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 annually by the USF Office of Decision Support
Last updated September 2019

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.


  • USF ranks 1st in Florida, 7th in the nation among public universities and 16th world-wide for granted U.S. patents among all universities according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association/NAI (2018). USF has ranked in the top 10 among public universities for U.S. patents granted for the past nine years (2010-2018).
  • USF faculty continue to earn national and international recognition. In 2018, USF faculty were received 106 new external honors and awards.
  • USF ranked 4th worldwide for organizations with the most Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) named in 2018, a rank USF has held for the past four years. As of 2018, USF has a total of 65 AAAS Fellows among its faculty.
  • USF ranks 42nd in the nation among all public and private universities for total research expenditures placing USF in the top 7% among the 644 universities ranked by the National Science Foundation (2018).
  • USF ranks 25th in the nation among public universities for total research expenditures by the National Science Foundation (2018).
  • USF is one of 56 public research universities nationwide classified as both a Doctoral University with “Highest Research Activity” and as a “Community Engaged” intuition by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • USF is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Doctoral University with Highest Research Activity, a distinction attained by only 3% of all post-secondary institutions, making USF one of five public intuitions in the state of Florida classified as such.
  • USF Tampa was ranked #19 among the “Best Universities for Technology Transfer, 2017” by the prestigious Milken Institute.
  • 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 universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The NAI’s nationally recognized Fellows program has 1,060 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 23 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.
  • The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame (FloridaInvents.org) was founded at USF in 2013. As of 2019, 43 outstanding Florida inventors have been elected, including eight from USF.
  • USF Tampa reached $568 Million in total research expenditures in fiscal year 2016-2017 according to the National Science Foundation HERD Survey.
  • 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.
  • 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.  


  • USF rose to #44 among public universities and #104 among all public and private universities in the 2020 U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) National University Rankings.
  • USF Tampa graduate level programs continue to be ranked among the best according to the 2020 U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) Graduate School Rankings. USF graduate programs in the top 50 include: Rehabilitation Counseling, Public Health, Library and Information Studies Programs, Health Care Management, Criminology, Clinical Psychology, Audiology, Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice.
    • Public Health (#16)
    • Audiology (#17)
    • Criminology (#22)
    • Rehabilitation Counseling (#27)
    • Library and Information Studies (#28)
    • Nursing: Doctor of Nursing Practice (#41)
    • Nursing: Master’s (#41)
    • Health Care Management (#43)
    • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering (#48)
    • Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering (#48)
    • Clinical Psychology (#50)
  • USF ranks 31st among U.S. Public institutions (marking the seventh consecutive year ranked in the top 50) and in the top 250 best universities in the world according to the 2020 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. 
  • USF’s fall 2019 Freshman academic profile posts an average SAT score of 1286 and a high school GPA of 4.13, which exceeds the Florida Board of Governors Preeminence benchmarks.
  • USF ranks in the top 100 of all public institutions according to Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges (2018).
  • USF Tampa is ranked among the best in 2020 U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) Online Education Program rankings. USF online graduate programs ranked in the top 50 include: MBA, Information Technology, and Engineering.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • USF St. Petersburg’s undergraduate programs were ranked in the top 25 (#25) for all Public Southern Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) (2019).
  • 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 (2017).
  • 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 in the top 300 in the world (2019).
  • In 2018, USF was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest and most prestigious national honor organization in America.
  • The University of South Florida System is home to a student body of 50,755 students representing over 145 different countries.
  • 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 is ranked first in the Top 50 U.S. Financial Aid Counseling Programs by LendEDU.
  • USF ranks third among 50 Most Affordable In-State Public Universities (AffordableColleges.com).


  • USF is now a “Preeminent State Research University”, as designated by the Florida Board of Governors in June of 2018.
  • USF is the winner of the Institute of International Education’s 2019 Heiskell Award for Access and Equity.  
  • The USF System was home to 84 national scholarship and fellowship student awardees during the 2018-2019 academic year including Boren, Fulbright, Gilman, and Goldwater.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked USF #1 in the nation for Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars, with 12 faculty scholars for the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • USF ranked #6 among public U.S. universities and #38 worldwide among all universities established in the “Golden Age” (1945-1967) according to Times Higher Education (2019).
  • 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).
  • USF ranks as the top university in Florida, fifth best in the nation and 73rd among all universities worldwide, according to the 2019 Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. 
  • USF ranks among the top 50 universities worldwide and 4th among U.S. Public institutions for reducing inequalities by Times Higher Education (2019). The rankings measure universities by several categories, including the amount 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 ranked 4th among public institutions and 5th overall in the Military Times 10 Best Cybersecurity Programs (2018).
  • USF ranked 1st in Florida and 2nd among all U.S institutions in the 2019 Military Times Best: Colleges. 
  • U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) ranked USF Tampa as a Best College for Veterans (2020).
  • USF’s College of Business was ranked 16th by Military Times Best for Vets: Business Schools 2016 ranking.
  • 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 ranks 3rd nationally for graduate student volunteers serving in the Peace Corps (2019).
  • USF Tampa is ranked 50th among public universities for social mobility, research and civic engagement, according to Washington Monthly (2019).
  • USF is featured in Princeton Review’s Guide to 399 Green College as an institution of higher education that demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability in its academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation (2018).
  • USF was recognized as a top performer in the 2019 Sustainable Campus Index as an institution of higher education dedicated to energy reduction and development and use of clean and renewable energy sources. 
  • USF Tampa ranks among the Top 60 Coolest Schools for sustainability among public institutions (Sierra Club, 2019).


  • USF Athletics serves nearly 500 student-athletes in 19 men’s and women’s varsity teams competing in 11 different sports.
  • USF has won 12 conference titles since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2013, including four in 2016-17.
  • USF has claimed 109 conference titles since it began competing in 1965.
  • Ten USF programs reached national post-season competition in the 2016-17 season.
  • Nine USF programs achieved a Top 25 national ranking during the 2016-17 season.
  • USF Athletics has posted a combined grade-point average over 3.0 for each of the last six academic terms.
  • USF Athletics has posted a Graduation Success Rate of 80% or better for four straight years, including a record 86% in 2016.
  • USF football posted its second straight 10-win season in 2017, one of just 14 teams nationally to win 20 or more games over that span. USF football has also won five of their last six bowl appearances and made nine total bowl appearances in 21 seasons, including a current run of three straight bowls.
  • USF football has posted a program-record 20 straight appearances in the Top 25 rankings, finishing the 2017 ranked No. 21 in both the AP and Coaches poll. The 20 straight appearances is the longest active streak in Florida.
  • USF football has appeared in three straight bowl games, nine overall in 21 seasons, and have five bowl victories.
  • The USF Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center includes state-of-the art space for academic advising, life skills, mentoring and team building.
  • In the past six years, USF has invested $70 million in renovating and maintaining its athletic facilities.