The University of Florida was originally established in 1853 as the East Florida Seminary, and over the years the school has grown to what it is today with the absorption of other institutions throughout its history. The school is now a public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant comprehensive research university. It is consistently marked as one of the top schools in the nation for its undergraduate and graduate programs, along with the quality and amount of research being conducted on campus. Students flock here to enroll in one of the 16 colleges housed on campus and they also come for the sunshine Florida has to offer and to cheer on their favorite Florida Gators athletic teams.
This is a very large and comprehensive university with a lot of options for majors and minors. Classes tend to be large and students are expected to handle their coursework without a lot of intervention from professors. Since this is a distinguished research university, the faculty also work with graduate students to conduct studies and experiments, so be prepared for Teaching Assistants (TAs) to jump in and take over some classes.
There are 16 different colleges housed on campus and any student will be able to find a degree program for their interests. Schools range from Law, to Agriculture, to Liberal Arts, to Nursing and more. Students are also assessed by using Academic Learning Compacts, which outline expected skills and knowledge they should know after completing studies for a major.
Highly motivated students can take advantage of the school’s accelerated degree programs. These offer a challenging academic road, but for those who have the desire, it can be a time saver and an impressive entry on a resume. Students can choose from:
- The College of Dentistry’s Honors Combined BS/DMD
- Junior Honors Medical Program
- Master of Agribusiness
- Master of Science in Management
- Master of Public Health
Graduate students and faculty participate in conducting research in their fields of interest. Carnegie has ranked this as a Research University with Very High Research. There is a huge amount of various projects going on at any given time, and Florida is a prime spot for marine biology research. There are projects involving sea turtles, biomedical studies, and coastal research. Food and agriculture experiments are ongoing as are studies involving Health issues. A physics team is busy conducting experiments with the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
Continuing education, distance learning and executive education are also available for students and working professionals seeking a flexible learning environment. The university’s distance learning program allows students to work towards either undergraduate or graduate degrees, certifications, or enjoy personal development courses online. With executive education, the school provides customized programs for working professionals which are geared toward developing personal skills.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The school serves a wide variety of students including undergraduate students, graduate students, transfer students, and international students, offering more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 200 graduate programs
To apply to the university, prospective students can apply online and must include the resume and essay sections. There is a non-refundable application fee which may be submitted online for small fee, or mailed as a check or money order directly to the university. Prospective students must also arrange for high school transcripts along with ACT and/or SAT scores to be sent to the university.
Financial assistance is provided through scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment. Eligible students have a number of choices of scholarships and grants to investigate.
In addition, academic scholarships are available through individual colleges and schools at the university. These scholarships are strictly based on academic ability as well as academic achievement.
A detailed website is available for eligible students with links to many financial aid resources.
Student Financial Aid Details
There are two campus housing options, including single-student residence hall living and on-campus apartment complexes. For those living on-campus, the university provides various residential meal plans. And for those living off campus, the university offers small commuter meal plans.
Campus life is filled with many opportunities for students. There are over 750 student organizations, including more than 60 student religious groups. The university offers Greek life, university athletics, recreational sports, student government, campus employment, research with faculty opportunities, and more. In addition, there are four campus radio stations, two television stations, as well as other media outlets such as yearbook, newsletters, and an off-campus newspaper.
For students nearing graduation, the school offers use of a Career Resource Center to assist graduating students with their job search.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Ranked among the nation’s top ten universities for more than 20 years, the University of Florida Gators compete in the Southeastern Conference under the supervision of the University Athletic Association (UAA).
There are eight men’s intercollegiate sports, including baseball, basketball, football, cross country, golf, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and ten women’s intercollegiate sports, including basketball, cross country, gymnastics, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, swimming & diving, track & field, and volleyball.
The university also offers intramural sports, sports clubs, aquatics, and fitness through the Department of Recreational Sports. This provides an opportunity for students to enjoy competitions on a non-varsity level, and still wreak the benefits of being part of a team. All intramural league sports have weekly games and conclude the season with a tournament. The University of Florida intramural sports include basketball, flag football, sand volleyball, indoor soccer, outdoor soccer, softball, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball.
In addition, there are 38 competitive sports clubs who work on skill development, participation and student leadership. To participate in a sports club, the individual must be a current student, staff member, faculty member, or a spouse of one those members.
The University of Florida Gators also have several spirit teams including a cheerleading squad, the Dazzlers dance team, mascots, and a marching band.
Accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.