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Florida International University
Seal of Florida International University
Motto Spes Scientia Facultas
Motto in English Hope, Knowledge, Opportunity
Established 1965
Type Public
Endowment $83 million[1]
President Mark B. Rosenberg
Provost Douglas Wartzok
(interim provost)
Faculty 2,974
Staff 4,172
Students 40,455
Undergraduates 30,927
Postgraduates 10,014
Location University Park, Florida, USA
Campus Urban
573.4 acres (2.32 km²)
Athletics NCAA Division I, SBC
17 varsity teams
Colors Blue and Gold          
Nickname Golden Panthers
Mascot Roary the Panther
FIULogo Vertical.png

Florida International University, commonly referred to as FIU, is a public research university located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, in the United States, with its main campus at University Park.[2] Florida International University is classified as a top-tier Research University with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation[3], and is a first-tier research university as designated by the Florida Legislature.[4] Founded in 1965, FIU is the youngest university to be awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the country's oldest academic honor society.[5]

FIU offers 191 programs of study with more than 280 majors in 23 colleges and schools. FIU offers many graduate programs, including architecture, business administration, engineering, law, and medicine, offering 82 master's degrees, 20 doctoral degrees, and 2 professional degrees.[6] FIU is one of Florida's primary graduate research universities in the State University System of Florida, and awards over 2,000 graduate and professional degrees annually.[7]

FIU is the 15th-largest university in the United States, the 4th-largest university in Florida, and the largest in South Florida.[8] For Fall 2009, total enrollment was 40,455 students, including 10,014 graduate students, and 2,974 full-time faculty with over 152,000 alumni around the world.[9] In 2007, FIU's research expenditure was $89.1 million, with an endowment of $117 million.[10]

Since 2007, more valedictorians from South Florida choose to attend FIU than any other university in the country.[11] Admission selectivity has continued to increase with freshmen acceptance rates dropping from 43% in 2006 to 34% in 2009.[12] U.S. News and World Report (2010) ranks FIU as the most selective university in Florida since 2007, and the most selective public university in Florida since the early-2000s.[13] As Miami's public research university, competition to enroll at FIU has continued to increase as more students apply each year.[9][14] For Fall 2009, the average incoming freshmen had an average SAT score of 1157, a 26 ACT score and a 3.8 high school GPA.[9][15][16]




Founding: 1943–1969

Meteorologists at work at the National Hurricane Center in 1970. Previously located in Coral Gables, the NHC moved to FIU in 1995.

The story of Florida International University's founding began in 1943, when state Senator Ernest 'Cap' Graham (father of future Florida governor and U.S. senator Bob Graham) presented the state legislature with the initial proposal for the establishment of a public university in South Florida. While his bill did not pass, Graham persisted in presenting his proposal to colleagues, advising them of Miami's need for a state university. He felt the establishment of a public university was necessary to serve the city's growing population.[17]

In 1964, Senate Bill 711 was introduced by Florida Senator Robert M. Haverfield. It instructed the state Board of Education and the Board of Regents (BOR), to begin planning for the development of a state university in Miami. The bill was signed into law by then-governor W. Haydon Burns in June 1965, marking FIU's official founding.

FIU's founding president Charles "Chuck" Perry was appointed by the Board of Regents in July 1969 after a nationwide search. At 32 years old, the new president was the youngest in the history of the State University System and, at the time, the youngest university president in the country. Perry recruited three co-founders - Butler Waugh, Donald McDowell and Nick Sileo - who came to the abandoned Tamiami Airport in the summer of 1969 and launched the monumental task of creating a new university. Alvah Chapman, Jr., former Miami Herald publisher and Knight Ridder chairman, used his civic standing and media power to assist the effort. In the 1980s, Chapman became chair of the FIU Foundation Board of Trustees.[17]

Opening of the doors: 1969–1975

The Graham Center, FIU's student union. Over 3.5 million people walk through the Graham Center every year, making it the heart of student life at FIU.[18]

In September 1972, 5,667 students finally entered the new state university, the largest opening day enrollment at the time. Previously, Miami had been the largest city in the country lacking a public baccalaureate-granting institution. Eighty percent of the student body had just graduated from Dade County Junior College (now Miami-Dade College). A typical student entering FIU was 25 years old and attending school full-time while holding down a full-time job. Forty-three percent were married. Negotiations with the University of Miami and Dade County Junior College led FIU to open as an upper-division only school. It would be 9 years before lower-division classes were added.[17]

The first commencement, held in June 1973, took place in the reading room of the ground floor of Primera Casa - the only place large enough on campus for the ceremony. More than 1,500 family members and friends watched FIU's first class of 191 graduates receive their diplomas.[17]

By late 1975, after seven years at the helm, Charles Perry felt he had accomplished his goal and left the University to become president and publisher of the Sunday newspaper magazine Family Weekly (now USA Weekend), one of the country's largest magazines. When he left, there were more than 10,000 students attending classes and a campus with five major buildings and a sixth being planned.[17]

