As South Florida’s first urban public research university, FIU is the university of access for the region’s six million residents and is a solutions center for addressing global needs.

Since opening for classes in 1972 with the largest first-day enrollment in American collegiate history, FIU has distinguished itself as one of the nation’s largest, most diverse institutions of higher education.

minority students

among the 10 largest public research universities in the nation
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degrees awarded
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grads in the next decade

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Success at a Glance

  • FIU is ranked in the top tier of research universities in the nation. Its Carnegie Classification is R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity.
  • FIU is named among the top universities in the country in terms of engagement and contributions to its community. According to rankings of national universities by Washington Monthly, FIU placed 17th out of 279 higher education institutions. Achieving a top 20 ranking by 2020 was one of the goals of the FIUBeyondPossible2020 strategic plan.
  • Ranked first in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to minorities, and in awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students, making FIU one of the nation’s largest Hispanic-Serving Institutions with the highest six-year Hispanic graduation rate.
  • FIU is recognized by the Institute of International Education for its innovative global learning initiatives and has been selected to join the prestigious Ashoka U Changemaker Campus consortium.
  • Ranked No. 7 among the top U.S. universities founded in the last 50 years and one of the top 100 universities in the world founded in the last 50 years (Times Higher Education).
  • In 2015, three FIU teams won Conference USA championships and represented FIU in NCAA tournaments in their respective sports: swimming and diving, baseball and men’s soccer.
  • FIU graduates are the best paid Florida public university graduates and have the highest rate of in-state employment after graduation (Florida Board of Governors).
  • Recognized by the U.S. State Department, FIU is a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Scholars.
  • More than 50 percent of FIU undergraduate students qualify for Pell Grants and are the first generation in their families to receive a college degree.
  • Average SAT score of incoming freshmen: 1485-1725; average ACT score of incoming freshmen: 20-24; average GPA of incoming freshmen: 3.4-4.0.
  • Youngest university to have been awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most distinguished academic honor society.
  • One of only 300 institutions nationwide to attain the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Faculty, Staff & Academics

  • FIU is the second best ranked Florida employer and is the highest ranking university in Florida on the “America’s Best Employers” list by Forbes. On the overall list of 500 employers, FIU is ranked 34th.
  • Ninety-nine percent of tenured or tenure-seeking, full-time faculty hold a doctorate or the highest degree attainable in their field.
  • More than 5,700 faculty and staff, nearly 4,900 of which are full time.
  • FIU faculty conduct research in a wide array of disciplines, representing FIU centers and institutes such as the Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging Center, STEM Transformation Institute, Extreme Events Institute, Center for Children and Families, Institute of NeuroImmune Pharmacology, Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program, Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse, and Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center.
  • Approximately $100 million to $200 million awarded annually to faculty for innovative research.
  • FIU faculty and staff have given more than $9 million to the university in support of our students and programs through the Ignite campaign.
  • FIU has a 27:1 student to faculty ratio.

University Footprint

  • One of the top 10 largest public research universities in the nation and the largest public research university in South Florida.
  • More than 220,000 degrees awarded.
  • FIU enrolls approximately 55,000 students in two main campuses and four centers including the Engineering Center, FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75 and the Miami Beach Urban Studios.
  • FIU has three museums: the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.
  • More than 190 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in 12 colleges/schools.
  • FIU has academic programs at several offshore sites including China, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Panama.
  • FIU is a member of Conference USA and has over 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports.
  • More than 80 percent of our students are minorities.
  • The diverse population of our student body represents 152 countries.
  • FIU graduates more than 10,000 students each year.
  • Most of FIU’s alumni – about 125,000 of them – live work and work in South Florida.
  • FIU’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center is one of only 18 national research centers with expertise in these geographic areas.

Financial Efficiency

  • As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU contributes nearly $9 billion each year to the local economy.
  • FIU provides grants and scholarships totaling more than $170 million a year from institutional, state and federal sources.
  • FIU’s overall endowment – composed of financial assets donated to the university – is nearly $180 million.
  • FIU continues to top all Florida state universities in energy performance, thanks to a series of initiatives that save the university millions of dollars a year.
  • FIU’s tuition, approximately $6,500 per academic year for in-state undergraduates, ranks among the lowest in the nation and the lowest among our competitors. In fact, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine consistently ranks FIU among the top “100 Best Values in Public Colleges.”
  • FIU is ranked 13th among the 25 schools whose students graduate with the least debt load, a “best buy” in higher education. FIU is the top Florida school in this category (U.S. News & World Report).
  • Approximately 70 percent of FIU students receive some form of financial aid and less than half take on student loans.
  • Twelve active fraternities and sororities, and approximately $123,650 raised by FIU Greeks in 2014 for their philanthropies.

