Gulf Coast Living | Freshmen | University of South Florida

You won’t spend your entire college career in the classroom, so choose a college with an exciting surrounding community that’s brimming with possibilities. From world-class beaches and nature to exceptional arts, sports, internship and employment opportunities, USF’s incredible Gulf Coast Florida location does not disappoint!

Why Choose Florida's Gulf Coast?

Unique, Fast-Growing Communities

You won’t find a wider range of welcoming communities anywhere else, from the humming urban cores of Tampa and St. Petersburg to the coastal charm of Sarasota and all the quirky small towns in between. Come be a part of one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S.! Take a stroll down the famous Tampa Riverwalk, explore the 24 neighborhoods that make up St. Petersburg, and check out the vacation-worthy attractions throughout Sarasota. We think you’ll like what you see!

World-Famous Beaches & Natural Wonders

Want to sunbathe on a radiant sugar-white sand beach after a dip in emerald-green waters? You’re in the right place! Siesta Beach, St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach are all regulars on the best-beaches lists, and they’re all a short distance from our campuses. You can also kayak through mangrove tunnels at the Weedon Island Preserve, get up close and personal with a manatee at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium or just soak up the rays – we average 246 days of sunshine per year!

Renowned Cultural & Entertainment Attractions

Did you know the Tampa Bay region is recognized as a top arts and entertainment destination? Explore the museums and performing arts venues nestled along Tampa’s picturesque Riverwalk, visit St. Petersburg, home to the largest U.S. collection of Salvador Dalí’s works or check out the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. Theme-park excursions range from the stomach-dropping roller coasters of Busch Gardens to the waterslides of Adventure Island, or if you’re up for a road trip, head for Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando.

A Vibrant Hub for Sports

We're home to a thriving sports hub with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies all in our backyard. In addition to our variety of local teams, numerous professional baseball teams converge in the Gulf Coast Grapefruit League each year for spring training, bringing even more excitement to the area. Tampa is also a hub for college sports, with USF and other schools competing in a multitude of sports. There's something here for everyone here in Tampa Bay!

Thriving Career Launchpad

As the only Preeminent State Research University located in a bustling metropolitan area, USF can help you get ready for graduation starting on day one. Our tight-knit relationships with the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Sarasota business communities provide valuable internship experiences and permanent positions with Fortune 100 companies, leading health care organizations and nationally recognized non-profits, including Roper Technologies, Jabil, Moffit Cancer Center, Publix, Raymond James, Mosaic, Tampa General Hospital and TD SYNNEX.

A student hanging out in Downtown Tampa

Top Place to Live

Don’t want to leave town after graduation? There’s no need! The Tampa Bay area is exciting for college students, but it’s an even better spot to start your career and the next phase of your life. The job market is growing faster than the U.S. average, and top industries here include health care, finance, technology, supply chain and digital marketing. It’s also a culturally diverse region, and we regularly land on the lists of “best places to live.”

See It For Yourself

Come visit and experience the amazing places where you can start building a portfolio, a resume and memories.

Schedule a visit