With over 56,000 students, Florida International is one of the largest universities in the country.

It's a top-tier research school, offering more than 190 bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs covering a wide range of areas, including architecture, the arts, education, sciences and engineering, business and economics, and public health, and it has a law school and a medical school, as well.

Some of FIU's standout programs include the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, which has an international program in Tianjin, China; and the Moss School of Construction Management, with internship and job opportunities in the construction industry. Signature learning facilities include the Miami Beach Urban Studios, where students from the College of Architecture and the Arts work with design firms and arts organizations; and the Medina Aquarius Program, an underwater lab in the Florida Keys, dedicated to marine ecosystems research.

In fact, FIU has an impressive number of academic centers, including the International Hurricane Research Center, which boasts the Wall of Wind, a 12-fan behemoth that can simulate a Category 5 hurricane.

The university is one of the country's top granters of bachelor's and master's degrees to Hispanic students, who make up more than 60% of its population. Culture on campus is rich: three museums, 17 Division I sports teams, and 29 sororities and fraternities. Order of the Torch, a secret society on campus, brings together student leaders.