Facts and Rankings
With an enrollment of nearly 50,000 students annually, UF is home to 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes.
Florida’s leading university traces its beginnings to a small seminary in 1853. It opened its doors in Gainesville in 1906 with 102 students. Today, it is one of the most comprehensive and academically diverse universities in the nation.
Since 1985, UF has been a member of the Association of American Universities, the higher-education organization comprising the top 62 public and private institutions in North America.
UF is consistently ranked among the nation’s top universities: No. 14 in U.S. News & World Report “Top Public Universities” (August 2013); No. 3 in Kiplinger’s “Best Values in Public Colleges” (2013); No. 3 in the Fiske Guide to Colleges list of Best Buys Among Publics (2014); No. 15 on the Forbes list of best public universities (2013); and No. 1 on Washington Monthly magazine’s list of national universities that offer the best bang for the buck (2013.)
Job recruiters ranked UF ninth on the list of places where corporations prefer to recruit new employees (2010) and No. 2 on SmartMoney magazine’s list of universities whose graduates get the highest salary return for their tuition dollars (2012).
- UF has more than 4,000 faculty members with distinguished records in teaching, research and service, including 34 Eminent Scholar chairs and 42 faculty elections to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, or the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- Awards include two Pulitzer Prizes, NASA’s top award for research, and Smithsonian Institution’s conservation award.
- More than 96 percent of incoming freshmen score above the national average on standardized exams.
- Students admitted for the fall 2014 freshman class had an average 4.4 GPA and an average SAT score of 1960.
- More than 1,260 International Baccalaureate students were enrolled in UF in February 2014 – more than any other university in the U.S. The freshman retention rate of 96 percent is among the highest in the country.
- Sixty-seven percent of UF freshmen graduate in four years, and 85 percent graduate in six years.
- Nearly two-thirds of UF graduates leave the university with no student loan debt. For the remaining third, their average indebtedness is roughly $20,700, compared with the national average of more than $29,000.
- Among AAU public universities, UF ranked first in master’s degrees and second in bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students in 2013.
Research and Discoveries
UF is a leader in research and discoveries which improve the lives of individuals throughout the state, nation and world.
- UF’s research and development expenditures totaled $740 million in 2011, placing UF 12th among public universities nationally, up from 14th the previous year.
- Gatorade®, the world’s most popular sports drink, is just one of hundreds of commercial products resulting from UF research.
- The University of Florida Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator in 2013 was ranked “World’s Best University Biotechnology Incubator” according to an international study conducted by the Sweden-based research group UBI.
- UF ranked 11th among universities in the number of U.S. patent applications in 2012.
- UF ranked fourth in the number of start-up companies created in 2012.
- UF has research collaborations with Scripps Florida, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the Moffitt Cancer Center.
- The UF astronomy department is a world leader in the development of sophisticated devices that are mounted on some of the world’s largest telescopes to detect new planets and other objects.
- UF is home to one of the world’s largest butterfly and moth collections, with more than 9 million specimens.
- UF’s McKnight Brain Institute is home to more than 300 faculty using some of the world’s most powerful MRI imaging systems and other state-of-the-art tools to better understand the human brain and nervous system.
- UF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute is one of only 60 the National Institutes of Health is funding to speed the transformation of scientific discoveries into medical advances for patients.
- UF’s Institute on Aging is home to one of only 10 Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers nationally and the leader of a $60 million study to determine whether physical activity can help older adults remain mobile.
- UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute is a national model for using interdisciplinary research methods to identify, prevent and treat human, animal and plant pathogens.
UF is an economic powerhouse behind Florida’s economy.
- UF’s annual economic impact exceeds $8.76 billion.
- UF activities generate an estimated 106,118 statewide jobs, including more than 41,000 university employees and those employed by supporting businesses.
- Every state dollar appropriated to the University of Florida results in a $15 return on investment.
The University of Florida is committed to the responsible teachings and practices of environmental protection and social responsibility.
- UF hosts a myriad of centers for environmental research, conservation, planning, design, policy, and law. Additionally, UF offers more than 300 courses related to sustainability, many college-level certificates in sustainability, a major and a minor in Sustainability Studies, and a Sustainability in the Built Environment major in the College of Design, Construction and Planning.
- UF is home to the Water Institute, the Florida Climate Institute, the Florida Institute of Sustainable Energy (FISE), and the Energy Technology Incubator. FISE enjoys the interdisciplinary efforts of more than 150 faculty in developing new technologies — from fuel cells, batteries, and solar cells to biofuels and nuclear power — in order to create a sustainable energy future for Florida and the world. In the last few years alone, UF’s Federal and State funded energy research exceeded $70 million.
- Gator Dining Services is committed to UF sustainability goals – sourcing 30% of its food locally and sustainably and reducing waste throughout its operations.
- UF President J. Bernard Machen was the first to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), committing UF to creating an action plan for becoming carbon neutral by 2025.
