Best Colleges and Universities in Florida

Best National Universities in Florida

According to the most recent ranking of the best universities in the country by U.S. News, Florida is home to six such universities. Before examining the list and wondering why a school like Rollins College is not on it, it is important to be aware of a few things. This list only examines what the magazine terms “national universities.” These are defined as offering “a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and Ph.D. programs, and emphasize faculty research.” To calculate their rankings in all of the lists below, the magazine used seven weighted variables as represented in the table below.

Variable Weight
Graduation and retention rates 22.5%
Assessment by peers and counselors 22.5%
Faculty resources 20%
Student selectivity 12.5%
Financial resources 10%
Graduation rate performance 7.5%
Alumni giving 5%

Unfortunately, in general Florida does not do well in this list. The university in the state that appears highest on the list does not show up until way down at number 47, and only six schools in total make an appearance. This is a small number for such a populous state in a list of 201 total institutions.

Here is the list of all Florida universities that appear on the best national universities list, along with their nationwide ranking:

University Nationwide Ranking
University of Miami #47
University of Florida #49
Florida State University #91
Florida Institute of Technology #167
University of Central Florida #170 (tie)
University of South Florida #170 (tie)

Best National Liberal Arts Colleges in Florida

new college of floridaAmong the most recent list of the 180 best liberal arts colleges in the country put out by U.S. News, Florida has two representatives. This is a list of schools that focus on undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in arts and sciences (such as biology, history, English, fine arts etc.) rather than professional areas like business and nursing. The two colleges in Florida that made the list are New College of Florida (#89), as seen to the left, and Eckerd College (#141). The good news for the state is that among all of the public liberal arts colleges, New College comes in at number 5.

Best Regional Universities in Florida

rollins college winter parkThe list of the best universities in the South put out by U.S. News ranks the schools in the region that provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs. The difference between these and the best national universities is that these schools offer much fewer doctoral programs and are grouped by region for the rankings. The institutions in Florida do quite well on this list as you can see below. Most notably, Rollins College (pictured) comes in at a tie for first!

Best Regional Colleges in Florida

flagler college st augustineU.S. News classifies regional colleges as institutions that focus almost entirely on the undergraduate experience and offer few graduate programs. In the list of the top 74 regional institutions in the South there are six Florida colleges. Flagler College in St. Augustine (pictured at left) came in at number 8. Below is the list and rank of all the schools in Florida on the best colleges in the South list.

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