Facilities

Location
Gainesville, FL
Undergrads
30,241
Tuition (in-state)
$28,420 ($6,143)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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3 College Sophomore

Facilities: Campus is decent. Beautiful Collegiate Gothic architecture, so not very modern, but definitely has a "college feel."

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3 College Senior

Facilities: The most unique thing about the University of Florida would have to be the excellent student life that we have. No matter where you go in the city or on campus you will see a Gator somewhere. The swamp life at my school is also something that sets it apart and makes it unique.

5 College Senior

Facilities: I mentioned above that the student life is one of the best things in my opinion. We have a great athletic program and that is something that i absolutely love about the University of Florida.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Beautiful big campus, gym, athletic facilities and enthusiasm, massive alumni base filling football and baseball games and expanding the campus. Best place in the world.

5 College Junior

Facilities: 24/7 main library with Starbucks across from the center of the bar scene (Midtown) and just a ton of tradition and things to do in general. Renovating the student center and adding some elaborate building right now, some are a little old but beautiful brick surrounded by Spanish moss. Greek life is where its at but there's clubs for everyone, and I mean everyone.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 3rd
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 36th
    Best Library
  • 49th
    Best Student Centers
  • 93rd
    Greenest Campuses
  • 116th
    Best Performance Venues

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Chris Kirschner
Hometown
Bronx, NY
Major
Journalism
Grad Year
2014
View all previous student authors

With more than 53,000 fellow students at the University of Florida, there will inevitably be a facility that tickles your fancy. There are gyms for the workout junkies, a game room for the game aficionados, a swanky coffeehouse that hosts events nightly, and even a beach. While it's not technically a beach, the area north of Broward Hall is dubbed "Broward Beach" due to the frequent number of sunbathers you can find in and around the pool. The Reitz Union is home to Gator Nights every Friday night, an event-filled evening with free midnight breakfast and a recently released movie in the Reitz auditorium. Don’t forget about Lake Wauburg! If you’ve ever wanted to go on a picnic, here’s your best shot. And, of course, like all UF facilities, Lake Wauburg is free.

