UF, other Florida universities climb in U.S. News and World Report rankings

University of Florida is ranked No. 6 among public universities.
The University of Florida ranked No. 6 among public universities in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings.
The University of Florida ranked No. 6 among public universities in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings. [ St. Petersburg Times ]
Published Sept. 14, 2020|Updated Sept. 14, 2020

The University of Florida was named the No. 6 public university in the country Monday in the latest annual ranking by U.S. News & World Report, bumping it up a spot from No. 7 last year.

The university also was ranked highly for its business, computer science and engineering undergraduate programs. The announcement follows a year of record-breaking research spending at UF and the launching of a $70 million artificial intelligence initiative.

Florida State University was listed at No. 19 this year, compared to No. 18 last year. The University of South Florida was listed at No. 46 this year, compared to No. 44 last year, marking its second year among the top 50 public universities. The University of Central Florida moved up two spots, ranking at No. 77 among public universities.

Topping the list of public universities this year was the University of California, Los Angeles, followed by the University of California, Berkeley. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor came in third.

UF also tied with Stanford University and Yale University as the No. 7 universities among public and private institutions on a “student outcome” measure that includes freshman retention, graduation rates, social mobility for low-income students and student debt.

“By nearly every measure, UF is continuing to make gains, and I’m thankful to the elected leaders, faculty, staff and supporters of the university who have made that possible,” said UF president Kent Fuchs in a press release. “We have momentum, focus and hard work on our side, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this university.”

USF has risen 54 spots among public universities and 78 among all universities in the past 10 years, making it the “fastest rising.” It was ranked No. 71 for best value, a category in which UF ranked No. 116 and FSU ranked No. 123.

USF also ranked 17th among all universities and 12th among public institutions for social mobility, a ranking based on the enrollment and graduation rates of those who receive Pell Grants, federal subsidies given to low-income students.

“USF is proud to maintain its position as the fastest-rising university in national rankings among institutions both public and private over the last decade,” USF president Steve Currall said in a press release. “As USF continues to be recognized for the exceptionally talented students and faculty it attracts, both the university and our surrounding region, as well as the state of Florida, benefit. We will continue our strategic focus on initiatives that will help propel USF to even greater heights in the future.”

UCF ranked No. 16 in the nation, tying with Cornell, for “Most Innovative School,” topping others in the state. The university has announced 11 new graduate certificate programs in response to the pandemic.

The University of Tampa ranked No. 13 among “Best Regional Universities” in the South, and Saint Leo University ranked No. 26 in that category. Saint Leo also ranked No. 4 for best value among schools in the South.

U.S. News & World Report has been issuing college rankings for 36 years. This year, it ranked 1,452 institutions in the U.S. on 17 measures.


U.S. News & World Report top 10 public universities are:

1 University of California, Los Angeles

2 University of California, Berkeley

3 University of Michigan — Ann Arbor

4 University of Virginia

5 University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill

6 University of Florida *

6 University of California — Santa Barbara *

8 Georgia Institute of Technology *

8 University of California, Irvine *

8 University of California, San Diego *