Best colleges in Florida

Where Imagination and Relaxation Meet

Not just for retirees and family vacations

Mickey Mouse isn’t the only one who’s found a bright future down south. With 12 public universities, 28 community and state colleges, and multiple private and vocational schools, Florida is a popular state for higher learning.* Common college majors here in the Sunshine State include film production, theater and visual arts, animation and various forms of computer technology. Many students opt to stay post-graduation, thanks to the many companies headquartered here: ScribeAmerica, US Sugar Corporation, Intelliflix and Rhino Video Games. And no individual income tax, your money goes even further.

Florida is a large state promising plenty of diversity and amusement.* Of course, the most famous are Walt Disney World and the beaches of Key West, but there are plenty more affordable and convenient ways to spend your weekends. Dry Tortugas National Park features an exhilarating boat ride and spectacular views of Florida’s coastline. No Name Pub in Big Pine Key is a local bar covered floor to ceiling in signed dollar bills from customers. Churchill’s in Miami is another hot spot featuring regular live music performances and plenty of drinks to go around. And when all else fails, take a ride down the A1A, listening to Jimmy Buffett. If you fancy sunshine and warm weather and want a new experience with your education, Florida is your next home.

*http://www.florida-air.org/flacol.htm *http://www.myflorida.com

Best Four Year Universities in Florida

University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida is a public institution that was founded in 1853 in the suburban college town of Gainesville, Florida. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 35,000 students, all of whom attend classes on a campus that covers over 3 square miles. UF is on a semester-based academic calendar with tuition and fees for in-state students at almost a quarter of the cost that out-of-state students pay. 

The University of Florida is made up of 16 colleges and over 200 graduate programs, including competitive engineering, marketing, and education programs. It is a public, nonprofit institution that was founded by James Henry Roper, who donated private land to build the school. The school is known for hosting the largest student-run newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator, and for the invention of Gatorade at the College of Medicine. 

The University of Florida has a rich student athletic history, championed by John J. Tigert through the development of the first grant-based aid for student-athletes. Beyond academics, the University of Florida athletic teams compete in the SEC, with an annual football rivalry with the University of Georgia. Students at UF enjoy an eclectic array of restaurants and nightlife in Gainesville and get to watch exciting football games every Saturday. Notable alumni include former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, American songwriter Stephen Stills, and sports broadcaster Cris Collinsworth.

University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL
Image by @crambon0713

The University of Miami, also known as The U, is a private institution that was founded in 1925. Located in suburban Coral Gables just south of downtown Miami, Florida, The U has over 140 departments and 12 different academic colleges with an emphasis on research activity. The University of Miami is known for its tropical campus setting and modern architecture that is quintessential to South Florida. 

The University of Miami boasts a range of reputable academic programs in the fields of medicine and atmospheric science, and their proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast provides an excellent learning environment for those interested in studying oceanography. The graduation rate at The U is an impressive 81.4%, thanks in part to a low student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. The U has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 18,000 students that take classes according to a semester-based academic calendar. Prospective students should note that Florida residents receive in-state tuition at a much lower rate than applicants from out-of-state. 

Outside of academics, the University of Miami athletic teams, represented by their campus mascot Sebastian the Ibis and known internationally as the Hurricanes, compete in the ACC with an annual football rivalry with the Florida State Seminoles. Notable alumni include former professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, singer Gloria Estefan, and the face of the Rocky series, Sylvester Stallone.

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Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University offers 289 degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 11,374 students graduated with students earning 8,459 Bachelor's degrees, 1,954 Master's degrees, 730 Doctoral degrees, 187 Associate's degrees, and 44 Certificates.

Located in Tampa, Florida the University of South Florida, or USF, is a public institution that was founded in 1956. The total undergraduate enrollment for the class of 2021 was just under 50,000, making it one of the largest schools in the state. USF is in an urban setting on a campus that takes up over 1,600 acres with over 200 academic buildings that host classes, labs, and administrative offices. Students at USF take classes on a semester-based academic calendar, and tuition for in-state students is roughly a third of the cost that out-of-state students pay, making it a very attractive option for Florida residents. USF offers large undergraduate classes and provides a range of benefits to student veterans, an important aspect of school for former military members that are interested in getting a degree. 

USF students enjoy an array of on-campus activities including outdoor pools, over 100 student clubs, and a tropical campus with palms, idyllic brick walkways, and hanging Spanish moss. The university operates on an annual budget of over $2 billion and an endowment of approximately $690 million, making it one of the wealthiest schools in the state. USF honors its founding principles with the school crest, which symbolizes life, learning, broadened perspectives, and truth. 

Students at USF have a range of academic and career paths to explore, including over 80 bachelor’s and 100 master’s programs. Some top colleges within USF include the Morsani College of Medicine, the Muma College of Business, and the Patel College of Global Sustainability. Notable alumni include wrestler Hulk Hogan, baseball coach Tony La Russa, and news correspondent Kerry Sanders.

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The University of Central Florida (UCF) is a public research institution that was founded in 1963 in Orange County, Florida with an undergraduate enrollment of roughly 70,000. Founded by the Florida Legislature as Florida Technological University with a mission to prepare students to enter the growing workforce within the U.S. Space Program, UCF has since expanded to provide a range of science and fine arts programs. 

The university is in a suburban setting with a campus located just west of Cape Canaveral, and classes follow a semester-based academic calendar. The current student-faculty ratio at UCF is 30:1, which is typical for a large state institution. The University of Central Florida’s tuition and fees for in-state students are about a quarter the cost of those for out-of-state students, and the school has a diverse student body with representation from over 150 different countries around the world.