If it’s not just substance you’re looking for—if you want a pretty face to go with it, as well—UF has that, too. The “noble gothic walls” and “lovely vine-clad halls” mentioned in the alma mater are not figments of the songwriter’s imagination; this place has got the classic look and feel of an historical college campus (that’s why Steve Martin’s movie "Parenthood" was partially filmed here—the director wanted his setting to look like a traditional Northern school). Basically, keep your feet moving and your eyes open because there’s plenty to do on campus and plenty to look at while you do it.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
728
Campus Size
2,000 acres
Student Centers
J. Wayne Reitz Union
Campus Library?
Yes
Main Libraries
  • George A. Smathers Library
  • Library West
  • Marston Science Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • North Lawn
  • Plaza of the Americas
  • Reitz Union
Bar on Campus
The Orange and Brew in the Reitz Union courtyard serves beer.
Bowling on Campus
In the game room on the ground floor of the Reitz Union
Coffeehouse on Campus
There are Starbucks in Library West, The Hub, and Reitz Union food court.
Movie Theater on Campus
In the Reitz Union
"Green" Initiatives
UF engages students with all kinds of initiatives. On "One Less Car Day" in October, students, staff, and faculty pledge to commute to campus via a means other than a vehicle.
School Slang
  • ACR: Short for Alachua County Resident, this term is a less-than-complimentary term referring to non-students, usually ones unkind people might call "hicks."
  • The Alligator: Well, this can mean a lot of things, but if it's preceded by "read," it's referring to the Independent Florida Alligator, the University newspaper.
  • Barbie House: The Pi Beta Phi sorority house off Frat Row; it's big, bright, and pink and looks just like Barbie's mansion.
  • Bat House: Just across the street from Lake Alice is this structure that looks like a roof and four poles. It houses an enormous population of bats. People gather at dusk and dawn to watch the bats leaving for dinner and coming home after a good night out.
  • Belt Buckle: The big silver sculpture/fountain thing outside the Fine Arts building across Southwest 13th Street from Alpha Tau Omega.
  • Big Potato: A gigantic rock in Turlington Plaza which looks so much like a potato that a group of art students once covered it in tin foil, shined red lamps on it, and had people dressed up like cooks standing around it. Its real name is the "GPA Rock"-not grade point average, but "General Purpose A," which is what they called Turlington Hall before it got its name.
  • Discussion Section: Called recitation at other schools, this is the part of those huge lecture courses where you meet more personally with an instructor, generally a TA, and only about 30 students. It's usually where you take quizzes, turn in homework, and ask questions.
  • French Fries: The common name for the gigantic yellow sculpture behind the Computer Sciences and Engineering building and Marston Science Library. It's really called "Alachua."
  • Gator 1: The technical name for your student ID, and, in fact, the only thing you'll hear it called-nobody says "student ID."
  • GDI: People who are not associated with Greek life (God Damn Independent)
  • Growl: Short for Gator Growl, the world's largest student-run pep rally. It has a laser show, crazy cool fireworks, dance teams, skits, the Homecoming pageant, and comedians.
  • ISIS: Short for Integrated Student Information System, use it at www.isis.ufl.edu to register for courses, find your grades, check on financial aid, pay University fees, look at your transcript, and do all kinds of other useful stuff.
  • O'Dome: This is the more common name for the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, where basketball games, volleyball games, swim meets, guest speeches, concerts, graduation, and other events take place.
  • Plaza: Short for Plaza of the Americas, a big grassy lawn-the closest to a traditional "quad." The Hare Krishnas serve lunch here.
  • Preview: UF's version of summer orientation
  • Racquet Club: A dining area near the student rec center; the Gator Dining Services office is in the building, too.
  • SNAP: Short for Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol
  • Student Ghetto: The area just west of Southwest 13th Street and north of University Avenue-famous for inexpensive housing and loud parties. Don't walk around this area at night by yourself.
  • Swamp: Depending on the context, the Swamp is either the nickname for Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field ("where only Gators get out alive . . . ") or a popular restaurant across the street from campus on University Avenue.
  • The Wall: Common name for a long wall on the East Side of Southwest 34th Street, just south of University Avenue. It's covered with enormous graffiti messages that change every day. By all means, paint the wall sometime before you leave, but have a little respect for the black, white, and red section that pays tribute to the students murdered in 1990-it's really inconsiderate to paint over that when there's so much other space to use.
Traditions
  • Century Tower Bells: Century Tower has one of the largest carillons in the country, and music students make good use of it. It chimes on the quarter hour, of course, but on weekday afternoons, carillon students play regular songs, which sound pretty cool on those enormous bells. If it's wet weather, they might play "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head," and near Halloween they've been known to bust out with the Dracula music.
  • F-Book: Consult your "F-Book," a list of traditions at the University of Florida, which you'll receive at Preview. If you complete 40 or more of the traditions in the F-Book before graduation, you'll receive a snazzy medal.
  • Fight Song: Very few people actually seem to know the words, but the band plays it a lot, so you may as well become familiar with the lyrics: "So give a cheer for the Orange and Blue/Waving forever!/Forever pride of old Florida/May she droop never/We'll sing a song for our flag today/Cheer for the team at play!/On to the goal/We'll fight our way for Florida!"
  • Four Square: Students line Turlington Plaza every Friday to play four square. Just watch out for cherry bombs if you decide to play.
  • Gator Chomp: When the band plays music that sounds like "Jaws," or you want to show that the opposing team in any sport does not have a chance, you stick one arm straight out in front of you and clap the other down on top of it, like a big alligator mouth (well, vaguely). The chomp is only further proof that UF has the smartest kids in the South because the University's fiercest rival, Florida State, only knows how to use one arm at a time for their chopping signal. Plus, you need rhythm to chomp appropriately to the "Jaws" music-you'll figure out what it is as soon as you hear it-which `Noles just don't have.
  • Go Gators!: The band has a distinct five-note flourish that is meant to elicit a supportive yell from the crowd. They play it in sets of three; the first two times you yell, "go Gators!" and the last time you shout, "Go Gators/come on Gators/get up and go!" You will get so used to this that if you hear the flourish when you're 90 years old in a rocking chair, you'll jump up and cheer appropriately before resuming your daily nap.
  • Orange and Blue Cheer: Before a football game starts, the announcer runs down to the field and says something like, "Okay, give me the big orange!" And the West Side of the stadium (where students sit) yells "Orange!/Orange!/Orange, orange, orange!" So, of course, the East Side comes back with "Blue!/Blue!/Blue, blue, blue!" And then it's "Orange!" "Blue!" back and forth for a while. It's pretty cool-because it's so loud, it sounds more like a tornado coming in than actual words.
  • Scrimmage Line Noise: When the other team has the football and is getting ready to snap it, everybody in the stadium cups their hands around their mouths and bellows an indistinct but (hopefully) disruptive sound-as loud as possible. You wouldn't think this would work, but it's definitely part of what makes "the Swamp" one of the toughest places to play in in college football (to go along with this, of course, UF fans are as quiet as possible when the Gators are about to snap).
  • Yelling parts of the Alma Mater: It's not normally considered good form to yell the words of a formal song, such as the alma mater, but before and after a football game, everybody stands up to sing it, while positively bellowing a few important words: "Florida, our alma mater/Thy glorious name we praise/All thy loyal sons and daughters/A joyous song shall raise/There palm and pine are blowing/Where Southern seas are flowing/Shine forth thy noble gothic walls/Thy lovely vine-clad halls/`Neath the orange and blue victorious/Our love shall never fail/There's no other name so glorious/All hail, Florida, hail!" You get to shout as loud as you can for "victorious," "glorious," and "hail, Florida, hail!"
Urban Legends
  • Everyone's favorite: bricks will fall from the top section of Century Tower if a virgin graduates from UF.
  • FSU's athletics director once said that former UF football coach Steve Spurrier deserved a spanking.
  • There used to be an alligator in a pit around Century Tower.
  • Tom Petty's song "American Girl" is said to be written about a girl who committed suicide by jumping from a window of Beaty Towers.
  • Two lovers were sitting on the bank of the then-unnamed Lake Alice until an alligator came up and dragged the guy into the lake. The University named the lake after the traumatized girl who barely escaped with her life.
Favorite Things To Do
UF's campus has gyms, playing fields of every type, lap and recreational pools, concerts, speeches, shows in the O'Connell Center, a game room and movie theatre in the Reitz Union, a lake with boats, grills, and waterskiing (that's actually 10 miles south of campus, but it's free for UF students). There are also plays and musicals in the Constans Theatre, and leisure classes in the Reitz basement. There's more to be found, of course.

