The University of South Florida has become one of the nation’s leading research institutions. USF was the nation’s first university to offer a Ph.D. in applied anthropology in 1984 and the first state university in Florida to offer a degree program in women’s studies in 1987. USF now offers 89 undergraduate majors and 139 degree programs at the graduate, specialist and doctoral levels.
The university has been front and center for some major historical events. Professor Robin Murphy sent search and rescue robots to New York City on September 11, 2001 to aid recovery efforts at the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks. Researchers from the USF College of Marine Science were among the first to begin studying the impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on April 20, 2010.
For now, the USF System includes four institutions: USF Tampa; USF St. Petersburg; USF Sarasota-Manatee; and USF Polytechnic. But Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill approved by the Florida Legislature to make USF Polytechnic a standalone university. It will soon become Florida Polytechnic University.
- Known for: USF is among 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Alumni include wrestler Hulk Hogan, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, supermodel Lauren Hutton, and former Major League Baseball manager Tony LaRussa.
- Cost: 2011/2012 Fall and Spring tuition and fees: $5800 in state residents, $14,990 out-of-state.
- Class size: USF system has more than 47,000 students overall. Class sizes vary widely.
- Student facts: Ratio of female to male students is about 3:2. Minorities represent approximately 38 percent.
- Fun fact: USF’s Marching Band, the Herd of Thunder (HOT), first took to the field at the Bulls’ football season home opener against Southwest Texas State in September 1999. Their unique entrance to the field began as a running “stampede” that day and the tradition has continued ever since.