Crosby and Wolfe: 1976–1986

FIU is the 15th-largest university in the United States, and the largest in South Florida.[9]

Harold Crosby, the University's second president and the founding president of the University of West Florida in Pensacola, agreed in 1976 to serve a three-year "interim" term. Under his leadership, FIU's North Miami Campus (which was officially renamed the Bay Vista Campus in 1980, the North Miami Campus in 1987, the North Campus in 1994, and the Biscayne Bay Campus in 2000) - located on the former Interama site on Biscayne Bay - was opened in 1977. State Senator Jack Gordon was instrumental in securing funding for the development of the campus. President Crosby emphasized the university's international character, which prompted the launching of new programs with an international focus and the recruitment of faculty from the Caribbean and Latin America. President Crosby's resignation in January 1979, triggered the search for a "permanent" president.[19]

Gregory Baker Wolfe, a former United States diplomat and then-president of Portland State University became FIU's third president, from 1979 to 1986. After stepping down as president, Wolfe went on to teach in the university's International Relations department. The student union on the Biscayne Bay Campus is named in his honor.[19] In 1986, Modesto A. Maidique became FIU's fourth president and having served until 2009, is one of Florida's longest-serving university presidents.

FIU today

Paul Cejas School of Architecture Building

On August 29, 2009, Mark B. Rosenberg became FIU's fifth president.[20] FIU's student enrollment of 40,455 (Fall 2009) makes FIU the 15th-largest university in the United States.[9][17][21]

The Wertheim Conservatory houses many rare species of plants and foliage.

Having begun as a two-year upper division university serving the Miami area, FIU has grown into a traditional university serving students from all over the world. To strengthen this growth, more than $600 million have been invested in construction, with the addition of new residence halls, the on-campus FIU Stadium, recreation center, student center, and Greek Life mansions, as well as the fielding of the Division I-A Golden Panthers football team in 2002.[22] FIU has also increased its academic prestige with the founding of the FIU School of Architecture, FIU College of Law and the FIU College of Medicine, as well as the acquisition of the historical Wolfsonian-FIU Museum in Miami Beach.[9][23]

Florida International University also emphasizes research as a major component of its mission and sponsored research funding (grants and contracts) from external sources for the year 2007-2008 totaled $110 million. FIU has a budget of over $649 million[8] FIU is ranked as a Research University in the High Research Activity category of the Carnegie Foundation’s prestigious classification system.[9][21] FIU's School of Hospitality & Tourism Management collaborated with China's Ministry of Education to work on preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics. FIU was the only university in the United States invited to do so.[24][25]

On November 14, 2008, Maidique announced that he would be stepping down and asked FIU's Board of Trustees to begin the search of a new president. He said he would remain president until a new one was found.[26] On April 25, 2009, Mark B. Rosenberg was selected to become FIU's fifth president. Rosenberg's tenure began on August 3, 2009, and signed a five-year contract with the Board of Trustees.[27] On June 12, 2009, the FIU College of Medicine received the largest donation in the university's history. Herbert Wertheim donated $20 million to the College of Medicine, to be matched by state funds to create a total donation to the College of Medicine of $40 million. As such, the College of Medicine changed its name to the "Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine".[28]

On March 2, 2010, President Mark Rosenberg announced the university's new branding campaign, 'Worlds Ahead'. 'Worlds Ahead' is built on six attributes that define FIU: entrepreneurial, international/global, accessible, community focused, vibrant and ideally located. Its main goals are to strengthen alumni affinity, local community ties, global FIU brand marketing, and to increase the number of applicants, and quality of incoming students.[29][30]

University presidents

President [31] Tenure
Charles Perry 1965–1976
Harold Crosby 1976–1979
Gregory Baker Wolfe 1979–1986
Modesto A. Maidique 1986–2009
Mark B. Rosenberg 2009–present


FIU offers 191 academic programs, 74 baccalaureate programs, 82 master's programs, 3 specialist programs, 30 doctoral programs, and 2 professional program in 23 colleges and schools. In addition, 97% of the faculty have terminal degrees, and 50% currently have tenure at the university with a student/teacher ratio of 27:1.[9][32]

Colleges and schools[33]


Florida International University has two major campuses in Miami, the main campus, University Park and its regional campus, the Biscayne Bay Campus, as well as several branch campuses and research facilities throughout South Florida, in Tianjin, China, and in Nervi and Genoa, Italy.[9]

University Park (Modesto Maidique Campus)

Turtle Pond
View of the campus towards Primera Casa and Deuxième Maison
View of the campus towards the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Building.

The main campus, University Park, renamed Modesto Maidique Campus in 2009[34], encompasses 344 acres (1.4 km²) in the Miami neighborhood of University Park, (from which the area derives its name).

University Park houses almost all of the university's colleges and schools as well as all the administrative offices and main university facilities. University Park is also home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential House, the home of FIU's president, the Wertheim Performing Arts Center, the Frost Art Museum, the International Hurricane Research Center, and the university's athletic facilities such as FIU Stadium, U.S. Century Bank Arena, and the University Park Stadium.