- UF built the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified building in the state of Florida and now houses 19 LEED certified buildings. All new campus buildings must meet LEED Gold Standards.
- From Preview to Commencement, the residence halls to the J. W. Reitz Union, sustainability is evident in the spectrum of experiences and environments students encounter while at UF.
Service Mission and Cultural Impact
As a land-, sea- and space-grant institution, UF is dedicated to serving the interests of society.
- UF’s world-class cultural and artistic venues, including the Florida Museum of Natural History, Harn Museum of Art, and Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, attract individuals from throughout the state and beyond.
- The university’s statewide outreach includes Cooperative Extension Offices in each of the state’s 67 counties, and 13 Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Research and Education Centers throughout the state.
- UF’s Health Science Center serves as the major referral center for patients in the southeastern U.S., and provides health and dental services in Gainesville and 11 other cities throughout the state.
- The Shands family of hospitals family includes two major teaching hospitals, Shands at UF in Gainesville and Shands Jacksonville; two specialty hospitals, Shands Rehab Hospital and Shands Vista behavioral health; a network of outpatient rehabilitations centers; and two home-health agencies. Shands at UF includes Shands Hospital for Children and Shands Cancer Hospital.
- UF’s radio and television stations reach audiences from Jacksonville to Tampa and throughout North Central Florida, providing news, sports, cultural and other programs often not available from other sources.
- The university libraries form the largest information resource system in the state of Florida, containing more than 5.6 million volumes, 7.9 million microfilms and 158,695 full-text electronic journals.
The Florida athletic program has won a total of 31 national team titles, including 22 since 1992. The department’s commitment to comprehensive success is evident in the fact that 12 different Gator sports have won a national title, a total that stands fourth all-time among the nation’s athletic programs. Florida has won a Southeastern Conference Championship best 13 national titles since 2006 and has captured at least one national title in each of the last four years.
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field and Gymnastics added the latest national championship hardware to the Gators collection in 2013. Overall, the Gators had 12 athletic teams rank in the top 10 nationally – and six in the top five – in 2012-13. UF placed second in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, equaling the highest finish ever for the program and their fifth consecutive top-four finish in the ranking. The University of Florida is the only program in the nation to finish among the nation’s top 10 in each of the last 30 national all-sports standings.
Nine conference titles were earned by Florida teams in 2012-13, equaling the league record with eight Southeastern Conference titles (men’s basketball, women’s cross country, gymnastics, soccer, softball, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and volleyball). These accomplishments led to the Gators capturing the SEC All-Sports Trophy for the seventh consecutive year, the 21st time in the last 22 years, and sweeping the awards for the 13th time – winning the overall, men’s and women’s titles. UF is the only school to collect all three titles in a single season and have now won the overall title 23 times and the men’s and women’s 17 and 20 times, respectively. The Gators now boast a total of 213 SEC titles – the most in the league – and 259 individual national titles. The other conference title came from the Gators’ youngest program, women’s lacrosse, which collected a share of its third consecutive American Lacrosse Conference title.
A total of 186 Gator student-athletes earned a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2012-13. UF is the only SEC school to place 100 or more student-athletes on the Academic Honor Roll each of the last 16 years. Florida student-athletes have also earned a total of 97 Academic All-America honors since 1992, including four in 2012-13.
The Gators have made their mark on the international level as well. Since 1968, a total of 163 Gator student‑athletes and 14 Florida coaches have represented 37 countries in 13 Olympiads and laid claim to 109 medals, including 50 gold. Most recently, 35 Gator athletes and three UF coaches represented 17 countries in London last summer, earning 18 medals.
The University of Florida Athletic Association has contributed $73.9 million to UF since 1990 to fund academic endeavors, including $6.4 million in 2012-13.
Gator student athletes were a fixture in the local community last year, spending 2,864 hours of community service partnering with 24 schools, four civic organizations and 27 non-profit organizations.
More than 367,000 alumni are located throughout the world. University of Florida graduates can be found in all 50 states and more than 135 countries, truly demonstrating that the Gator Nation is everywhere.
Notable alumni include John Atanasoff (inventor of the digital computer), Robert Cade (inventor of Gatorade), Michael Connelly (best-selling mystery novelist), actress Faye Dunaway, actor Buddy Ebsen, comedian Darrell Hammond, Carl Hiaasen (columnist and novelist), Bob Graham (former U.S. senator and Florida governor), Eleanor Smeal (former president of National Organization for Women), Olympic medalists Dara Torres and Ryan Lochte, ecologist Archie Carr, Jonathan Demme (Academy Award-winning director), Joe Scarborough (former congressman and MSNBC morning show host) and Jamie Macintyre, Forrest Sawyer and Sara Sidner (national broadcast journalists). UF alumni include at least nine former Florida governors, two Nobel Prize laureates, eight NASA astronauts, eight former U.S. ambassadors, and dozens of professional and amateur athletes.