Guide to Education in Tampa Bay 

About Tampa Bay, Florida

Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor and estuary along the Gulf of Mexico on the central west coast of Florida, consisting of Hillsborough Bay, and Old-, Middle- and Lower Tampa Bay. "Tampa Bay" is not the name of any municipality.

The Tampa Bay region provides a wide range of higher educational experiences - community colleges, universities and award winning private colleges as well as the nationally ranked public university, the University of South Florida (USF).

University of Southern Florida

USF has campuses throughout the region - Tampa, Sarasota / Bradenton, St. Petersburg & Lakeland - the state's only polytechnic. USF is a top 20 university for enrollments and in 2009 was listed as the fastest growing research university in the USA. It's the kind of research that has attracted SRI International and Draper Labs.

Over 30 Higher Education Institutions

The region provides over 30 other higher education institutions - University of Tampa (Tampa), Eckerd College (St. Petersburg), New College (Sarasota), The Ringling School of Art & Design (Sarasota), St. Leo College (Pasco) and Florida Southern (Lakeland) and others.

As well, other institutions have opened up opportunities for continuing education such as the Art Institute of Tampa, Pasco Hernando Community College, Hillsborough Community College, Rasmussen College (Pasco and Tampa), St. Petersburg College, and State College of Florida (Manatee).

Tampa Bay Climate and Recreation

The warm Tampa Bay climate lets students enjoy the outdoors all year round. They often go to nearby beaches and parks, enjoying jogging, sunbathing, bike riding, walking, swimming, rollerblading, sport fishing, scuba diving, or snorkeling. Local gyms and dance studios in the area provide opportunities for ballet, aerobics, the martial arts, weight lifting, and kickboxing. Students also visit local sights such as Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, and the Florida Aquarium. For more professional spectator sports, students can attend a Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Devil Rays, or Lightning game.