Jacksonville University (JU) is a private, four-year liberal arts college located on the northeast tip of Florida. Ranked in 2013 among the U.S. News & World Report list of Top Universities in the South, the university was originally founded as a women’s junior college in 1943. By the early 1950s, it had transitioned into a co-ed university. JU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; it also holds industry-specific accreditations in aeronautics, business, dance, music, education, nursing, and orthodontics.
The city of Jacksonville offers unique opportunities for students who are interested in internships, practicums, and other interactions with the energetic community. JU primarily boasts undergraduate degree programs, offering bachelor’s degrees in more than 70 majors. In particular, JU’s fine arts department attracts many students who study dance, theatre, music, and other creative disciplines.
Graduate degree programs also are available in several fields of study. Nursing is one of the more popular; the majority of JU’s postgraduate students earn degrees in the health sciences. Jacksonville University Online also offers a number of distance learning options for nursing students pursuing RN, RN to BSN, or MSN degrees. In some cases, students can choose to supplement their bachelor’s degree programs by taking one of Jacksonville University’s online graduate courses.
The university’s diverse student body, active Greek community, and Division I sports teams create a vibrant and engaging campus culture. Most freshman-level lecture classes accommodate roughly 500 attendees, and the majority of students live on campus. Financial aid offerings are generous; thanks to a large number of sizable endowments, the university offers scholarships to more than 90% of its incoming freshmen.
Jacksonville’s mascot is the dolphin, an appropriate choice given the school’s focus on marine sciences. This growing career field can be explored in detail in both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Field research opportunities are ample; the school’s location allows access to several marine environments, including coral reefs, the St. Johns River, cypress swamp, sea marsh and spring-fed estuaries. In addition, JU has partnered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other entities to build the Marine Science Research Institute, a premier research facility. This award-winning facility is the campus’ first building to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Jacksonville University strives to motivate students to complete undergraduate degrees on time. Established in 2012, the 4-Year Graduation Guarantee is designed to increase timely graduation dates. Students who sign this agreement must meet certain criteria, such as committing to a major in the first semester, completing 30 credit hours per academic year, passing all classes (drops are not allowed), and maintaining close contact with faculty advisors. If a student meets these requirements but does not complete a degree program within four years, JU will assume the cost of tuition necessary for degree completion.
For seven decades, Jacksonville University has been one of Florida’s premier degree-granting institutions. Today, the school is distinguished by its wide range of online and offline programs (particularly within the science realm), partnerships with local organizations, and campus-wide environmental awareness — all qualities that will help JU remain a popular collegiate choice for years to come.