winning Mesa2NAU joint admission program to help more students earn a respected bachelor degree at a reasonable cost, and to offer state-of-the-art concurrent enrollment nursing programs.

NAU has also developed a comprehensive curriculum to help members of the Mesa Police and Fire Departments advance in their careers and become well-rounded community leaders.



For more than 125 years, Benedictine University (BenU) has provided students a private, faith-based liberal arts education grounded in history, heritage and Catholic tradition.

Classes are lecture-free and the faculty champions a problem/issues-based curriculum focused on application, decision-making, and problem-solving. Service learning projects and cooperative education programs supplement classroom experiences. On-campus undergraduate programs include: Accounting, Management and Organizational Behavior, Communication Arts, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Fine Arts, Graphic Arts and Design, Nutrition, Political Science, Psychology, Spanish, and Theology. Benedictine also offers a popular all-inclusive $15,000 MBA program for adult learners.


Upper Iowa University (UIU), founded in Fayette, Iowa in 1857, is a traditional, private liberal arts university. UIU has 19 education centers across the United States, as well as locations in Hong Kong and Malaysia. UIU serves approximately 5,800 students worldwide.

The Mesa Center is UIU’s 19th U.S. location and is co-located within the East Valley Institute of Technology campus, and offers quality, accredited academic programs in six, eight-week terms year-round. UIU-Mesa offers a bachelor's degree program in Nursing (RN-BSN) and more than 25 online bachelor's degree programs in majors such as Elementary Education, Business, Criminal Justice, Human Services, Psychology, Public Administration, and Social Science. Classes at the Mesa campus are offered in the evenings to minimize disruption to working adult learners.


Mesa Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College are two community colleges in Mesa that are part of Maricopa County Community College District, the largest community college district in the country.


At its two state-of-the-art campuses (Red Mountain and Dobson) and Downtown Center, Mesa Community College (MCC) offers more than 150 Associate of Applied Science degrees and Certificates of Completion, numerous transfer programs, and more than 500 online classes leading to 20 different online degrees and certificates. MCC’s 22,000 students are provided testing, financial aid services, academic advising, career planning, tutoring, and personal counseling. MCC offers hundreds of noncredit personal-interest classes, as well as customized noncredit training for businesses. 


Founded in 1985, Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) serves the residents in the East Valley on three unique campuses in Chandler, Mesa, and Sun Lakes.

The CGCC Williams Campus near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport offers a comprehensive selection of classes to more than 2,000 students for seamless transfer to a university, as well as signature programs such as Aviation, Nursing, Fire Science, Electric Utility Technology, and Law Enforcement Training that allow students to step directly into the workforce.

CGCC has partnered with the University of North Dakota (UND) to offer flight-training programs to students at the Williams Campus. This program certifies students for all commercial flight, including private pilot, instrument, multi-engine, and flight instructor certifications. Students then have the opportunity to continue their flight-training at UND’s main campus in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to obtain a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics.  


Mesa is also home to these private, for-profit colleges and universities.