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University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is the third largest university in Florida and among the top 20 largest in the nation. It holds the distinction of being one of three public universities to receive first-tier research university status by the Carnegie Foundation. USF was founded in 1956, and its first classes were commenced in 1960. It was formerly located on the site of Henderson Air Field, a World War II airstrip. Sam Gibbons, a state representative, is regarded as the founding father of USF. The university saw tremendous changes under the leadership of John Allen, during whose tenure first-degree programs were added in 1964. Later, during the 1990s, it rose to fame as a major research institution, under the presidency of Betty Castor. Presently, the University of South Florida is a leading public research facility, carrying accreditations from numerous scientific, professional, and academic bodies. It awards bachelor's, master’s, and doctoral degrees on its main campus in Tampa and regional campuses at St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Lakeland. USF is also a member of the National Student Exchange, which provides opportunities for students to take classes at over 170 schools throughout the country. Additionally, it imparts study abroad programs. Sprawling over 1,700 acres in north Tampa, the main campus boasts more than 160 buildings, about 60 research centers, three hospitals, a riverfront park, and conservation land for wetland research. Among the recreation facilities are four swimming pools, sand volleyball courts, indoor and outdoor racquetball courts, and an 18-hole golf course. Also, here is a botanical garden, with an array of fruit trees, begonias, orchids, cactus, and carnivorous plants. Further, students can choose from an array of housing options including suites, apartments, and sorority house. The St. Petersburg campus is a modern research facility, with an enrollment of nearly 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students. With its three academic units: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, and the College of Education, it offers almost 40 academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels. In addition, the College of Marine Science at the campus is a comprehensive graduate research program, focusing on biological, chemical, geological, and physical oceanography. The USF Sarasota-Manatee is located on the border of Sarasota and Manatee Counties, occupying more than 140 acres. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, it confers about 37 degree programs at baccalaureate and graduate degree levels, through its colleges and divisions including the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, and College of Nursing. Set on 135 acres, the Lakeland campus serves more than 3,500 students. Academic programs leading to undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs are offered in several fields such as Business Administration, Criminology, Engineering, Nursing, and Social Work. Distance Learning facilities and off-campus degree programs also are provided.