The University of Florida (commonly referred to as Florida or UF) is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) campus in Gainesville, Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida and traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906.
The University of Florida is one of sixty-two elected member institutions of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the association of preeminent North American research universities, and the only AAU member university located in Florida. The University is classified as a Research University with Very High Research by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Following the creation of performance standards by the Florida state legislature in 2013, the Florida Board of Governors designated the University of Florida as one of the two “preeminent universities” among the twelve universities of the State University System of Florida. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida as the
fourteenth best public university in the United States.
The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It is the third largest Florida University by student population, and is the eighth largest single-campus university in the United States with 49,913 students enrolled for the fall 2012 semester. The University of Florida is home to sixteen academic colleges and more than 150 research centres and institutes. It offers multiple graduate professional programs—including business administration, engineering, law, dentistry, medicine, and veterinary medicine—on one contiguous campus, and administers 123 master’s degree programs and seventy-six doctoral degree programs in eighty-seven schools and departments.
The University of Florida’s intercollegiate sports teams, commonly known by their “Florida Gators” nickname, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the South-eastern Conference (SEC). In their 108-year history, the university’s varsity sports teams have won thirty-five national team championships, thirty of which are NCAA titles, and Gator athletes have won 275 individual national championships.
In its 2016 edition, U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR) ranked the University of Florida as tied for the 14th-best public university in the United States, and tied for 47th overall among all national universities, public and private. The 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities list assessed the University of Florida as 83rd among world universities and 44th in the United States based on overall research output and faculty awards.
The University of Florida has more than 330,000 alumni. Over 57,000 are dues-paying members of the University of Florida Alumni Association. Florida alumni live in every state and more than 100 foreign countries. Florida alumni include two Nobel Prize winners, ten U.S. Senators, forty-two U.S. Representatives, eight U.S. ambassadors, eleven state governors, eleven state Supreme Court justices, and over fifty federal court judges. Florida graduates have served as the executive leaders of such diverse institutions as the U.S. Marine Corps and the National Organization for Women.