From its pre-Civil War beginnings as the Seminary West of the Suwannee to a nearly four-decade stint as the Florida State College for Women to its return to coeducational status as a university, Florida State University has evolved into an internationally recognized research institution. Committed to preparing graduates for the ever-expanding opportunities of a global society, FSU is celebrated not only for its world-class research but also for its teaching and record of public service.
Florida State University enrolls about 41,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, of which nearly 30 percent are minorities and 57 percent are women. FSU students come from every county in Florida, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and more than 128 countries.
The university offers an impressive breadth of academic degree programs, including 99 at the bachelor’s degree level; 112 at the master’s level; 26 at an advanced master’s/specialist’s level; 73 at the doctoral level; and two at a professional degree level. Courses are offered through 16 colleges – Arts and Sciences; Business; Communication; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Education; Engineering; Human Sciences; Information; Law; Medicine; Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts; Music; Nursing; Social Sciences; Social Work; and Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance.
Florida State is a Carnegie Doctoral/ Research Extensive institution, awarding more than 2,000 graduate and professional degrees each year. Doctoral faculty in five academic areas have been ranked among the tops in the nation according to the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index: social work – #4; Spanish – #4; marketing – #5; oceanography – #8; and atmospheric sciences – #10. FSU has many undergraduate and graduate academic programs that consistently rank among the nation’s top 25 at public universities, among them programs in business, chemistry, communication disorders, creative writing, criminology, ecology and evolutionary biology, education, information, law, meteorology, oceanography, physics, political science, psychology, public policy, sociology and statistics.
At Florida State, students have the opportunity to work and study alongside members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences; members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; winners of the Pulitzer Prize; Guggenheim Fellows; a Nobel laureate; and other globally recognized teachers and researchers, including faculty who lead several scholarly fi elds in citations of published work. Students can choose to conduct research in specialized interdisciplinary centers such as the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the Institute of Molecular Biophysics, and the School of Computational Science. They can participate in interdisciplinary work across campus through programs that integrate economics, geography, climate forecasting, law and other environmental courses and programs; or work alongside faculty to forge new relationships among professions, including medicine, the physical sciences, engineering, business and law.
Students at Florida State also are encouraged to participate in international education through the university’s programs in England, Italy, Switzerland, France, Panama, China, Costa Rica, Spain, Russia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Croatia, Germany, Ireland and the Caribbean. The university’s study sites in Valencia, Spain; Florence, Italy; and London, England are considered by many to be among the nation’s best.
FSU was ranked No. 1 in the nation among top research universities in graduation rates for African-Americans. FSU is currently developing, designing, breaking ground for or constructing about $500 million worth of facilities, and the new Chemical Sciences Laboratory and the James E. “Jim” King Life Sciences Building are world-class examples that herald the dawn of a new era for Florida State’s science community.
The FSU track and fi eld team won its third-in-a-row NCAA championship. Thirteen FSU student-athletes and coaches from three sports represented the Seminoles and eight different countries at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. And, closer to home, a commitment to community service put FSU student-athletes at the top of the Outreach Honor Roll from the National Consortium for Academics and Sports.
Two leaders in medicine, Florida State University and Mayo Clinic, signed an agreement to work as research partners in the quest to improve health care outcomes for Floridians and all Americans. The agreement calls for interaction and collaboration between researchers at FSU and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., the establishment of joint research programs, and the exchange of scientifi c and educational literature and research — and opens up unique opportunities to turn basic science into new cures for a variety of diseases, from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
The collective strength of biomedical research at Florida State and the scientists who lead it has earned an extremely competitive $2 million High-End Instrumentation grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant and an additional $2.8 million in FSU matching funds will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art robotic electron microscope that will place the university among the very top imaging centers in the world. FSU scientists will use the unique robotic microscope to advance their cutting-edge research on HIV/AIDS, heart disease, hypertension and cancer.
FSU is bringing together researchers with expertise in a variety of fields to develop new strategies for dealing with Florida’s energy challenges. The new Florida Energy Systems Consortium is a collaborative effort among the state’s 11 public universities to address key issues pertaining to energy, climate and the environment — with a particular focus on promoting renewable energy. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law a comprehensive energy bill establishing the consortium and providing a total of $50 million in funding, to be divided among four core institutions – FSU (with $8.75 million), the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.
The university has been selected as the lead institution for the new Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion, a collaborative project featuring the state’s premier researchers in aerospace and aviation. Of $14.57 million in funding appropriated to create the center, FSU will get the largest portion – nearly $6 million – to oversee center operations and develop research and policy that unites scholars from various disciplines and universities.
Florida State’s main campus is spread over 450.5 acres in Tallahassee. Within the state, the university maintains facilities in Panama City, at its Coastal and Marine Laboratory on the Gulf of Mexico, and at the Asolo Performing Arts Center in Sarasota. The university also operates the Ringling Center for the Cultural Arts in Sarasota, which includes the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art — the largest museum/university complex in the nation. Library holdings at Florida State include 2.9 million book titles and 9.1 million microforms and rank among those at the nation’s top 30 public research universities. Collectively, the FSU libraries belong to the Association of Research Libraries, whose membership is comprised of the top research university libraries in the United States.