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Florida Public Universities: List of Public Colleges and Schools

Florida's public universities and colleges are located throughout the state, especially in major urban centers. Among the largest public schools are the University of Florida in Gainesville, Miami Dade College in Miami and Valencia College in Orlando. Continue reading to learn about these three schools and the degree programs they offer.

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School Overviews

The University of Florida (UF), Miami Dade College and Valencia College are all 4-year public schools located in midsize-to-large cities in Florida. Although they both offer bachelor's degrees, Miami Dade and Valencia primarily grant associate's degrees to students. Of the three, only UF awards graduate degrees.

University of Florida

Located in Gainesville, UF is Florida's oldest institution of higher learning and one of the five largest universities in the United States. In 2014, this school was ranked 14th among the nation's top public universities by U.S. News & World Report. UF offers more than 100 undergraduate and nearly 200 graduate programs, yet limits the majority of its class sizes to 25 students. The Florida Gator athletic teams are consistently ranked in the top ten standings and compete in the NCAA's Division I and Southeastern Conference.

Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College (MDC) is based in downtown Miami and has seven other campuses and centers throughout Miami-Dade County, as well as a virtual college. This college is the largest postsecondary school in Florida and offers more than 300 programs of study leading to vocational training, certificates, and associate's and bachelor's degrees. The college's 12 academic schools include architecture and interior design, computer and engineering technologies, aviation, business, education, funeral services, health sciences, justice and nursing. MDC also has an extensive study abroad program and maintains transfer agreements with over 60 U.S. colleges and universities, including all public 4-year schools in Florida.

Valencia College

Valencia College, formerly known as Valencia Community College, offers classes at eight locations throughout Orlando, Florida, online and via Digital TV. The college offers over 60 programs, including numerous associate's degrees, a few bachelor's degrees and many technical certificates. Valencia College students graduating with career-oriented degrees enjoy a 96% job placement rate. For those wanting further education, Associate of Arts programs in a range of academic fields guarantee graduates admission to advanced degree programs at partnered public schools in Florida. Other educational offerings at Valencia College include internships, study abroad programs and dual-enrollment options for qualifying high school students.

List of Ten Good Public Colleges and Universities in Florida

Name Distinction Location
Broward College Broward associate's degree graduates earn more than statewide average salaries Fort Lauderdale, FL
Florida International University Awards the most bachelor's and master's degrees to Hispanic students in the U.S. Miami, FL
Florida State College at Jacksonville This school's Fire Academy of the South is ranked in the top half of fire science programs in the U.S. Jacksonville, FL
Florida State University School has two Pulitzer Prize winning faculty members Tallahassee, FL
Miami Dade College MDC awards more associate's degrees annually than any other U.S. college Miami, FL
St. Petersburg College This college's specialized facilities include the Fire and Public Safety Training Center, Veterinary Technology Center and a dental hygiene patient-care clinic St. Petersburg, FL
University of Central Florida Has the second largest undergraduate student population among public universities in the U.S. and the largest in Florida Orlando, FL
University of Florida Ranked #14 top public university in the nation in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report Gainesville, FL
University of South Florida - Main Campus Ranked #14 among up-and-coming schools in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report Tampa, FL
Valencia College Won the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2011 Orlando, FL
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