University of Florida
#101 Overall Influence#45 Desirability Rank

University of Florida

Public research university in Gainesville, Florida, United States

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Florida (UF) traces its roots back to East Florida Seminary, which was founded in 1853 in the town of Ocala. The seminary, which was the first publicly supported institution of higher learning in the state, relocated to the city of Gainesville in 1858.

Another public institution, the Florida Agricultural College, was established in Lake City in 1884, while the St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School was established in 1893.

In 1895, a fourth public institution, the South Florida Military and Educational Institute, was established in Bartow. Its name was changed to South Florida Military College in 1903.

That same year, the Lake City agricultural college’s remit was expanded and its name was changed to University of Florida.

Just two years later, in 1905, the state undertook a major reorganization of its publicly supported system of higher education, in which the four preceding schools were all abolished and merged into one which was called the University of the State of Florida.

For a short time, the newly consolidated state university held classes at the existing Lake City campus, while a new and more capacious campus was being built in Gainesville. The first classes opened there in the fall of 1906. In 1909, the school’s name was shortened to its present form.

Today, UF is the flagship campus of a vast state university system comprising 12 campuses with a total student body of over 341,000 individuals.

UF itself consists of 16 academic colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes. Its student body (including online students) numbers more than 56,000 souls.

Among many prominent UF-associated individuals, we may mention the following:

  • Mathematicians, John G. Thompson (winner of the Fields Medal), Eduardo Sontag & Malay Ghosh
  • Computer scientists, Chris Malachowsky & James Hollan
  • Novelists, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings & Michael Connelly
  • Popular musician, singer, and songwriter, Stephen Stills
  • Actors, Faye Dunaway, George Salazar, Allison Miller & Vincent Martella
  • Physicists, John Vincent Atanasoff (also a digital computer pioneer) & Christina Marchetti
  • Nuclear engineer, Nils J. Diaz
  • Space engineers, John D. Anderson & Herbert Gursky
  • Chemists, Robert Grubbs (Nobel laureate in chemistry), Rodney Bartlett, Jürgen Gauss, Gilbert Stork & Will Steffen
  • Geneticists, Marshall Nirenberg (Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine) & Lewis Stadler
  • Immunologist, Harald von Boehmer
  • Mycologist, William Murrill
  • Entomologists, Marston Bates (a pioneer in research on the transmission of yellow fever) & Michael C. Thomas
  • Herpetologist and conservationist, Archie Carr
  • Conservation biologists, David Ehrenfeld & K. Ullas Karanth
  • Systems ecologist, William Mitsch
  • Population geneticist, Martin Kreitman
  • Psychologist, Sidney Bijou
  • Forensic anthropologist, Karen Ramey Burns
  • Economists, Robert Costanza, Preston McAfee, Ahn Seong-Eun & Paul Cootner
  • TV journalists, Joe Scarborough & Laura Rutledge
  • Former North Carolina Governor, Beverly Perdue
  • Former US Senators, Bob Graham & Bill Nelson
  • Current US Senator, Marco Rubio


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


Tigert Hall, Gainesville FL 32611

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

9 per 100k

Violent Crime

0 per 100k

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

37 per 100k

Violent Crime

7 per 100k

What is University of Florida known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#47 World Rank #23 USA Rank
#32 World Rank #26 USA Rank
#80 World Rank #31 USA Rank
#59 World Rank #32 USA Rank
#46 World Rank #35 USA Rank
#82 World Rank #45 USA Rank
#72 World Rank #48 USA Rank
#57 World Rank #48 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#64 World Rank #54 USA Rank
#106 World Rank #55 USA Rank
#63 World Rank #56 USA Rank
#159 World Rank #56 USA Rank
#120 World Rank #62 USA Rank
#92 World Rank #62 USA Rank
#91 World Rank #63 USA Rank
Political Science
#126 World Rank #70 USA Rank
Computer Science
#201 World Rank #76 USA Rank
#165 World Rank #97 USA Rank
#147 World Rank #103 USA Rank
Social Work
#418 World Rank #137 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#318 World Rank #137 USA Rank
#368 World Rank #147 USA Rank
#405 World Rank #199 USA Rank
Religious Studies
#1876 World Rank #697 USA Rank

Influential People

Who are University of Florida's Most influential alumni?

University of Florida's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Nursing, Engineering, and History. University of Florida’s most academically influential people include Marshall Warren Nirenberg, Robert Costanza, and David Price.

Marshall Warren Nirenberg
Marshall Warren Nirenberg

American biochemist and geneticist

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Robert Costanza
Robert Costanza

American economist

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David Price
David Price

American anthropologist

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John Vincent Atanasoff
John Vincent Atanasoff

American computer pioneer

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Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly

Novelist, journalist

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Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway

American actress

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Archie Carr
Archie Carr

American university professor, zoologist, herpetologist, conservationist

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Rita Mae Brown

Novelist, poet, screenwriter, activist

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Eberhard Jäckel
Eberhard Jäckel

German historian

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Robert H. Grubbs
Robert H. Grubbs

Nobel prize winning American chemist

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Wesley R. Elsberry
Wesley R. Elsberry

American marine biologist

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Norman Thagard
Norman Thagard

United States Marine Corps officer, aviator and astronaut

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