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Miami for students

You’ve probably seen Miami plenty of times in popular films, television shows and games, and may have even been lucky enough to go on holiday there – but living and studying in Florida’s most populous and well-known city offers an experience you won’t be able to predict before you arrive.

Miami climbed six places in this year’s Best Student Cities index, thanks to an improved score in the Student View indicator (up 21 places), with students consistently referring to the great culture, nightlife and weather in their comments in our student survey.

Home to two top universities, the city’s highest-ranking institution is University of Miami which places joint 291st in the world in the QS Best Student Cities Ranking.

Are you studying in Miami? Share your thoughts in our survey.

Best universities in Miami - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 94th

World ranking





More about Miami

With its year-round sunshine and attractive, skyscraper-rich cityscape, it’s no surprise that Miami scored highly for desirability in the Best Student Cities ranking this year (44th in the world). Two of the world’s top universities are found in the city and although the cost of tuition might be quite high, the gorgeous scenery and welcoming atmosphere makes it completely worth it.

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Miami (ranked joint 291st)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Miami?

High quality of education

Miami is home to two excellent universities, including the University of Miami which ranks joint 291st in the world.

The food

Miami’s culturally diverse food tastes means it’s able to cater to every craving. Foodies will enjoy Latin American and Caribbean influenced foods and the locals will give you a long list of foods you just have to try.

The nightlife

There’s always a party happening somewhere in Miami, day or night. Additionally, there’s plenty of award-winning restaurants, a thriving performing arts scene and plenty of bars to enjoy.

The stunning beaches

With the sun shining all year round, every day is a beach day in Miami. On Miami’s sandy shores you’ll find beach volleyball, BBQs, outdoor gym classes and lots of places to sunbathe.

Cost of studying in Miami

In comparison to several other US student cities, including San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, the cost of living in Miami is significantly lower. However, it is not known for being a cheap city, ranking a low 125th for affordability – placing it below notoriously expensive student cities like London and Sydney.

Like many US cities, Miami’s tuition fees for international students are not exactly affordable. Typically, an international student studying in the city should expect to pay around US$30,800 per year.

A single person living in Miami should expect to spend around US$1,035 per month, plus an additional US$1,880 per month for rent, according to Numbeo.

Life and Culture in Miami

One of the most striking things about Miami is that it’s one of the most diverse cities in the US, with Cuban Americans making up more than half of the population. The city’s large proportion of Spanish speakers has led to it being jokingly referred to as the capital of Latin America.

It’s also been ranked among the cleanest and richest US cities, and gained another nickname, ‘Magic City’, due to its rapid growth over the last century.

Beyond hanging out at its glorious sandy beaches, there’s a lot more you could do in your spare time, such as seeing a show at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, checking out the Miami Seaquarium, or viewing the world’s largest collection of Art Deco architecture by taking a stroll down Ocean Drive in the Miami Beach area.

Miami also has a very active music scene, and attracts a large number of musicians, singers, actors, dancers, and orchestral players. The city is considered a hot spot for dance music, Miami bass (hip-hop) and freestyle. It also has one of the best nightlife scenes in the country, with nightclubs to suit almost anyone’s taste.

Located in the middle of two national parks, students can enjoy the subtropical land of the Everglades to the West (perfect for hiking).

Careers in Miami

Miami offers great employment opportunities for those looking to stay in the city after graduation. The city places 95th in the world for employer reputation this year.

It’s worth noting that the job market can be quite competitive but not in comparison to other popular student destinations like New York or Los Angeles.

Overall, the city has a low unemployment rate and employs people in a wide range of industries. Some of the most thriving industries in the city are tourism, transport, banking, education and entertainment.

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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