The University of Florida originally operated as two separate schools in Florida. One was the East Florida Seminary, which opened in 1853, and the other was the Gainesville Academy, which opened in 1858. Those two schools later merged and then merged again with the Florida Agricultural College to form the university as it exists today. This early version of the university slowly made the transition from high school and college preparatory type classes to a more traditional college experience. Though the university once admitted women only to select programs, it offered them full admission to many programs beginning in the 1920s. The university now has a great reputation beyond its state.
Some of the honors that the University of Florida received over the years include its inclusion on several top college lists. It appeared within the top 50 of the best American college lists released by ARWU, Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report. ARWU also listed it as one of the top 100 colleges in the world. Some of its programs that rank within the top 10 in the nation includes its plant and animal science program and its agricultural science program. Other programs considered among the best include its psychology, space science, engineering, chemistry and math programs. PETA also called UF the best school in the country for vegan students.
University of Florida Accreditation Details
Many colleges seek accreditation as a way to show students that those schools offer the best opportunities. The University of Florida is no exception. UF sought regional accreditation decades ago from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Not only did the SACS grant the university accreditation that first year, but it renewed its accreditation each decade since. It’s also worthwhile to look at some of the program accreditation the university has. The Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET) accredits its programs in aerospace engineering, environmental engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering and similar programs. Some of the other organizations that granted UF accreditation include:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- American Council for Construction Education
- Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
- Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
- American Occupational Therapy Association
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
- American Dental Association
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design
- Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
- Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- American Bar Association
University of Florida Application Requirements
Though the University of Florida has a deadline for applications, it usually allows students to complete and submit applications after that deadline. If the university still has space available in its freshmen class, it will inform students on its website that admission is still open. The first step in applying is the general online application. This application asks for information about the student and his or her parents. Students will also need to fill out the Student Self-Reported Academic Record (SSAR). The SSAR requires that students list all courses they took and the grades they received up through their senior year in high school. An official transcript must verify all that information. Once a student receives an acceptance letter, UF requires that they put down a deposit that holds their spot for the coming year.
Those applying to one of the fine art programs must meet other requirements. Students will need to audition for spots in the theater, dance and music programs. They can schedule their audition directly with the university. Some programs may require a resume or a portfolio as well. A resume is generally needed for one of the professional programs, and those entering one of the art programs will need to show their work in a portfolio.
Tuition and Fees
The University of Florida considers a full time student as someone who takes 30 credit hours of work every year. Florida residents who take a full course load pay $6,390 for tuition alone. Housing and a meal plan add $10,000 to that total. UF estimates that Florida residents who live on campus will pay around $22,000 a year, which includes all fees and expenses. Those who move to Florida for school and live on campus will pay closer to $44,000 a year. Choosing a different meal plan or housing package can either raise or lower this cost.
Many students who attend UF receive some type of financial aid package. The university determines how much a student will get based on his or her responses to the questions asked on the FAFSA. Students can borrow a specific amount from the government in the form of loans every year, and the amount they can borrow increases each year. Some may qualify for grants and for a work study job on campus. UF also recommends that students look for scholarships. Some scholarships are available from the university for those who meet certain requirements, but students can also apply for scholarships through major organizations and companies.
There is no college in the country quite like the University of Florida. Its gorgeous campus offers plenty of opportunities for students who want to get in shape, have fun with friends or even meet new friends. There are two different fitness centers on campus that have running tracks, exercise equipment and lounges open to students. Its TriP program lets students have some fun in the great outdoors too. This program takes students on outdoor adventures that include hiking, camping and even rock climbing. Fans of college sports will also want to watch the Gators play live at one of the local stadiums or arenas.
The psychology program at UF ranks as one of the best in the country because it provides students with the chance to do real fieldwork before they graduate. It is also one of the only colleges that has a space science program, which developed out of its close proximity to Cape Canaveral. Students also like the social sciences program, which received recognition for its off-site learning opportunities. Many students enrolled in this program actually spend a semester or more working with the homeless or another group in need. Some of the other top programs available through the University of Florida include civil engineering, molecular biology and pharmacology.