Education in Tampa Bay

  • Tampa Bay’s commitment to excellence in education produces a well-trained workforce for employers. There are opportunities for learners of all ages seeking degrees and technical certifications.
  • For families with K-12 students, Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties have public schools that exceed Florida averages in the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA), National Merit Scholar standings, and per-pupil spending. There are also more than 300 independent private K-12 schools in the area. Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) is a national model for K-12 education.
  • The International Baccalaureate program is offered at ten area high schools, and many magnet schools at all grade levels have specialized academic offerings. There are also numerous outstanding independent K-12 schools, including Berkeley Preparatory, Carrollwood Day School, and Tampa Preparatory, as well as nearly 150 religious-affiliated and non-denominational private schools and academies.
  • Adult students can choose to attend one of many major colleges, universities, technical, and trade schools. Tampa Bay is home to nearly 80 colleges, universities, and technical schools with a combined annual enrollment of 180,000 students. In December 2018, Tampa was named the second-best large college city, and seventh best overall, according to recently released rankings from personal finance website WalletHub. 
  • The University of South Florida (USF) serves more than 48,000 students on its main campus in Tampa and two other locations in St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, and it is ranked 43rd in the nation for research expenditures among all universities. USF, the main doctoral research institution in Tampa, is home to USF Health, which includes the Morsani College of Medicine and the Colleges of Nursing, Public Health, and Pharmacy. The College of Marine Science is located on the St. Petersburg campus. The university is one of only four public universities in Florida classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the top tier of research universities, which is a distinction attained by only 2.3 percent of all universities nationwide. With more than 180 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialty, and doctoral levels, USF offers a dynamic learning environment that is focused on student success.  USF is a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Scholarship recipients, boasts the highest research and patent productivity among all Florida public universities, and is one of only fifteen universities in the nation selected as a Tillman Partnership University of the Pat Tillman Foundation.
  • The University of Tampa’s (UT) globally connected campus is the beating heart of a vibrant urban oasis. Approximately 8,000 students from all 50 states and 140 countries attend UT, which is ranked among the best of the best by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and The Princeton Review. UT offers more than 200 academic programs, and championship sports, student activities, community service, honors, leadership, and study abroad programs complete an extraordinary academic experience that prepares students for anywhere a world-class education can take you. The John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center in the Sykes College of Business teaches skills that are critical for today’s entrepreneur. Learning to identify opportunities, prepare executable business plans, and hone skills through a combination of classroom study and applied learning makes their program unique.
  • Also near the heart of downtown is the Tampa Law Center of the Stetson University College of Law. It houses evening classes and a state appellate court. Between this location and the main Gulfport campus in Pinellas County, Stetson has nearly 900 full and part-time J.D. students.
  • Founded in 1889, Saint Leo University is one of the largest and most innovative Catholic universities in the United States and offers more than 40 academic programs, including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, education specialist, and doctoral degrees. Saint Leo University currently enrolls more than 16,000 students from 49 states, the District of Columbia, three U.S. territories, and 86 countries and is ranked among the Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Hillsborough Community College (HCC) is among the country’s leading two-year institutions. Operating five primary campuses near major employment centers, HCC assists local businesses with a comprehensive corporate training and continuing education division. HCC is proud to serve as the first choice in higher education for graduates of the School District of Hillsborough County and is the largest community college feeder to the University of South Florida.