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The University of South Florida (USF) is a public, state university located in Tampa, FL. It is a global research university and Florida's leading metropolitan research university, founded in 1956 and the first independent state university to be conceived of, planned, and built in the 20th century. It was named University of South Florida at least partially because it was the southernmost university in Florida at the time it was built. The College of Engineering at USF is also a leader in research areas of sustainability, renewable energy, and biomedical engineering. Overall, USF has three campuses in and around the Tampa Bay area and serves more than 49,000 students annually.
University of South Florida Accreditation Details
USF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges (SACSCC) to award degrees ranging from baccalaureate to doctoral. In addition, the College of Engineering is also accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET), covering the degrees offered throughout the various departments within the college.
University of South Florida Application Requirements
Applying to USF follows standard procedures for most state colleges in that students need to complete an application form, pay the application fee of $30.00, and submit official transcripts and test scores, preferably electronically as this can speed up the processing time. For freshmen candidates, the official transcripts needed are for all high school or GED coursework and test scores needed are for either the SAT or ACT. In addition, other test scores may be needed if they apply, such as IELTS or TOEFL scores when English is not the student's native language.
Competition for admission can be fairly rigorous, with the median GPA accepted generally falling within the range of 3.81 to 4.40, calculated by averaging all core subjects and adding quality points for courses that are Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Honors, Dual Enrollment, or Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE). In addition, tests scores ranged from 1190 to 1320 on the new SAT scale and 27-31 on the ACT.
Transfer students are considered either lower level, a designation for those who have attempted or obtained between 12 and 59 transferrable credits, or upper level, a name for students with 60 or more transferrable credits who may also have earned an Associate degree and are wishing to transfer to USF to pursue a Bachelor degree. In either case, students fill out the application form and submit the $30 application fee, along with official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended. Lower level transfer students must also provide high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. A minimum GPA of 2.50 is required on previously completed college coursework.
Applicants for graduate programs must also submit an application and $30 fee, along with official transcripts of previous college coursework and degree(s) obtained. In addition, students must take and submit the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores and three official letters of reference from people familiar with the student's credentials. Students intending to pursue a thesis option at the Master degree level must also submit statement of research interests, and all students must include a resume or curriculum vitae. In the case of applicants to graduate programs with the Engineering fields, a 3.0 GPA or higher on undergraduate coursework is highly recommended and a Bachelor of Science degree in a related field. In the case of students wishing to pursue chemical engineering at the graduate level, the Bachelor degree must also be in Chemical Engineering.
Tuition and Financial Aid
As a member of the state university system, tuition rates are set and standardized by the state Department of Education. Undergraduate tuition for Florida residents is charged at $213.67 per credit hour, and for out of state residents at $577.47 per credit hour. Graduate courses cost $435.55 per credit hour for Florida residents and $881.33 for out of state residents. In addition to tuition, students will incur costs for other needs, such as books and supplies, housing if needed, and transportation.
Financial aid is available for students who need assistance paying college expenses, in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work study programs. Students seeking aid should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and specify USF as their school of choice so that the financial aid office can put together an appropriate aid package based on demonstrated need.
Engineering Programs at the University of South Florida
Students interested in engineering have a variety of options for both undergraduate and graduate level degrees at USF. The College of Engineering offers engineering-specific Bachelor of Science degrees in each of the following:
â¢ Chemical Engineering, involving coursework in advanced chemistry, thermodynamics, fluids, heat and mass transfer, and reaction systems and gearing students toward careers in both industry and within government organizations
â¢ Civil Engineering, involving the study of roads, buildings, bridges, airports, and water supply and sewage systems, to name just a few, and providing students with the opportunity to specialize if they choose on areas of transportation, environmental, water resources, or geotechnical systems
â¢ Computer Engineering, combining engineering principles to the design of computer hardware and software
â¢ Electrical Engineering, covering all areas fundamental to the electrical sciences, including circuit analysis and design, electromagnetics, and bioelectrical devices
â¢ Industrial Engineering, training students for careers improving system performance and creating public policy by applying mathematical, statistical, and computer simulation models to complex systems in many different industries and fields
â¢ Mechanical Engineering, the oldest and broadest field of engineering, preparing students to work with heat and mechanical power to design, produce, and operate machines and tools.
At the graduate level, Masters degrees are available in all of these specialties, as well as Biomedical Engineering, Environment Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering, a program that studies the interrelationship between material structures, their properties, and their means of production. Doctoral degrees are also offered for all of the same programs as the Masters level, with the exception of the Materials Science and Engineering program.
With so many options and varied career choices open to students strong in science and math who wish to pursue a career in engineering, getting a degree is a wise first step toward fulfilling that wish. At the University of South Florida, students in the College of Engineering find success both within the classroom and in their chosen careers.