The University of South Florida offers more than 100 undergraduate programs in addition to a variety of advanced degree options. Located in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota, USF has an enrollment of 47,000 and is considered a top tier research university by the Carnegie Foundation. If you want a spot in the freshman class, you’ll need to study and be academically prepared. The admission committee will review your personal profile and consider data from test scores, high school grades and the classes you are taking to guide their decision.

Academic Achievement

The grades you earn in high school provide a composite of your drive and academic potential. USF will calculate your grade-point average based upon grades you earned in core curriculum courses. You’ll receive bonus points for advanced placement, honors, dual enrollment and other accelerated classes. You’re more likely to be admitted if your grade-point average is more than 3.6. USF evaluates the trend of your grades, specifically in your junior and senior years. For example, students who earn more A’s and B’s in the last two years of high school have a better chance of earning admission.

Test Scores

College entrance exam scores are an important factor in the admission process. You’ll need to take the SAT or ACT and submit your scores directly to USF. College entrance exams are one way that USF determines your readiness to do college-level work. The average ACT score of admitted students is between 25 and 29, and the average SAT score is 1209. If you are not within the average range, try taking the test again. You’ll need to submit your scores each time you take the exam, but the admission committee with use only your highest score in the decision-making process.

Course Preparation

Before applying to USF, be sure that you have completed the necessary high school prerequisites. You’ll need to take four units of English and math, three units of natural science and social science, two units of a foreign language and two electives. If you take Advanced Placement classes or dual enrollment classes, you are more likely to be prepared for college-level work. The admission committee will evaluate your transcript, and evidence of challenging courses will weigh in your favor.

Bonus Variables

In some cases, special circumstances may impact the admission decision. For example, if you have a unique talent, are a first-generation college student or are low-income, you should note this on the admission application under optional information. If USF initially denies you admission, you can resubmit your application and include no more than two letters of recommendation from teachers who can attest to your likelihood of succeeding in college.