University of Miami


Palm trees blow gently in the breeze while macaws perch curiously on the branches of giant banyan trees. A manatee, astray from its home, sunbathes in the canal while mischievous ducks chase an ibis looking for food. Inside the buildings nestled in this lush, tropical setting, the serenity disappears into a bustling hotbed of activity. World-renowned geneticists are researching a cure for cancer. Budding journalists are learning to ask the right questions, and musical protégés take advice from Broadway masters including Jerry Herman and Barry Brown. Located in Coral Gables, Florida, the University of Miami offers the quaint atmosphere of a city rich in history while positioned just ten minutes from a booming metropolis.

Approximately 10,500 undergraduate students call University of Miami (UM) home. Coming from 49 states and over one hundred foreign countries, the university boasts a diverse student population, and a stroll through the Whitten University Center (UC), the hub of student activity, displays this tapestry of cultural pride. On any given day, the UC patio is transformed into a stage for Cuban cuisine, Asian spoken-word poetry, or vibrant hip-hop dancers.

Ethnic heritage isn’t the only thing that UM students take pride in. With a tradition rich in athletics, Hurricane sports bond students both on the field and off. “The U,” as sports fans fondly call UM, is a powerhouse. Alumni, faculty, staff, and students alike, joined by the whole community, rally for the Hurricanes during baseball and football games, and bleed orange and green when the basketball team takes to the hoops. The university had the unique opportunity to see athletics play out under different stadium lights when UM’s on-campus Lowe Art Museum, hosted “Game Face: What a Female Athlete Looks Like.” This photographic exhibit was a portrait of women in sports, exemplifying the importance of Title IX and praising the strong, athletic woman.

The university’s ability to blend academics with culture provides an environment that breeds higher learning and intellectual growth. With the launch of “UM Presents,” an online portal highlighting all the cultural offerings on campus, the university community, as well as UM’s neighbors, have a cultural smorgasbord at their fingertips. Promoting events including lectures from UM’s renowned faculty to the Frost School of Music’s annual extravaganza, Festival Miami, the variety of programs appeals to every taste.

Giving students the opportunity to learn and grow outside of the classroom is one of UM’s best attributes, and it clearly enhances the academic experience. It is not unusual for faculty to offer a Thanksgiving dinner to students not traveling home for the holiday. Creating a home away from home, resident faculty in each of the residential colleges will often provide an oven to bake cookies in or simply help students adjust to life on campus. As seniors, students have created lasting relationships with their professors. At a school like the University of Miami in a city like Miami, in one day students can learn about DNA or Shakespeare and parasail over Biscayne Bay or snorkel in coral reefs. Learning branches out far beyond the classroom as students explore the city and reach higher.

“The U” by Numbers

  • 10 Lessons Learned from the Dalai Lama
  • 9 National Football and Baseball Championships—1982, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1999, 2001
  • 8 Top States UM Students Hail from: Florida, California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania
  • 7 Residential Colleges—Mahoney, Pearson, Stanford, Hecht, Eaton, Apartments, University Village
  • 6 Rockin’ Concerts—Coldplay, Green Day, All American Rejects, John Mayer, Kanye West, Audioslave and more all have played at the BankUnited Center
  • 5 Presidents in UM History—Ashe, Pearson, King, Foote, Shalala
  • 4 Recent visits from Presidential Candidates—George W. Bush, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Ralph Nader
  • 3 Literary Lectures—Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Eli Wiesel
  • 2 Supreme Court Justice Appearances—Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Edward Breyer
  • 1 Billion Dollars—Raised during UM’s Momentum Fundraising Campaign

At the University of Miami, students will receive an educational experience that lets students dip their feet into political debates, cultural festivals, intellectual lectures, and athletic events, not to mention the Atlantic Ocean. Its dynamic, tropical location, worldrenowned faculty, and the exceptional programs designed to enhance student life make UM a place where a high school student grows and matures into an adult ready to enter the professional world with sophistication and creative spark. The unique mix of tradition and innovation instills pride in students and inspires them to leave their own mark the moment they step on campus. When you graduate from UM, you don’t become a statistic, you become part of the legacy, part of the UM family that bonds people from every walk of life. Ask any alumni of UM how this university bonds each student who crosses its campus in an indescribable way, and they’re sure to say “You wouldn’t understand; it’s a Canes Thing.”


