In 1858, Gainesville Academy began as the dream of James Henry Roper, a North Carolina educator. There was talk of opening an institute of higher learning in the state as early as 1823. This plan was further advanced when both the East Florida and West Florida Seminary opened in 1851. In 1866, at the request of Roper, portions of the West Florida Seminary relocated to Gainesville. In 1884, the Florida Agricultural College opened in Lake City, the first land-grant college in Florida.

In 1883, Florida University was created when West Florida Seminary merged with the Tallahassee College of Medicine and Surgery. Two years later, the young school was recognized as the University of Florida, but without state funding. Eventually, the medical college relocated to Jacksonville and legislator’s officially repealed the designation in 1903, giving the title to the Florida Agricultural College. In 1905, four schools were merged into the University of Florida system, including University of Florida at Lake City, East Florida Seminary, St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial Schools along with the South Florida Military College.

Today, the University of Florida is ranked among the top 20 public universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. The school is also ranked among the top best value public colleges by Forbes and Kiplinger’s.

University of Florida Accreditation Details

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Accreditation indicates that the university strives for improvement in areas identified, has the resources necessary to provide excellence in education and graduates are well-prepared for their field of study. In addition, the following industry-specific organizations and associations accredit programs throughout the college:

  • ABET
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
  • Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
  • American Dental Association
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • National Association of Schools of Dance
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre
  • Planning Accreditation Board
  • Society of American Foresters

University of Florida Application Requirements

Students who have not completed college credit after high school are considered freshmen. They must complete an online application and submit an essay as well as a resume. Official high school transcripts along with ACT or SAT scores must be provided as well.

Students who have earned college credit after high school graduation are considered transfer students. In addition to the application and fee, students must provide official high school as well as college transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Official ACT or SAT scores are also required and students must be in good standing at the college or university they are currently or most previously attended.

Graduate applicants must complete an admission application. They must also submit a statement of purpose, resume, letters of recommendation and copies of transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. One of the transcripts must show the conferring of a bachelor’s degree or higher. Some programs have additional application requirements so students are advised to speak to an admissions counselor.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time tuition for undergraduate students is $6,380 per year. Graduate tuition is $12,740 per year for full-time attendance. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis so students should apply as soon as possible. In order to qualify for any financial assistance, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students must be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident alien and be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at least half time in a degree program. Students must make satisfactory academic progress, not be in default on any federal or institutional loan and must register with Selective Service if required to do so.

Online Degrees Available

Biology

The University of Florida offers an online Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. Students gain an understanding of the function, development and growth of living systems. They learn about building blocks, cells, genes as well as complex living structures and how they apply to real world situations and issues. Students are provided a broad overview of biology, preparing them for careers in education, health, law, journalism or management. This program is not designed for those wishing to attend medical, veterinary or dental schools. Courses may include functional vertebrate anatomy, plant ecology, invertebrate biodiversity and critical analysis of biological research.

Environmental Management

The University of Florida offers an online Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Management that provides students with the tools necessary to protect the earth and its resources. Students gain an understanding of hydrology, soil science, pest management, water resources and agricultural ecology. Students are able to make an impact on the health of the planet, gaining an understanding of water contaminants, air pollutants and other factors that damage the environment. Students develop an understanding of innovative sustainability. Courses required may include natural resource policy and economics, environmental nutrient management and environmental biogeochemistry. Curriculum may also include economics, the world of water and environmental monitoring techniques.

Entomology

The University of Florida offers a Master’s of Science in Entomology degree that is available online. Students may choose from the following concentrations:

  • Landscape Pest Management
  • Medical Entomology
  • Pest Control Technology
  • Urban Pest Management

The program is a non-thesis degree that requires 30 credits to complete. Students gain an understanding of insects and other arthropods as well as the role of extension agents. Although the program can be completed online, the final written and oral examinations must be taken at a University of Florida location.

Related Resource: Top 30 Online MPA Degree Programs

The University of Florida offers many programs that are available in an online format that allow working adults to achieve their higher education goals. University of Florida students who may have work, family or social obligations that prevent them from attending traditional classes may move into a new career or advance in a current career through online education.