About Florida International University
If you would like to download a printable version of the FIU Facts,
please click here to access the PDF file.
Florida International University is Miami-Dade County’s first public, four-year university. Our powerful record of innovation and research continues to improve the quality of life in our communities.
HISTORY AND GROWTH:
FIU opened for classes in 1972 with 5,667 students - the largest opening day enrollment in U.S. collegiate history. Today it has more than 39,000 students, 1,000+ full-time faculty and more than 135,000 alumni. FIU is one of the 25 largest universities in the nation, based on enrollment.
Ninety-six percent of the University’s full-time faculty hold doctorates or the highest degree attainable in their field. This reflects tenured or tenure-seeking faculty.
FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. Sponsored research funding (grants and contracts) from external sources for the year 2006-2007 totaled approximately $108 million.
With more than 135,000 alumni, Golden Panthers constitute the fastest growing university alumni group in Miami-Dade County. FIU confers approximately half of all degrees now awarded by universities in Miami-Dade County.
POINTS OF PRIDE:
FIU ranked first in the nation among four-year colleges for awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students in the 2008 survey conducted by the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine.
FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, South Florida’s only public medical school, welcomed its inaugural class of 43 students in August with a traditional White Coat Ceremony attended by Deans, faculty, students, and their families.
FIU Board of Trustees member Cesar L. Alvarez was recognized as one of ‘The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal. Alvarez is the chief executive officer of Greenberg Traurig LLP in Miami.
Senior first baseman Jorge Castillo was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 26th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball First Year Player draft in June. He is the 97th Golden Panther to be drafted.
FIU alumnus Janet Dacal played a lead role in the 2008 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical onBroadway, “In the Heights.”Creative writing alumnus and novelist Dennis Lehane will see two more of his novels adapted for the silver screen. This summer, Martin Scorsese directed actor Leonardo DiCaprio in an adaptation of Lehane’s 2003 novel “Shutter Island.” Most recently, “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi was tapped to bring Lehane’s 2008 historical novel “The Given Day” to the big screen.
Professor Ellen Brown in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences was named an Exceptional Reviewer for the journal Medical Care, one of the top journals in health care administration. This designation is given to the top 5 percent of all Medical Care peer reviewers chosen on the basis of quality and timeliness of reviews, as well as the number of reviews conducted.
FIU is the youngest university to have been awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most distinguished academic honor society.
U.S. News & World Report ranks FIU’s undergraduate international business programs among the top 15 in the nation and their graduate programs among the top 25.
FIU has been named one of the “10 Cool Colleges for Entrepreneurs” by Fortune Small Business magazine.
Graduates of FIU’s College of Law led the state with their pass rate on the latest Florida Bar Exam, according to results released in April 2008. Almost 95 percent of FIU graduates who took the Florida Bar Exam in February passed, continuing a trend among FIU graduates to score higher on the Bar Exam than the state average since our graduates began taking the test in 2005.
Dr. Pedro Jose´ Greer, Jr., assistant dean of academic affairs at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and founder of Camillus Health Concern, was recognized by President Barack Obama in August with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Golden Panthers women's volleyball team captured the SBC East Division title and an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in the 21-year Division I history of the program.
The University offers more than 200 bachelors, master’s and doctoral programs in its colleges and schools:
College of Architecture and the Arts
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Business Administration
College of Education
College of Engineering and Computing
College of Law
College of Medicine
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Chapman Graduate School of Business
Landon Undergraduate School of Business
School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work
WHO WE SERVE:
Of the 39,000 students who currently attend FIU, approximately 35,000 are residents of Florida, of which 77% are from Miami-Dade County. A perfect fit for South Floridians who wish to stay close to home while earning an affordable, high-quality degree, FIU has established its reputation as Miami’s premier public research university. FIU’s dynamic student body reflects the vibrant diversity of South Florida:
* 59% Hispanic
* 17% White Non-Hispanic
* 13% Black
* 4% Asian or Pacific Islander
* 7% other minority groups
* 56% female
In addition to its diverse ethnic groups, the University serves a large percentage of economically disadvantaged students. Nearly 50% of all undergraduate students at FIU receive financial aid, and nearly 60% of those financial aid recipients come from families with annual household incomes under $30,000. Approximately 77% of students at FIU are undergraduates with the majority enrolled in the Colleges of Business Administration, Arts & Sciences, and Engineering.
The majority of the student body (60%) is enrolled full time and approximately 70% are between the ages of 17 and 25.
FIU’s intercollegiate athletic teams compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, the nation’s most competitive college sports division, the Sun Belt Conference and Conference USA. Sports programs offered include football (Division I-A), basketball, track and cross-country, soccer, volleyball, softball, baseball, golf, swimming & diving, tennis, and volleyball.
BUDGET & ECONOMIC IMPACT:
The University’s 2007-2008 operating budget was $648.9 million. FIU has more than 4,000 employees. The University has an economic impact of more than $1.7 billion on the South Florida economy.
ARTS & CULTURE:
In recent years, FIU has emerged as one of South Florida’s major cultural assets, offering programs to both students and the local community. Several of its programs are nationally renowned for their excellence.
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum was designed by internationally recognized architect Yann Weymouth of Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum. The 46,000-square foot facility opened to the community in November 2008.
The Wolfsonian-FIU museum, located in Miami Beach, promotes the collection, preservation and understanding of decorative art and design from the period 1885-1945.
The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management presents the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival, one of the major culinary events in the nation.
FIU has two campuses, the 344-acre University Park campus in western Miami-Dade County, and the 200-acre Biscayne Bay Campus in northeast Miami-Dade County. The University also has an academic site in Broward County, FIU Broward Pines Center in Pembroke Pines.
A major research facility, the 40-acre Engineering Center is located near the University Park campus. The Downtown Center, located in downtown Miami, offers graduate level business courses for busy professionals. August
The founding of FIU began with Senator Ernest "Cap" Graham (the father of former Florida governor and current U.S. Senator Bob Graham), who presented the initial proposal to the Florida legislature in 1943 to establish a state university in South Florida. Graham was ahead of his time, recognizing that Miami needed a state university to serve its growing population. While his bill did not pass, the Senator Graham persisted in presenting his proposal to his colleagues, warning them that Miami needed a state university.
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. The governor signed the bill into law in June 1965, and FIU was on its way to becoming a reality.
FIU's founding president Charles "Chuck" Perry, who passed away in 1999, was appointed by the Board of Regents in July 1969 after a nationwide search. Just 31 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 the three co-founders - Butler Waugh, Donald McDowell and Nick Sileo - who came to abandoned Tamiami Airport in the summer of 1969 and launched the monumental task of creating a new university. Alvah Chapman, former Miami Herald publisher and Knight Ridder chairman, used his civic standing and media power to assist the effort. In the 1980s, Chapman would become chair of the FIU Foundation Board of Trustees.
In September 1972, 5,667 students finally entered the new state university. Miami had been the largest city in the country lacking a public baccalaureate-granting institution, and now it finally had a university that offered both accessibility and affordability. Eighty percent of the student body had just graduated from Miami-Dade Community 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. FIU was far from your typical university.
The first commencement, held in June 1973, was held in the reading room of the ground floor of Primera Casa (today called the Perry Building) - 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.