Information Summary

Ranks 2nd in Florida and 94th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 95.2
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $68,460
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 32 / 1430
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 14 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 92% / 81%
Enrollment Total (all students) 17,331


At the University of Miami, there are over 10,000 faculty, staff, and administrators whose main goal is to deliver an exceptional higher education experience. The Coral Gables campus, UM’s home base, is the location for its two colleges and six schools that house over 120 bachelor’s degree programs within eight undergraduate schools. In addition, the Coral Gables campus houses professional degree programs including the School of Law and School of Architecture. The Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and Miller School of Medicine are located on separate campuses. Many schools require students to enroll in a double major. For example, students majoring in motion pictures through the School of Communication may also major in photography through the College of Arts and Sciences. During their time at UM, a 120-credit hour minimum must be fulfilled, which to a student can seem like an eternity, but four years go by fast, and students leave UM prepared to take on the world.

While attending UM, students typically take twelve to eighteen credits a semester, meaning a majority of students are working diligently to graduate in four years. Classes are small, with a fourteen-to-one student-to-professor ratio. Students usually chose credit hours based on the number of activities they might be involved in, hours worked as a student employee on campus, and classes needed to fulfill their requirements. With the help of an academic advisor, picking classes and staying on track became an easy task.

For some students, studying in Miami may seem like traveling to a different part of the world. International food, dance, clothing, and language pop up all over and are celebrated on campus. Researchers at the Miami European Union Center study how Europe’s relationships with America, among other counties, shape the world today, politically and economically. Over at the Center for Hemispheric Policy, panels of experts discuss important issues facing Latin America today. Students are given a chance to interact with researchers and attend conferences and lectures that explore the world around them and leave UM prepared to enter the global market.

For students looking for a real international experience, UM’s study-abroad program delivers an experience to last a lifetime. Featuring programs in twenty-eight countries, the study-abroad program whisks students away to the Czech Republic, Australia, England, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Iceland, and Monaco to name a few. The faculty at the University of Miami is among the best in the country. These knowledgeable individuals aren’t just people who assign what seems like endless amounts of textbook reading and grade papers with an iron fist; they are movers and shakers in their professions and areas of research. The most interesting aspect of working with professors who are current practitioners is the blending of academics and real-life experience.

In several public relations classes, group projects were assigned where students were paired with a client (usually business members in our local community) and asked to develop a complete media strategy. This meant conducting focus groups and surveys in the community to find out about the public’s knowledge of the client, creating promotional material for distribution, and presenting ideas and solutions.

Hands-on curriculum is evident all over campus. Students in the Frost School of Music have recording studios at their fingertips, and several times a year they sit in on master classes where their form is critiqued by leading entertainment professionals. Motion picture majors are required to write scripts, conduct casting calls, and shoot film to produce short movies. At the end of the spring semester, the Cannes Film Festival provides an opportunity for budding directors to showcase their works to the community. Select films are then taken to Los Angeles for a second premiere through a program that matches students to alumni working in the major movie studios in Hollywood.

UM also focuses on giving students a variety of options when choosing classes. This allows individuals to think outside of the box when picking classes. A biomedical engineering major might find him or herself in the actor’s studio in Theatre 101. A finance major, opera major, and visual communications major might sit next to each other in an architecture class. Mixing students from all walks of life, with different interests and views, provides students with a melting pot of academic flavors. This classroom recipe increases student productivity as well as the exchange of ideas.

Mixing students from all walks of life, with different interests and views, provides students with a melting pot of academic flavors.

University of Miami’s Schools and Colleges

  • School of Architecture
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Business Administration
  • School of Communication
  • School of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • Philip and Patricia Frost School of Music
  • School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Graduate School
  • School of Law
  • Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
  • Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
  • Division of Continuing and International Education

Most Popular Fields of Study


University of Miami :: University of Miami James L. Knight Physics Building :: University of Miami
College building :: University of Miami MiamiHurricanes :: University of Miami


Applying to the college is an exciting time in any student’s life. Perusing college brochures in high school guidance counselor’s office and looking at university web sites on the Internet is a good way to research prospective schools. Upon opening an admissions brochure from UM, the bright school colors of green and orange and vibrant photos of college life will immediately spark your attention, as will the text listing all UM has to offer students now and, more importantly, their futures.

Meeting the Faces of UM

The first true step in the admissions process, meeting an admissions counselor, will only make you more eager to apply. UM routinely sends counselors around the country to meet with prospective students, and making an appointment is easy. By joining the mailing list through the admissions web site, high school students can see when the counselors will be in their area.

