First established in 1956 thanks to efforts from U.S. Representative Sam Gibbons, the University of South Florida is a premier public metropolitan space-grant institution with high research activity. Each year, USF enrolls more than 36,100 undergraduates and 9,800 post-graduates across its 14 academic colleges. USF is located on a sprawling 1,913-acre urban campus in sunny Tampa along Florida’s western coastline. The University of South Florida offers a variety of online, on-campus, and hybrid programs from the bachelor’s to doctoral level. USF has a high freshman retention rate of 89 percent, which indicates student satisfaction.
According to the U.S. News, USF is currently ranked as the 156th best national university, 84th top public school, and 127th best college for military veterans nationwide. In particular, the University of South Florida is recognized for providing America’s 20th best online graduate education programs and 17th best online graduate engineering degrees. USF was placed 43rd in the country for federal research funding by the National Science Foundation. From 2000 to 2010, USF was crowned the Chronicle of Higher Education’s fifth fastest-growing college. The University of South Florida is also consistently named among the Princeton Review’s “75 Best College Values.”
University of South Florida Accreditation Details
Recently reaffirmed in 2015, the University of South Florida has accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). This regional accrediting body is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Approximately 50 percent of USF’s degrees also have discipline-specific accreditations. Public health programs are given the stamp of approval from the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH). Teaching degrees meet the standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Engineering programs are approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
University of South Florida Application Requirements
UCF has a highly selective acceptance rate of 47 percent, so graduate students must exceed certain admissions criteria for online enrollment. Master’s or doctoral applicants are required to already hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or foreign equivalent. Maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all upper-division undergraduate coursework attempted is mandatory. Most online graduate programs require students to submit satisfactory Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores via code 5828. Certain programs may have extra requirements, such as work experience or teaching credentials, so please check the website. International students from non-English speaking countries must score at least 6.5 on the IELTS.
Before the March 1st application deadline, interested students wishing to attend one of the University of South Florida’s online graduate programs should submit:
• Online admissions application
• Official transcripts from each college attended
• Two to three letters of recommendation
• Graduate entrance exam scores
• Current resume or curriculum vitae
• Brief personal essay or writing sample
• One-page statement of purpose
• $30 non-refundable application fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
In-state graduate students can expect to pay $431.43 per credit hour. Out-of-state students pursuing master’s or doctoral studies at USF must afford $877.17 per credit hour. High-demand programs, including engineering, business, and nursing degrees, follow a slightly different pay structure. Florida residents in these graduate programs must pay $467.34 per credit hour. Non-residents will be charged $913.08 per credit hour for the same programs. The CRNA/MSNA program has a flat rate tuition fee of $800 per credit hour regardless of state residence. Online students are required to add a $50 distance learning fee per credit hour.
Around 97 percent of matriculated USF students receive some form of merit- or need-based financial assistance to lower costs. Although it must be repaid, low interest rates are available through the Federal Direct, Perkins, Parent PLUS, and Graduate PLUS loans. Private or alternative student loans are accepted. After filing their FAFSA, students could be found eligible for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, or TEACH Grant. In-state learners should apply for the Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) or First Generation Matching Grant. Graduate assistantships and fellowships are available on campus. The University of South Florida also offers abundant scholarship opportunities, including the Bright Futures Scholarship, New Transfers Scholarship, Latino Scholarship, and Student Veteran Scholarship.
Online Degree(s) Available
Through Innovation Education (InEd), USF gives traditional and non-traditional students the ability to set their own pace with high-quality, accredited online programs. Currently, online learners can select from eight bachelor’s, 28 master’s, and two doctoral/specialist degrees. Campus-based students can also search OASIS to find hundreds of individual online courses during their busy semesters. The Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) keeps course materials, library services, academic advising, and peer interaction available 24/7. Some of the top-notch graduate degrees are:
M.S. in Engineering Management
Delivered 100 percent online from anywhere, the M.S. in Engineering Management program at USF accommodates full-time engineering professionals who are seeking the managerial skills to advance into executive roles. Students can select an area of specialization in Technical Management, Safety Management, Quality Management, Entrepreneurship, Systems Engineering, or Regulatory Affairs for Medical Devices. The 36-credit curriculum strives to turn today’s engineers into tomorrow’s leading managers and entrepreneurs. The program’s more than 800 graduates are employed in companies like Lockheed Martin, Disney, Raytheon, and Publix.
M.A. in Gifted Education
Fully approved by the NCATE, the M.A. in Gifted Education program is available online for certified working teachers wishing to improve their teaching strategies for educating gifted and talented children in K-12 schools. The 36-credit curriculum satisfies the requirements for receiving the Florida Endorsement in Gifted Education. Teachers will take courses exploring motivational strategies, psychoeducational assessment, transitional programming, education research, exceptional education, and family consultation. M.A. students will build an E-Portfolio account through Chalk and Wire to display their professional competencies.
MPH in Epidemiology
Over the course of two to two and a half years, the online MPH in Epidemiology program allows graduate students to closely examine the determinants of health-related issues in diverse global populations. Aspiring epidemiologists will use statistical research analysis to determine the risk factors for diseases like obesity, smoking, cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. The 44-credit curriculum includes asynchronous online courses through the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Graduates are prepared to become public health researchers at local, state, federal, or international health organizations.
Other popular online graduate programs at the University of South Florida include the MBA in Sport Business, M.A. in Global Sustainability, M.S. in Cybersecurity, and M.S. in Health Informatics.