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Florida International University

From top-ranked academic programs to top-tier research designation, FIU is a South Florida anchor institution and a solutions center for the world’s toughest challenges.
In 1965, Florida Senator Robert M. Haverfield introduced Senate Bill 711, which instructed the state Board of Education and the Board of Regents (BOR) 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.

In August 1986, the Board of Regents unanimously approved Modesto A. “Mitch” Maidique as FIU’s fourth president. The former Harvard Business School professor and high-tech entrepreneur had a clear vision and goals for the University.
Some of his major accomplishments:

  • Enrollment increased from 16,400 to more than 34,000
  • Tremendous programmatic growth- more than 190 degree programs in 19 colleges and schools
  • FIU admitted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, the youngest member of the society and one of only five in the state of Florida (2000)
  • FIU College of Law – the first public law school in South Florida – opened in 2002
  • Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine– South Florida's only public medical school & opened in 2009
  • FIU classified as a Doctoral/Research University-Extensive (highest ranking)
  • Elevation of entire intercollegiate athletic program from NCAA Division II to Division I
  • Golden Panthers began competing in intercollegiate football(Division I-AA) as part of the Sun Belt Conference and the Atlantic Soccer Conference

As Miami's first and only public research university, offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, FIU is worlds ahead in its service to the academic and local community.
Designated as a top-tier research institution, FIU emphasizes research as a major component in the university's mission. The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the School of Computing and Information Sciences' Discovery Lab, are just two of many colleges, schools, and centers that actively enhance the university's ability to set new standards through research initiatives. For over four decades, FIU has positioned itself as one of South Florida's anchor institutions by solving some of the greatest challenges of our time. We are dedicated to enriching the lives of the local and global community.
With a student body of nearly 54,000, we are among the top 10 largest universities in the nation and have collectively graduated more than 200,000 alumni, 115,000 of whom live and work in South Florida.

Rankings
#100Ranked as one of the top 100 public universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report
#1International Business undergraduate program in Florida; U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges of 2018
#1International Global Policy and Administration graduate program in Florida; U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges of 2018
#1Law School Bar passage rate in Florida; Law graduates consistently earn the highest bar passage rate of any of Florida’s 11 law schools
#1On the Social Mobility Index in Florida and an Ashoka Changemaker Campus
#1Online Hospitality Management program; College Choice ranked a number of FIU's online programs among the best in the country
#2Online Criminal Justice program; BestColleges.com

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