The Ideal Student

Admissions counselors will talk about UM’s ideal student. The profile is someone who demonstrates academic talent and a strong sense of personal integrity and has a wellrounded secondary school experience, inside and outside of the classroom. They will also explain that UM receives approximately 19,000 applications every year but strives to keep the size of each freshman class small, around 2,000. The average weighted GPA of an incoming student is 4.2 and the median SAT scores range from 1220 to 1370 (based on 1600).

Students who took the ACT scored between 27 and 31 and 68 percent of incoming freshmen ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class. The numbers may appear a bit intimidating, but the admissions team looks for wellrounded individuals with a strong personal statement and superior recommendations from their guidance counselors.

Down and Dirty with Applications

After the nerves of applying settle; its time to get down to the busy work. By logging on to the admissions web site, students can find a downloadable application. At the university, there are three options to apply. Students can apply for Early Decision if UM is going to be the first choice; Early Action, which allows students to express serious interest in UM but keep their options open; and Regular Decision. The difference between the three is the timeline in which you learn your acceptance status: Early Decision coming in late December and Early Action and Regular Decision coming in mid-April. Here’s a hint: Students who choose Early Decision generally get first pick at housing choices because they will have to mail in their enrollment forms and deposits before everyone else. So if you’re absolutely sure of the college you want to attend, keep that in mind. While applying to UM, students can also decide if they would like to enter into the Honors Program which demands a higher level of study and performance. Students who are accepted are required to have an SAT score of over 1300 and must be in the top 5 percent of their class.

The Campus Visit

Even though reading about universities is a good way to get the basics on what the campus has to offer, nothing can compare to the experience of visiting the campus and seeing first-hand the people and places that make up the institution. After just a fifteen minute taxi ride from Miami International Airport, students arrive at Stanford Drive, the main entrance to UM, and the campus tour begins.

Greeted by a row of majestic palm trees, UM’s campus looks more like Club Med than the stoic brick and mortar universities I was accustomed to up north.

Financial Aid

It can also be useful to have a finance major sit next to you to tell you how to manage your student loans and financial aid packets each year. That kind of free advice can also be found at UM’s Office of Financial Aid or by looking on the department’s web site. The university works with students on a number of levels to provide the maximum amount of tuition assistance possible. Academic scholarships are awarded based on merit and are announced in students’ acceptance letters. In 2005–2006, 86 percent of all full-time freshmen and 87 percent of full-time upperclassmen received some form of financial aid. The average freshman was given $23,188 to help pay for school. Need-based grants are awarded and need-based self-help aid such as student loans and jobs through college work-study are also available.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3163rd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Florida.


Students at the University of Miami will find out fast: New York might be the “city that never sleeps” but Miami is the city that never stops the party. And life at UM keeps that motto alive and well. At UM, students party in a million different ways, continuously redefining the word, and not just in the Animal House way. Students involved in Salsa Craze heat things up on the dance floor as they learn how to salsa, meringue, and samba twice a week in the University Center. Members of Delta Gamma, just one of the thirteen sororities on campus, participate in Anchor Splash, their annual fund-raising week by holding contests between different Greek and non-Greek organizations, including a “Mr. Anchor Splash” competition. The Rathskeller, UM’s on-campus bar and grill, is the home of Hurricane watch-parties, comedy improv hours, and open mike nights. It’s a great place to grab a pitcher and burger and hang with friends.

Campus Activism and Community Service

On the campus activism side of student life, UM offers a number of organizations and activities perfect for the community-service-driven individual. Students can visit the Smith Tucker Involvement Center (also known as The STIC) to look at the list of organizations UM has to offer or pop into the Volunteer Services Center to find out where they can help on campus and in the community.

Over 900 University of Miami students participate each year in the National Gandhi Day of Service. Planned by the Council of International Students and Organizations, this joint effort provides the opportunity to give back to the community. In one of the largest student-led volunteer service events in Miami-Dade County, UM teams up with students from other local colleges to volunteer at a number of locations including Citizens for a Better South Florida, the Community Partnership for Homeless, and Camillus House, a local soup kitchen.

Another initiative at UM is STRIVE (Serving Together Reaching Integrity, Values, & Engagement), a select group of University of Miami students that have formed a living community that focuses on leadership and civic engagement. Originating out of the Butler Volunteer Services Center, thirty-one students live together in on-campus apartments, studying and participating in a number of service- and leadership-driven activities. The program includes an academic component that requires students to take classes with curriculum that focuses on building a strong voice in the greater community and are paired with mentors in the faculty.

