About USF

Points of Pride

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

  • USF Tampa reached $505.9 Million in total research expenditures in fiscal year 2016 according to the National Science Foundation HERD Survey.
  • The USF System ranks 5th in the nation among public universities and 11th world-wide for granted U.S. patents among all universities according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association/NAI (2016).
  • 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 Tampa ranked 4th worldwide for organizations with the most AAAS Fellows named in 2016, for the third year in a row. As of 2017, USF has a total of 57 AAAS Fellows.
  • USF Tampa 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).
  • USF Tampa 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 Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
  • 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 Tampa was ranked #19 among the “Best Universities for Technology Transfer, 2017” by the prestigious Milken Institute.
  • 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 State University System 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’s Fall 2017 freshman academic profile posts an average SAT score of 1280 and a high school GPA of 4.12, which exceeds the Florida Board of Governors Preeminence benchmarks.
  • USF rose to #68 among public research institutions and #140 among all universities in U.S. News and World Report rankings of National Universities (2018).
  • 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)
    • 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)
  • The Morsani College of Medicine brought in its most selective incoming medical student cohort to date, with an average MCAT score of 514, placing it among the top of all medical schools in the country.
  • USF Tampa was named one of the Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges (#66 in-state, #27 out-of-state) by Kiplinger's Personal Finance for 2017.
  • USF Tampa ranks in the top 50 among U.S. public institutions in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2018).
  • 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) (2018).
  • 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.
  • USF Tampa is recognized as #1 by The Chronicle of Higher Education for Greatest Improvements in 6-year Graduation Rates among 4-year public colleges and universities.
  • According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), USF Tampa ranks among the top 300 of the best colleges and universities in the world (2017). 

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 66 national scholarship and fellowship student awardees during the 2016-17 academic year including Boren, Fulbright, Gilman, and Goldwater.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked USF as the nation’s top producer of Fulbright Scholars, with 12 faculty scholars for the 2016-2017 academic year.
  • 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 50,577 students representing over 145 different countries.
  • USF Tampa is recognized by The Education Trust as #1 in the state of Florida and #6 in the nation for eliminating the completion gap between black and white students (2017). 

Veteran Friendly

  • USF is ranked 5th overall and 4th among public institutions in the Military Times 10 Best Cybersecurity Programs (2018).
  • USF is ranked 1st among public institutions and 2nd overall in the Military Times's Best: Colleges 2018 Ranking.
  • 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 ranks 3rd nationally for graduate student volunteers serving in the Peace Corps and 19th among large colleges and universities for total undergraduate students serving in Peace Corps (2018).
  • 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 3rd in the Nation (among Graduate Schools) for Peace Corps Volunteers in 2017.  
  • USF is featured in Princeton Review's Guide to 375 Green Colleges: 2017 Edition as an institution of higher education that demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability in its academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.
  • USF Tampa ranks best in the state and among the Top 50 Coolest Schools 2017 in North America by the Sierra Club for its efforts in green initiatives and sustainability (2017).
  • According to Best Colleges, USF ranks 36th on the Greenest Universities in America rankings (2015).

USF Athletics

  • USF Athletics serves nearly 500 student-athletes in 19 men’s and women’s varsity teams competing in 11 different sports.
  • USF has won 13 conference titles in 4 1/2 seasons in the American Athletic Conference, including four in 2016-17.
  • USF has claimed 110 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 has gone 21-4 the last two seasons (2016 & 2017), one of just 14 teams nationally to win 20 or more games over that span and one of just three to also win both of its bowl games during that period.
  • 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 and nine overall in just 18 seasons of eligibility. The Bulls have six bowl victories, including defeating South Carolina, Texas Tech and Clemson in bowl games.
  • 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.