University of South Florida St. Petersburg

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP), commonly known as USF St. Pete, is a separately accredited institution[1][3] in the University of South Florida System, located in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida by the Tampa Bay waterfront. As part of a multi-institutional system, USF St. Petersburg retains a separate identity and mission while contributing to and benefiting from the associations, cooperation, and shared resources of the USF System.[4] The campus is bounded by the Salt Creek Marine District, Bayfront Medical Center and All Children's Hospital and the Roser Park and Bartlett Park residential neighborhoods. Opened in 1965 as a satellite campus of the University of South Florida, USFSP gained accreditation as a separate entity in 2006. USF St. Petersburg is the only public university in Pinellas County and the only public university offering bachelors and graduate degree programs in the area. USF St. Petersburg enrolled nearly 5,000 students during the fall 2012 semester. Students across the USF System enroll at USF St. Petersburg, creating a typical semester student population of more than 6,000.[5] The other separately accredited institutions in the System are the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee in Sarasota, Florida.[6]

University of South Florida
St. Petersburg
Motto"Truth and Wisdom"
ChancellorMartin Tadlock[2]
Location, ,
Campus46 acres (0.19 km²)
ColorsGreen and Gold          
MascotRocky the Bull


In 1965, the University of South Florida created a satellite campus in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, the "Bay Campus," the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.[7] The campus opened in the fall of 1965 to 257 freshman. In 1967, USF St. Petersburg organized the USF Marine Science Program. In that same year, the Florida Institute of Oceanography opened facilities on land leased from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. In 1969, USF St. Petersburg opened its library with 2,248 volumes and offered its first degrees to 51 graduates of elementary education program. In that same year, a State Legislature passed bill establishing USF St. Petersburg as a branch of the University of South Florida.[8] By 1981, USF St. Petersburg had completed its first stage of expansion with the addition of Bayboro Hall. In 1984, Coquina Hall opened its doors.[8] In 1990, the Campus Activities Center opened its doors. In 2005, USF St. Petersburg celebrated its 40th Anniversary and the groundbreaking for Residence Hall One.[7] In 2006, USF St. Petersburg was accredited as a separate entity from the University of South Florida.[1] In that same year, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg opened its new student residence hall, Residence Hall One, to house future and returning students.[9][10]



Having been a satellite campus of the University of South Florida for the first 40 years of its existence, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg gained autonomy and was accredited as a separate entity within the University of South Florida system by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools starting with the 2006-2007 school year.[1] Accreditation allows the University of South Florida St. Petersburg to award bachelor's and master's degrees. The College of Business and the Program of Accountancy are both accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. Less than one-third of U.S. business school programs, fewer than 15 percent of business school programs worldwide meet the rigorous standards for AACSB accreditation. Only 180 institutions worldwide are separately accredited in accounting.[11][12]

The Department of Journalism and Media Studies is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC), and it is the only journalism program in the central and south Florida area that has both undergraduate and graduate degree programs accredited.[13] Only 111 professional programs out of 400 colleges and universities in the U.S. are accredited.[14]


USF St. Petersburg has three colleges that offer both bachelor's and master's degrees.[15][16] The three colleges are the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Business, and the College of Education.[17]

The separate USF College of Marine Science is also located on the campus.


The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has four Programs of Distinction:[18]

  1. Florida Studies:[19] The Masters in Liberal Arts degree allows for focus in Florida Studies. The Florida Studies Program brings together faculty from history, economics, geography, political science, anthropology, and other disciplines to create an integrated, in-depth exploration of the state's changing identity as a part of the American South as well as a bridge to the Caribbean Basin.
  2. Environmental Sciences[20]
  3. Journalism and Media Studies:[21] The Department of Journalism and Media Studies offers M.A. in digital journalism and design (fully online); M.A. in journalism and media studies; B.A. in mass communications with a journalism studies concentration; and Minor in mass communications. Dr. Deni Elliott is the chair.[22] In 1988, University of South Florida agreed to house the journalism master's program in St. Petersburg, Florida. The campus hired Michael Killenberg, a University of Southern Illinois full professor, to teach master's and undergraduate classes and supervise adjuncts. The professional journalism M.A .program, with support from local media and the Poynter Institute, complemented USF Tampa's School of Mass Communications PR and Media Studies M.A. programs. Initially, students took classes in St. Petersburg and most completed degrees in Tampa. Killenberg in 1991 hired Dr. Robert Dardenne (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) and in 1992 they co-founded the master's program. They also started Neighborhood News Bureau (NNB) so students covered stories in an under-represented neighborhood and were exposed to an African-American urban culture. In 1993, they hired internationally recognized ethics scholar Jay Black (University of Alabama) as the Eleanor Poynter Jamison Chair in Media Ethics and Press Policy. The three created a complete undergraduate program to match its master's program.[22] By the time the legislature required USF St. Petersburg to seek separate SACS accreditation, the campus had officially designated the program as the only named department on campus. It became a "direct receipt" graduate program, separated from Tampa School of Mass Communications and achieved in 2004 the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) accreditation, fully compliant on all standards.[13][22] In September 2006, the department opened the Neighborhood News Bureau office at 2335 22nd Avenue South in Midtown, St. Petersburg.[23] Dr. Jay Black retired in 2008. The department was among 11 leading journalism schools to participate the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists in 2009, 2010 and 2011.[24] Dr. Michael Killenberg retired in 2011.[25] The college offers "the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, which brings 'emerging leaders' in journalism from around the world to the U.S."[26]
  4. Social Responsibility & Corporate Reporting[27]


