||The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in fiscal year 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.
USF vaulted up Sierra magazine’s coolest Schools list in 2012 to rank 12th among American universities and colleges in implementing new green practices and focusing on sustainability in research and education. Over the past year, USF renovated more than 80 classrooms and learning spaces, including a complete redesign of the Library’s second floor into the new SmartLab, and re-opened the Sun Dome after a stunning transformation.
The University of South Florida was founded in 1956 as the first public university established specifically to address the needs of Florida's rapidly emerging urban regions. State Rep. Sam Gibbons championed USF's creation, and John S. Allen, USF's first president, helped Gov. Leroy Collins break ground in September 1957.
On September 26, 1960, nearly 2,000 students began classes in five buildings. USF was on its way. The university chose two words to guide its path: "Truth" and "Wisdom."
USF developed rapidly. In 1965, the St. Petersburg campus opened, and USF was accredited, gaining additional academic respect. In 1967, enrollment passed 10,000. In 1968, USF was admitted to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
In the 1970s, the College of Medicine was established, a strong academic program in Sarasota/Manatee was developed, and enrollment passed the 20,000 mark.
During the 1980s, the graduate school was established, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute opened, the USF Polytechnic campus opened, and enrollment passed 30,000.
The 1990s brought widespread recognition of USF as a major research university when research funding passed $100 million. USF was recruiting superb scientists, creative artists, and cutting-edge scholars in everything from social sciences to literature.
USF AT A GLANCE
- Founded: 1956
- Undergraduates: 36,463
- Graduate Students: 10,239
- Total number of students who received financial aid in 2014-15: 25,531
- Average financial aid awarded: $10,134
- Accreditation: Regionally Accredited, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Student-faculty ratio: 23:1
- Average class size: 33 students
- Faculty & Staff: 15,243
- Diversity: 40.6% of students are African American, Black, Asian American, Hispanic, Native American or multiracial.
- Countries Represented: 130+ and 10% of the total student population