A large area of land in the northwest is home to Chiang Mai University , one of Thailand's most prestigious institutions of higher education with around 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Its main campus is situated at the base of Doi Suthep, and CMU buildings can be seen all the way up to Suandok Gate at the west end of the city's center. Other institutions of higher education, include:
- Chiang Mai College of Dramatic Arts
- Chiang Mai Commercial College
- Chiang Mai Rajabhat University
- Chiang Mai Technical College
- Mae Jo University
- Payap University
- The Far East University
Chiang Mai is also unusual in its high concentration of international schools that cater to both local and foreign students living in the city looking for kindergarten, elementary, and secondary education. Many schools are American-run and several are funded by Christian missionary organisations. Some of the more prominent schools include:
- American Pacific International School (formerly Ake Panya International School)
- Wat Chom Tong, Tambon Ban Luang, Amphoe Chom Tong (about 60km south-west of the city) +66 53-826869 / +66 53-826180. the home temple of the meditation master Achan Tong, and offers residential courses in Vipassana Meditation on an on-going basis.
- Wat Ram Poeng, Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Muang (4 miles south-west of the city) +66 53-278620, . Offers facilities for retreats and meditation instruction.
- Wat Suan Dok Th Suthep, Chiang Mai (1/2 a mile west of the Old City Moat), +66 53-278967. Has a meet and greet for tourists and monks, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon between 15:00 and 17:00 hrs. Also, you can sign up for a 24-hrs introduction meditation retreat.
- Wat Umong, Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Muang (3 and a half miles out of town) +66 53-277248 (08:30-16:00), . Offers meditation courses and Dharma instruction in English every Sunday 15:00-18:00.
- LifeEvents.org Center for Shamanic Studies, +66 53-809082 / +66 86-1966264,  the center of Russian clairvoyant healer and Mongolian initiated shaman, Diana Manilova, offers shamanic initiations, karma cleaning workshops and spiritual consultations for groups and individuals at least 25 years old.
- A Lot Of Thai Cooking School, +66 53-800724, . A family run home cooking class. Teach by the owner for every class. Welcome for vegetarian and any kind of food restriction. Courses included Market tour and provides a recipe book from which you can cook by yourself at a later date.
- Baan Thai Cookery School, 11 Ratchadamnoen Road, Soi 5, near Thapae Gate, +66 53-357339 / +66-16714120, . Courses include a cook book and market tour.
- Chiang Mai Kitchen Cooking School +66-97002099, . Just 20 minutes from downtown Chiang Mai, and offers a fresh approach to Thai cooking instruction. The organic herb and vegetable garden supplements ingredients are purchased at the morning market. Before and/or after your day in the kitchen, stay overnight in their charming, traditional Thai bamboo house.
- Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, at 1-3 Moon Muang Road, +66 53-206388 (fax: +66 53-206387), . Offers 1/2/3/4/5-day courses. Recommended by Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Rough Guide, Frommer's and Stefan Loose guide books.
- Gap's School Of Thai Culinary Art Has its office at Gap's House, 3 Rajadamnern Soi 4 +66 53-270143, . High standards, proper organisation, your own stove, 1 teacher per 5 students.
- Kao Hom Cooking School, +66 53-862967 
- Siam Rice Thai Cookery School, +66 53-329091,  Friendly and knowledgeable staff provides an extensive course on local and traditional recipes. The course includes a market tour and provides you with the recipes that the dishes that you create.
- Smart Cook Thai Cookery School, 21 Moonmuang Road, Soi 5, +66 53-418309. Market tour, cook book. Accommodates vegetarian cooking. Small classes and fun staff. Highly recommended.
- Sompet Cookery School, 56 Patan Road, +66 53-214897. Learn to cook the way Thai people do - at home. Visit their riverside home and learn to cook traditional Thai food. They have courses every day, morning and afternoon. A recipe book with colour photographs will be provided of each dish to suggest the many ways to prepare and serve Thai food.
- Carving lessons, +66 53-285056. Learn how to carve on fruit and vegetable, with pictures and notes to take away and refer to later at home.
- AUA 
- Easy Study Thai 
- Language Institute CMU 
- Payap University 
- YMCA