A Gator's No. 1 love in the fall is watching UF football, whether it's in the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium or on television at The Swamp, a favorite local restaurant across the street from the stadium. If you're feeling a bit rugged, Museum Road lays claim to the notorious "Bat House", where a large colony of bats live. Nightly, people line Museum Road to watch the colony swarm from the house. Across the street, Lake Alice houses many reptilian representatives of UF's mascot. University-owned Lake Wauburg is just 10 miles south of campus, so whether you feel like a picnic, canoeing, windsurfing, or rock climbing, this park is free to all UF students and their guests. Just don't forget your Gator1. Make sure you paint the 34th Street wall. You'll understand when you see it. And, of course, there's always something to see in the Harn Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Student Newspaper
The Independent Florida Alligator
www.alligator.org
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
With more than 800 student organizations, just about everyone can find at least one club he or she is interested in. By joining a club, it is much easier to get involved on campus and connect with people who have similar interests with yourself. Some organizations have much prestige and could be helpful to your resume if you have a position of power, so it is wise to check out the full listing of organizations.
Student Activities Offered
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
ROTC
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
  • Can't find the right club for you and your friends? Don't worry because you can create your own organization!
  • If you have no idea where to start when looking for a club that suits your interests, check out IDEAL. IDEAL is an organization that has workshops that test you for your interests and matches you with clubs that suit your personality and desires.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 247 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 22 responses

  • 25% Go to the Student Recreation Center
  • 15% Run Stadiums
  • 13% Football Games
  • 12% Basque in natural scenery of my beautiful school
  • 8% Hang out in the student lounge
  • 6% Krishna Lunch
  • 6% Flavet Field Concerts
  • 6% Basketball games
  • 4% Admire architecture
  • 2% Baseball games
  • 2% ALL
  • 2% Fraternity Parties

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 22 responses

  • 24% Gator Chomp
  • 15% Century Tower Bells
  • 14% Fight Song
  • 14% Go Gators!
  • 10% Orange and Blue Cheer
  • 8% Yelling parts of the Alma Mater
  • 8% F-Book
  • 4% Scrimmage Line Noise
  • 1% Four Square

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 20 responses

  • 29% Plaza of the Americas
  • 24% Reitz Union
  • 17% North Lawn
  • 12% Flavet Field
  • 10% Lake Alice
  • 7% Turlington
  • 2% ALL

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 313 responses

  • 3% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 14% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 39% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 44% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 280 responses

  • 1% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 3% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 41% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 55% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.

What is the most interesting urban legend about campus?    Based on 13 responses

  • 62% Norman Hall is haunted.
  • 31% The color the lion is painted outside of SAE
  • 8% Suicide in Beaty East 13 floor

What are the best on-campus student jobs?    Based on 19 responses

  • 69% Rec sports
  • 23% Office assistant
  • 8% Dining halls

What are the worst on-campus student jobs?    Based on 15 responses

  • 62% Janitorial
  • 33% Fast food
  • 5% Reitz Union

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