USF has athletic teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, outdoor track, sailing, soccer, and volleyball.[28]

USF Sailing Team

The USF Sailing Team has male and female teams.[29] The Co-ed Sailing and Varsity Women's Sailing Teams are both ranked in the Top 30 Collegiate Sailing Teams in the nation.[30] USF Sailing is a member of the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association (SAISA).[31] The team has two coaches and a waterfront facility on campus. They have travelled widely throughout the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions for competition at other schools including Dartmouth, MIT, Tufts, Brown, St. Mary's, Boston, Stanford, Coast Guard, URI, Bowdoin, Yale, Conn College, and Navy.[32]

Campus computing

The Office of Campus Computing at USF St. Petersburg is responsible for all functions that involve computing, data communication and Voice over IP services. Campus Computing Services (CCS) and the St. Petersburg Regional Data Center (SPRDAC) are an integral part of the Office of Campus Computing. The Office of Campus Computing is also involved in the planning and implementation of the information technology infrastructure necessary to support the evolution of USF St. Petersburg as a major research institution and its academic programs.


Nelson Poynter Memorial Library

The Nelson Poynter Memorial Library opened in 1996 to commemorate Nelson Poynter.[33] The Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, serving the University of South Florida St. Petersburg's community, is an inviting place for students, faculty, and campus visitors to read, relax, research, or study.[34]

The Nelson Poynter Library has over a 200,000 volume collection featuring business, education, liberal arts, and marine science. Literature selections range from classics such as Herman Melville's Moby-Dick to the latest award-winning novels. A children's collection features outstanding juvenile and young adult books.[34]

The Poynter Library's Special Collections department offers outstanding collections of rare books, oral histories, and local history photographs and documents. Notable collections include the John C. Briggs Collection of Ichthyology and Natural History, the David Hubbell Mark Twain Collection, the Miller Family Collection of Presidential Signatures and Documents, and the Papers of Nelson Poynter.[34]

The library subscribes to more than 800 periodicals and newspapers, including Science, The Economist, Foreign Affairs, and local and national newspapers. Over 10,000 electronic journals and newspapers augmenting these print collections are accessible through the library's on the wireless network or on computers in the library's information commons.[34]

In 1950, when the Merchant Marine training base at Bayboro Harbor was deactivated, Nelson Poynter started a campaign to persuade the City of St. Petersburg to donate the land to the state. Poynter committed himself to donate $500,000 to help buy additional land for expansion and was the principal contributor and fundraiser for the first St. Petersburg campus library.[35] On June 15, 1978, Nelson Poynter, his wife Marion, business and civic leaders, educators, and students took turns with eight gold-painted shovels to break ground for the first phase expansion of the campus. A few hours later, Nelson Poynter suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.[35][36] Poynter died that same evening. That library would become Bayboro Hall, the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library would open in 1996 in his name.[36]

Student media

The Crow's Nest

The Crow's Nest is a student-run newspaper circulated in USF St. Petersburg that was first published in 1969. The newspaper is published in the fall and spring semesters, and contains news stories, features and entertainment pieces that are of interest to the students. The newspaper distributes 800 copies of the paper every Monday on campus.[37] Since the spring of 2005, The Crow's Nest has been published on a weekly basis. The Crow's Nest is funded each semester by a portion of revenue generated from Activities and Services fees as well as advertising revenue.[38]

Campus life

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has an active campus life. The majority of activities involving students are officially the responsibility of the Division of Student Affairs, but over the years, Student Government Association has become the sole funding source of Student Life, Campus Reservations and New Student Orientation. In April 2006, Student Government opened a new volleyball and basketball courts facility on campus.

