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Florida International University is a public university that was founded in 1965 in Miami, Florida. With over 190 academic programs and 11 separate colleges including competitive business, medicine, and law schools, FIU is the largest university in South Florida.
FIU boasts a 72.3% graduation rate and a student-to-faculty ratio of 25:1 which means larger lecture-style classes. FIU was the first public university in Miami and was founded with the help of Ernest Graham, who proposed the establishment of the school initially in 1943 and later in 1964. Beyond academics, FIU’s athletic teams, represented by their campus mascot Roary the Panther, compete in the FBS with an annual football rivalry with Florida Atlantic University in the Shula Bowl.
FIU has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 50,000 students, and the school uses a semester-based system. Prospective students should note that Florida residents receive in-state tuition at a much lower rate than applicants from out-of-state. The university has a modern campus with impressive buildings like the Frost Art Museum and the Wertheim Performing Arts Center. Notable alumni include actor Andy Garcia, Boston Redsock’s third baseman Mike Lowell, and poet Richard Blanco.
* These statistics utilize the most recently released data from IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System)
Sources for school statistics and data include U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Data may vary depending on school and academic year.
Source data obtained from U.S. Department of Education's Office of Post-secondary Education (OPE)
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FIU, which graduates more than 10,000 students each year, has nearly 180,000 alumni in 30 countries. The list includes Florida U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Maria Altonaga, the first Cuban-American woman to be appointed to the federal bench; Manny Diaz, the 42nd mayor of Miami; actor Andy Garcia; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T. Y. Hilton; Dennis Lehane, author of “Gone, Baby, Gone;” 2007 World Series MVP Mike Lowell; Elsa Murano, the 23rd President of Texas A&M University; and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida, R-27), the first Cuban American and Latina elected to Congress.
Florida International opened its doors in 1972 on the site of the former Tamiani Airport and its first building was the abandoned airport's air traffic control tower. In a nod to its early years, the “Ivory Tower” still remains on the grounds. FIU now has two major sites in Miami, augmented by several branch campuses and research facilities. The 344-acre Modesto Maidique Campus in the University Park neighborhood houses almost all of the colleges, schools, administrative offices and university facilities. North Miami is home to the Biscayne Bay Campus, known for its marine biology program. The two sites are connected by the Golden Panther Express, the student bus system. Parkview Hall, an apartment complex for upper-class students opened in 2013, will be augmented in fall 2016 with Bayview, stylish apartments with amenities such as a 24-hour fitness center, pool and business center.
“Hi, this is Live Chat. How can I help you?” which pops up when visiting FIUonline.com, is an indication of the support offered to those who choose to take classes on their own time. Online students have access to many of FIU’s resources, such as libraries, career and counseling services, financial aid, and the bookstore. The university offers 20 online bachelor degree programs in majors as diverse as hospitality management, logistics and supply chain management, and sustainability and the environment as well as 17 Master’s Degree programs. Students may also enroll in career training programs, a paralegal course and continuing education. Life Well LED, taught by an executive career coach, is available through the Center for Leadership. FIU encourages online graduates to participate in commencement exercises and connect with fellow alumni for career networking opportunities.
FIU joined Conference USA in 2013, facing Division I opponents such as Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Old Dominion, and Rice universities. Student athletes can choose from 17 varsity sports. Dressed in blue and gold, their fans cheer football at the stadium, known as “The Cage,” men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball at the arena, and baseball at the baseball stadium. Additional venues include the aquatic center, tennis complex, and softball fields. The university’s traditional rivals are Florida Atlantic University and the University of Florida, and FIU and FAU complete annually in the Shula Bowl. The enthusiasm for the yearly game has extended the competition to the men’s baseball and basketball teams.
As part of Florida’s state university system, FIU offers 191 programs of study with more than 280 majors in 23 colleges and schools. It is also one of the state’s primary graduate research universities. University Park boasts the Frost Art Museum, which houses an exemplary display of Latin American and 20th century American art, and the International Hurricane Research Center. Biscayne Bay Center and the adjacent Oleta River State Park inspired the creation of the marine biology department, one of the university’s most recognized programs. The Wolfsonian-FIU, a museum, library and research center, is in the heart of the city’s Art Deco District. The university also has international campuses, such as the school of architecture in Genoa, Italy, and the school of hospitality and tourism management at the FIU Tianjin Center in China.