The university currently enrolls 15,449 students in approximately 115 undergraduate, 114 master’s, 51 doctoral, and two professional areas of study. The University’s students represent all 50 states and 148 foreign countries. There are currently 2,348 full-time faculty members whose ranks include Guggenheim fellows, Fulbright Scholars and National Science Foundation recipients. Of this distinguished faculty, 97% hold doctorates or terminal degrees in their field. With more than 10,800 full and part-time faculty and staff, UM is the second largest private employer in Miami-Dade County.
The University of Miami is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and 23 additional professional and educational accrediting agencies. UM is a member of the American Association of University Women, the American Council on Education, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Association of American Colleges, the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
"Momentum: The Campaign for the University of Miami" was a fundraising effort launched in 2003 with the goal of raising $1 billion dollars to improve facilities, recruit world-renowned faculty and expand the number of endowed student scholarships.
At the close of the campaign, UM became the youngest university in the nation and the first in Florida to reach the billion dollar mark, raising $1.4 billion as of February 2008. Of the 56 universities that have run billion dollar campaigns, UM is the only private institution and one of only four established in the 20th Century to achieve this milestone.
The University began in earnest in 1926 when George E. Merrick gifted and nearly $4 million dollars to the effort. By the fall of that year, when the first class of 560 students enrolled at the University of Miami, the land boom had collapsed, and hopes for a speedy recovery were dashed by a major hurricane. In the next 15 years the University barely kept afloat. The construction of the first building on campus, now known as the Merrick Building, was put on hold for over two decades due to economic hard times. In the meantime, classes were held at the nearby Anastasia Hotel, with partitions separating classrooms, giving the University the short-lived nickname of "Cardboard College."
The University survived early turmoil during the leadership of its first president Bowman Foster Ashe (1926-1952). During his presidency, the University added the School of Law (1928), the School of Business Administration (1929), the School of Education (1929), the Graduate School (1941), the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (1943), the School of Engineering (1947), and the School of Medicine (1952).
One of Ashe's longtime assistants, Jay F. W. Pearson, assumed the presidency in 1952. A charter faculty member and a marine biologist by trade, Pearson ushered in a decade of unprecedented growth for the University. Enrollment increased by more than 4,000 during his tenure, which ended in 1962.
Henry King Stanford became Miami's 3rd president in 1962. The Stanford presidency saw increased emphasis on research, reorganization of administrative structure and construction of new facilities. Among the new research centers established were the Center for Advanced International Studies (1964), the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Evolution (1964), the Center for Theoretical Studies (1965), and the Institute for the Study of Aging (1975).
In 1981, Edward T. Foote II became the school's fourth president. Under Foote's leadership, the university was elected to the nation's most prestigious honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, and on campus student housing was converted into a system of residential colleges. In addition, Foote initiated a five year $400 million campaign that began in 1984 and surpassed its goal with a $517.5 million dollar commitment.
Unlike some private universities that are located within their namesake city, UM's main campus spans 260 acres (1 km²) in Coral Gables, an affluent suburb located immediately south of the city of Miami. Several university satellite campuses are located off the primary campus, including the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (located on Virginia Key) and the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine (located at Jackson Memorial Hospital in downtown Miami). UM is the second largest private employer in South Florida.
There were nearly 20,000 applications for 2,000 slots in the fall 2007 freshman class. The mean SAT scores and high school GPAs for entering freshmen were the highest ever. Sponsored research expenditures for fiscal year 2007 reached a record of more than $274 million.
As of 2007, the university has a total student body of 15,449. In 2007, the average weighted grade point average for students granted admission to the university was 4.2 and the average SAT score was 1275. Sixty-six percent of UM students ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. As of the 2008–09 academic school year, UM's undergraduate tuition (excluding room and board) is $34,834 per year. The current president of UM is former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. The school colors are orange, green and white, representing the fruit, leaves, and blossoms of the orange tree. UM is also home to the Iron Arrow Honor Society, a prestigious and selective honor organization for University of Miami students and the university's highest honor.
In 2004, UM's BankUnited Center (formerly the Convocation Center) was the site of the first nationally televised U.S. presidential debate of the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, featuring President George W. Bush and U.S. Senator John Kerry.