Life in the City of Miami

The University of Miami is located in the city of Coral Gables, a suburb of Miami-Dade County. For students, this means easy access to everything Miami has to offer. Downtown Miami, South Beach, Key Biscayne, the Design District, and the upscale shopping center Village of Merrick Park are a twenty-minute drive away. Fortunately for students without cars on campus, Miami and Coral Gables offer a number of safe, easy ways to get around town. With a little planning, students can ride the Metrorail (the univer sity has its own stop), city trolleys, or UM’s HurryCane shuttles, or use taxi services to any location in Miami.

Students at the University of Miami will find out fast: New York might be the ‘city that never sleeps,’ but Miami is the city that never stops the party.

Safety On Campus and Off

For parents who may worry about sending their kids away to a big city, they need not be concerned. The University of Miami has a number of programs, policies, and procedures in place to ensure students’ safety as they find their way in and around campus. When walking from residential colleges at night, blue light phones located around campus put students instantly in contact with members of UM’s Department of Public Safety. Officers are on call to escort anyone around campus and are a constant and reassuring presence. Students hired through the Department of Residence Halls staff a desk in each residential college at night, checking in visitors, with photo I.D. required. This ensures that only students enter the buildings.

UM also takes a proactive approach toward ensuring students’ well-being. Educational programs such as Pier 21, organized by the Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness, teach alcohol awareness and responsibility to students. Through the counseling center, the university has a number of programs for students who might be feeling blue. The Student Health Center is opening for students who are under the weather or may just need a flu shot. The on-campus pharmacy provides quick and easy access to medication for students suffering from a cough or cold.

The Wellness Center provides programs for the mind and body. Students can sign up for yoga, healthy cooking classes, aerobic exercises, and a favorite amongst members, Butts and Guts, designed to tone your abs and behind! The Wellness Center is the best gym in town, and it’s all yours if you come to UM. All of the various programs on campus are designed to promote a healthy lifestyle, as well as social and personal responsibility.

Looking tanned and toned in the 80-degree weather that comes during February may be a strong allure to students, especially those coming from the north; however, its important to touch on another weather-related phenomenon unique to Miami: hurricanes.

The University of Miami is well prepared to handle a hurricane of any intensity. Hurricane shutters adorn every residential college. Students are given food and beverage during hurricane warnings as well. Staff and administrators in each of the residential colleges keep students informed and aware of changes in the weather, and updates from the university president are e-mailed as new information arrives. Information is also posted on the school’s web site, especially for parents who live outside of Florida. A hotline is in place for students, faculty, staff, and parents to call and find out the latest news.

I have personally been among the trained volunteers who answer the hotline live during and after a storm threatens and can assure prospective students and parents that the university is well equipped and well versed in their hurricane procedures. They go to incredible lengths to ensure that students are well fed and taken care of. Student safety is of the utmost importance.

The university administration isn’t the only arm of UM involved in hurricane preparation. CERT (Canes Emergency Response Team) is a student-led initiative that serves as a resource for the University and its Coral Gables neighbors during emergency situations such as a hurricane by delivering water and disseminating information to off-campus neighbors. This specially trained group also participates in drills designed to improve basic search and rescue procedures and sharpen the important skills of triaging, treating, and transporting victims. As hurricane season begins, these students are available to even help members of the community put up hurricane shutters.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


If anyone has any questions about how much athletics are loved and cherished at the University of Miami, they only need to walk around campus during Homecoming weekend. Almost 3,000 alumni from around the country travel back to South Florida to join current students, faculty, and community members to celebrate the University of Miami’s Homecoming festivities. UM’s annual homecoming parade kicks off the Friday night pregame parties.

Following the parade is one of UM’s most cherished traditions, the boat-burning ceremony on UM’s own Lake Osceola, in the heart of campus. The boat-burning ceremony involves setting a wood boat on fire in the middle of the lake. The tradition states that if the mast breaks before the boat sinks, UM will win the Homecoming football game. Football isn’t the only sport Hurricane fans go crazy for. Crowds of students cheer on the basketball team at the state-of-the-art BankUnited Center, and each season the stands are packed as the baseball team takes the recently renovated diamond at Mark Light Field located

Local Community

The University of Miami is located in the city of Coral Gables, a suburb of Miami-Dade County. For students, this means easy access to everything Miami has to offer. Downtown Miami, South Beach, Key Biscayne, the Design District, and the upscale shopping center Village of Merrick Park are a twenty-minute drive away. Fortunately for students without cars on campus, Miami and Coral Gables offer a number of safe, easy ways to get around town. With a little planning, students can ride the Metrorail (the university has its own stop), city trolleys, or UM’s HurryCane shuttles, or use taxi services to any location in Miami.

