Florida’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Florida offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Florida’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Florida

Coming in under the national tuition average at $6,360, Florida’s colleges and universities make earning your degree affordable. Prospective students can choose from 40 public and 50 private institutions that award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields like anthropology, nursing, law, religious studies, and earth sciences. With over 165,000 students across eight campuses and 21 outreach centers, Miami Dade College is the largest public college in the state with a tuition of $3,000.

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Students seeking a religious school can choose from 21 colleges and universities that are grounded in Judeo-Christian, Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, and Christian principals. Ranked as the top two schools, the University of Florida (UF) and Florida State University (FSU) both have large student populations, with just over 45,000 at UF and just under 39,000 as FSU. Both are also affordable, with tuition at $6,000 and $7,000, respectively.

At $50,000, the University of Miami is the most expensive private college in the state and has graduated influential people, such as Gene Roddenberry, Sylvester Stallone, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Florida also offers its nursing students up to $4,000 in loan forgiveness through their Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

Coastal cities, sandy beaches, orange groves, and vibrant flowers — it’s no wonder Florida is called The Sunshine State. Home to the famous Everglades National Park and Disney World, Florida also boasts 90 higher education institutes.

With so many options and in such a beautiful setting, Florida has a lot to offer higher education students. Check out Florida’s best degree programs and top career paths.


What are Florida’s Colleges & Universities?

Florida’s Best Overall


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There are 22 doctorate-granting graduate schools in California. The list below of the 25 best graduate schools in the state is composed of both private and public schools that satisfy the following three conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.

How do we determine Florida's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

Florida’s Best Grad Schools

  1. #1

    University of Florida

    #72 institution's historical influence
    #45 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    31%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    47K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/30

    Gainesville, FL

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    What is University of Florida known for?

    University of Florida’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • History
    • Law
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    University of Miami

    #143 institution's historical influence
    #106 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    33%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    Coral Gables, FL

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    What is University of Miami known for?

    University of Miami’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Law
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Education
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Florida State University

    #156 institution's historical influence
    #174 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    Tallahassee, FL

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    What is Florida State University known for?

    Florida State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Law
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Nova Southeastern University

    #983 institution's historical influence
    #678 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/24

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

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    What is Nova Southeastern University known for?

    Nova Southeastern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Law
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
  5. #5

    University of South Florida

    #336 institution's historical influence
    #239 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/27

    Tampa, FL

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    What is University of South Florida known for?

    University of South Florida’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Florida International University

    #519 institution's historical influence
    #215 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    48K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Miami, FL

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    What is Florida International University known for?

    Florida International University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Law
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    University of Central Florida

    #494 institution's historical influence
    #181 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    45%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    60K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Orlando, FL

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    What is University of Central Florida known for?

    University of Central Florida’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • History
  8. #8

    Florida Institute of Technology

    #857 institution's historical influence
    #385 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Melbourne, FL

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    What is Florida Institute of Technology known for?

    Florida Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Law
    • Medical
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  9. #9

    Barry University

    #1731 institution's historical influence
    #820 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    Miami, FL

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    What is Barry University known for?

    Barry University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. #10

    Florida Atlantic University

    #682 institution's historical influence
    #1363 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/24

    Boca Raton, FL

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    What is Florida Atlantic University known for?

    Florida Atlantic University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • History
    REQUEST INFO
  11. #11

    St. Thomas University

    #3718 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    990/19

    Miami Gardens, FL

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    What is St. Thomas University known for?

    St. Thomas University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Rollins College

    #971 institution's historical influence
    #472 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    3K

    Winter Park, FL

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    What is Rollins College known for?

    Rollins College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Economics
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Florida A&M University

    #1196 institution's historical influence
    #122 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    33%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/21

    Tallahassee, FL

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    What is Florida A&M University known for?

    Florida A&M University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Law
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
  14. #14

    University of West Florida

    #2019 institution's historical influence
    #156 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/25

    Pensacola, FL

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    What is University of West Florida known for?

    University of West Florida’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
  15. #15

    Jacksonville University

    #1798 institution's historical influence
    #406 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    Jacksonville, FL

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    What is Jacksonville University known for?

    Jacksonville University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • History
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  16. #16

    Lynn University

    #4109 institution's historical influence
    #543 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/23

    Boca Raton, FL

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    What is Lynn University known for?

    Lynn University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  17. #17

    Saint Leo University

    #3000 institution's historical influence
    #291 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    10K

    Saint Leo, FL

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    What is Saint Leo University known for?

    Saint Leo University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    University of North Florida

    #1510 institution's historical influence
    #1230 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/22

    Jacksonville, FL

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    What is University of North Florida known for?

    University of North Florida’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
  19. #19

    New College of Florida

    #1338 institution's historical influence
    #846 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    Sarasota, FL

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    What is New College of Florida known for?

    New College of Florida’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  20. #20

    Stetson University

    #999 institution's historical influence
    #797 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    4K

    DeLand, FL

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    What is Stetson University known for?

    Stetson University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #21

    Florida Southern College

    #1821 institution's historical influence
    #1434 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1192/26

    Lakeland, FL

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    What is Florida Southern College known for?

    Florida Southern College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    REQUEST INFO
  22. #22

    Ave Maria University

    #2863 institution's historical influence
    #1037 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/24

    Ave Maria, FL

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    What is Ave Maria University known for?

    Ave Maria University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Literature
  23. #23

    Bethune–Cookman University

    #5844 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    925/16

    Daytona Beach, FL

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    What is Bethune–Cookman University known for?

    Bethune–Cookman University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #24

    Palm Beach Atlantic University

    #3574 institution's historical influence
    #941 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/23

    West Palm Beach, FL

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    What is Palm Beach Atlantic University known for?

    Palm Beach Atlantic University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • History
    • Law
    • Biology
    • Psychology
  25. #25

    Southeastern University

    #6492 institution's historical influence
    #135 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    43%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1060/21

    Lakeland, FL

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    What is Southeastern University known for?

    Southeastern University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Law
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Biology

Florida’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

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Photo By William M - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0