Apply to USF Now | Graduate Admissions | Events & Workshops | Giving to the Office of Graduate Studies

Section 2
About USF

Founded in 1956, the University of South Florida was the first independent state university conceived, planned and built in the 20th century. The university has made incredible strides in few more than 50 years, developing into one of the nation's leading research institutions.

The University of South Florida System is a high-impact, global research system dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. The institutions are separately accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. All institutions have distinct missions and their own detailed strategic plans. Serving more than 47,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

The University's main Tampa campus is home to USF Health, including the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Pharmacy. With over 230 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialty and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine, there's something for everyone at USF. The university offers a dynamic learning environment that inspires innovation, creativity and collaboration and is focused on student success. More than 2,000 distinguished scholars, researchers and expert teachers, nearly all holding Ph.Ds. or the highest degrees in their fields, make up the USF faculty - including the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year.

USF Vision, Mission, Goals, Values and, Accreditation

USF Strategic Plan:



The University of South Florida's mission is to deliver competitive undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, to generate knowledge, foster intellectual development, and ensure student success in a global environment.


The University of South Florida is a global research university dedicated to student success and positioned for membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU).
As Florida's leading metropolitan research university, USF is dedicated to:

- Student access, learning, and success through a vibrant, interdisciplinary, and learner-centered research environment incorporating a global curriculum

- Research and scientific discovery to strengthen the economy, promote civic culture and the arts, and design and build sustainable communities through the generation, dissemination, and translation of new knowledge across all academic and health-related disciplines

- Partnerships to build significant locally- and globally-integrated university-community collaborations through sound scholarly and artistic activities and technological innovation

- A sustainable economic base to support USF's continued academic advancement


The University of South Florida values:

- High-quality education and excellence in teaching and learning.
- High-impact scholarship, research, and creative activities
- Diversity of students, faculty, and staff
- Affordable and accessible education
- Global research, community engagement, and public service
- Social, economic, and environmental sustainability
- Focus and discipline in aligning the budget with institutional priorities
- A campus life with broad academic, cultural, and athletic opportunities
- Success and achievement of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni
- Shared governance within all components of the institution
- Collegiality, academic freedom, and professional responsibility
- Entrepreneurial spirit, partnerships, and innovation
- Efficiency and transparent accountability
- First-class physical infrastructure and a safe campus environment

Linked Goals and Strategies 

Goal 1
Well-educated and highly skilled global citizens through our continuing commitment to student success:

- Provide the highest quality, comprehensive, interdisciplinary educational programs and student research opportunities to foster critical thinking and intellectual inquiry through a variety of pedagogical and delivery methods

- Develop diverse, dynamic global citizens and leaders to strengthen communities and improve quality of life

- Enhance opportunities for all students by providing transformational learning €” including an increased commitment to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and health fields €” that is intellectually, scientifically, and technologically sound and produces relevant applied skills and engaged outcomes

- Educate competitive, highly skilled students prepared to excel in the global job market and to make meaningful and lasting contributions to society

- Deliver a globalized curriculum utilizing emerging technologies to increase accessibility and cultural understanding

Goal 2
High-impact research and innovation to change lives, improve health, and foster sustainable development and positive societal change:

- Engage in high-impact research, scholarship, and creative activities that generate new knowledge
- Increase global research opportunities and partnerships at all levels within the university
- Develop strategic interdisciplinary research initiatives that solve critical problems
- Promote community-engaged scholarship and creative activities to benefit all members of society

Goal 3
A highly effective, major economic engine, creating new partnerships to build a strong and sustainable future for Florida in the global economy:

- Pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and partnerships that augment revenue and maximize institutional effectiveness

- Establish mutually beneficial partnerships (internal and external) that enhance student access to academic programs, research, and employment opportunities

- Provide university stewardship that represents the cornerstone of economic and cultural significance for Florida, the nation, and beyond

- Promote a stimulating campus life through diverse academic, economic, cultural, and athletic opportunities

Goal 4
Sound financial management to establish a strong and sustainable economic base in support of USF's continued academic advancement:

- Align budget and fiscal resources with academic priorities that support the recruitment and retention of intellectual talent at USF

- Refine business practices to ensure a strong and sustainable economic foundation for the university

- Promote and sustain a positive working environment, high service quality, and strong staff support through competitive salary structures and professional development opportunities

- Build USF's fundraising enterprise and endowment by completing a comprehensive campaign to support capital projects, endowed professorships and scholarships, and ongoing operating needs

- Expand USF's international identity through design and implementation of a comprehensive, powerful branding campaign

- Expand the commercialization of emerging technologies to enhance regional and state economic development

- Enhance the physical infrastructure of campus through fiscally responsible investments


The University of South Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award degrees at the baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels, including the Doctor of Medicine. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of South Florida.