Students at the University of Miami will find out fast: New York might be the “city that never sleeps,” but Miami is the city that never stops the party.

Nightlife in Miami serves up a heaping dose of diversity, appealing to every taste and budget. Whether it is a quick, inexpensive Cuban meal at Versailles, sushi and pad thai at Moon Thai, or plate-throwing Greek cuisine at Taverna Opa, Miami is known for its nightlife as well as its cultural flair. World events such as the Miami International Film Festival, the International Book Fair, the Latin Grammys, and the Winter Music Conference attract tourists from all countries. When you live in Miami, these events are at your doorstep, and the chance to see renowned films, authors, artists, and musicians is a priceless experience.


If you think high school went fast, college races by at the speed of light. A blur of latenight cramming sessions at “Club Richter” or the Otto G. Richter Library, spring breaks on South Beach, and football games at the Orange Bowl come rushing back as you step on stage to receive your diploma on the most important day of a student’s life, commencement. Over 2,400 bachelor degrees were awarded in 2004 and just over 155,000 people called UM home in the university’s eighty-year history. Alumni of the University of Miami are scattered across all 50 states and in 148 countries.

While alumni may have left Miami to make their mark on the world, UM is never far from their hearts. The Alumni Association works as a liaison between UM and alumni, reporting on their successes through the Miami Connection. Alumni groups such as the D.C. Canes, a group of alumni residing in Washington, D.C., hold frequent gatherings to watch athletic events and to network. Alumni weekly news is e-mailed out to subscribers several times a year letting UM grads stay updated on what’s happening at their alma mater. Administrators at the university also travel around the country giving lectures and speeches about the vision and future of UM.

It isn’t unusual for students to interact with grads who return to campus either. UM alumni often participate in career fairs, recruiting students nearing graduation. For example, when the Public Relations Student Society of America, a student group of public relations majors on campus, holds their biannual mixers, a quick glance around the room shows that about half of the attendants are UM grads interested in seeing their fellow Canes succeed in the profession. If students need assistance jump-starting their career path, the university’s Toppel Career Planning and Placement Center is the place to go. Toppel plays host to several major career fairs throughout the academic year as well as to workshops designed to help students by presenting resume critiques, holding mock interviews, and offering brochures and lectures on jobsearching techniques. Toppel also supports CaneZone, an online portal where students can post resumes and search for employment opportunities. If students are exploring graduate school, they can also visit Toppel to research graduate programs, the application process, and admissions exams. These are free services available to students and alumni.

Prominent Grads

  • Rick Barry, ’65, Professional Athlete: UM’s all-time leading scorer on the court, Barry is the only player in basketball history to win titles in the NCAA, NBA, and ABA. He is also inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • Gloria Estefan, ’78, Entertainer and Producer: An internationally known superstar, Estefan produced No. 1 singles including “Rhythm is Gonna Get You.”
  • Roy Firestone, ’75, Broadcast Journalist: A personality on ESPN’s Up Close, Firestone hosts a variety of cable network specials as well.
  • Jerry Herman, ’53, Composer/Lyricist, A revered artist on Broadway, Herman created masterpieces including Hello Dolly! and Mame. Herman is the recipient of two Tony and Grammy Awards.
  • Patricia Ireland, ’75, Activist, She is former president of the National Organization for Women.
  • David Alan Isaacs, ’71, Producer, He created hit sitcoms including Cheers and Frasier, and also collaborated with writers for MASH.
  • Duane Johnson, ’95, Professional Athlete and Actor, Duane “The Rock” Johnson was a star wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation. He also starred in blockbuster movies that include The Grindiron Gang and The Rundown.
  • Suzy Kolber, ’86, Broadcast Journalist, A former anchor for Fox Sports, Kolber now reports for ESPN.
  • Alfred O’Hara, ’54, NASA, As a launch director for NASA space shuttles, O’Hara worked on the Apollo, Skylab, and the Apollo-Soyuz launches. Sylvester Stallone, ’99, Actor, A Hollywood superstar, winning acclaim for his 1976 motion picture Rocky, Stallone became one of the highest-paid actors.
  • Vinny Testaverde, ’86, Professional Athlete, UM’s first player to receive the Heisman Trophy, Testaverde was the first player selected in the 1987 draft.
  • Lori White, ’88, Entertainer/Song Writer, Nominated for Top New Female Vocalist in 1994, White has propelled herself as one of the most successful country singers of her generation.

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