Jul 7, 2024

Florida International University was designated as ‘Preeminent State Research University’ by the Florida Board of Governors


Florida International University was one of only four Florida universities to be recognized by the Florida Board of Governors as a “Preeminent State Research University.”

Florida International University (FIU) opened it’s doors in 1972 with the largest opening enrollment in U.S. collegiate history with 5,667 students. Although a short history, FIU has already positioned itself as one of South Florida’s anchor institutions by solving some of the greatest challenges of our time. FIU is a Top 50 public research university that drives real talent and innovation in Miami and globally.

Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers.  With a student body of more than 58,000, FIU is among the top 10 largest universities in the nation and has collectively graduated more than 275,000 alumni, 165,000 of whom live and work in South Florida.

Very high research (R1) activity and high social mobility come together at FIU to uplift and accelerate learner success in a global city by focusing in the areas of environment, health, innovation, and justice.

Dr. Osama Mohammed, Energy Systems Research Lab

U.S. News and World Report places dozens of FIU programs among the best in the nation, including international business at No. 2. Washington Monthly Magazine ranks FIU among the top 20 public universities contributing to the public good. FIU ranks No. 2 in the U.S. and No. 13 in the world for impact in the 2024 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. Offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, both on campus and fully online, FIU is worlds ahead in its service to the academic and local community.

Established in 2013, the Florida Preeminence Program, rewards the state’s highest-performing public research universities based on metrics such as research performance, graduation rates, and national rankings. Universities that meet 11 of the 12 metric goals are considered ‘preeminent,’ while universities that meet 6 goals are considered ’emerging preeminent.’ Preeminent universities receive additional funding from the state, with the amount determined annually by the Legislature and Governor. 

Ana Claus Spring 2023 Real Triumphs Graduate

In 2019, FIU achieved sufficient preeminence metrics to quality for designation as an ’emerging preeminent’ state research university. FIU was designated a Carnegie Very High Research institution, the only public university in South Florida to achieve this distinction, which certainly helped push them closer to the Preeminent designation requirements. Only a few key metrics away, the University submitted a five‐year benchmark plan with target rankings on key performance metrics for national excellence to meet the final benchmarks set by the Board of Governors. As outlined by Florida Statute 1001.7065 those benchmarks were as follows:

Key Benchmarks:

  • Average GPA and SAT scores
  • Top-50 Public University National Rankings
  • Freshman Retention Rate
  • Four-year Graduation Rate
  • Faculty National Academy Memberships
  • Total Research Expenditures
  • Science and Engineering Research Expenditures
  • Non-medical Science and Engineering Research Expenditures
  • Top-100 Disciplines for Research Expenditures
  • Utility Patents Awarded
  • Doctoral Degrees Awarded
  • Post-Doctoral Appointees

Finally, in 2024, after lots of hard work and dedication, the Florida Board of Governors recognized Florida International University as a top-performing institution of higher education among the 12 public universities in the state designating Florida International University a Preeminent State Research University.

The new title puts FIU in the same category as the University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of South Florida. Notably, the State University System of Florida, which the Board of Governors oversees, has been named the No. 1 system within the United States by U.S. News and World Report. FIU is now the youngest top university within the top system.

From the top of the globe to the ocean’s floor, FIU researchers are exploring the toughest challenges of our time: sea level rise, childhood mental health disorders and more. FIU emphasizes research as a major component in the university’s mission. The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences’ Discovery Lab, are just two of many colleges, schools, and centers that actively enhance the university’s ability to set new standards through research initiatives.

Provost, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Béjar

“FIU’s consistent high performance establishes a proven track record of providing an excellent return on investment and affirms our value proposition and commitment to the goals of public higher education,” said Provost, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Béjar. “FIU is redefining excellence, and our students, faculty and staff continue to make important contributions and significant impact to every facet of life in our community, the state and the world. We are forward thinking, innovative, unstoppable.”

The ‘Preeminent’ designation is an incredible honor for the University, but also comes with additional support from the State of Florida. FIU will receive $25 million annually from the state, which the university plans to invest in recruiting and retaining top faculty and students, purchasing state-of-the-art learning equipment, and improving career-readiness resources. FIU will use its new funding to support research into its areas of strategic focus: Health, Environment and Environmental Resilience, and Innovation

FIU President Kenneth A. Jessell

“The FIU community is thrilled to be recognized for its relentless focus on academics and research excellence,” said FIU President Kenneth A. Jessell. “This designation caps a spectacular year of success for FIU and marks a new era for this young institution as one of the 21st century’s top research universities.”

The preeminent designation and the top performance funding score announcements come on the heels of FIU ranking No. 2 in the U.S. and No. 13 in the world for impact in the 2024 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings among many other achievements over the past year from U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, Degree Choices, and Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose.

To learn more about FIU’s Preeminent Programs, visit www.provost.fiu.edu/research/preeminent-programs