The institution was initially accredited in 1965 and was last reviewed and reaffirmed in 2005. The institution is scheduled to receive its next reaffirmation of accreditation review in 2015.

Inquiries to the Commission should relate only to the accreditation status of the institution, and not to general admission information. The Commission is to be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support an institution's significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard.


University Administration


The University of South Florida is a member of the State University System (SUS) of Florida and is governed by the Florida Board of Governors and the University Board of Trustees. 

Florida Board of Governors
For a current list of the Board of Governors (BOG), please refer to their website:

University Board of Trustees
The USF Board of Trustees was established by the Legislature in 2001. The 13 trustees include distinguished figures in the law, commerce, medicine, education, philanthropy and public policy leadership. Six trustees are appointed by the governor and five trustees are appointed by the Board of Governors. The Faculty Senate President and Student Body President also serve as trustees. The President of the University serves as Corporate Secretary. Information about each Trustee is available online at:

John B. Ramil, Chair
Mark Lombardi-Nelson
Hal W. Mullins, Esq., Vice Chair
Stephen J. Mitchell
Christopher J. Davis
Debbie N. Sembler
Stephanie E. Goforth
Byron E. Shinn
Brian D. Lamb
Nancy H. Watkins
Stanley I. Levy
Jordan B. Zimmerman
Judy Genshaft, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President:
Ralph Wilcox, Ph.D.
Office of Graduate Studies Administration:
Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs &
     Dean, Office of Graduate Studies:
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Office of Graduate Studies:
Peter Harries, Ph.D.
College Deans:
College of Arts and Sciences
Eric Eisenberg, Ph.D.
College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
Julianne Serovich, Ph.D
College of Business
Moez Limayem, Ph.D.
College of Education
Vasti Torres, Ph.D.
College of Engineering
John Wiencek, Ph.D.
  College of Global Sustainability Kala Vairavamoorthy, Ph.D.
College of Graduate Studies
Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
College of Marine Science
Jacqueline E. Dixon, Ph.D.
College of Medicine
TBA, Ph.D., Interim
College of Nursing
Patricia A. Burns, Ph.D.
  College of Pharmacy Kevin Sneed, Ph.D.
College of Public Health
Donna Petersen, Ph.D.
College of The Arts
Ron L. Jones Jr., Ph.D.
Honors College
Stuart Silverman, Ph.D.
  Univeristy College Sandy Cooper, Ph.D., Interim
International Affairs
Maria Crummett, Ph.D.
William Garrison, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Studies
Robert Sullins, Ph.D.

College Graduate Associate Deans/Graduate Coordinators and Alternates

Assoc. Dean/Grad Coordinator
          College of Arts and Sciences
Bob Potter, Ph.D.
Lisa Avari-Cooper
          College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
Catherine Batsche
Wanda MacLean
          College of Business
Jackie Reck
Wendy Baker
          College of Education
Harold Keller
Diane Briscoe
          College of Engineering
Rafael Perez
Marsha Brett
           College of Global Sustainability  Ali Yalcin  
          College of Marine Science
Ted Van Vleet
Dawna Ishler
          College of Medicine
Michael Barber
Kathy Zahn
          College of Nursing
Rita D’Aoust, Ph.D.
Barbara Redding
          College of Public Health
Rita DeBate, Ph.D., Interim
Kay Perrin
          College of The Arts
Barton Lee
Carol Kerrigan
Graduate Council:
For the most current list of Graduate Council members, please refer to the website:




University of South Florida Tampa
4202 E. Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33620
(813) 974-2011

USF's main campus, including USF Health, is located in Northeast Tampa, one of the fastest
growing areas in Tampa Bay. More than 39,000 students attend classes on the Tampa campus,
which sits on more than 1,700 acres and includes extensive health and medical
( learning facilities, residence halls (, research
facilities (, and more.  Located in the Tampa Port Authority Building
in downtown Tampa, the USF Downtown Center is a symbol of the partnership between USF
and the bay-area business community. The facility offers graduate degree programs,
non-credit training for business, government, and nonprofit organizations, and meeting,
workshop and seminar space.



