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. 17 in U.S. News & World Report “Top Public Universities” (August 2012); No. 3 in Kiplinger’s “Best Values in Public Colleges” (2013) and No. 7 in the Princeton Review “Best Value Public Colleges” (2012).
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 also ranked 21st in the National Universities category of the 2012 Washington Monthly magazine College Rankings.
- UF has 4,215 faculty members with distinguished records in teaching, research and service, including 40 Eminent Scholar chairs and 28 faculty elections to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, or the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- Awards include a Fields Medal, two Pulitzer Prizes, NASA’s top award for research, and Smithsonian Institution’s conservation award.
- More than 90 percent of incoming freshmen score above the national average on standardized exams.
- The fall 2011 incoming freshman class had an average 4.3 GPA and 1958 SAT score.
- UF admitted 1,375 International Baccalaureate students — more than any other university in the U.S. — in fall 2011.
- The freshman retention rate of 96 percent is among the highest in the country.
- Sixty-five percent of UF freshmen graduate in four years, and 83 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 $17,000, compared with the national average of nearly $27,000.
- Among AAU public universities, UF ranked second in bachelor’s degrees and fourth in doctorates awarded to Hispanic students in 2009-10.
- Among AAU public universities, UF ranked first in bachelor’s degrees and fifth in doctorates awarded to African American students in 2009-10.
Research and Discoveries
UF is a leader in research and discoveries which improve the lives of individuals throughout the state, nation and world.
- UF received more than $644 million in research awards in 2011-12.
- Gatorade®, the world’s most popular sports drink, is just one of hundreds of commercial products resulting from UF research.
- UF ranked 10th in the number of U.S. patents issued in 2011.
- UF ranked eighth in the number of start-up companies created in 2011.
- UF was tied for 13th in the number of invention disclosures in 2011.
- UF is a national leader in alternative energy research, with strong programs in ethanol production, and nuclear and solar energy.
- UF has strong 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.
- UF was No. 28 (out of 258) on Washington Monthly magazine’s 2011 rankings of national universities’ contributions to the public good.
UF’s athletic programs possess a rich tradition of excellence at the conference, national and international levels.
- UF’s athletic victories include 29 national team championships, three of which came in 2011-12 from Men’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field and Women’s Tennis. The Gators boast 205 Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles – the most in the league – and more than 249 individual national titles. In 2006, UF became the first university in collegiate history to earn both the national men’s basketball and football titles in the same year. The university again made history in April 2007 by winning consecutive national titles in men’s basketball. UF is the only SEC school to place 100 or more student-athletes on the Academic Honor Roll each of the last 15 years.
- The University of Florida is the only program in the nation to finish among the nation’s top 10 in each of the last 29 national all-sports standings. Last season, the Gators finished second in the nation in the 2011-12 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, matching Florida’s highest ever finish in the annual all sports ranking, while marking the Gators’ fourth consecutive top four finish in the ranking. A total of 12 Gator athletics teams finished in the top 10 in national championship action – including a program high three NCAA titles – while seven of those teams placed among the nation’s top five. For the second-consecutive year, the Florida men’s athletic program brought home the Capital One Cup, based on top-10 national finishes, while the women were top 10 in the final standings for the second year in a row.
- The University of Florida additionally swept the 2011-12 Halifax Media Group’s Southeastern Conference All-Sports titles – the 12th time the Gator program has taken the three titles. The Florida athletics program took the overall, men’s and women’s SEC All-Sports titles, as UF is the only school to collect all three titles in a single season. The overall SEC All-Sports title marked the 22nd for Florida, while the Gator program earned its 19th women’s and 16th men’s titles.
- 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. Thirty-five Gator athletes and three UF coaches represented 17 countries in London last summer, as UF surpassed the 100-medal mark with 18 medals in 2012.
- Since 2006, the University of Florida Athletic Association has contributed more than $37.5 million to UF’s academic endeavors.
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.