1. Florida State University
Founded in 1851, FSU is a football powerhouse with prosperous Greek life, a long history and solid academics to boot. Florida State is one of the state’s oldest Universities and is a popular destination where students can get a blend of everything from academics to partying. With over 40,000 enrolled and being listed as one of Florida’s “preeminent universities” by the state, FSU is a land of opportunity for Florida students.
2. University of Florida
While the top 2 spots will always be a hot point of debate depending on who you speak with, UF is a definite top 2 school within the state with the second “preeminent university” status designated by the state. Boasting over 50,000 students and an excellent medical program in conjunction with Shands Hospital, the University of Florida is a powerhouse school in the Sunshine State. The Florida Gators also have nationally-renowned sports programs and have numerous championships under their belt. Besides, who doesn’t love Tim Tebow?
3. University of Central Florida
Founded in 1963 in Orlando, Florida, UCF is a huge up and comer in the state. UCF has one of the largest student bodies in the nation with over 60,000 students. Known for it’s college bar scene, brand new medical school, great hospitality program, and excessive “suspicious package” threats, and 0-12 football team, UCF’s “modern” campus look gives it an atmosphere unlike any other in the state. Despite their 0-12 season, they outed Baylor in 2014 for the Fiesta Bowl title under the leadership of Blake Bortles.
4. University of Miami
While UM is a private school, it absolutely deserves a spot on the list. The Miami Hurricanes have an explosive sports history and is located in the beautiful Coral Gables, Florida. Founded in 1925, notable alumni of the University include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Sylvester Stallone. If you’re craving a So Flo vibe and have a little extra money to spare, UM is a rock solid choice to get a degree.
5. University of South Florida
While Tampa isn’t really “South Florida” it felt appropriate to include the “War on I-4” rival to UCF. Founded in 1956, they’ve got 40,000 students in Tampa, Florida. USF has been showing out as a strong Florida university with a D1 football team, if you’re feeling lucky you can even hit the Tampa Hard Rock Casino right down the road. They also have nearby regional campuses in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg and Sarasota. As the War on I-4 continues on, perhaps USF can surpass UCF in prominence, only time will tell.