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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

School Spotlight: University of Florida

Updated: May 8, 2023

Last week I featured a California school, so this week we will move to the other side of the country and look at a Florida school. The other reason for choosing the University of Florida is that by population, it has the largest number of Jewish students (6,500 Jewish undergraduate students and 2,900 Jewish graduate students according to Hillel International) In honor of Hanukkah, I thought I would feature a school that has plenty of students observing Hanukkah beginning tonight! Learn what the UF Hillel has to offer here!

Five Fun Facts about the University of Florida:

1) Since 38% of UF students change their major by the end of their first year, freshmen can have three terms of enrollment to remain on an exploratory track. Students can be exploratory in three tracks - Science and Engineering, Humanities and Letters, or Social and Behavioral. Advisors will help students decide on a major.

2) Students at UF will experience an average of 224 sunny days! UF is located in North Central Florida, in Gainesville. UF has its own lake, Lake Alice, where you might find alligators and soft shell turtles.

3) UF is a very selective university, offering admission to about 39% of applicants. They offer a couple of different pathways that expand admission opportunities to more students - PaCE (Pathway to Campus Enrollment) gives freshmen the opportunity to start online and transition to a campus to complete their degree. The Innovation Academy starts students in spring or summer term, and gives students skills and experience in creative thinking, problem solving, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Student can select from 1 of 30 majors and earn an innovation minor. Students would express interest in the Innovation Academy on their freshman application.

4) Every year approximately 10% of the entering freshman class at UF comes in as a part of the Freshman Honors Program. Honors programs at large public universities are a great opportunity to make a large campus feel a bit smaller. Honors students have access to exclusive academic opportunities, student organizations, and the opportunity to develop more intimate relationships with faculty, advisors, and like-minded peers. Some honors students will be able to take advantage of a spot in Hume Hall, the Honors Living-Learning Community. Students who have successfully completed the Freshmen Honors Program have the change to join the University Honors Program.

5) It probably won't surprise you that University of Florida has a Citrus Research and Education Center that was established in 1917. Research is conducted in many areas including Horticulture Science, Plant Pathology, Food Science, Soil and Water Science. Graduate students can take classes like Citrus Pest Management and Insect Microbiology. The Center for Undergraduate Research has a database that allows students to explore the myriad options for conducting research as an undergrad student. UF received $838 million in research awards during the last fiscal year!

Students on give UF an A+ rating in Academics, Athletics, Student Life, Professors and Party Scene so this is definitely a place for the work hard/play hard type.

Learn more abut the Gators at a virtual information session!

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