The University of South Florida
The University of South Florida - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings|
|Total Grad Surveys||23|
|Avg years at University||2.1|
|Research Quality||B (6.7)|
|Research Availability||B- (6.1)|
|Research Funding||C+ (5.4)|
|Graduate Politics||B (7.0)|
|Not Errand Runners||B (6.6)|
|Degree Completion||B+ (7.6)|
|Alternative pay [ta/gsi]||B (6.9)|
|Sufficient Pay||B- (6.4)|
|Education Quality||B- (6.4)|
|Faculty Accessibility||B (6.6)|
|Useful Research||B (6.5)|
|"Individual" treatment||C+ (5.3)|
|Campus Beauty||B (6.6)|
|Campus Maintenance||B (6.9)|
|University Spending||B (7.0)|
|Scholastic Success||B (6.7)|
|Surrounding City||B (7.0)|
|Social Life/ Environment||B (6.7)|
Tampa people are very kind welcoming, even though there's a few bad eggs, like there are everywhere. But they're far better than the ones who live in major college cities, such as Tallahassee, Gainesville, Orlando, Miami, etc.
College is more than just partying and football, with me, I originally selected USF as a transfer, since it was the only one in Florida that accepted me, and did not wish to return to Florida Atlantic University, but it gave the time of my life, though it lasted only for two and a half years. I was in the swimming club and two honors societies, and made everlasting friendships that are valuable.
The campus is diverse and they're more accepting of ethnic minorities than the big football schools (Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, etc.), so it's better here.Bottom line is, I am completely satisfied with my experience at USF, so much that I am 100% sure that I will pursue my master's degree right here. I am proud to bleed green and gold, GO BULLS!
Tampa is a vibrant city. Even though the USF area is in the slums, there's better places like Ybor City and St. Petersburg. I found a Buddhist meditation center and it helped a lot to my well being.
There's good and bad eggs here, like it is everywhere, but I was involved in two honor societies and the swimming club, and I absolutely loved it! This was the real college experience that I had sought after.I am proud to be a South Florida Bull and to have earned my bachelor's degree here. After that, I tell you that I will earn my master's degree, right here, at what I consider to be the greatest American university of all time.
I also walk to the Rays games....GO RAYS!USFSP is very different from USF in Tampa. The only varsity sport on campus is sailing, if that gives you a clue! USF Tampa is kind of in a funky, marginal neighborhood, while USFSP is downtown on the edge of a fancy neighborhood. So the cost of living is inflated. Also, because there is so much to do, you can spend money fast. But I love it. I am a grad student, so live off campus, but not far. All the profs are good, even subjects I am weak, I liked my math, bio and chem profs. All spoke excellent English. Other strong programs are in business, education, journalism, psychology, environmental sciences. Good debate team. Strong GLBT presence, not as much racial diversity as I would like.
This university seems to suffer from poor (even corrupt) administration, coupled with a state legislature that does not value education. Of course, since the state is a retirement haven, the voters do not really care about academics either. I strongly advise against anyone doing their graduate education here, and especially out-of-state/international students.Hint: If YOU are paying for your own Ph.D. then you are NOT Ph.D. material.
It is commuter school and that is not going to change any time soon. The area of Tampa where the school is located is awful--urban sprawl at its worst. I lived next to the campus for convenience and we had crack dealers in the apartment complex, and a dead body in the parking lot. Almost everything around the campus is a chain and very uninspired. Plus, you have to drive everywhere. I am from the northeast and am used to walkable/bikable neighborhoods and interesting little shops, restaurants, and bars/clubs. The USF area has none of this. You have to drive to St. Petersburg (Tampa seems to cater to the mass-culture crowd)for anything even close to comparable, and that is such a hike. Forget about public transportation or taxis--the former is useless and the latter is ridiculously expensive. Biking is an option, but it is dangerous and usually so hot that by the time you get to school, you are disgustingly soaked.
As for things to do, sure you can get involved if you seek things out...I mean really, really hunt for stuff to do. I am in some organizations, which are fine, and sure we all go out to the local TGI Fridays or Chili's or whatever, but, eh, you could do that literally in any city. Ybor is a dump, Hyde Park is lame, and Channelside is one of those prepackaged "entertainment districts". Tampa just really doesn't have those funky neighborhoods and interesting people that I have found in other places that I have lived. Hell, Columbus, Ohio was more fun.
Classes are overcrowded and very difficult to get into at the undergraduate level. From classes where I have been a TA, these students seem to be of low caliber (most, certainly not all), and it is very frustrating for TA's. The school admits probably everyone that applies, giving scholarships to almost anyone, and gleefully taking the money of the others. Graduate classes are fine, although even there, the faculty:student ratio is pretty bad. The professors do there best though.
The campus itself it ugly concrete. The palm trees lose their novelty quickly. The library is not well-stocked for my discipline and I have had to inter-library loan almost everything that I needed for my thesis. Luckily, the ILL department is very good.
The worst thing about USF is not really completely the schools fault. This state underfunds education to a point that is really sickening. Budgets are constantly getting cut--they even LAID OFF TA's this year!! Can you imagine selecting a school and expecting funding, provided that you progress normally and work hard, only to be cut because the state has cut the education budget again??!! Its unbelievable. Money that the school does receive is misspent on new buildings and brass bull statues. Police are understaffed and underpaid. Not good when the school is surrounded by such a high-crime area.
In-state tuition is very, very low, but you do get what you pay for. It is a low-cost university with low quality education. It is a shame, because my department really has some great minds. Many professors here will actually be leaving since the pay and benefits are so low and unpredictable--this has already begun.
This is all my opinion--but read any local newspaper, or even the (pretty lousy) school paper ann you will see what I mean. From comments on this board, you can see that some students love it here, but if you have ever been to a college with a real college atmosphere, you would see that you are being deprived the full "college experience". If you are from here and don't plan on leaving Florida, then I guess this place would be cheap and as good as any, if you just intend on picking up a degree.
I would just suggest that, especially out-of-state or international, students look elsewhere. You will be sorely disappointed with USF :(
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