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Founded in 1956, the University of South Florida (USF) is a young university. It has rich traditions of access and opportunity for students, academic excellence, groundbreaking research, and community service.
Situated in the vibrant and diverse Tampa Bay region, USF has three campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee. The campuses collectively serve over 50,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, and professional degrees. Undergraduates can choose from more than 200 majors, minors, and concentrations across our 13 colleges, from business and engineering to the arts and USF Health.
High-impact global research is central to USF’s mission as one of only three Florida Board of Governors-designated Preeminent Research Universities. The Preeminence program recognizes high-achieving universities based on 12 metrics- graduation rates, student retention rates, research expenditures, and patents awarded.
With 123 new U.S. utility patents granted in 2020, USF ranks eighth among American public research universities and 15th globally in the patent generation. According to the ranking, USF is among the top 1,000 academic institutions producing new, novel, and useful inventions that have been granted intellectual property protection by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
USF’s efforts in innovation and economic development yield tangible results throughout Florida. In fiscal 2019-20, the university had a total economic impact of $6.02 billion and supports 68,704 jobs in the state. Many jobs supported by USF are in high-skill, high-wage, knowledge-based industries like life sciences, information technology, and finance.
History of University of South Florida
USF was Florida’s first state university, built in the twentieth century. Samuel Gibbons was a United States representative then, but people knew him as the ‘Father of USF.’ Although 1956 was the year of the university’s establishment, it was not officially named until the following year, and classes did not begin until 1960. Henderson Air Field, a World War II airstrip, was the university’s site, built off Fowler Avenue. Before Henderson Field, the area was part of a 5,000-acre temple orange grove, the world’s largest citrus grove at the time, which gave rise to the nearby city of Temple Terrace.
The Florida Cabinet approved the name ‘University of South Florida’ in 1957. At the time, USF was the state university system’s southernmost institution.
The old library (now the student services building), the science building (now the chemistry building), the teaching auditorium (no longer standing, on the site of what is now the music building), the university center (no longer standing, on the site of what is now the Marshall Student Center), and the administration building were the first five buildings on the campus.
The university was founded as a whites-only institution, but it peacefully integrated and admitted its first African-American student, Ernest Boger, in 1961, the school’s second year of operation. Boger earned a B.A. in psychology in 1964.
In 1962, students voted to make the ‘Golden Brahman,’ named after the state’s cattle raising industry, the university’s mascot. ‘Bulls’ was the mascot’s new name by the early 1980s.
USF held its first graduation ceremony in 1963. The university awarded 325 degrees in this ceremony.
Under the leadership of John S. Allen, who served as the university’s first president from 1956 until his retirement in 1971. The university expanded rapidly during this period, thanks partly to the start of the first master’s degree programs in 1964.
USF’s original motto
Allen was notorious for opposing college sports in favor of putting an ‘Accent on Learning,’ USF’s original motto.
He gained national attention after declaring in 1959 that the university would have no sports teams; however, he later changed his mind, and USF’s first varsity teams would begin in 1965.
Allen’s ultimate legacy was to be the first person to design and build a modern state university from the ground up, stating famously, ‘As a completely new and separate institution, the University of South Florida became the first new institution of its kind to be conceived, planned, and built in the United States in the twentieth century.’
The John and Grace Allen Administration Building, named after the university’s founding president and his wife, now houses important Tampa campus departments such as Student Affairs, the Admissions Welcome Center, and the Controller’s Office.
USF’s St. Petersburg campus opened in 1965 as a satellite campus. At the time, the site was known as the ‘Bay Campus,’ located on the former site of the United States Navy Maritime Training Center.
During the tornado outbreak of April 4-5, 1966, an F4 tornado damaged the USF campus, partially collapsing the cooling towers at the university’s power plant and ripping the roof off one dormitory.
USF is a limitless community with a diverse student population and abundant resources. And the moment you set foot on campus, you’ll sense the distinct and undeniable energy that characterizes student life at USF.
Over 44,000 students from across the United States and more than 140 countries come to the Tampa campus to pursue their dreams. The students get to do more than just eat, sleep, study, and attend campus classes. People collaborate, cultivate, engage, innovate, overcome, and thrive on the USF campus.