Located five blocks north of University Park, is the 38-acre (145,000 m2) Engineering Center which houses a part of the College of Engineering and Computing and is the home of FIU's Motorola Nanofabrication Research Facility. The Engineering Center is serviced by the CATS Shuttle, FIU's student buses, which run throughout the day on weekdays connecting the two parts of campus.[35]

University Park history

Construction on the campus began in 1965 with the complete destruction of Tamiami Airport in 1969. At the time, very little was located around FIU, and the campus was referred to as University Park. As Miami grew west, the area came to be known as University Park after the university's campus name.

Until the early-1990s, aerial pictures of the campus clearly revealed the features of the airport that used to occupy the land until 1969. Construction has removed all of these features, and only the University Tower remains as a memory of the university's past.[36] University Park is a lush, heavily-vegetated campus, with many lakes and nature preserves, as well as an arboretum and has over 90 buildings. As of late 2009, current construction at University Park includes the Nursing and Health Sciences Building, the School of International and Public Affairs Building, and a fifth parking garage.[37]

On June 12, 2009, FIU's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rename the University Park campus to the Modesto Maidique Campus. However, the change created a large backlash from the FIU community, as many felt it unfitting to name the campus after him. A campaign by FIU students and alumni was created to revert the name change, and to keep the name University Park. A Facebook group, "No to Maidique's Campus" with over 2,000 supporters has made national news, in many newspapers, TV news stations, and collegiate magazines, supporting to keep the name "University Park".[38]

Main University Park buildings

  • Campus Support Complex
  • Carlos Finlay Elementary School
  • Chemistry & Physics Building
  • College of Business Complex
  • College of Health Building
  • Deuxième Maison
  • Engineering Center
  • Engineering and Computer Sciences Building
  • Everglades Hall
  • FIU Stadium
  • Frost Art Museum
  • Graham Center
  • Green Library
  • Health and Life Sciences I and II
  • Labor Center
  • Lakeview Hall North and South
  • Management and Advanced Research Center
  • National Hurricane Center
  • Nursing and Health Sciences Building
  • Owa Ehan
  • Panther Hall
  • Paul Cejas School of Architecture Building
  • Primera Casa
  • Rafael Diaz-Balart Law Building
  • Recreation Center
  • Ronald Reagan House
  • Ryder Business Building
  • School of International and Public Affairs Building
  • University Health Services Complex
  • University Park Apartments
  • University Park Towers
  • U.S. Century Bank Arena
  • Viertes Haus
  • Wertheim Conservatory
  • Wertheim Performing Arts Center
  • Ziff Education Building

Biscayne Bay Campus

FIU's regional campus in North Miami, the Biscayne Bay Campus, opened in 1977.

The Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami is FIU's second-largest campus. It was opened in 1977 by Harold Crosby and occupies about 200 acres (809,000 m²), directly on the bay and adjacent to the Oleta River State Park, with which FIU has a research partnership. Access to these resources inspired the creation of a marine biology program on the Biscayne Bay Campus, which has become one of the university's most recognized programs. The Biscayne Bay Campus also houses the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, one of the nation's top programs,[39] the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Aquatic Center, and the Kovens Conference Center. The Golden Panther Express, FIU's student buses, connect the main campus and the Biscayne Bay Campus throughout the day on weekdays.[40]

Regional campuses

FIU also has other smaller regional campuses located throughout South Florida in both Miami-Dade County and Broward County, serving the local communities in research, continuing studies, and in culture. In Broward County, there is the FIU Pines Center in Pembroke Pines, opened to satisfy the demand from Broward County residents. This center serves mostly night students in programs within the College of Business Administration. In Miami-Dade County, there are four regional FIU facilities, the Metropolitan Center in Downtown Miami (Flagler Street and Miami Avenue), a part of the Chapman Graduate School of Business, the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum in Miami Beach (Washington Avenue and 10th St), the FIU-Florida Memorial research center in Miami Gardens, and a research site in Homestead.

International campuses

FIU also has international campuses in Asia and Europe. The Wolfsonian-FIU Museum has a regional facility in Nervi, Italy, the School of Architecture has facilities in Genoa, Italy for FIU's upper-division and graduate Architecture students, and the Florida International University Tianjin Center in Tianjin, China, from which a branch of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management operates. The Tianjin Center was constructed as a cooperative venture with the local municipal government and was opened in the Summer of 2006.[25] FIU has also exchanged agreements with the American University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates so that FIU students can now take a semester abroad in Dubai.[41]

Student housing

FIU residence halls[42] Year built Room
Bay Vista Hall (BBC) 1984 300 All students
University Park Apartments 1986 584 Graduate, undergraduate, and married students
Panther Hall 1996 400 Freshmen, and Honors College students
University Park Towers 2000 500 Graduate, undergraduate, Law, and Medical students
Everglades Hall 2002 400 All students
Lakeview Hall North 2006 400 All students
Lakeview Hall South 2006 425 Freshmen, Honors College and Architecture students
Total - 3,009 students -
University Park Towers, graduate student and upperclassmen apartments.

