Florida Panhandle Colleges

Three prominent universities are in the Florida panhandle.

With its magnolia trees and forested campgrounds, the panhandle in western Florida resembles the bordering states of Alabama and Georgia more than it resembles the tropical paradise of southern Florida. Many of the higher education institutions in the Florida panhandle are community colleges or schools with branch campuses in the panhandle that are primarily based somewhere else. Three major universities are based in the Florida panhandle.

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida began offering classes in 1967 and now enrolls more than 11,000 students from nearly all 50 states and almost 90 foreign countries. The campus covers 1,600 acres and contains plenty of water and trees to provide a comfortable refuge from the Florida sun. The Pensacola school boasts 13 athletic teams competing in the Gulf South Conference of NCAA Division II. Students at West Florida have the opportunity to join more than 150 clubs and organizations. The school is just a 20-minute drive from the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.

University of West Florida

11000 University Pkwy.

Pensacola, FL 32514



Florida State University

Based in Florida’s capital city of Tallahassee, Florida State University enrolls about 40,000 students. Florida State is a diverse university, with minorities making up 30 percent and women composing 57 percent of the student body. The university offers more than 275 degree programs, including physics, criminology, medicine and law, as well as Ph.D. programs in such fields as molecular biophysics and neuroscience. Florida State is also known for its success in athletics. The Seminoles’ football team is an annual contender in the Atlantic Coast Conference and captured national championships in 1993 and 1999. The school has won national titles in both men’s and women’s track and field, with the men’s team capturing three consecutive championships from 2006 to 2008.

Florida State University

600 W. College Ave.

Tallahassee, FL 32306



Florida A&M University

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University began in 1887 as the State Normal College for Colored Students. The college began with one building and two instructors. By 1910 the college had 317 students and began awarding its first degrees. The school became a university in 1953 and has continued to grow ever since, becoming one of the nation’s most prominent historically black colleges. Florida A&M’s academics have received accolades from magazines, such as Time, BusinessWeek and Black Enterprise. Notable Florida A&M graduates include Wimbledon champion Althea Gibson, former American Cancer Society president Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., actress T’Keyah Keymah and sports reporter Pam Oliver.

Florida A&M University

Tallahassee, FL 32307