For the second year in a row, the U.S. News & World Report listed the University of Florida as one of the nation’s top five public research universities, according to the 2023 Best Colleges rankings released on Monday.
UC Berkeley and UCLA tied at No. 1; Michigan and Virginia tied at No. 3, and UF and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill tied at No. 5. Last year, UF was in a three-way tie at No. 5 with UNC-Chapel Hill and UC Santa Barbara.
UF’s No. 5 ranking in 2022 marked a climb of nine spots on the public university list since 2017.
According to the press release, UF’s reputation score of 3.8, a key metric in the ranking analysis, remained unchanged from last year. In addition, UF’s alumni annual giving rate, another key metric, climbed from 14% last year to 19% this year.
“On behalf of the board, I want to express our deepest gratitude to all the many stakeholders who contributed to this exceptional advancement, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors, as well as the Legislature and the governor for their ongoing support,” said Mori Hosseini, chair of UF’s Board of Trustees, in a statement. “UF’s position in the rankings is reflective of our continual, rapid strengthening in teaching, learning and research performance — smaller class sizes, consistently high graduation and retention rates, and the increased value of each student’s degree after graduation—all of which in turn helps Florida be viewed as a national leader.”
Over the past year, UF announced in July it reached $1 billion in annual research spending, placing UF among a preeminent group of about 15 public research universities nationwide. In May, Heartland Forward ranked UF No. 1 among public universities in moving research innovations from the lab to the marketplace. In January, U.S. News & World Report ranked UF No. 1 for online bachelor’s degrees.
“This is a tribute to all those who steadily contributed to UF’s excellence in the past and sets a call to action for those who will advance our reputation in the years to come,” said UF President Kent Fuchs in a statement. “With this recognition, our ability to recruit and retain students, staff and faculty who are passionate about making a difference in the world will continue to increase. Our momentum is accelerating.”
Over the past three years, UF has added more than 600 full-time faculty and the student/faculty ratio is now 17-to-1 with more than half of undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students.
UF is also building an “AI Across the Curriculum” model so that every student, regardless of discipline, has familiarity with how artificial intelligence will meet societal needs ranging from health care to education and national security, according to the release.
This year, UF also enhanced its statewide presence with the integration of Scripps Research Institute, now known as UF Scripps Biomedical Research, in Jupiter. This creates a research powerhouse that will accelerate biomedical discoveries.
UF is also recognized as one of the top performers on student outcomes — ranked No 4 in the nation for all universities, tied with UC Berkeley, UCLA and MIT; the overall six-year graduation rates of 91% and 89% for Pell grant recipients are both among the highest in the country.