What started as a 2013 goal to reach Top 10 status amongst the U.S. public universities (a goal that was met in 2018 when UF was ranked No. 9), quickly transitioned into a push for a coveted new position: ranking in the Top 5. After years of hard work, investment in student and faculty resources, and dedication from the entire community, the University of Florida is officially ranked as #5 in U.S. News and World Report’s list of Top Public Universities.

UF’s quest for a spot in the Top Five has been well-publicized for many years, and the effort continues to pay off. In less than 10 years, UF has risen more than 10 spots, demonstrating an extraordinary investment in excellence and a commitment to success.

At a press conference announcing the new ranking, UF President Kent Fuchs said that he believes UF’s rise will continue to attract excellent employees to the university, a task of extra significance as UF embarks on a faculty hiring initiative focused on artificial intelligence in all academic areas on campus. “When a university is higher ranked, it actually builds on itself,” Fuchs said.

The excitement the announcement brought was obvious across campus as well as on social media, with many students feeling the pride of watching their university climb in the rankings. “I feel overjoyed knowing that I have the privilege to take classes and be surrounded by some of America’s most resilient and outstanding students,” Kathleen Cintado, a third-year psychology major, said. “I started at UF when we were #7 and I am grateful to have witnessed that number rise in the past couple of years.”

While the new ranking adds prestige to the University of Florida, it also signals to prospective students and families that UF offers an incredible, affordable student experience. In addition to academic excellence, the ranking is calculated utilizing a number of indicators related to student outcomes. Things like student-faculty ratios, graduation rates, first-year retention rates, and financial resources all come into play when these rankings are determined. UF maintains a low 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and 90% of classes have 50 students or less. Two-thirds of undergraduates graduate debt-free, and support services like our Office for First Generation Student Success, the Disability Resource Center and award-winning Career Connections Center are dedicated to ensuring all Gators have the tools they need to be successful at UF and beyond.

Rising in the rankings also adds to the value of UF degree. “I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out UF has become a Top 5 U.S. public university,” Noel Martinez-Pla, a second-year international studies and economics double major, said. “This will significantly increase the value of my degree and help establish my future career.”

It’s an exciting time to be a Gator, but the work doesn’t stop here. Just as President Fuchs said, “Gators always want to be number one in everything they do.”