Research touches all academic areas at the University of South Florida's Tampa campus — whether it's integrative biology, community health, or long-term care. Even the USF Botanical Garden is used for research, where faculty and students have planted medicinal gardens in hopes of uncovering new cures and treatments for diseases.

The school's diverse group of students, coming from more than 140 different countries, can choose from 13 colleges, which include traditional areas such as business, education, and arts. But there are also programs in global sustainability, behavioral and community sciences and marine science — all of which are spread across three campuses. The largest campus is located in Tampa, with two smaller ones in St. Petersburg and Sarasota.

The USF Research Park focuses on biotechnology and life sciences research; other academic institutes and centers across the campus study mental health, migrant education, and urban transportation. Undergrads can get in on the action as well, and USF provides plenty of resources and guidance to get them started. All this opportunity comes with an affordable price tag for the university's large and diverse student body, 86% of whom receive financial aid.

USF’s Tampa campus, where a majority of its 50,000 students study, is often referred to as "a city within a city," a reference to its more than 700 student organizations and 17 NCAA Division I sports teams. In fact, in the past year alone, Money has recognized Tampa as both a Best Place to Live and a Best Place to Travel.