Schools in Patna are either government run schools or private schools . The schools are affiliated to Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), the All-India Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) or the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) boards. Hindi and English are the primary languages of instruction.

Under the 10+2+3/4 plan, students complete ten years of schooling and then enroll in schools that have a higher secondary facility and are affiliated to the Bihar State Intermediate Board, the All-India Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the NIOS or the CBSE, where they select one of three streams: arts, commerce, or science. This is followed by either a general degree course in a chosen field of study, or a professional degree course, such as law, engineering and medicine.

Patna has important government educational institutions like Central University of South Bihar, Patna University, Chanakya National Law University, Aryabhatta Knowledge University, Indian Institute of Technology Patna, National Institute of Technology, Patna, Patna Science College, Birla Institute of Technology, Patna, Patna Medical College, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Patna, National Institute of Fashion Technology Patna, Chandragupt Institute of Management etc.

Patna University was established in 1917 and is the seventh oldest modern university in the Indian Sub-continent. Patna also has a variety of other universities, as well as many primary and secondary schools.