Best Universities in Florida: Overview of Top Schools

Florida's public and private postsecondary schools offer award-winning and generally well-regarded academic programs in many different subjects. Keep reading to learn about some of the best schools in Florida.

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Best Universities in Florida

1. Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL

Founded in the mid-19th century, Florida State University (FSU) is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with very high research activity. In 2011, The Princeton Review deemed FSU a Best Value College and a Best Southeastern College, as well as a good school for students interested in playing sports.

FSU has 16 colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, College of Motion Picture Arts, College of Engineering and College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. These schools offer approximately 275 degrees to all levels of students, from undergraduates to doctoral. Available programs include psychology, filmmaking, physics, chemistry, business and criminology, the last of which is a popular major at FSU, according to The Princeton Review. FSU offers Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees through its law and medical schools.

2. University of Florida in Gainesville, FL

With more than 50,000 students enrolled each year, the University of Florida is one of the country's most populated 4-year institutions. In 2012 rankings, the University of Florida was ranked the 58th best school in the country by U.S. News & World Report. In 2011, The Princeton Review named it a Best Southeastern College and the third Best Value College among public schools. Surveys conducted by The Princeton Review ranked the University of Florida the number one school for career services and the ninth for college newspapers in 2011.

The university is composed of 16 professional colleges, including the Warrington College of Business Administration, Levin College of Law, College of Nursing and College of Design, Construction and Planning. The university offers more than 100 degree programs for undergraduate students and provides them with access to more than 100 research centers and organizations. The university's library system, with 5.6 million volumes, advertises itself as the largest informational resource collection in the state. A study performed by the university's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences determined that the University of Florida contributed more than $8.76 billion to the Florida economy from 2009-2010.

3. University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL

In 2010, the University of Miami was the only private school in Florida to be ranked among the top 50 schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Located approximately seven miles from downtown Miami, the university spends more than $325 million on private research each year. Because of its diverse student population, the University of Miami was recognized by The Princeton Review as the third best school for race and class interaction in 2011.

More than 180 degree programs are offered for undergraduate and graduate students. These include business administration, advertising, mechanical engineering, nursing, public relations and architecture. In addition to 12 colleges and schools, the university offers resources through local centers and organizations, including the Center for Urban and Community Design, Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and Clean Energy Research Institute.

List of Ten Good Universities in Florida

School Name Distinction Location
Florida Atlantic University Houses Florida Centers of Excellence in biomedical and marine biotechnology and ocean energy technology Boca Raton, FL
Florida International University The first established and only public research university in Miami Miami, FL
Florida State University Has two Nobel laureates and two Pulitzer Prize winners on faculty Tallahassee, FL
Nova Southeastern University Community outreach programs Fort Lauderdale, FL
Stetson University Small group-based learning curricula and environment Deland, FL
University of Central Florida Home to the Florida Solar Energy Center Orlando, FL
University of Florida The oldest university in Florida Gainesville, FL
University of Miami Ranked #38 among national universities for 2012 by U.S. News & World Report Miami, FL
University of South Florida The Patel School of Global Sustainability Tampa, FL
University of Tampa Has about 550 internship opportunities for students Tampa, FL
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