About USF

A Preeminent Research University located in the heart of Tampa Bay, the University of South Florida is dedicated to empowering students to maximize their potential for lifelong success.

Points of Pride

Compiled by the USF Office of Decision Support
Last updated August 2021

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.

Note: Some of the below statistics apply to the USF Tampa campus prior to consolidation on July 1, 2020. 


  • USF’s innovation and economic development efforts generate more than $582 million in statewide impact each year, sustain more than 4,000 jobs and return more than $71 million in tax revenue to local, state and federal coffers, according to a 2019 analysis from the Washington Economics Group, a leading national firm. 82% of the jobs created by USF innovation statewide are in the knowledge-based services sector.
  • The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame (FloridaInvents.org) was founded at USF in 2013. As of 2020, 51 outstanding Florida inventors have been elected, including 10 from USF.

  • USF ranks 8th in the nation among public universities, and 15th worldwide for granted U.S. patents among all universities according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association/NAI (2020). USF has ranked in the top 10 among public universities for U.S. patents granted for the ninth consecutive year.
  • USF ranked 4th worldwide among organizations with the most Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) named in 2020, a rank USF has held for the past six years. As of 2020, USF has a total of 82 AAAS Fellows among its faculty.
  • USF is one of 56 public research universities nationwide classified as a Doctoral University with “Highest Research Activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The title of “Highest Research Activity” is a distinction attained by only 3% of all post-secondary institutions, making USF one of five public universities in the state of Florida classified as such.
  • USF is the founder and home of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) (AcademyofInventors.org), a non-profit member organization with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 U.S. universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The NAI’s nationally recognized Fellows program has 1,228 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, who collectively hold more than 41,500 patents. USF has 22 NAI Fellows. The USF Chapter of the NAI has over 450 USF faculty, staff, students and alumni members, who collectively hold more than 2,400 U.S. patents (2019).

  • USF Tampa was ranked #19 among the “Best Universities for Technology Transfer, 2017” by the prestigious Milken Institute.
  • USF is designated by the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity University, one of only 63 in the nation (2019).


  • USF rose to #46 among public universities and #103 among all public and private universities in the 2022 U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) National University Rankings.
  • The Princeton Review listed USF as a Best Value College in 2021 for providing students with high-quality education and career readiness at an affordable cost.
  • One USF's graduate-level programs continue to be ranked among the best according to the 2022 U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) Graduate School Rankings. USF graduate programs in the top 50 include:
    • #2   Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    • #18 Audiology
    • #18 Criminology
    • #20 Public Health
    • #25 Medical: Graduates Practicing in Health Professional Shortage Areas
    • #27 Rehabilitation Counseling
    • #27 Library and Information Sciences
    • #38 Engineering: Environmental/Environmental Health
    • #43 Health Care Management
    • #48 Medical: Research
    • #49 Physical Therapy
  • USF Tampa is ranked #18 in the nation and #9 among all public institutions in the 2021 Princeton Review Best Graduate Entrepreneurship program rankings.
  • USF ranks 29th among U.S. public institutions (marking the ninth consecutive year ranked in the top 50) and in the top 250 best universities in the world according to the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
  • USF's three campuses are ranked among the best in the 2021 U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) Online Education Program rankings. USF online graduate programs ranked in the top 50 include Information Technology, and Engineering, with the online MBA program in the top 30 nationwide.
  • The University of South Florida is home to a student body of 50,830 students representing over 145 different countries.
  • USF’s fall 2020 Freshman academic profile posts an average SAT score of 1312 and a high school GPA of 4.18, which exceeds the Florida Board of Governors Preeminence benchmarks.
  • The Morsani Class of 2023 is one of the most competitive in the college’s history. With more than 5,500 applications, students had less than a 4 percent chance of getting in. This class attained an average MCAT score of 515, putting them in the 93rd percentile nationally with an average GPA of 3.76 (2019).
  • According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), USF Tampa ranks among the top 40 of the best U.S. public colleges and universities and is in the top 300 in the world (2021).
  • According to the most recently published Top American Research Universities (TARU) report, USF Tampa remains ranked as a top 50 university among public institutions and is now ranked in the top 50 among all institutions (2019).
  • USF ranks third among the 50 Most Affordable In-State Public Universities (AffordableColleges.com) (2020). 
  • USF Tampa was named one of the Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges (#34 in-state, #15 out-of-state) by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for 2019.
  • In 2018, USF was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest and most prestigious national honor organization in America.
  • USF ranks in the top 100 of all public institutions according to Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges (2021).
  • USF is ranked first in the Top 50 U.S. Financial Aid Counseling Programs by LendEDU (2018).
  • USF Tampa is recognized by The Education Trust as being #6 in the nation for eliminating the completion gap between black and white students, #4 in the nation for Latino student success, and #1 in the state of Florida for both (2017).
  • USF Tampa is recognized as #1 by The Chronicle of Higher Education (2017) for Greatest Improvements in 6-year Graduation Rates among 4-year public colleges and universities.


