For the first time in its history, UF has been ranked among the top 10 public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
UF tied for ninth place in the 2018 best public colleges and universities national ranking with both the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, San Diego.
This is the first time any public college or university in Florida has been included in U.S. News and World Report’s top- 10 ranking. Florida State University was ranked 33rd, and the University of Central Florida was ranked 90th in the report.
UF jumped up five spots from last year’s U.S. News and World Report ranking, increasing most in the metrics of student selectivity, graduate rate performance and undergraduate academic reputation.
When UF President Kent Fuchs assumed his role in 2014, he said he made it a goal for UF to become a top-10 public university during his time as president.
“To make a jump from 14th to ninth, I was surprised,” Fuchs said. “I knew we’d get there, that was certain. But it was also the question of when we’d get there. To be amongst the top 10, it’s pretty special.”
In 2013, UF was designated “preeminent” by the Florida Legislature, allowing it to receive funding for their initiative. UF has since received $52 million from the state for the initiative, has hired 100 faculty members and plans to bring in an additional 500 through state funding and fundraising.
Fuchs said increasing staff size makes UF’s educational mission more effective.
“Students will have smaller classes, and there will be more faculty to serve as advisors to our student body,” Fuchs said.
Fuchs has his sights set on making UF a top five public university, an initiative UF has been focused on for the past year and a half.
The state of Florida’s population is the third largest in the U.S. Because of this, Fuchs believes UF should strive to be in the top three public universities in the nation as well.
“I really believe this university has its destiny in the future as being one of the nation’s top five universities,” Fuchs said.
For Naomi Hardin, an 18-year-old political science major, the top-10 ranking solidifies her choice to attend UF.
“The fact that UF is now one of the top 10 really emphasizes in my mind that I made the right choice.” Hardin said. “It just gives me another reason to absolutely love UF.”