USF truly has something for everyone- over 600 clubs and student organizations, 19 varsity sports, an active student government, and a thriving arts scene. Students can organize the Homecoming parade, learn to dance the Tango, support the Bulls at Raymond James Stadium, write for The Oracle, volunteer in the community, and so on. They can visit the 28,000-square-foot Recreation & Wellness Center – or one of its satellite locations – to work out, swim, take a group fitness class, or participate in one of the 50 intramural sports available on campus.
Students get endless opportunities to make the most of their time at USF, from concerts and basketball games in the Yuengling Center to Movies on the Lawn, celebrity lectures, and gaming at the Marshall Student Center.
The Village’s newly opened, state-of-the-art residence halls provide expanded housing options for incoming students and upperclassmen. At the same time, four new dining locations cater to the campus’s diverse dietary needs. In December 2018, the state’s first on-campus Publix Super Market opened. The new grocery store is an excellent shopping and dining option for students, with indoor and outdoor seating areas, grab-and-go prepared foods, and easy walking access from neighboring residence halls.
Despite the fact that there is plenty to do on campus, the students can spend their free time in Tampa Bay by exploring this vibrant, beautiful region. The campus is minutes from the world’s most beautiful beaches, scenic historic districts, world-class shopping, and dynamic cultural institutions, not to mention Tampa’s three professional sports teams, whether Sarasota, St. Petersburg, or Tampa Bay campus.
Courses at University of South Florida
Accounting, advertising, anthropology, sciences, arts, architecture, engineering, business, computer science, communication, environment, economics, social sciences, mathematics, law, management, finance, marketing, and nursing are among the more than 180 majors available at USF. The university has over 47,800 students and over 15,370 staff members, with a student-faculty ratio of 21:1. International students from 128 countries make up 10% of the overall student population.
USF common programs
- Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences
- Biomedical Sciences
- Biology/Biological Sciences
- Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
- Marketing/Marketing Management
Associate programs at University of South Florida
- Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
- Executive MBA
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Business Administration (Compliance, Risk Management & Anti‐Money Laundering)
- Master of Business Administration (Cybersecurity)
- Master of Business Administration (Data Analytics)
- Master of Business Administration (Healthcare Analytics)
Rankings of University of South Florida
According to U.S. News and World Report’s (U.S. News) 2023 Best Colleges rankings, USF is the fastest-rising university in America. Over the last decade, USF has risen 52 places among other public universities, from No. 94 to No. 42, and 73 places overall, from No. 170 to No. 97.
- QS World University Rankings- 600-650
- QS WUR Ranking by Subject- 451-500
- Graduate Employability Ranking- 191-200
- US UNI (universities)- 78
The university strives to provide its students with excellent career opportunities by collaborating with numerous national and international academic institutions and prestigious firms. With over 228,000 alumni, USF is associated with several notable people.
- Alan Boss is a successful astrophysicist who has chaired numerous International Astronomical Unions.
- Aasif Mandvi is a well-known actor and comedian.
- Mark Consuelos is a popular actor who has played Hiram Lodge in Riverdale and Mateo Santos in All My Children.
- Hulk Hogan is a former professional wrestler, television personality, actor, musician, and business owner.
- J. R. Reed used to be a safety in American football.
- Lobo is a well-known singer-songwriter who had several Top 10 hits in the United States in the early 1970s.
- Started in 1956, the University of South Florida (USF) is a young university. It has rich traditions of providing access and opportunity for students, academic excellence, groundbreaking research, and community service.
- USF has three campuses- Tampa Bay, Sarasota, and St Petersberg. The students can do so much more than just eat, sleep, study, and attend campus classes. People can collaborate, cultivate, engage, innovate, overcome, and thrive on the USF campuses.
- USF has more than 180 majors available at USF. Accounting, advertising, anthropology, sciences, arts, architecture, engineering, business, computer science, communication, environment, economics, social sciences, mathematics, and law, are some of the disciplines taught at USF
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Q1. Is the University of South Florida difficult to get into?
Ans- Admission to the University of South Florida is more selective, with a 49% acceptance rate. Half of those admitted to the University of South Florida has an SAT score of 1140 to 1340 or an ACT score of 24 to 29.
Q2. Is the University of South Florida Ivy League?
Ans- Although it is a highly-ranked university with a high level of academic excellence, the University of Florida is not a member of the Ivy League.
Q3. What is the tuition fee for USF?
Ans- The tuition fee at USF for Florida residents is $6,410, and an Out-of-State Resident has to pay $17,324. Meal charges have to be paid separately.