UF rises again in U.S. News & World Report rankings, this year to No. 7 among public universities

For the third year in a row, the University of Florida has risen in the U.S. News & World Report Top Public Schools rankings, climbing to No. 7. For the third consecutive year, UF appears in the top-10 rankings of national public universities.

UF once again remains the most highly ranked university in Florida and the only university in the state in the top 10.

The 2020 U.S. News top-10 list reads as follows:

1 – University of California, Los Angeles

2 – University of California, Berkeley

3 – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

4 – University of Virginia

5 – Georgia Institute of Technology *

5 – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill *

7 – University of Florida *

7 – University of California, Santa Barbara *

9 – University of California, Irvine

10 – University of California, San Diego

*= tie

UF was tied last year with Georgia Tech for the No. 8 spot and two years ago was tied for No. 9 with the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, San Diego.

In addition, UF’s undergraduate business programs saw a significant rise from No. 30 last year to No. 22 this year. Undergraduate engineering programs came in at No. 34.

Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference Monday announcing UF's No. 7 spot in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Top Public Schools rankings.

“I am incredibly excited by this news. It clearly demonstrates that the University of Florida is on an unstoppable trajectory,” said Mori Hosseini, chairman of the UF Board of Trustees. “We are tremendously grateful for the support of the Legislature and Gov. DeSantis. UF’s steady rise in the U.S. News rankings and Florida’s position as the No. 1 state in the country for higher education prove that the ongoing investment in the State University System and the University of Florida is well-placed.”

UF President Kent Fuchs expressed his gratitude and congratulations to the entire UF community.

“Our faculty and staff continue to do amazing work, and the latest U.S. News ranking is a wonderful affirmation of that,” Fuchs said. “The rankings are also an indicator of our national stature among the nation’s very best research universities, the quality of the education our students are receiving and the steadily increasing value of a University of Florida degree.”

Fuchs also offered kudos to the other Florida schools that saw improvements in their U.S. News rankings. Florida State University climbed to No. 18 from No. 26 last year, the University of South Florida improved to 44th from 58th and the University of Central Florida went from 87th to 79th.

UF’s continuing rise in undergraduate rankings compliments a parallel sweeping rise in its U.S. News & World Report graduate rankings. UF now has 28 programs nationally ranked in the top 30 in their disciplines, up from 20 two years ago. That includes seven programs ranked in the top 10, and 17 in the top 20.

The U.S. News rankings are based on up to 15 key measures of quality that are used to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each university. The measures fall into six broad areas: outcomes (35%), faculty resources (20%), expert opinion (20%), financial resources (10%), student excellence (10%) and alumni giving (5%).

This year, UF saw its peer assessment score – how other presidents, chancellors and provosts view UF – rise to 3.8 from 3.7 last year and 3.6 three years ago.

UF’s six-year graduation rate also rose this year to 90%, up from 88% last year. 

UF’s quest to become a top-10 public research institution officially began in 2013, when the Legislature passed, and then-Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill designating it a preeminent university and providing special funding to be used for helping it reach top status. Florida State University also received the preeminent designation, and the University of South Florida was designated as preeminent last year.

Two years ago, UF announced an initiative to hire 500 additional new faculty, and more than half those are in place, resulting in a current student-faculty ratio of 18:1, up from 19:1 last year and 21:1 four years ago. Currently, 50% of UF’s undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students.

Seventy-seven percent of the fall 2018 freshman class was in the top 10% of their high school class. The average GPA of the incoming freshman class for the fall 2018 semester was 4.4, and nearly one-quarter of the entering cohort at UF are Pell grant recipients.

UF ranks No. 6 among public universities in Washington Monthly magazine’s 2019 list of universities that do the most for their country – contributing to the public good in terms of social mobility, research and promoting public service.

UF also ranks third in the nation for technology transfer – getting its ideas out of the lab and into the real world – ahead of schools such as Stanford, MIT and Cal tech, as well as the entire University of Texas System, according to the Milken Institute. That’s up from the No. 6 spot in the previous ranking. UF also is No. 2 among AAU institutions for both FY17 and FY16 in licenses/options executed; ahead of the schools listed, second only to the University of Washington.

In August, UF announced that alumni and friends gave a record $526 million this year to move the university forward in teaching, discovery and service to Floridians and others. It’s the first time UF has raised more than $500 million in a single year.

Steve Orlando September 9, 2019