University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
5700 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34243-2197
(941) 359-4200

USF Sarasota-Manatee is located on the border of Sarasota and Manatee counties, a vibrant
area featuring educational and cultural institutions such as the John & Mable Ringling Museum
of Art. The campus offers 44 bachelor's degree, master's degree, and certificate programs to
those who have at least an associate's degree.



University of South Florida St. Petersburg
140 Seventh Avenue S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 553-1142

USF's St. Petersburg is located on the beautiful waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg, an
area featuring parks, shops, restaurants, art galleries, museums and performing arts and
sports venues. USF St. Petersburg serves more than 3,700 undergraduate and graduate


Office of Graduate Studies Staff Directory


4202 E. Fowler Ave., Mail Code-ALN226, Tampa, FL 33620                   813-974-2846



Phone Number



    David Chapel

(813) 974-2846



Dean's Office


Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs & Dean, Office of Graduate Studies

(813) 974-7359

    Debbie Williams, Executive Administrative Specialist

(813) 974-7359

    Peter Harries, Ph.D., Assistant Dean

(813) 974-7161

   Matt Cordner, Administrative Specialist  (813) 974-2623

    Kokita Wilson, Office Manager

(813) 974-3810





     Carol Hines-Cobb, Assistant Director, Academics

(813) 974-4239

     Joseph Butts, Assistant Director, Academics

(813) 974-3586

     Cynthia Pumphrey, Administrative Specialist

(813) 974-2847

     Maggie Hogarth, Academic Program Specialist

(813) 974-7727



Business Operations


    Mildred Howard, Associate Director

(813) 974-8356

    Kimberly Carter, Fiscal and Business Analyst

(813) 974-3915

    Javier Rodriguez, Fiscal and Business Specialist

(813) 974-9328

    Theresa Freeman, Fiscal and Business Specialist

(813) 396-9010

Graduate and Professional Student Council

(813) 974-6939



Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA)


    Eric Hoyer, Academic Services Administrator

(813) 974-7359





USF System Graduate Offices


    USF Sarasota-Manatee:      Bonnie Jones, Ph.D.  Associate Vice President and Dean

(941) 359-4504

    USF St. Petersburg:               TBA, Ph.D.  Regional Associate Vice Chancellor

(727) 553-4450





    Registrars Office

(813) 974-2000

    Financial Aid

(813) 974-4700

    Information Technology

(813) 974-1222

    Student Health Services

(813) 974-2331

    Parking and Transportation Services

(813) 974-3990

    University Police

(813) 974-2628


Academic Calendar


Academic Calendar
Registrars Calendar
Thesis/Dissertation Deadlines
Cultural/Diversity Calendar
Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days


August 2013 - July 2014


August 9

Summer B, last day of classes

August 10

Summer Commencement, Tampa

August 26

Fall, first day of classes

September 2

Labor Day

November 11

Veteran's Day

November 28 & 29

Thanksgiving Holiday

December 6

Fall, last day of classes

December 7 - 13

Final Exam Week

December 8

Final Exams (Distance Ed)

December 14

Fall, Tampa Commencement

December 15

Fall, St. Petersburg Commencement

December 15

Fall, Sarasota-Manatee Commencement

December 25

Christmas Holiday


January 1

New Year's Holiday

January 6

Spring, first day of classes

January 20

Martin Luther King, Jr.

March 10 - 15

USF Spring Break

April 25

Spring, last day of classes

April 26 - May 2

Spring Final Exams

April 27

Spring Final Exams (Distance Learning)

May 3

Spring Commencement, Tampa

May 4

Spring Commencement, St. Petersburg

May 4

Spring Commencement, Sarasota-Manatee

May 12

Summer A & C, first day of classes

May 26

Memorial Day

June 20

Summer A, last day of classes

June 30

Summer B, first day of classes

July 4

Independence Day Holiday

July 18

Summer C, last day of classes

August 8

Summer B, last day of classes

August 9

Summer Commencement, Tampa

Return to Graduate Catalog

Back To Top