Florida International University's student housing facilities are managed by the Office of Housing and Residential Life and are available on both the main campus and the Biscayne Bay Campus. Currently, there are 3,300 beds distributed throughout 10 apartment buildings and 6 residence halls. At University Park, these are the University Park Apartments, Panther Hall, the University Park Towers, Everglades Hall, Lakeview Hall North, and Lakeview Hall South. At the Biscayne Bay Campus, housing is available in Bay Vista Hall.[9][43] Together, approximately 14% of FIU's student population lives on-campus in student housing.

The Office of Housing and Residential Life also offers optional communities in the residence halls. These communities include the Architecture and Arts Community, for students majoring in Architecture or art-related majors, Honors Place for Honors College students, F.Y.R.S.T. (First Year Residents Succeeding Together) for all freshmen in any major, F.Y.R.S.T. Explore, for undecided freshmen, Leader's in Residence for students interested in civic service and leadership opportunities and the Law Community for College of Law students.[44]

Plans were underway for land acquisition of the Miami Fairgrounds for a housing/entertainment mini-city, with 4 to 5 housing towers, a shopping center, and two new parking garages in between FIU Stadium and the Wertheim Performing Arts Center.


Green Library, is one of the largest libraries in the Southeastern U.S. and is the largest building on-campus.

FIU has five libraries, Green Library, FIU's main library; the Biscayne Bay Library, the Wolfsonian Library, the Engineering Library, and the Law Library.

Green Library is FIU's main library, and is the largest building on-campus, and one of the largest libraries in the Southeastern United States.[45] Originally built in the late 1960s, the Green Library was expanded by the architecture firm M. C. Harry & Associates, Inc. in the early 1990s to its current eight floors, with a capacity to expand to a total of 15 floors if expansions are necessary. This eight floor structure was built around the original three-story 1960s library, while it was still in use.[46]

The first floor of the building has numerous offices, classrooms, auditorium spaces and a Starbucks. The second floor has the reference section, cartography, circulation, and numerous computer and printing labs. The third and fourth floors are the home of the College of Medicine Library, as well as a resource center for students of the Honors College, special collections section, archives, and study lounges. The fifth floor is the home of the School of Architecture Library, as well as the music and audiovisual sections. The sixth, seventh, and eighth floors are strictly quiet floors, and contain the general collection floors, numerous student study lounges, and library administration offices.[47][48]

Other libraries at University Park include the three-story College of Law Library in Diaz-Balart Hall, and the Engineering Library. The Law Library opened in 2002, and has three floors, with all three holding the library's general collection. The third floor has a two-story, quiet reading room, as well as numerous study lounges. Although the Law Library is restricted to Law students, other students may use the library for research purposes.[49] The Engineering Library is located on the second floor of the main building of the Engineering Center.[50]

The Wolfsonian Library is located at the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum in South Beach, on the corner of Washington Avenue and 10th Street.[51] The Biscayne Bay Library is the main, and sole library at the Biscayne Bay Campus. The entire university-wide Library holdings include over 2,097,207 volumes, 52,511 current serials, 3,587,663 microform units, and 163,715 audio visual units.[52]

International Hurricane Research Center

Management and Advanced Research Center
Everglades Hall, upperclassmen apartments.

The International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) is the nation’s only university-based research facility dedicated to mitigating the damage tropical storms inflict on people, the economy, and the environment. The IHRC is home to four institutes: the Laboratory for Coastal Research; the Laboratory for Social Science Research; the Laboratory for Insurance, Financial & Economic Research; and the Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research, as well as the FIU Wall of Wind. This first-of-its-kind testing system consists of a series of large industrial fans powered by race car engines. It produces a wind field equivalent to a Category Four hurricane.[53] Not to be confused with the National Hurricane Center (also located at University Park), the IHRC is located on the western side of the campus.

Construction and expansion

In the early 2000s, emphasis at FIU was placed on growth in degree programs and student enrollment. Since 2005 however, student enrollment has been capped and emphasis is now being placed on improving the quality of the existing academic programs. With the addition of the College of Medicine, the demand for facilities and classroom space has greatly increased.[54] Future projects and/or buildings under construction include:

  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences Building - completed in December 2009[55]
  • FIU Stadium Field House - completed in July 2009
  • Ambulatory Care Center (Stempel Complex) - broke ground in July 2009, to be completed by 2011
  • Expansion to FIU Stadium - Expansion to capacitate 45,000 fans to be done in four separate phases (Phase I and II have been completed, Phase III and IV are projected to be completed from around 2011 to 2013)[37]
  • School of International and Public Affairs Building - broke ground in December 2008, to be finished by late 2010[56][57]
  • Parking Garage V (North of Chemistry & Physics Building)- under construction, to be completed by August 2010[58]
  • Graduate Housing- 400-bed residence hall was to have begun Summer 2011 but postponed indefinitely.[59][60]
  • Expansion of U.S. Century Bank Arena (plans underway for a 2011 construction).
  • Alumni Center (plans underway)

Campus transportation

Miami-Dade Transit serves University Park with Metrobus lines 8, 11, 24, and 71. Metrobus lines 75 and 135 serve the Biscayne Bay Campus.[61] Bus lines 8, 11 and the 24 directly connect FIU with Downtown Miami.