The University of Miami has routinely ranked in the top academic tier of national rankings of colleges and universities. In the 2009 issue of U.S. News & World Reports "America's Best Colleges," the University of Miami is included among the magazine's elite "Top Tier" universities, ranked the 51st most academically prestigious among 254 "National Universities" ranked by the magazine. U.S. News & World Reports 2008 ranking of U.S. medical schools ranked the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine 52nd in the nation. U.S. News & World Reports 2008 ranking of U.S. law schools ranked the University of Miami School of Law 82nd. UM is also one of 146 colleges named a "Best Southeastern College" by the The Princeton Review in its 2006 edition, and the fourth-most diverse student body among all U.S. colleges and universities in its 2007 edition.
In 2006, BusinessWeek included UM's School of Business Administration in its "Top 50" U.S. collegiate business programs, ranking UM the 44th best U.S. undergraduate business program in the nation. The Wall Street Journal, also in 2006, ranked the UM School of Business Administration 14th in its regional ranking category.
For the third year in a row, the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute was ranked the best hospital in the country for ophthalmology in U.S. News and World Report's 2006 survey of “America’s Best Hospitals.
The University of Miami also participates in the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)'s University and College Accountability Network (U-CAN).
Most of the University of Miami's academic programs are located on the main campus in Coral Gables, which houses seven schools and two colleges including the University of Miami School of Law. A few graduate and undergraduate programs are located off of the Coral Gables campus. A partnership with nearby Florida International University also allow UM and FIU students to take graduate classes at either university, allowing graduate students to take a wider variety of courses.
The Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine has its own campus at the University of Miami's Jackson Memorial Medical Center complex in downtown Miami. The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is located on Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay. Several other programs, including bilingual Continuing and International Education classes, are offered at the Koubek Center in Miami's Little Havana, the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami, and the South and Richmond campuses in southwest Miami-Dade county.Undergraduate and Graduate
The UM Department of Community Service, staffed by volunteer medical students and physicians from UM's Leonard M. School of Medicine, provides free medical and other community services in Miami and surrounding communities.
The university's sports teams are nicknamed the "Hurricanes" and compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The university is particularly well known for having the most successful Division I collegiate football program of the past three decades, winning more national championships during this period than any other Division I team. Despite this extraordinary success, however, the program has deteriorated substantially since 2002, with the team failing to make a BCS bowl for four consecutive years and, in 2007, failing to qualify for any bowl game at all. In 2008, the team so far fails to appear among the Associated Press ranking of the nation's top 25 Division I football programs in which it was a mainstay during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s.
Their traditional athletic rivals include the Florida State University Seminoles and the University of Florida Gators. Since 1987, however, the Hurricanes have only played the Florida Gators four times (three times during the regular season and once for a bowl game in the 2004 Peach Bowl).
In order to comply with Title IX equality requirements, the university only fields 15 athletic teams. Men's teams compete in football, baseball, basketball, cross-country, diving, tennis, and track and field. Women's teams compete in basketball, cross-country, diving, golf, rowing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Notably, unlike most Division I universities, UM does not field a men's golf, soccer, or wrestling team and had to dismantle both its men's rowing and men's swimming and diving teams (which had produced a number of Olympic medalists, including Greg Louganis), in order to comply with Title IX.
Team colors are green, orange, and white, representing the three colors of the orange tree. The school mascot is Sebastian the Ibis. The ibis was selected as the school's mascot because, according to university legend, it is the last animal to flee an approaching hurricane and the first to reappear after the storm, making it a symbol of leadership and courage.
The school's athletics logo is a simple green and orange letter "U." Nike is the official supplier of uniforms, apparel, and various athletic equipment to all University of Miami sports teams.
The University of Miami Libraries rank among the top research libraries in North America. The Otto G. Richter Library, the University of Miami's main library, houses collections that serve the arts, architecture, humanities, social sciences, and the sciences. It is a depository for federal and state government publications. Rare books, maps, manuscript collections, and the University of Miami Archives are housed in the Special Collections Division and in the Cuban Heritage Collection
In addition to the Richter Library, the Libraries include facilities that support programs in architecture, business, marine science, and music:
The University also has specialized libraries for medicine and law:
Within the Miller School of Medicine, there are two specialized departmental libraries for ophthalmology and psychiatry that are open to the public:
Combined holdings of the libraries include over 3.1 million volumes, 15,375 print serial subscriptions, 4 million microforms, and access to more than 42,800 e-journals and 479,000 e-books and databases.