USF Research News

University of South Florida joins Top 25 in national research rankings

December 2, 2015

USF is now ranked No. 25 among all public universities and No. 41 among both public and private institutions nationwide

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida continues to rise in the national rankings for research universities and is now ranked No. 25 among public research universities for research spending, according to the latest information recently released by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The university was ranked No. 27 last year.

In the rankings for all universities, both public and private, USF moved to No. 41 nationally for total research expenditures, up two places from No. 43, where the university was ranked for the previous two years, and is ranked No. 2 in Florida.

"Ranking among the top 25 public research universities is a tremendous accomplishment for our university," said USF System President Judy Genshaft. "The new NSF report provides national recognition for the hard work and dedication of our faculty, students and staff. USF is committed to making a difference in people's lives and in the economy of our state."

The latest NSF data, compiled by surveying 895 research universities across the U.S., reflects the continued growth of USF's research enterprise through the measurement of research expenditures, a significant indicator of the research activity at a university.

USF, which is designated as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, increased its total research expenditures from $459.4 million in fiscal year 2013 to $488.6 million in fiscal year 2014 — a 6.4 percent increase — although research funded by the federal government decreased 1.2 percent, from $225.4 million in 2013 to $222.8 million, in 2014. Privately-funded and corporate-funded research grants and contracts currently account for 42 percent of USF's research funding.

"This ranking is a tribute to the accomplishments of our researchers and partners in the region and state," said Paul R. Sanberg, USF senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development. "It reflects real world research that is making an impact through new knowledge, products, companies, economic growth and jobs."

According to the NSF, public and private university research expenditures totaled $67.2 billion in fiscal year 2014, an increase of 0.2 percent over the previous total of $67.1 billion, based on data collected from the 895 institutions participating in the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey. Federal funding fell 5.1 percent between fiscal year 2013 and 2014.


The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.

Media contact: Judy Lowry,, 813-974-3181