Two distinct FIU-operated bus lines are available. The CATS Shuttle runs between University Park and the Engineering Center, and the Golden Panther Express, from University Park to the Biscayne Bay Campus.

The CATS Shuttle connects University Park from the Graham Center bus stop and the Engineering and Computer Sciences Building, to the Engineering Center on Flagler Street and 107th Avenue. The CATS Shuttle is free to FIU students and runs roughly every 30 minutes between 7am to 10pm Monday through Friday. The Golden Panther Express connects the Biscayne Bay Campus to University Park. It runs from 7am to 11pm Monday through Friday, and costs $2 each way. The Golden Panther Express departs from the Graham Center bus stop.[62]

Enrollment and admissions

Fall freshman admissions[63][64][65]

2009 2008 2007 2006
Applicants 15,978 13,528 12,255 11,051
Admits 5,591 4,482 4,404 4,732
 % Admitted 34.9 33.1 35.9 42.8

This table does not account deferred
applications or other unique situations.

Ethnic enrollment, 2008[66] Percentage Total
Asian American 4% 1,440
Black (non-Hispanic) 12% 4,839
Hispanic (of any race) 59% 23,401
Native American 1% 68
White (non-Hispanic) 17% 6,601
International, other 7% 2,797
Total 100% 39,146
FIU's low admission rates (34% in 2009) have made FIU the most selective university in Florida since 2007, and the most selective public university in Florida since the early-2000s.[9]

Enrollment for Fall 2009 consisted of 40,455 students, 30,927 undergraduates and 10,014 graduate students, including students enrolled in professional programs.[67] Women accounted for 56% of student enrollment and minorities made up 75% of total enrollment. Enrollment included students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 119 countries.[68][69] The most popular College by enrollment is the College of Arts and Sciences.[70] The freshman retention rate for 2009 was 83%.

In 2008, 7% of FIU students were international students. Of those, the most popular countries of origin were: China (20%), India (13%), Jamaica (10%), Venezuela (6%), Colombia (5%), and Trinidad and Tobago (4%).[71]

Students from New York, New Jersey, and California make up the largest states for out-of-state students. Florida students make up 90% of the student population. Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, and Orange County make up the largest Florida counties for in-state students.[68]

University Park accounted for 87% of the student population and 94% of housing students. The Biscayne Bay Campus accounted for about 13% of the student population, mostly of lower division undergraduates and students of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Fall 2009, the average age for undergraduates was 23 and 31 for graduate students.[72][73]

Undergraduate admissions

The incoming Fall 2009 FIU freshman class had an average SAT score of 1157, a 26 ACT score and a 3.8 high school GPA. The freshmen acceptance rate was 34%, dropping greatly from 47% in 2005. 15,978 prospective freshmen applied and 5,591 were accepted, of which 2,013 enrolled. FIU's low admission rates have made FIU the most selective university in Florida since 2007, and the most selective public university in Florida since the early-2000s. As Miami's public research university, competition to enroll at FIU has heightened as more students apply each year.[9]

The average Fall 2007 freshman in the Honors College had an SAT score of 1246 with the highest SAT at 1510 and an average high school GPA of 3.68.[74]

FIU graduate admissions[63]

2009 2008 2007 2006
Applicants 11,987 8,923 7,574 6,653
Admits 3,932 3,626 3,249 2,814
 % Admitted 32.8 40.6 42.8 42.2

Graduate admissions

For Fall 2009, 11,987 students applied for graduate admissions throughout the university. Of those, 32.8% were accepted.[75] The Wertheim College of Medicine admitted 3.8% of its applicants, and the College of Law admitted 25.7%. [76]

For Fall 2009, the School of Architecture received over 1,000 applications for the first-year Master of Architecture program, with 60 being accepted, giving the School of Architecture a 6% admissions rate. The average high school GPA for the freshman class in the School of Architecture was 3.98, making it one of the most selective schools at FIU.[77]


Health and Life Sciences Buildings, home of the College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

U.S. News and World Report ranks FIU as the most selective university in Florida, and the 90th-most selective university in the U.S. above universities like University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Pepperdine University, and the College of William and Mary.[13] U.S. News and World Report currently ranks FIU as a fourth tier postsecondary institution in the National Universities category.

In 2000, FIU became the youngest university to be awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, the country's oldest and most distinguished academic honor society.[5] FIU is one of only 78 universities nationwide to hold both designations.[78]

US News and World Report reported that FIU students are among the least indebted college students in the nation, and recognized the university as a "best buy" in higher education.

FIU recently ranked among the best values in public higher education in the country, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s 2006 survey, "100 Best Values in Public Colleges." FIU is ranked among the top 100 nationally for in-state students and out-of-state students.

