Best Research Universities in Florida 2022

Interested in attending a STEM school in Florida? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

Best Research Universities in Florida 2022

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 in Florida can choose from 40 public and 50 private colleges that award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields like anthropology, nursing, law, religious studies, and earth sciences. Nearly 40 colleges and universities in Florida offer online degrees that provide extra flexibility for educational opportunities. 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.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

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

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Florida's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. We’ve identified 13 research universities in Florida. To be included in our ranking, schools must be a fully accredited universities and must must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

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Best Research Universities in Florida 2022

  1. #1

    University of Florida

    Gainesville , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    31%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    47K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/30

    What is University of Florida known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    University of Miami

    Coral Gables , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    33%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    What is University of Miami known for?

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

    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Criminal Justice
    • Law
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • History
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Florida State University

    Tallahassee , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    What is Florida State University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Earth Sciences
    • Social Work
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    45%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    60K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    What is University of Central Florida known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Earth Sciences
    • Physics
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/27

    What is University of South Florida known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Anthropology
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    48K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    What is Florida International University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Law
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Florida Atlantic University

    Boca Raton , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/24

    What is Florida Atlantic University known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    What is Florida Institute of Technology known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #10

    Nova Southeastern University

    Fort Lauderdale , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/24

    What is Nova Southeastern University known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    University of North Florida

    Jacksonville , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/22

    What is University of North Florida known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #12

    Barry University

    Miami , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    What is Barry University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #13

    Keiser University

    Fort Lauderdale , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    29K

    What is Keiser University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Law
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Biology
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Find the Best Research Universities in Florida for your Area of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Miami
  2. University of Florida
  3. Florida State University
  4. Florida Institute of Technology
  5. University of South Florida
  6. Nova Southeastern University
  7. Florida A&M University
  8. Florida International University
  9. Florida Atlantic University
  10. University of Central Florida
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