Education

Resident Life

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Living in Tampa Bay

The University of South Florida is one of the new universities created in the 20th century. The 26th largest university in the United States and still growing, USF has built a solid reputation as a leader in learning, offering comprehensive state of the art, student centered programs. Founded in 1956, USF serves over 50,000 students, with nearly 250 academic programs on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Lakeland. USF's libraries hold some 2.6 million volumes and computer links to numerous data bases and international communications throughout the world.

Located in the metropolitan area of Tampa Bay, USF contributes to the well being of its immediate urban neighborhoods through research and service. In 2018/19, USF reached $405 million in total research expenditures and is currently 8th in the nation among public universities and 16th worldwide for granted U.S patents among all universities.

USF's continued effort on innovation and economic development have led to generating more than $582 million annually statewide, majority of which impacts the immediate Tampa Bay area. The University has an operating budget close to $1.8 billion, sustaining more than 4,000 jobs. The many of USF's graduates continue to live in the region.

The Tampa Bay region encompasses three main cities - Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater - each with its unique characteristics. It is the second most populated metropolitan area in Florida, consisting of about 3.1 million people. Tampa is the largest city in the area, with a population of approximately 400,000. It is the 48th most populated city in the United States.

Residents enjoy both a laid back lifestyle as well as an active city life, with a reasonable cost of living. A sub-tropical climate with an annual average temperature of 73.1 degrees makes golf, tennis, jogging and biking possible year round with water sports readily available along the beaches, bays and rivers adjoining the Gulf of Mexico. There are beautiful beaches that are less than 30 minutes away from the USF main campus. Downtown Tampa offers diverse array of restaurants, including innovative eateries, indoor/outdoor entertainment and nightlife. The Tampa metropolitan area also supports the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Orchestra as well as theater and dance at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Bayfront Center and other venues.

Professional football, hockey, baseball and soccer are represented by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Beginning in March each year, this area is home to nine major league baseball teams for spring training. Our city has been recently named “Champa Bay” for its recent success; the Lightning won the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup, the Rays made it to the 2020 World Series, and the Bucs won Super Bowl LV!

The Tampa Bay region is served by an international airport, consistently ranked among the best in the country. Florida's second largest tourist attraction, Busch Gardens, is just two miles from USF while Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World are less than a 90 minute drive from Tampa. The ZooTampa at Lowry Park is another family favorite and the Florida Aquarium, which showcases the unique ecosystems of our region, is located on Tampa's downtown waterfront.

Tampa's history dates back to the mid 1880's when a thriving cigar industry brought people to this exciting port city. Ybor City is a large Hispanic historic district which is home to a number of small art galleries, shops and restaurants. Ybor City is also the epicenter of Tampa's night life. Tampa is an exciting city and an enjoyable place to work and play.