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  • Writer's pictureJulie Simons

University of Tampa

IF the things you want in a college include

medium size • urban • defined campus • school spirit • experiential learning • innovative study abroad • support for undergraduate research • beautiful facilities

THEN you should definitely look at the University of Tampa!

Founded in 1931 in the old Tampa Bay Hotel, the University of Tampa is a diverse community of 9000 students from 50 states and 150 countries situated in the middle of downtown Tampa. UT emphasizes a liberal arts education through the baccalaureate experience, and the school is very serious about students being successful. Classes are small with an average class size of 22 and only 4% of classes being larger than 40 students. Additionally, all first years take a special course to help transition from high school to college. UT also emphasizes experiential learning; most students have multiple internships - whether by walking across the street to downtown Tampa, at home, or even abroad. Travel study classes take students abroad for two weeks at the end of the semester and are offered in all subjects, from criminology to sports medicine. Sykes College of Business is a highly ranked program for both undergraduates and graduate students (most graduate students at UT are MBA students). The school offers a financial trading center on campus, and students learn how to trade using real funds given to them by the university; if students end up losing money, the university absorbs the losses. The Daly Innovation and Collaboration building is home to a Shark Tank-style pitch room where entrepreneurship is nurtured. A marine science research center with 4 research vessels as well as dedicated funding for undergraduate research nurture exploration in all fields. Students can work out in the 40,000 square foot fitness center and participate in 240 clubs and 24 fraternities and sororities (both business and social). UT has strong programs in nursing, athletic training, and education - though students have to apply sophomore year to get into these specialized programs.

To make UT more accessible, all students are automatically evaluated for merit scholarships of up to $16,000 per year (including for international students) and an honors program with dedicated classes and an honors dorm as well as a program where 3 honors students each semester are selected to attend Oxford University in England. UT says it wants students to “love where you live and learn,” and it’s easy to see they are putting their money where their mouth is. The campus is full of new and newly renovated buildings (with a new performing arts building and a 90,000 square foot nursing building set to open next year) and a plethora of resources. UT students are excited about and proud of their school, whether bragging about the easy access to professors, the generous $7000 research grants, the special success support program for first gen students, the largest pipe organ in the southeast (3184 pipes!), or the urban environment with a campus feel. Check it out - you might find yourself deciding to become a Spartan!


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