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Florida’s Universities Excel in U.S. News & World Report Public University Rankings

TALLAHASSEE – Today’s release of higher education rankings by the U.S. News and World Report emphasize the excellence of Florida’s public universities across the country.  The University of South Florida climbed from No. 46 to No. 42, marking its highest position ever and cementing its status as the fastest-rising university in the country.  Florida International University climbed six spots to No. 72, and Florida Atlantic University had the largest rise in Florida’s public universities this year, rising eight spots.

For the second year, Florida Polytechnic University ranks as the No. 1 public college in the Southern region.   Additionally, the University of West Florida was ranked in the top 10 public institutions in the regional south category for the first time.  

Today’s announcement means six of our universities have improved their rankings from the previous year. Florida has three public universities in the Top 50 – the University of Florida in the Top 5 and Florida State University in the Top 20.  The University of South Florida rounds out the Top 50 for the fourth consecutive year. 

Florida has five public institutions ranked in the Top 100, the fifth-most in the country.  The University of Central Florida and Florida International University finish out the Top 100 at No. 64, an increase of 3 spots, and No. 72.  Additionally, Florida has eight universities in the top 140, with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University rising one place, ranked No. 103, and Florida Atlantic University and University of North Florida at No. 132.

“I am thrilled to see our universities’ significant achievements reflected in the national rankings.  None of this would be possible without the steadfast commitment of our university leadership, faculty, and most importantly, our students,” said Brian Lamb, Chair of the Board of Governors.  “We appreciate the significant support from Governor DeSantis and our legislative leaders who have consistently prioritized higher education in Florida.  This success will inspire our university system to continue reaching upward to ensure a place of excellence and opportunity for our students.”

The U.S. News rankings are based on key quality measures, including academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources (including class size, the percentage of faculty with the top academic degree, student-faculty ratio), student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.

Other highlights include:

  • U.S. News & World Report also recognized FAMU as the No. 1 public HBCU in the country for the third year.
  • Florida Polytechnic University ranked third among all top colleges in the region – both public and private.
  • Florida State University ranked No. 8 Best Value College in the nation among public universities and the highest among the state universities in Florida.
  • New College of Florida is ranked as the No. 5 Public Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation for the second year. 
  • The University of Central Florida ranked in the Top 20 most innovative universities for the fifth consecutive year.


Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors

The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors.  The System has 12 universities and more than 430,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation.  Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the System’s coordination and operation.  The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the System’s chief executive.  For more, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.