About USF

Points of Pride

Compiled annually by the USF Office of Decision Support
Last updated October, 2016

In the region, in the state, in the nation and across the globe, the University of South Florida is making an impact. Here are just a few of the distinctive attributes that make our young, vibrant and dynamic university a leading institution of higher education.


  • The USF System was awarded a record $458.5 million in contracts and grants in fiscal year 2016.
  • The USF System ranks 9th in the nation among public universities and 21st world-wide for granted U.S. patents among all universities according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association/NAI (2015).
  • The USF System ranks fourth worldwide for organizations with the most AAAS Fellows (2015). The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher scientific journals.
  • The USF System ranks 41st in the U.S. for total research expenditures, among all U.S. universities, public or private, by the National Science Foundation (2014). This places USF in the top 7% among the 634 universities ranked (FY2014, most recent available).
  • The USF System ranks 25th in the nation among public universities for total research expenditures by the National Science Foundation (2014).
  • USF is one of 40 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • USF is one of only four Florida public universities classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the top tier of research universities (RU/VH), a distinction attained by only 2.3 percent of all universities.
  • USF’s College of Marine Science successfully competed for one of eight research centers worldwide, funded at $11 million by BP.
  • USF is the founder and home of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), a non-profit member organization with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 200 U.S. universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions. The NIA’s nationally recognized Fellows program has more than 580 elected Fellows, including Nobel Laureates, U.S. National Medal of Technology & Innovation and National Medal of Science recipients and National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees. USF has 18 NAI Fellows. The USF Chapter of the NAI has over 400 USF faculty, staff, students and alumni members, who collectively hold more than 2,000 U.S. patents.
  • The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame (FloridaInvents.org) was founded at USF in 2013. To date, 20 outstanding Florida inventors have been elected, including four from USF.

Academic Value

  • USF Tampa graduate level programs continue to be ranked among the best according to the 2017 U.S. News and World Report Graduate School Rankings. USF graduate programs in the top 50 include:
    • Industrial and Organizational Psychology (#4)
    • Public Health (#16)
    • Audiology (#17)
    • Criminology (#22)
    • Library and Information Studies (#24)
    • Rehabilitation Counseling (#24)
    • Nursing (#40)
    • Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering (#46)
    • Clinical Psychology (#50)
  • USF Tampa is ranked among the best in 2016 U.S. News and World Report’s Online Education Program rankings. USF graduate programs ranked in the top 50 include:
    • Information Technology (#14)
    • Engineering (#20)
    • Business (non-MBA) (#22)
    • Education (#36)
  • USF Tampa was named one of the Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges (#45) by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for 2016.
  • USF Tampa ranks in the top 50 among U.S. public institutions in the Times Higher Education World university rankings (2016).
  • USF Tampa ranks among the top tier of colleges listed in the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2016, ranking in the top 100 of best public national universities.
  • USF St. Petersburg’s undergraduate programs were ranked in the top 25 (#23) for all Public Southern Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report (2016).
  • According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, USF ranks in the top 250 best universities in the world (2016).
  • USF Tampa is listed as a top 50 public university in the most recently published Top American Research Universities (TARU) report.
  • USF is named in Princeton Review’s Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition.
  • According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) (2015), USF Tampa ranks among the top 300 of the best colleges and universities in the world.
  • The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine once again rank USF’s interdisciplinary graduate entrepreneurship program among the top 25 programs in the nation (#13), the only Florida program included (2015).

Awards and Recognition

  • USF is the first ever “Emerging Preeminent State University” in Florida, designated by the Florida Board of Governors in June 2016.
  • The USF System was home to 51 national scholarship and fellowship student awardees during the 2015-16 academic year including Boren, Fulbright, Gilman, and Goldwater.
  • According to College Degree Search, USF ranks 30th for the most beautiful conservatories and schools of music (2015).


  • The University of South Florida System is home to a student body of nearly 50,000 students representing over 130 different countries.

Veteran Friendly

  • U.S. News and World Report ranked USF Tampa as a Best College for Veterans (2016).
  • USF was ranked 1st among the country’s most veteran-friendly schools by Military Times’ Best for Vets: Nursing 2015 rankings. 
  • USF’s College of Business was ranked 26th by Military Times’ Best for Vets: Business Schools 2015 rankings.
  • USF is one of only 16 universities in the nation selected as a Tillman Partnership University of the Pat Tillman Foundation, a selection based on innovative veteran-specific support services and proven culture of community for military families.

Social Responsibility

  • USF Tampa is ranked 46th among public universities for social mobility, research and civic engagement, according to Washington Monthly (2016).
  • USF Tampa is a recognized “Top Producer” of Peace Corps Volunteers. Ranking 16th in the Nation (among universities larger than 15K students) for Peace Corps Volunteers in 2016.  
  • USF is featured in Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition as one of 353 institutions of higher education that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.
  • According to Best Colleges, USF ranks 36th on the Greenest Universities in America rankings (2015).