High-achieving Programs

  • FIU’s Hollo School of Real Estate in the College of Business is ranked No. 1 in the United States and No. 2 globally for its faculty’s real estate research, and FIU’s international business program ranks sixth best in the nation (U.S. News & World Report).
  • FIU’s Center for Leadership remains the No. 1 ranked leadership development organization in Florida and ranks No. 2 in the U.S. in the educational institutions category for 2015.
  • The College of Education’s Reading Education master’s program was ranked by the Florida Department of Education as the No. 1 teacher preparation program in the state.
  • FIU Law ranked among top 100 law schools in the nation, is among the top 2 in Florida for the success of its graduates finding jobs, and its graduates rank first in Florida Bar passage rate (U.S. News & World Report).
  • FIU’s Model U.N. program consistently ranks among the top five in the nation, alongside institutions including Harvard University, Georgetown University and the University of Chicago.
  • FIU’s interior architecture program ranks first among universities in Florida and among the top 10 in the nation (“America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools” by DesignIntelligence).
  • FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine has been ranked 20th nationwide among the Top Medical Schools for Education Quality and fourth for Top Medical Schools for Career Support (
  • The White House has recognized FIU’s Mastery Math Lab and the STEM Transformation Institute as Bright Spots in Hispanic Education, placing them among the top programs in the nation helping to close the achievement gap.
  • FIU owns and operates the world’s only undersea research laboratory – Aquarius Reef Base, as well as the largest and most powerful hurricane simulator – Wall of Wind.

FIU’s Vision
Florida International University will be a leading urban public research university focused on student learning, innovation and collaboration.

FIU’s Mission
Florida International University is an urban, multi-campus, public research university serving its students and the diverse population of South Florida. We are committed to high-quality teaching, state-of-the-art research and creative activity, and collaborative engagement with our local and global communities.

Brief Snapshot of FIU’s History
In 1965, Florida Senator Robert M. Haverfield introduced Senate Bill 711, which instructed the state Board of Education and the Board of Regents to begin planning for the development of a state university in Miami.

An abandoned airfield is an unusual place for the birth of a university. But in the summer of 1969, founding FIU President Chuck Perry gathered three leaders who would help him create his vision.

Butler Waugh, Donald McDowell and Nick Sileo joined the 31-year-old Perry at Tamiami Airport and set up shop in the former air traffic controllers’ tower. The tower had no phones, no drinkable water and no furniture. President Perry decided that the control tower should never be destroyed and so it remains standing today at the center of campus, as FIU’s Ivory Tower.

From that single building on that abandoned airfield, FIU has grown to be one of the largest universities in the country. The spirit of entrepreneurship born on that summer day thrives at today’s FIU.


Want a digital copy of these facts? Click here. (Updated as of April 27, 2016)

"FIU has been my home for more than 40 years. When I support the university through financial donations, I am only returning a small portion of the benefits the university has given me and my family."

− Darden Pyron, Professor of History, Founding Professor of FIU’s College of Arts & Sciences, Senior Honors Fellow

"An investment in FIU is an investment in the future of the South Florida community and the state."

− Scott Norberg, J.D., Professor of FIU’s College of Law

"The planned gift is my way of saying thank you to FIU for starting me on my career in the hospitality industry. Hopefully other alumni or friends of the university will realize that a monetary gift benefits FIU and furthers the education of current or future students."

− John E. Onachilla ’77, graduate of FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

"I have been on the other side seeking scholarships and loans. Knowing how frustrating it can be, I give to causes that support students…. It is a very small token of appreciation, but I hope the little I do will make a huge difference."

− Kalai Mathee, Ph.D., Professor & Founding Chair, Department of Molecular Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, of FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

"We are proud to partner with FIU, Miami’s public research university. So many of our students need financial assistance to access the opportunities an FIU education can provide."

− Nathan Kurland, Chair of the Miami Bayside Foundation Board of Directors

Why Give

Because every donor makes a difference in transforming FIU and advancing the institution to its next horizon.

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