The University of West Florida


The University of West Florida is a four-year public university located in Penscacola, Fla. It offers 51 undergraduate degrees, 25 master’s degrees in 25 different areas, two specialist degrees, and a doctorate in education. The university enrolls 11,599 students from 49 states and 85 countries, with 1,788 of those students residing on campus.

UWF is a member of the State University System of Florida and was established in 1963. The university has three colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, and Professional Studies, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The campus itself is located on a 1,600-acre wildlife refuge among the rolling hills and natural woodland along of the Escambia River 10 miles north of downtown Pensacola. In addition to the main campus, UWF serves students in Fort Walton Beach, at Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field, and also at many shared facilities at regional community colleges. The university also owns waterfront property on Santa Rosa Island available for recreational, academic, and research pursuits. The university manages 24 historic properties in Pensacola, offering hands-on learning opportunities for students of history, archaeology, and tourism.

UWF is focused on research and education, with students having the opportunity to partake in research opportunities such as exploring historic shipwrecks, conducting research into the health of Florida’s natural resources, and also working hand-in-hand with local businesses though the university’s Small Business Development Center.

Many of UWF’s programs of study are also accredited by area-specific organizations, including: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET), the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Education Training (CAATE), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Masters in Psychology Accreditation Council (MPAC), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the Florida Bar Association (FBA).

Most Popular Fields of Study


Information Summary

Ranks 22nd in Florida and 606th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 85.3
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $19,014
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 27 / 1250
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 21 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 80% / 50%
Enrollment Total (all students) 12,847


The University of West Florida has a number of requirements for admission. Applicants must be high school graduates or have passed the GED. Students must also have passed 18 units across a number of disciplines, including English (with a focus on writing), math, science, social science and a foreign language.

Applicants at West Florida must also have a 3.0 GPA, and have scored 440 on both SAT sections. Or, on the ACT, a student must score 19 or more on the English, math and reading sections. The school will also consider applicants who do not meet this requirement. West Florida looks at leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, and special talents in areas like writing or the arts.


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Financial Aid

All enrolling students seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. In addition, there are a number of university scholarships. The financial aid office awards need-based scholarships to incoming students with amounts ranging from $1,000 – 2,000 per year. The admission’s office award merit-based scholarships and non-Florida tuition grants to incoming students as well, and most do not require a separate application. One scholarship, however – the $5,000 Pace Scholarship – requires a separate application.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3927th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Florida.


The University of West Florida has a total enrollment of 11,599, with 9,954 enrolled as undergraduates. About 79 percent of the university’s students come from the “Panhandle,” which serves as the school’s service area. Out-of-state students make up about 13 percent of the student population, with all 50 states and more than a dozen countries represented.

The university does not require students to live on campus, but about 2,000 choose to do so in a number of residence halls and university-owned apartments. University police are sworn state law enforcement officers and patrol campus 24/7 by foot and car. Trained staff are also located in residence halls, and a student escort service is available.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The University of West Florida sports teams are known as the Argos and the teams’ color is royal blue. The Argos compete in NCAA Division II athletics in the Gulf South East division in 13 sports. Men compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and tennis, while the women compete in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. The UWF men’s baseball team won the 2011 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship.

Local Community

Pensacola is a port on Pensacola Bay, connecting to the Gulf of Mexico, and is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle. The city has a population of about 54,000 and is the county seat of Escambia County. The city is home to a large naval air station, and is also home to the Blue Angels flight team and National Naval Aviation Museum. The UWF campus is located directly north of the city’s center.

The city is home to five institutions of higher education, including Troy University and Pensacola State College. The climate is humid subtropical, and the area is home to numerous beaches. The local bus service is the Escambia County Rosa Parks Transit System, and it expanded service to neighboring Gulf Breeze and changed existing routes to more convenient locations.

Numerous festivals are held in Pensacola throughout the year, as well as historic tours of landmarks and other events. The Pensacola Seafood Festival and the Pensacola Crawfish Festival have been held for nearly 30 years. The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is held in November and often draws more than 200 regional and international artists.

Additional School Information

West Florida is the second-largest main campus in the Florida State University system. It has 35 educational buildings, 21 buildings dedicated to student services, 25 dorms, and two student apartment complexes. The state purchased an additional 600 acres for the school in 1997. The school now has more than 1,600 acres for its campus.


  • University of West Florida. Web. 26 August 2011.
  • City of Pensacola. Web. 26 August 2011.
  • Visit Pensacola. Web. 26 August 2011.

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