The University of South Florida is a four-year state university in Tampa, Fla.

USF was founded in 1956 as the first urban state university. At the time, it was Florida’s first independent state university to be planned and founded in the 20th century. Built on the former World War II-era Henderson Air Field, the university accepted its first students in 1960. More than 1,900 students were registered that year.

The university has grown significantly since then. USF has more than 47,000 students, 36,225 of them undergraduate As of the 2012-2013 academic year. Today it is ranked by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a top tier research university. In fact, it is nationally ranked in total research expenditures and received more than $428 million in research contracts and grants in 2014.

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South Florida also has nationally ranked degree programs in Public Health, Criminology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Nursing, Education, Engineering, and much more. All told, there are 180 undergraduate majors and degree programs at the graduate, specialist, and doctorate level.

Tampa, which is USF’s home, is Florida’s third largest metropolitan area and the core of the Tampa Bay area. Situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Orlando is a two-hour drive away, and the Atlantic coast just beyond.

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