Student Success Center

The Student Success Center (SSC) was created to help students achieve their educational goals. Through tutoring sessions, workshops, seminars, and academic coaching, the SSC helps students succeed at USF St. Petersburg.

  • Assistant Director, Student Success: CeCe Edwards

Student life

The Department of Student Life & Engagement and the Student Life Center work together to allow for opportunities for students to learn outside of class.[39] The Student Life Center is located on the same street as Residence Hall One and is across the street from the campus. It houses the fitness center which a weight and cardio room, recreation areas, aerobics area, locker rooms, and basketball, and volleyball.[40]

Harborside Activities Board

The Harborside Activities Board is the university's campus programming board, that plans and implements educational, cultural, and social co-curricular activities for the USF St. Petersburg campus.[41] Harborside Activities Board is made up of three entertainment divisions: film, stage acts and special events. Film brings blockbuster movies to campus for free screenings months before they are released on DVD, as well as educational films and childhood classics. Stage Acts is most well known for bringing up-and-coming and well known comedians to perform free shows for students twice a semester, as well as music acts, speakers, performers and many others. Special Events is most well known for their make and take programming that allows students to enjoy fun activities such as "Build-A-Bull," where students get the opportunity to make their own stuffed animal bull mascot, as well as tie-dye events, casino nights where students are able to compete for over $1,000 in prizes and many more.

Student organizations

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has many student organizations.[42] They include the Student Green Energy Fund , COMission (College Outreach Mission), SPECTRUM Mentor Program, Alpha Phi Omega, Anthropology, Barbecue Club, Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Black Student Association, Board Club, COMission (a Christian Student Organization), Chess Club, Criminology Student Association, Extreme Dodgeball Club, Film Club, French Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Harborside Activities Board, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Latin American Student Association, Law Society, Lux Mundi: Catholic Student Association, Bull Horn Radio, Grappling Club, Marine Science Advisory Committee, American Red Cross, Omicron Delta Kappa, Pre-Med Society, Psychology Science Club, Sigma Tau Delta, Entrepreneur Club, Latin American Student Association (LASA), No-Bull dance Troupe, Student Education Association, Student Environmental Awareness Society (SEAS), and the Professional Sales Club. More information about student organizations can be found on the USF St. Petersburg website under the Student Life & Engagement section. [43]

Student government

The USF St. Petersburg Student Government is the governing entity of the student body at USF St. Petersburg. It is the active voice of the student body and is responsible for the annual allocation of Activities and Services (A&S) fee revenue generated by the enrolled student population. Student Government recognizes student organizations through this funding. The Student Government is responsible for allocating a 3.3 Millon dollar annual budget, which funds both campus activities and the Student Center.

The USFSP Student Government (SG) is a Presidential Government composed of three branches, the Judicial, Executive, and the Legislative Branches.[44]

The Executive Branch is composed of the Office of the President, the Senior Leadership, the Executive Cabinet, and the agencies of Student Government.[45] The Executive Branch is headed by Student Body President David Thompson,[46] the Student Body President so serves as the student representative to the USFSP Campus Board. The Executive Branch is composed of the Student Body President and Vice President, the Chief of Staff, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Chief Legal Officer, as well as 6 Directors.[47]

Student housing

Residence Hall One

To accommodate extra students and students wishing to pursue a degree full-time on campus, USF St. Petersburg built a residence hall, Residence Hall One. First year students who live 30 miles or farther from the USFSP campus are required to live In Residence Hall One.[48] Residence Hall One is located across the street from the campus. Students can easily walk to class, the gym, parking garage and Campus Activity Center, located on the same street as Residence Hall One, within minutes. Students wishing to live in Residence Hall One can choose from any of two suites; Manatee and Dolphin.[48] There is a third suite, Falcon, that exists in the form of one room and houses two students in single bedrooms. Residence Hall One also offers its students a sense of community in an already welcoming university. Every floor has a Resident Assistant to monitor, help, and organize meetings for the students. Residence Hall One is also the University of South Florida St. Petersburg's first student dormitory since Merchant Marine training bases were used as dormitories for students.[8]

USF St. Petersburg officially opened the doors to Residence Hall One on August 23, 2006 for the Fall semester.[9] Residence Hall One is a seven-story building that can house 354 students in 95 apartments that contain four-person double bedrooms, four-person single bedrooms, and one two-person apartment with single bedrooms. Each apartment contains two bathrooms, a living room and kitchen with garbage disposal, refrigerator and microwave. All utilities are included; electricity, water, heat and air conditioning, local telephone service, high speed Internet and cable TV. Every floor in Residence Hall One has a laundry room and lounge. Lounges are equipped with furniture and a high-definition television with cable TV.[48] Resident students can also park their cars in the seven-story parking garage across the street built at the same time as Residence Hall One.[49]

