About The University of West Florida
Why do people choose to earn their degree at UWF? Because we have earned a reputation for award-winning programs, an emphasis on experiential learning, career-launching internships, nationally ranked NCAA Division II athletics, modern labs, housing and recreational facilities . . . All in a friendly atmosphere, on a beautiful campus, at an affordable price.
In its first 40 years, UWF has served more than 100,000 students from all over the world and currently enrolls more than 10,000 students in its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and College of Professional Studies. UWF has conferred more than 60,000 bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.
Our main campus is located 10 miles north of downtown Pensacola and consists of 1,600 acres of rolling hills and natural woodland along the Escambia River. Our facilities complement the natural beauty of our nature preserve which includes nature trails, streams and bayous.
In addition to its main campus, UWF serves students east of Santa Rosa County at UWF Emerald Coast locations in Fort Walton Beach, Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field and shared facilities at regional community colleges. And, UWF offers more than 300 fully online course sections that lead to undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as credit-earning certificate programs through its Online Campus. Also, UWF owns waterfront beach property on Santa Rosa Island that is available for recreational, academic and research pursuits. In downtown Pensacola, the university manages 24 historic properties, which are being transformed into a living laboratory for students interested in history, archaeology and tourism. Programs are being developed to maximize the use of these facilities and to integrate the university more deeply into the economic development of Northwest Florida.
UWF's major research centers have earned national and international reputations. The Archaeology Institute offers a unique marine archaeology program where students can explore historic shipwrecks and a terrestrial archaeology program where students can discover the remains of America's first settlements by Europeans. The Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation continues to conduct invaluable research into the health of Northwest Florida's natural resources. Many local businesses and organizations benefit from work done through the Small Business Development Center. The Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development is relied upon to provide economic impact studies for government and industry.
As you can see, UWF provides a truly unique educational environment. Every day our faculty, staff and students celebrate the discovery, dissemination, continuation and application of knowledge. We believe that education is a path to success and a vital contributor to the quality of life.
In 1955, the Florida Legislature authorized the State Board of Education to locate a state university in Escambia County. Following a feasibility study which demonstrated the need for an institution of higher education in Northwest Florida, funds were allocated for the development of the University of West Florida. UWF became the sixth state university of the State University System of Florida, which today consists of eleven institutions of higher learning.
Chambered Nautilus Ground was broken on April 16, 1965, and in the same year the Chambered Nautilus was adopted as the official UWF emblem. The initial building program, consisted of an administration classroom complex, library, Commons building, science complex, humanities building, audiovisual facility, utilities building and 15 student housing buildings accommodating approximately 500 resident students. Current facilities at UWF include: 35 academic buildings, 21 student services facilities, 25 dormitories, two university village student apartment complexes and 20 plant support facilities. In 1997, 600 additional acres were acquired which brought the Pensacola campus to 1,600 acres, the second largest main campus in the State University System.
In addition to the 1,600 acre main campus, UWF serves students east of Santa Rosa County at UWF Emerald Coast locations in Fort Walton Beach, Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field and shared facilities at regional community colleges. And, UWF owns waterfront beach property on Santa Rosa Island that is available for recreational, academic and research pursuits. In downtown Pensacola, the university manages 24 historic properties, which are being transformed into a living laboratory for students interested in history, archaeology and tourism.
Initially, the university was organized in three resident or cluster colleges: Alpha, Gamma and Omega. Not only were academic disciplines assigned to these colleges, but student government, cultural programs and other activities were conducted within the colleges. UWF was originally an upper-level institution enrolling juniors, seniors, and graduate students. The first students began classes in the fall of 1967, and the first commencement exercises were held in June 1968 where 58 students received degrees. In 1969, the university undergraduate programs were accredited by Southern Association of College (SACS) and the first master's degree programs were established.