The University of South Florida, established in 1956 as a public university, is a comprehensive research university serving more than 45,000 students. The USF System is an evolving multi-campus system of higher education with fiscally autonomous, yet complementary, campuses in Tampa (including USF Health), St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee. USF is home to medical clinics and hospitals, a major mental health research institute and two public broadcasting stations (television and radio). The university employs more than 1,660 fulltime instructional faculty and more than 6,100 fulltime staff.
As the largest metropolitan research university and the third largest in total enrollment in the State University System of Florida, USF offers a broad array of degree programs with both basic and applied orientations, including 86 baccalaureate degrees, 104 master’s degrees, two education specialist degrees, 41 doctoral degrees and four professional doctoral degrees, including the MD. These degree programs are in the university’s Division of Academic Affairs and are administered by 13 colleges: Arts, Arts and Sciences, Behavioral and Community Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Global Sustainability, Honors, Marine Science, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health. Specialized credit and noncredit programs are administered by Educational Outreach.
The University is dedicated to the discovery of new knowledge, insights and forms of expression through significant innovative research and other creative activity, and to the preservation, organization, analysis and synthesis of existing knowledge. As a leading publicly supported university, USF accomplishes its research mission by building on existing program strengths, by fostering effective, cross-disciplinary approaches, and by contributing to the resolutions of social, cultural, economic, medical and technological challenges facing the metropolitan population of our community. The dedication of USF researchers, students and staff has contributed to the phenomenal growth in research that USF has experienced over the past 20 years.
USF is ranked in the top 50 universities in the nation for research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation, and has been among the top 15 universities worldwide for U.S. patents for the past four years. More than $428 million in contracts and grants was awarded to USF for the 2014 fiscal year, an increase of nearly $15 million over the previous year. USF is designated as a “research university with very high research activity,” which is the highest classification by the Carnegie Foundation, which also designates it a “community-engaged university.”
The University of South Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award degrees at the baccalaureate, master’s, specialist and doctoral levels, including the Doctor of Medicine. USF has created USF Health as an enterprise dedicated to making life better by improving health in the wider environment, in communities and for individuals. USF Health has, as its core, four colleges: Public Health, Pharmacy, Nursing and Medicine. It also has a School of Physical Therapy and a School of Biomedical Sciences, as well as the health care delivered by its clinicians. Originally founded as the USF Medical Center in 1971, its name was changed to USF Health to reflect its collaborative focus on the full continuum of health.
The College of Public Health at USF is one of four colleges comprising the growing USF Health. Established in 1984, the USF COPH is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health and offers master’s (MPH, MSPH and MHA) and doctoral (PhD, DrPH) degrees, along with Florida’s first bachelor’s degree in public health. COPH has five main departments: Community and Family Health, Global Health, Health Policy and Management, Environmental and Occupational Health, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The College of Public Health has an active research program, with an increase in sponsored research dollars from $1 million in 1990-91 to approximately $25 million in 2013-14. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2011 at No. 21, a report released in March 2015 ranked the college at No. 16 among accredited public health schools and colleges.
COPH supports numerous formal research and technical assistance centers. Faculty and students continually present their research and practice at local, state, national and international professional meetings and are published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. Many students are involved in research activities as graduate assistants on faculty-led projects. College faculty conduct research around the major public health challenges of our time and engage in active community-based research and service learning in the true spirit of public health – recognizing that it is not only through discovery and learning but through the direct translation and application of that knowledge to policies and programs that we succeed in improving the public’s health. Today, the College is a recognized leader in distance learning, social marketing, maternal and child health and global infectious disease research. For more than 30 years, public health practice is our passion.