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The Best Four-Year Universities in Florida

The University of Florida, The University of North Florida, Florida State University

Whether it’s endless miles of coastline or some of the most forward-thinking cities in the south, Florida has a little bit of everything. For those interested in pursuing four-year degrees, there are abundant options in the state of Florida. Sports fans are already well aware of the fierce rivalry between the Florida Gators and the Seminoles, but there is far more to the educational system in the Sunshine State than just fantastic football. Whether it’s an acclaimed film program with limited spaces in Tallahassee or the finest self-guided education that veers more towards the artistic, Florida has a four-year university to meet everyone’s needs and tastes.

The University of Florida

Considered a “public ivy” by numerous publications and aspiring college students alike, the University of Florida consistently ranks in the top of lists that include both public and private institutions in the entire country. As the second-largest university in the entire state, students seeking that larger and more inclusive campus atmosphere will find it at UF, where everything from student organizations to athletics reign supreme, depending on where you are looking. With close to 50,000 students, this is not a school for those hoping for a smaller campus, though the professors and departments allow for a more personalized experience while attending classes. Consistently ranking in the country’s top 20 of academic institutions with National Merit Scholars, UF is a thriving environment for those interested in academic excellence. And with the Florida Gators consistently gaining attention for their athletic feats, those who are inclined towards excellence on the field as well as in the classroom will find a home on this sprawling and picturesque Gainesville campus.

The University of North Florida

An important academic institution in north Florida since the 1960s, the University of Florida continues to rank as one of the nation’s value colleges, due to its combination of superior academics and a more budget-friendly price tag. Whether it’s an interest in athletics or academic excellence, this is one of the best choices in the entire state of Florida. With more than 16,000 students attending classes, the campus boasts diversity as well as superior programs. With a state-of-the-art campus that provides transportation for students in Jacksonville who might not have cars, UNF offers a full campus experience, including contemporary dorms and an extensive library.

Florida State University

A combination of much sought-after academic and artistic programs combined with a nationally renowned athletics program makes FSU one of the most desirable Florida universities for students. With 15 separate colleges, students can rest assured that even with an on-campus population that tops 30,000 students, there is still personal attention. FSU also boasts an incredibly diverse array of achievements in the sciences, and is a popular destination for aspiring pre-law and pre-med students. For politically conscious students, FSU is often referred to as “the Berkeley of the South,” meaning that students on-campus are conscious of political and social injustice, and do their best to address these issues. Whether it’s academic excellence, achievements in sports, or social justice, FSU has it all.

New College of Florida

As one of the most acclaimed liberal arts institutions in the state of Florida, New College attracts students from in-state and far away who are interested in a liberal arts education based on a great deal of cross-curriculum approaches to learning. Whether it’s focusing more on having discussions opposed to lectures or pursuing independent study programs, New College encourages its students to take initiative. These research and curriculum opportunities continue to net New College accolades as one of the most innovative bachelor’s programs out there. Instead of regular grades, students participate in the Contract System, where they get together with advisors to negotiate what expectations and goals should be for the semester. As part of the university system, New College of Florida is actually one of the smaller entities, and class sizes are intimate and beneficial for learning.

Florida Atlantic University

Located right in Boca Raton, Florida, Florida Atlantic University has grown from a small research-driven campus of less than a thousand students to a large academic institution boasting over 20000 undergraduate students a year, with four thousand more participating in graduate programs. With satellite campuses that include the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, students can rest assured that their particular areas of interest have access to state-of-the-art facilities and the finest minds working today. Generous research funding attracts a number of different professors and thinkers who are doing some of the most interesting work in everything from physics to marine biology today, and the result is that students attending FAU get the chance to participate in some interesting studies and papers, often before graduation. With cutting-edge facilities and a bustling environment, campus life at FAU is very much exciting for anyone with a thirst for knowledge.

The University of Central Florida

The third-largest university in the United States in terms of student population, Orlando’s UCF is one of the most bustling and diverse campuses in the entire nation. With over 50,000 students in the undergraduate program alone, UCF began as a modestly-sized university that was supposed to provide more well-trained workers to take part in activities at the Kennedy Space Center. Today, there is just as much of an emphasis on being tech-savvy, and numerous bachelor’s degree programs allow students to work with NASA and other major important institutions focused on aerospace engineering. Consistently ranked as one of the country’s best up-and-coming universities, UCF is starting to gain in popularity not just with those in the state of Florida, but national and international students alike.

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Best Colleges by State