FIU is ranked 1st in the U.S. for granting bachelor's degrees to minorities, and 9th in granting master's degrees to minorities (among the top 100 universities), according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education, (2010). FIU is also 1st in the nation in awarding science, technology, engineering, and math degrees to minorities. FIU produces over 1,500 minority graduates in those fields annually (2010).[79]

College of Business Administration

Primera Casa, one of FIU's first buildings.

The College of Business Administration is among the top 7% of elite business schools worldwide accredited by the AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" (2010) ranks the undergraduate international business program 12th best in the nation and ranks the Chapman Graduate School of Business 11th in the nation.[80] FIU has been ranked in the top 10 every year since 2005.[81] FIU is also the only university in Florida to be ranked in the top 15.[82]

BusinessWeek (2008) ranks the College of Business among the top 15% of graduate business schools in the U.S., 1st in South Florida, and in the top 25 among public business schools in the U.S. The Landon Undergraduate School of Business was ranked in the top 5% in the U.S., ranked 8th in the country in the area of "Operations Management", and in the top 20 for "Accounting".[83]

América Economía ranks the Chapman Graduate School of Business 22nd in the nation.[84]

The Financial Times (2008) ranks the Executive MBA in the top 85 MBA programs in the world, and in the top 35 among U.S. Executive MBAs.[85][86][87]

Hispanic Business (since 1998) and Hispanic Trends (since 2003) have placed the College of Business among the top 25 business schools for Hispanics. In 2008, it was ranked #8.

Fortune Small Business recognized the college as among the best in the United States for entrepreneurship in its listing of “America’s Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs,” (August, 2007), in the “Cross-Disciplinary/Cross Pollination” category.

Hispanic Trends ranks the Executive MBA program 8th in its list of the best Executive MBA programs for Hispanics.

College of Law

The FIU College of Law has consistently ranked 1st in Florida with the state's highest bar-passing rates (2005, 2007, and 2009).[88]

The Florida International University College of Law has consistently ranked 1st in the state of Florida with the state's highest bar-passing rates (2005, 2007, and 2009), and 1st in Florida in the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam at 96% in 2007.[88]

In 2006, 2007, and 2009, the College of Law was ranked 1st in bar passing rates in Florida and in 2007, the College of Law was also ranked 1st in Florida in the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam at 96%.[88][89][90] In July 2008, the College of Law achieved a 90.6% passing rate, which placed it 2nd among Florida's ten law schools.[88] In February 2009, the College of Law achieved a 81.5% passing rate, which placed it 1st among Florida's ten law schools. [90]

Other colleges and schools

The Journal of Criminal Justice ranks the Criminal Justice program 10th in the U.S. (November 2007) [91]

The Creative Writing program is ranked among the top ten in the country by "Who Runs American Literature?" in the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

The School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is one of the nation’s top programs. The School of Hospitality Management is recognized by industry leaders as one of the nation's top five hospitality management programs.[21]

Faculty of the Ph.D. program in social welfare rank 4th in the United States in their scholarly accomplishment, according to Academic Analytics. FIU faculty were the only social work faculty in Florida to rank in the Top 10. (December 2007)[92]

Student life

Greek Life

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house on Greek Drive

FIU has over 30 fraternities and sororities divided into four governing councils: the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Council (PC), the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC). The Order of Omega, a Greek honor society, has a chapter at the university since 1991 and represents the academic top 3% of FIU Greeks.[93]

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) comprises 12 fraternities. The Panhellenic Council (PC) is made up of 7 sororities. The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) comprises 8 historically-black organizations, (4 fraternities and 4 sororities). The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) consists of 7 cultural organizations for Latinos, Asians, and South Asians, (4 fraternities and 3 sororities).[94][95][96]

Interfraternity Council Panhellenic Council National Pan-Hellenic Council Multicultural Greek Council

Student media

Lakeview Hall North and South residence halls. 14% of FIU students live in on-campus housing.

Student Media is the umbrella organization for The Beacon, the student-run newspaper;, the student-run news and media website; and Radiate FM, the student-run radio station. Each organization's directors are selected by the Student Media board on a yearly basis.

The Beacon is the FIU student newspaper since 1965. The Beacon is published thrice weekly in a compact format during the Fall and Spring semesters (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and once a week on Wednesday during the Summer. It is split into five unique sections, News, reporting a mix of university, local and national events, At the Bay for news on the Biscayne Bay Campus, Sports, Opinion and Life! The Beacon is available free campus-wide in the residence halls, the Graham Center and all campus buildings.[97] is the FIU student-run media website since 2008. publishes content generated by the Student Media team, including text, audio, and video.[98]

Radiate FM is FIU's student-run radio station since 1984.[99] It broadcasts on 95.3 MHz at the University Park Campus and on 96.9 MHz at the Biscayne Bay Campus. The signal originates in Homestead on 88.1 MHz and a broadcast translator rebroadcasts Radiate FM's signal to the University Park Campus and later again translated to the Biscayne Bay Campus.[100]