Located in Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida is made up of 13 colleges with competitive hospitality, media studies, and medical programs. UCF has one of the largest student bodies of any public institution in the United States with nearly 72,000 students enrolled. Beyond academics, UCF’s Knight athletic teams compete in the American Athletic Conference, with an annual football rivalry with the University of South Florida Bulls. On-campus residential housing is an integral part of student life, where undergraduates enjoy a diverse student population and a large Greek system. Notable alumni include comedian Daniel Tosh of Tosh.0 and DJ Diplo.

Rollins College
Winter Park, FL

Rollins College offers 57 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 893 students graduated with students earning 610 Bachelor's degrees, 272 Master's degrees, and 11 Doctoral degrees.

New College of Florida
Sarasota, FL

New College of Florida offers 6 degree programs. It's a very small, public, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 229 students graduated with students earning 213 Bachelor's degrees, and 16 Master's degrees.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University offers 99 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 2,112 students graduated with students earning 1,439 Bachelor's degrees, 319 Doctoral degrees, 311 Master's degrees, and 43 Associate's degrees.

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Florida International University is a public university that was founded in 1965 in Miami, Florida. With over 190 academic programs and 11 separate colleges including competitive business, medicine, and law schools, FIU is the largest university in South Florida. 

FIU boasts a 72.3% graduation rate and a student-to-faculty ratio of 25:1 which means larger lecture-style classes. FIU was the first public university in Miami and was founded with the help of Ernest Graham, who proposed the establishment of the school initially in 1943 and later in 1964. Beyond academics, FIU’s athletic teams, represented by their campus mascot Roary the Panther, compete in the FBS with an annual football rivalry with Florida Atlantic University in the Shula Bowl. 

FIU has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 50,000 students, and the school uses a semester-based system. Prospective students should note that Florida residents receive in-state tuition at a much lower rate than applicants from out-of-state. The university has a modern campus with impressive buildings like the Frost Art Museum and the Wertheim Performing Arts Center. Notable alumni include actor Andy Garcia, Boston Redsock’s third baseman Mike Lowell, and poet Richard Blanco.

Eckerd College
Saint Petersburg, FL

Eckerd College offers 55 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 416 students graduated with students earning 416 Bachelor's degrees.

Best Community Colleges in Florida

SABER College
Miami, FL

SABER College offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 145 students graduated with students earning 145 Associate's degrees.

College of Business and Technology-Hialeah offers 8 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 177 students graduated with students earning 152 Certificates, and 25 Associate's degrees.

Southeastern College-West Palm Beach offers 13 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 325 students graduated with students earning 197 Certificates, and 128 Associate's degrees.

College of Business and Technology-Main Campus offers 11 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 206 students graduated with students earning 145 Certificates, and 61 Associate's degrees.

Academy for Nursing and Health Occupations offers 4 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 133 students graduated with students earning 91 Certificates, and 42 Associate's degrees.

Aviator College of Aeronautical Science and Technology offers 3 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a outlying rural area. In 2019, 112 students graduated with students earning 83 Certificates, and 29 Associate's degrees.

Concorde Career Institute-Jacksonville offers 9 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 349 students graduated with students earning 225 Certificates, and 124 Associate's degrees.

Ultimate Medical Academy-Clearwater offers 25 degree programs. It's a large, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 6,784 students graduated with students earning 5,657 Associate's degrees, and 1,127 Certificates.

Concorde Career Institute-Orlando offers 7 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 291 students graduated with students earning 257 Certificates, and 34 Associate's degrees.

Sunstate Academy-Jones Technical Institute offers 3 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 225 students graduated with students earning 125 Associate's degrees, and 100 Certificates.

List of all colleges in Florida

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
University of Florida Logo University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2/5
21 : 1 52,407
University of Miami Logo University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
5/5
16 : 1 17,811
Florida State University Logo Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
2/5
27 : 1 42,450
University of South Florida-Main Campus Logo University of South Florida-Main Campus Tampa, FL
2/5
34 : 1 44,246
University of Central Florida Logo University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
2/5
44 : 1 69,402
Rollins College Logo Rollins College Winter Park, FL
5/5
14 : 1 3,127
New College of Florida Logo New College of Florida Sarasota, FL
2/5
7 : 1 726
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Logo Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee, FL
2/5
16 : 1 9,626
Florida International University Logo Florida International University Miami, FL
2/5
46 : 1 58,711
Eckerd College Logo Eckerd College Saint Petersburg, FL
5/5
12 : 1 2,007
Florida Southern College Logo Florida Southern College Lakeland, FL
5/5
21 : 1 3,305
Ringling College of Art and Design Logo Ringling College of Art and Design Sarasota, FL
5/5
14 : 1 1,658
University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee Logo University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee Sarasota, FL
2/5
25 : 1 2,207
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach Logo Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach Daytona Beach, FL
5/5
21 : 1 7,056
SABER College Logo SABER College Miami, FL   10 : 1 39
University of North Florida Logo University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL
2/5
33 : 1 17,117
Beacon College Logo Beacon College Leesburg, FL
5/5
8 : 1 416
Stetson University Logo Stetson University DeLand, FL
5/5
16 : 1 4,429
Florida Institute of Technology Logo Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL
5/5
21 : 1 6,022
Florida Atlantic University Logo Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
2/5
36 : 1 30,061