Florida Gulf Coast University is about more than just basketball and beach time.
“Dunk City,” as it became known nationwide during the FGCU men’s basketball team’s historic run in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, is a diverse community of more than 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students who are just as committed to hitting the books as hitting the campus lakeshore beach.
Established in 1997, FGCU continues to expand academic offerings, which currently include 51 undergraduate, 28 master’s, one specialist and two doctoral programs. With 1,100 faculty and staff, the University is committed to providing personalized attention for students who come to Fort Myers from 48 states and the District of Columbia as well as 95 other countries. Full-time faculty has continued to grow in concert with academic programs, more than doubling in the last 10 years.
Led by President Wilson G. Bradshaw, FGCU recruits and retains students with the potential to succeed in a challenging academic environment and aims to fulfill the academic, social and career expectations of those students. The University has repeatedly ranked No. 1 in the State University System (SUS) of Florida for master’s degree recipients securing jobs within the state; it also consistently ranks among the top three SUS institutions for bachelor’s degree recipients finding work in Florida.
In addition to strong academic programs in the humanities, social sciences, business and health professions, FGCU has built rigorous science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula that prepare students to excel in the rapidly changing global arena. State-of-the-art facilities, innovative teaching and interdisciplinary learning across the University develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills that enable all graduates to anticipate and adapt to evolving practices in their fields of study.
FGCU’s Renewable Energy Institute blends educational and research programs as a means to partner with industries, utilities and governments to develop technologies and a trained workforce for the next generation of clean energy. A 15-acre solar field provides 85 percent of the power for three academic buildings. And recently completed academic buildings and residence halls have been certified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which saves energy, increases water efficiency, reduces carbon dioxide emissions, improves indoor air quality and demonstrates stewardship of resources.
A well-rounded university experience does not consist solely of academics. FGCU’s award-winning service-learning program gets students involved in the community on campus and off, where they provide more than 160,000 hours of service to hundreds of community organizations and projects annually.
FGCU is situated on 760 lush acres in the heart of coastal Southwest Florida, where the climate is mild, the air is clean and the sunshine is abundant. The University has carefully preserved its natural setting, providing a living outdoor classroom and a campus interwoven with wooded trails, tree-lined boardwalks and tranquil lakes.
Campus activities abound, with 14 NCAA Division I athletic teams and more than 200 student clubs, organizations, fraternities and sororities. Some 4,200 students live on campus or in nearby University-owned housing. Amenities include an aquatics center, lake water sports, barbecue areas and beach volleyball and tennis courts.
Research and sponsored programs have grown steadily, with awards totaling $13 million in 2011-12 and $173.6 million since the University opened. The FGCU Foundation has raised more than $300 million, with funds going toward buildings, programs and scholarships.
Off campus, the University reaches approximately 10,000 community members through its Renaissance Academy lifelong-learning courses at sites in a five-county service area. FGCU also offers a variety of for-credit and continuing education courses at centers in Fort Myers, Naples and Charlotte County.