Arts and culture

FIU has two museums, the Frost Art Museum and the historic Wolfsonian-FIU Museum. The Frost Art Museum is located on campus and was opened in 1977 as The Art Museum at Florida International University as a student gallery. Today, the Frost Art Museum features collections of both Latin American and 20th century American art.[101] The Wolfsonian-FIU Museum is located in Miami Beach and promotes the collection, preservation and understanding of decorative art and design from the period from 1885 to 1945.[102][103] FIU also has the country's largest university sculpture collection, named the Martin Z. Margulies Family Collection, with over 80 such sculptures around campus.[104] Many different art structures, statues, paintings and mosaics can be seen throughout campus in gardens, buildings, walkways, and on walls.[105]

The School of Theatre and Dance produces a wide variety of live student performances, and the School of Music presents an annual fall series of concerts that showcase talent in a variety of genres. The festival features FIU musicians as well as distinguished visiting performers. Many plays, musicals, concerts, operas, and dance shows are produced each year, through the School of Theatre, Dance, & Speech Communication at FIU's Wertheim Performing Arts Center.[106]

FIU annually hosts the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival in South Beach through the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. The festival is one of the major culinary events in the nation and an event that showcases the talents of the world's most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities.[107]

Student Government Association

The Walk on Water race held annually by the School of Architecture.

The Student Government Association presides over and funds the over 300 student clubs and organizations and honor societies at the university and has an operating budget of over $11 million.[108] The Student Government Association is split into three branches, with the Executive, a Legislative Student Senate, and Judicial Supreme Court. Due to the unique nature of a multi-campus university, the President of Modesto Maidique Campus (University Park) serves as the Student Representative on the University's Board of Trustees, the current President and Trustee is Anthony Rionda, while the current president for the Biscayne Bay Campus is Sholom Neistein who also serves as a member of the Foundation Board. However, this may change as an on-going debate continues on a possible restructuring of the FIU SGA. However, this is unlikely.[109]

Recreation Center

The Student Government contains six separate governing councils- the Student Programming Council, the Council of Student Organizations, which represents the over 300 student clubs and organizations, the Homecoming Council, Black Student Union, Panther Power and Panther Rage, the student spirit groups.[110] The Panther Power and Panther Rage groups can be seen in all Golden Panthers athletic events along with the now defunct Golden Panthers Band, the Golden Dazzlers dance team and the Golden Panthers cheerleaders.[111] In 2004, MTV's Campus Invasion Tour was held at FIU, bringing numerous bands such as Hoobastank to FIU.[112]

Order of the Torch

The Order of the Torch is a semi-secret honorary leadership society akin to other secret societies in the state such as Florida Blue Key at the University of Florida, and the Burning Spear Society at Florida State University. The organization is rumored to have been founded in 2003 as a way of organizing student leadership to restructure student life to mirror that of a traditional university. Members now include students, faculty, staff and community members, including FIU alumni Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez (class of 1974). Top leadership in Student Government, Homecoming, and the most elite campus fraternal organizations, rank among its members, and it is widely rumored to control Student Government elections.


Spirit traditions

Green Library and Owa Ehan.

FIU has many traditions from student spirit groups, alumni association events and student spirit events. Panther Rage, one of FIU's largest student spirit groups are seen at all the athletics events.[113]

FIU also holds many Golden Panther spirit events throughout the year. Some of these include, Panther Camp held in the Summer prior to the Fall term for incoming freshmen, where students spend a weekend in a retreat center learning all the traditional Golden Panther cheers, chants, traditions meeting other incoming students. Started in 2006, Panther Camp has grown quickly in popularity from only 25 participants in 2006 to over 120 participants in 2007. In 2008, Panther Camp expanded to two camps with a combined total of 240 freshman participants.[114] Panther Camp is expected to grow in size for Summer 2010, as the waiting list has continued to double from year to year. Freshmen who participate are more likely to get involved in Student Life than other students.[115]

Week of Welcome, usually held the first or second week of the Fall semester holds many spirit events, such as Trail of the Torch. Trail of the Torch is another university tradition that has continued to grow annually, where a pep rally is held in the Housing Quad with music, food, giveaways and dancing. After the pep rally, the torch of knowledge is lit and blue and gold candles are distributed to the crowd for the procession around the campus, trailing the torch from the Housing Quad to the torch in front of the Primera Casa building. Rage Week and Homecoming Week are other major back-to-back spirit weeks held in the Fall semester. They include the Homecoming Parade, Greek Row parties, Homecoming football game, Blue/Gold Party, pep rallies and other Panther Rage events.[116]

Alma Mater

Hail to thee dear FIU
With voices true we pledge to thee
All our love and our devotion
Humble faith and loyalty
We will strive for understanding
and for peace and unity
We will search for truth and wisdom
We will always honor thee
FIU alma mater
Hail hail to thee

Superstitions and legends

There are many other traditions at FIU that are not spirit-related. The large cube in front of Deuxième Maison is said to give good luck in exams and tests and thus is spun by hundreds of students every semester. During final exams, a line forms around the cube with people waiting to be able to spin the cube for good luck on their exams. The "Kissing Bridge" tradition in Turtle Pond in between the Ryder Business Building and Green Library. The tradition is that if you kiss someone on the bridge you will stay with them forever. The top floor of Green Library is said to be haunted; students have reported a friendly ghost that wanders the halls minutes before the library closes at night[citation needed]. Another superstition is that if a student steps on the seal engraved in front of the Graham Center, the university's student union, it is said that they will delay their graduation for many years, or never graduate at all, and thus even on crowded days, students go around the seal to avoid stepping on it.[118]


The FIU Golden Panthers athletic logo.[119]
The Golden Panthers football team plays at the on-campus FIU Stadium.

