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University of South Florida

4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, USA

University of South Florida award
University of South Florida award
US ranking
position: 74
Tuition & fees per year: $6,410
Acceptance rate: 49.00%
Median alumni salary: $39,907
Avg. SAT and ACT: 1235 SAT, 27 ACT
Entrance difficulty: N/A

What is the history of University of South Florida?

The University of South Florida was established in 1956 as a public research university in Tampa, Florida, in response to the increasing demand for post-secondary education due to population growth and in-migration to the state. The idea of creating a university in the Tampa Bay area was first discussed during a legislative session for the State Board of Control. The state's population had been nearly doubling every two decades since 1900, with the 1940s being a period of particularly high migration in the South.

One of the primary reasons for the establishment of the University of South Florida was to provide veterans with a government-sponsored public university in the Tampa Bay area. The start of World War II had industrialized the South, with the federal government investing billions of dollars in creating military bases and industries to assemble materials needed for the war. This led to an influx of people from rural areas to the cities. After the war, there was a sharp increase in people attending colleges and universities due to the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, or the G.I. Bill, which provided veterans with opportunities such as home loans, car loans, and most importantly, school loans. This increase in aid to veterans led to the need for new colleges and universities to be established.

The journey to establish the University of South Florida was a lengthy one, with extended debates on whether the university would be located in Tampa or St. Petersburg. Finally, in 1956, the Florida Legislature authorized the creation of the University of South Florida, and the first classes were held in September of that year. The university began with an initial enrollment of 1,948 students and 102 faculty members. The first president of the University of South Florida was John S. Allen, who served from 1957 to 1970. During his tenure, the university experienced rapid growth, with the construction of new buildings and the establishment of new programs.

In 1960, the University of South Florida opened its first branch campus in St. Petersburg, followed by a second branch campus in Sarasota in 1975. Today, the University of South Florida is a Preeminent State Research University located in the heart of the vibrant and diverse Tampa Bay region, with campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee. The university serves more than 50,000 students by offering over 200 undergraduate, graduate, specialist, and doctoral degrees.

The University of South Florida has been recognized for its academic excellence and research achievements. From 2013 to 2019, the university rose faster in U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings of best colleges than any other university in the country, public or private. The University of South Florida is at the forefront of cutting-edge research in medicine, science, engineering, and technology, and ranks in the top 25 nationally among public universities for total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation.

What are the faculties and departments at University of South Florida?

The University of South Florida boasts a diverse range of academic offerings, with 14 colleges providing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, and doctoral-level degree programs. These colleges encompass a variety of disciplines, ensuring prospective students have ample options to choose from when selecting their desired field of study.

The largest college at the University of South Florida is the College of Arts and Sciences, which is further divided into several schools and departments. These include the School of Humanities, School of Social Sciences, School of Information, School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, School of Public Affairs, Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications, and School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

In addition to the College of Arts and Sciences, the University of South Florida offers the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, which houses the School of Aging Studies, School of Applied Behavior Analysis, School of Social Work, and Department of Child and Family Studies. For those interested in business, the College of Business provides undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting, finance, marketing, and management.

The College of Education at the University of South Florida offers programs in early childhood education, special education, and educational leadership, while the College of Engineering provides undergraduate and graduate programs in various engineering disciplines, such as civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering.

For students pursuing careers in healthcare, the University of South Florida features the College of Medicine, which includes the Morsani College of Medicine and the Heart Institute, offering programs in medicine, nursing, and public health. The College of Nursing focuses on undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing, and the College of Pharmacy offers a Doctor of Pharmacy program.

The College of Public Health at the University of South Florida comprises the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Global Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, and Department of Community and Family Health.

What is the location of University of South Florida?

The University of South Florida is situated in the vibrant city of Tampa, which is part of the South region of the United States. The university's address is 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, with a ZIP Code of 33620. Tampa offers a diverse and dynamic environment for students, with its coastal, bayfront, and riverfront views. The University of South Florida has three campuses in the Tampa Bay region, including St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, covering over 1,600 acres and nearly 12 million square feet of building space.

For those traveling to the University of South Florida, Tampa International Airport is the nearest airport, making it convenient for students coming from different parts of the country or even internationally.

What is the mission and vision of University of South Florida?

Although the mission and vision of the University of South Florida are not explicitly stated, it is evident that the institution is dedicated to fostering student success and holistic development. This commitment is reflected in the goals and values of both the athletic department and the Center for Student Involvement.

The University of South Florida Athletics aims to provide student-athletes with a world-class education, win championships, and develop them into future leaders. The department envisions transforming itself into a modern, elite, and innovative athletic department, with core values such as commitment, community, excellence, inclusion, innovation, integrity, and teamwork.

Similarly, the Center for Student Involvement at the University of South Florida seeks to contribute to student success through quality involvement opportunities, education, and advising. These efforts are intended to foster pride in the university, develop global leaders, and promote holistic student development. The center's vision is to create an environment where every student is engaged in transformational experiences that lead to lifelong learning, personal growth, and a strong connection to the university. Its core values include fostering a sense of community, embracing diversity, supporting intellectual growth, developing personal leadership competencies, building interpersonal relationships, and encouraging service to others.

In summary, the University of South Florida places a strong emphasis on providing students with a well-rounded education that extends beyond the classroom. The institution is dedicated to nurturing future leaders who are actively engaged in their communities and committed to making a positive impact on the world.

What is the accreditation of University of South Florida?

The University of South Florida - Main Campus holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. This prestigious accreditation is accompanied by several specialized accreditations for various programs offered at the university. Prospective students interested in fields such as nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, and business can be assured of the quality of education provided at the University of South Florida.

In particular, the Muma College of Business and Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy have received separate accreditation from AACSB International. This distinction places the University of South Florida among only 190 institutions worldwide that have been certified for quality in both overall business and accounting programs. This recognition highlights the university's commitment to providing top-notch education in these fields.

Additionally, the University of South Florida has numerous accredited programs through various agencies. These include the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, American Physical Therapy Association, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. These accreditations further demonstrate the university's dedication to maintaining high standards in a diverse range of academic disciplines.

University of South Florida Rankings

See where this school lands in our other Rankings to get a bigger picture of the institution's offerings.

46 Best Value Colleges in the South in 2023-2024 US

74 Best Colleges in 2023-2024

75 Most Popular Colleges in the South in 2023-2024 US

107 Best Value Colleges in 2023-2024

234 Most Popular Colleges in 2023-2024


University of South Florida Profile - Basic Information

Name of the institution

University of South Florida

Level of institution

Four or more years

Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)


School type


Setting type

City: Large

Calendar system


Foundation year


Institution size category

20,000 and above

Main student body


Institutional Category

Degree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above

University of South Florida Programs and Degrees

iconMaster's degree
iconAssociate's degree
iconBachelor's degree
iconPost-master's certificate
iconDoctor's degree - research/scholarship
iconDoctor's degree - professional practice
iconOther degree
iconCertificate of at least 2 years, but less than 4 years
iconCertificate of less than 1 year
iconPostbaccalaureate certificate
iconCertificate of at least 1 year, but less than 2 years
iconDoctor's degree - other

Alumni Salary for University of South Florida Degrees


Avg. salary

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies


Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services


Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs


Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services






English Language and Literature/Letters


Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Health Professions and Related Programs




Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities


Mathematics and Statistics


Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies


Natural Resources and Conservation


Physical Sciences




Public Administration and Social Service Professions


Social Sciences


Visual and Performing Arts