A $1,500 Sails Scholarship was offered to students who moved into Residence Hall One during its first year open. Residence Hall One also offers its students beautiful views of Tampa Bay and downtown St. Petersburg. Students are in close range of supermarkets, movie theaters and restaurants. The Student Government Safe Team transported students while patrolling the campus parking lots and buildings and facilities until the program was ended in 2010.[50] The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has on-campus police to safeguard the campus, students, and parking garage.[51][52] Residence Hall One is the University of South Florida St. Petersburg's first step in its second phase of expansion.[53] 2007 was the first year that USF St. Petersburg was able to house incoming freshman during the summer semester during their summer program.

University Student Center

The university launched its 81,00 square foot University Student Center on September 6, 2012.[54] The $21 million facility was partly financed with a special student fee passed by the Florida Legislature and supported by students who saw a need for a central gathering place at USFSP. The building, 200 Sixth Avenue South, opened August 25, 2012 when 200 residential students moved into rooms in the six-story residential tower. Besides student housing, the building also includes a dining hall called The Reef that is open to the public serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. It offers the first full-service meal plans for USFSP. The center also includes an atrium lobby, wireless internet, laundry facilities, a student lounge, seating areas and two outdoor basketball courts.

The 75-ft building was designed by Rowe Architects of Tampa and built by Creative Contractors of Clearwater. Among its architectural features is a 65-ft multi-colored glass-enclosed circular staircase for the residential tower, and an 8,000 sq. ft. curtain of glass along 6th Avenue South. The residential tower brings the total number of residential students to nearly 650, a record number in the university's history. Many of the rooms in the residential tower offer views of Tampa Bay and the downtown St. Petersburg skyline.

Notable faculty

  • Deni Elliott, professor in Department of Journalism and Media Studies, and Eleanor Poynter Jamison Chair in Media Ethics and Press Policy.
  • Gary Mormino, Frank E. Duckwall Professor of History and co-director of the Florida Studies Program.
  • Raymond Arsenault, American historian and author, known for recent book Freedom Riders

Points of interest


  1. "About USF St. Petersburg". Archived from the original on 2010-07-15. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
  2. "Martin Tadlock, Interim Regional Chancellor".
  3. South Florida St. Petersburg, University of
  4. "Mission & Vision".
  5. "USF Campuses". Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
  6. Timeline Gallery, Celebrating 40 Years
  7. USF St. Petersburg - the First 25 Years
  8. "University of South Florida St. Petersburg -".
  9. US Education Guides : Europe - University of South Florida St. Petersburg
  10. Accreditation
  11. "AACSB Accreditation - Accounting".
  12. "ACEJMC-accredited programs". Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  13. "ACEJMC-FAQs about accreditation".
  14. "University of South Florida St. Petersburg -".
  15. Undergraduate Preparation
  16. "USFSP Index". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  17. "University of South Florida St. Petersburg -".
  18. Florida Studies
  19. Environmental Sciences
  20. Journalism and Media Studies
  21. "Journalism and Media Studies - University of South Florida St. Petersburg".
  22. Neighborhood News Bureau
  23. "Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists".
  24. "Journalism department founder retires".
  25. Mullin, Benjamin (October 20, 2014). "USF cancels on African journalists due to Ebola scare". Poynter. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  26. "Intercollegiate athletics". USFSP.
  27. Team Roster
  28. USF Sailing Team
  29. University of South Florida
  30. USF Sailing
  31. "Treasures of South Florida Libraries. University of South Florida".
  32. Visitor Information
  33. Nelson Poynter
  34. Nelson Poynter Biography
  35. Crow's Nest Distribution
  36. About the Crow's Nest
  37. "University of South Florida St. Petersburg -".
  38. "University of South Florida St. Petersburg -".
  39. Harborside Activities Board
  40. "University of South Florida St. Petersburg -".
  41. "Office of Leadership and Student Organizations – Student Life". Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  46. "University of South Florida St. Petersburg -".
  47. Parking Services
  48. SAFE Team
  49. University Police Department
  50. USF St. Petersburg Police Department (USFSP PD) Services
  51. "University of South Florida St. Petersburg -" (PDF).
  52. "USC - University of South Florida St. Petersburg". Retrieved 2016-03-19.

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