Florida International University has seventeen varsity sports teams, named the Golden Panthers. The Golden Panthers' athletic colors are blue and gold, and compete in the NCAA's Division I as part of the Sun Belt Conference in all sports except for men's soccer (which competes in Conference USA as an affiliate member). Three main sports facilities serve as home venues for Golden Panther athletics. The Golden Panthers football team plays at FIU Stadium ("The Cage"), the men and women's basketball and volleyball teams play at the U.S. Century Bank Arena, and the men's baseball team plays at University Park Stadium. Other athletics venues include the Aquatic Center, Tennis Complex, softball fields, and various other recreational fields.[120] U.S Century Bank Arena will undergo an expansion that will include more seating and a more modern entrance. Plans for the expansion are underway.

Traditional rivals of the FIU Golden Panthers include Florida Atlantic University and the University of Miami. The Golden Panthers football team competes in the annual Shula Bowl, a yearly football game played for the Don Shula Award against in-state rival Florida Atlantic University. Due to this competition in the Shula Bowl, the rivalry between the two schools has grown, with the rivalry extending into the men's baseball and basketball teams as well.[121]

The Golden Panthers football team plays home games at FIU Stadium nicknamed "The Cage" and are currently coached by Mario Cristobal. In 2005, the Golden Panthers moved to the Sun Belt Conference, making their transition from Division I-FCS to Division I-FBS complete. In their first season in the conference, the Golden Panthers began by going 5-6.[122] FIU's athletics department has produced many professional and Olympic athletes, including current players in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association, National Football League and the Women's National Basketball Association. Notable alumni include Mike Lowell (Boston Red Sox), Raja Bell (Charlotte Bobcats), and Carlos Arroyo (Miami Heat).

In 2009, FIU hired NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas as head coach of the men's basketball team.[123]

Notable alumni

With 152,080 alumni around the world, the FIU Golden Panthers constitute one of the fastest-growing university alumni groups in the state of Florida. FIU graduates more than 8,000 students a year and confers more than half of all degrees awarded by universities in Miami.[9][124] Alumni services is run by the FIU Alumni Association, which sponsors numerous alumni events, galas, and ceremonies annually.[125]

In conjunction with the Office of Alumni Relations, the Division of External Affairs publishes a quarterly news and alumni magazine, "FIU Magazine". FIU Magazine is distributed free of charge to all FIU alumni, faculty and donors.[126]

FIU in television and entertainment

FIU's campus has been the set for many films, television shows, and music videos. One of the earliest television shows to have filmed at FIU was Miami Vice in 1985. In the episode, "The Fix", the U.S. Century Bank Arena was used as one of the scenes. The TV show Burn Notice has also filmed various episodes at FIU, with scenes at the College of Business Buildings and the Diaz-Balart College of Law Building.[127] In 2007, Chris Brown filmed the music video for his song "Kiss Kiss" at FIU, with scenes near the Frost Art Museum and around the Graham Center. Various telenovelas for Telemundo and Univision have filmed television episodes at FIU as well. In 2007, Univision's Pecados Ajenos was filmed in the Graham Center.[128] In 2009, TLC's What Not to Wear filmed an episode on campus at the Management and Advanced Research Center. In October 2009, CNN news anchor Rick Sanchez broadcast his CNN show from the Graham Center at FIU.[129]


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External links


Coordinates: 25°45′27″N 80°22′24″W / 25.757440°N 80.373282°W / 25.757440; -80.373282

Simple English

Florida International University
Green Library
Motto Latin: Spes scientia facultas
"Hope, knowledge, opportunity"
Established 1965
Type Public
Endowment $92 million
President Modesto A. Maidique
Professors 2,947
Staff 4,800
Students 36,614
Undergraduates 29,695
Postgraduates 8,919
Place Miami, Florida, United States
Campus Urban
573 acres (2.3 km²)
Athletics NCAA Division I FBS
Colors Blue and gold
Nickname Golden Panthers
Mascot Roary the Panther
Fight song FIU Fight Song
Memberships ORAU, Sun Belt

Florida International University (FIU) is a public research university in Miami, Florida in the United States. the University is the largest university in South Florida and also the fifth-largest university in Florida, and the thirteenth-largest university in the country. FIU's programs in law, architecture and business are amongst its most well-ranked and most known programs. The mascot of FIU is a panther, named Roary, and students and fans of the university's athletic teams are often called "Golden Panthers".

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