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  • Writer's pictureNancy Adis

Experiential Education at The University of Tampa!

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Over the weekend I traveled to Tampa, Florida for a campus tour and the commencement exercises for over 1,700 University of Tampa students. On a beautiful sunny Florida day, the ceremony (held in-person this year at the Florida State Fairgrounds) was split into two sessions of several hours each so that every student could walk across the stage and have their name read in front of family and friends. I was happy to interact with graduates and students and learn more about their experiences at UTampa.

Athletes mentioned the school spirit and many winning teams, including baseball among others. Marine biology majors mentioned their opportunities to study marine organisms often, due to their proximity to the Tampa Bay and the Marine Field Station with both wet and dry labs and research boats. There is an honors program and a leadership program, and student leadership opportunities were plentiful. In addition to the 300 clubs/activities and 10,000 events annually, students enjoy the fitness, recreation, and activity space, as well as the warm weather (average of 72 degrees) providing the opportunity to enjoy outside activities and nearby beaches.

Offering over 200 programs of study, this mid-sized private university seems to have something for everyone, with the most popular majors in biology/marine science, business/finance, & nursing/allied health/human performance areas. Worth mentioning are the smaller class sizes and numerous master’s programs that students can move on to with only one additional year of study. The motto “Learn By Doing” is exemplified in the focus on research and internships and the university’s strong connections to hospitals, organizations, and businesses in the Greater Tampa area at which students can get that hands-on experience.

UTampa is popular with students from out-of-state with about half of them from the other 49 states and 130 countries. The university is ever growing - with 10,500 students now attending, they have been expanding, and opening new buildings such as the Ferman Center for the Arts (for fine and performing arts programs), the Fab Lab to focus on student innovation with their 3D printers and state-of-the-art computer technology, and the Southard Family Building accommodating administrative offices, more space for Career Services, and the student mailroom.

On this beautiful campus with classic brick buildings and lush vegetation there is campus community feeling, but right across the bridge to downtown students can experience the many Riverwalk activities, shops, eateries, and nightlife of downtown Tampa with its young professional vibe. This proximity of course also comes with the higher cost of living in Tampa, a factor for upper-class students looking for off-campus housing close by. (While UTampa has 12 residence halls, these are mostly taken up with 1st and 2nd years.) For those who are concerned with the price tag, I might mention that in addition to the Florida resident scholarships, all incoming students can compete for merit scholarships of up to $4,000 -$18,000/year for four years based on high school achievement in academics, leadership, and community service.

With so many colleges and universities to consider, families may need some help doing the behind-the-scenes research and comparisons to shorten their list of top colleges. Confident College Planning can help with this research and uncovering new possibilities that you may not be familiar with. Contact me at for assistance – I would love to help you on your college choice journey!


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