  • USF faculty continue to earn national and international recognition. In 2019, USF faculty received 141 highly prestigious honors and awards.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked USF among the top 10 institutions in the nation for Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars, with 9 faculty scholars for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • USF won the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) 2019 Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research & Engagement. The Platinum Level APLU award focuses on four areas of excellence: inclusivity, internationalization of research and engagement, leadership and pervasiveness, and assessment. 
  • USF is a recipient of the 2019 American Council on Education/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation, a recognition of USF’s commitment to student success.
  • USF ranks as the top university in Florida and eighth-best in the nation according to the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. 
  • USF ranks 2nd with performance-based funding (PBF) scores in the State University System (SUS), as ranked by the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) in 2021.  Top achievements in these important metrics demonstrate USF’s commitment to providing affordable access, graduating students on time, and preparing students to compete successfully in high-demand career fields. 
  • USF ranks first in Florida and 8th in the nation for reducing inequalities by Times Higher Education (2021). The rankings measure universities by several categories, including the number of first-generation students, the number of students from developing countries, the proportion of students and staff with disabilities, discrimination policies, and the amount of research a university conducted on reduced inequalities.
  • USF is the winner of the Institute of International Education’s 2019 Heiskell Award for Access and Equity.  
  • USF was home to 95 national scholarship and fellowship student awardees during the 2019-2020 academic year including Boren, Fulbright, Gilman, and Goldwater.
  • USF is now a “Preeminent State Research University," as designated by the Florida Board of Governors in June of 2018.
  • USF ranks #4 in student success among 1,100 public research and doctoral universities according to the 2018 Eduventures Student Success ratings.
  • USF is one of seven universities nationwide and the only university in Florida to earn the Active Minds Healthy Campus Award for promoting student health and well-being (2018).
  • The Institute of International Education has ranked USF 39th in the nation for all doctorate-granting institutions and 30th among public doctorate-granting universities as a Leading Institution for Study Abroad in the 2017-2018 academic year, according to the most recent Open Doors annual report.


  • U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) ranked USF Tampa as a Best College for Veterans (2021).
  • USF ranked 2nd in Florida and 19th among all public four-year U.S institutions in the 2021 Military Times Best: Colleges. 
  • USF is one of only 15 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.
  • USF is ranked among the top 20 best public institutions in the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges (2021).


  • In 2020, USF received the Carnegie Foundation's "Community Engagement" Classification, a designation that recognizes institutional commitment to community and civic engagement. 
  • U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) ranks USF 18th among U.S. public universities as a top performer in Social Mobility, which assesses an institution's success enrolling, retaining and graduating students who come from families with lower incomes and receive federal Pell Grants (2022). 
  • USF ranks #2 for top-volunteer producing graduate schools and #25 among top-volunteer producing large colleges and universities serving in the Peace Corps (2020).
  • USF Tampa is ranked 43rd among public universities for social mobility, research, and civic engagement, according to Washington Monthly (2021).
  • USF was recognized as a top performer in the 2020 Sustainable Campus Index as an institution of higher education dedicated to energy reduction and the development and use of clean and renewable energy sources. 
  • USF Tampa ranks #55 for sustainability among public institutions (Sierra Club, 2020).
  • USF is featured in Princeton Review’s Guide to 413 Green Colleges as an institution of higher education that demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability in its academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation (2021).


  • USF Athletics serves nearly 500 student-athletes in 19 men’s and women’s varsity teams competing in 11 different sports, with 18 of these teams at the NCAA Division I level in the American Athletic Conference.
  • USF has won 19 conference titles since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2013, including three in 2018-19 and one in fall 2019.
  • USF has claimed 120 conference titles since it began competing in 1965.
  • Eleven USF programs reached national postseason competition in the 2018-19 season.
  • Six USF programs achieved a Top 25 national ranking during the 2018-19 season.
  • USF Athletics has posted a combined grade-point average of over 3.0 for the fourth straight year in 2018-19 and has posted a program record of nine consecutive semesters with a combined GPA over 3.0.
  • USF Athletics has posted a Graduation Success Rate of 80% or better for six straight years, including a record 86% in 2016.
  • USF football has made 10 bowl game appearances (going 6-4 in those games) and posted a program-record six straight appearances from 2005-2010. The Bulls most recently made four straight bowl appearances from 2015-18 and posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2016 and 2017, logging a program-record 11-2 mark in 2016 while finishing both seasons ranked in the Top 25. 
  • USF football spent a program-record of 20 straight weeks ranked in the Top 25 during the 2016 and 2017 seasons and reached as high as No. 2 in the national rankings during the 2007 season.
  • USF’s Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center includes state-of-the-art space for academic advising, life skills, mentoring and team building.
  • USF has had 288 student-athletes earn their degrees since 2016-17.