About USF

Points of Pride

Compiled annually by the USF Office of Decision Support
Last updated April, 2017

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.

Research and Innovation

  • 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).
  • In 2016, USF faculty were awarded 88 highly prestigious awards, including Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and AAU-recognized honor.
  • USF ranked 4th worldwide for organizations with the most AAAS Fellows named in 2016, for the third year in a row. As of 2016, USF has a total of 61 AAAS Fellows.
  • The USF System ranks 45th in the U.S. for total research expenditures, among all U.S. universities, public or private, by the National Science Foundation (2015). This places USF in the top 7% among the 640 universities ranked (FY2015, most recent available)
  • The USF System ranks 28th in the nation among public universities for total research expenditures by the National Science Foundation (2015).
  • USF is one of 49 public research universities nationwide classified as both a Doctoral University with "Highest Research Activity" and as a ”Community Engaged" institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • USF is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Doctoral University with Highest Research Activity, a distinction attained by only 2.5% of all post-secondary institutions.  In addition, USF is one of only five public institutions in the state of Florida that is classified as a Doctoral University with Highest Research Activity.
  • USF’s College of Marine Science successfully competed for one of eight research centers worldwide, funded at $11 million by BP (2011).
  • USF is the founder and home of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) (AcademyofInventors.org), a non-profit member organization with over 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 215 U.S. universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The NAI’s nationally recognized Fellows program has more than 750 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 2,100 U.S. patents.
  • The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame (FloridaInvents.org) was founded at USF in 2013. As of 2016, 20 outstanding Florida inventors have been elected, including four from USF and 10 from other SUS institutions.
  • USF is designated by the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity University, one of only 54 in the nation.
  • USF’s innovation and economic development efforts generate more than $400 million in statewide impact each year, sustain more than 3,000 jobs and return more than $52 million in tax revenue to local, state and federal coffers, according to a 2016 analysis from the Washington Economics Group, a leading national firm.  

Academic Value

  • USF Tampa graduate level programs continue to be ranked among the best according to the 2018 U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) Graduate School Rankings. USF graduate programs in the top 50 include:
    • Industrial and Organizational Psychology (#2)
    • Public Health (#8)
    • Audiology (#13)
    • Criminology (#22)
    • Library and Information Studies (#25)
    • Rehabilitation Counseling (#22)
    • Nursing (#27)
    • Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering (#34)
    • Clinical Psychology (#36)
  • USF Tampa is ranked among the best in 2016 U.S. News and World Report’s (USNWR) 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 (#66) by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for 2016.
  • USF Tampa ranks in the top 50 among U.S. public institutions in the Times Higher Education (THE) World university rankings (2016).
  • USF Tampa ranks among the top tier of colleges listed in the U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) 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 (#24) for all Public Southern Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) (2016).
  • According to the Times Higher Education (THE) 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.
  • According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) (2016), USF Tampa ranks among the top 300 of the best colleges and universities in the world.

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).
  • USF was ranked #7 in the U.S. and #34 worldwide among public universities established in the “Golden Age” (1945-1966) according to Times Higher Education (THE). (2017)
  • USF ranks #1 in student success and is the nation’s top performer in “Overall Student Success” among 1,100 public research and doctoral universities according to the 2016 Eduventures Student Success Ratings. 


  • The University of South Florida System is home to a student body of nearly 50,000 students representing over 130 different countries.
  • USF is ranked as the #1 institution in Florida, and #6 in the Nation for Black Student Success, according to a report released by The Education Trust (2017). 

Veteran Friendly

  • U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) 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 16th by Military Times’ Best for Vets: Business Schools 2016 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).