Florida Gulf Coast University is a public, coeducational, comprehensive institution of higher education located in Fort Myers, Florida. Formally established in 1991 by Lawton Chiles, then-governor of Florida, the University did not begin offering classes until August of 1997 with Roy McTarnighan serving as the University’s founding president. Today, Florida Gulf Coast University has become one of Florida’s top ranking universities for “alumni employed or continuing their education one year after graduation”. Florida Gulf Coast University is located on an 800 acre campus, including 400 acres which have been restored and preserved as wetlands and uplands as well as a 15 acre solar field.
Academic ProgramsThe mission statement of Florida Gulf Coast University declares its commitment to seek “academic excellence in the development of selected programs and centers of distinction in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, health professions, business, and marine and environmental sciences.” The University’s mission statement goes on to state that Florida Gulf Coast University “emphasizes innovative, student-centered teaching and learning, promotes and practices environmental sustainability, embraces diversity, nurtures community partnerships, values public service, encourages civic responsibility, and cultivates habits of lifelong learning and the discovery of new knowledge.”
Florida Gulf Coast University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1999. Nearly 80 degree programs are offered, including more than 50 undergraduate majors, nearly two dozen graduate degree programs, and at least three doctorate degrees. The University is comprised of several Colleges and schools, including the College of Arts and Sciences which encompasses the Bower School of Music and the Arts; the College of Education; the College of Health Professions and Social Work, which includes the School of Nursing; the Lutgert College of Business; and the U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering.
Student LifeFlorida Gulf Coast University has a total enrollment figure of nearly 15,000, including just under 14,000 undergraduate students. Nearly half of all students are Southwest Florida residents. Florida Gulf Coast University offers a variety of on-campus student housing options with accommodations for nearly 4,000 students.
Florida Gulf Coast University’s campus is home to nearly 200 active and recognized student organizations which cater to a variety of academic, professional, and personal interests. Nearly two dozen Greek fraternities and sororities also have chapters on the University’s campus and students remain active in more than 25 sports clubs. An NCAA Division-AAA school, Florida Gulf Coast University’s varsity athletic teams compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Varsity sports include men’s teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, sand volleyball, soccer, and tennis along with women’s teams in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, and swimming and diving (which compete in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association).