FILE - University of Florida

An entrance to the University of Florida campus

(The Center Square) – After a two-year hiatus, the University of Miami has rejoined the University of Florida among the nation’s top 50 universities, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s recently released 2021 rankings.

The University of Florida (UF) placed in a tie for 30th among the nation’s top universities, up from 34th last year, and the University of Miami (UM) climbed from 57th in 2020 to tie for 49th, according to the 36th edition of U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of 1,452 U.S. private and public universities.

UF earned high grades for its business, computer science and engineering undergraduate programs and for launching a $70 million artificial intelligence initiative.

“By nearly every measure, UF is continuing to make gains, and I’m thankful to the elected leaders, faculty, staff and supporters of the university who have made that possible,” UF President Kent Fuchs said in a statement.

UM, based in Coral Gables, ranked 53rd in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings and 46th in 2019.

“It’s nice to be back in the top 50,” UM Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeffrey Duerk said.

While UF tied for 30th among all universities, it placed sixth in rankings of public universities, rising from seventh last year to tie the University of California on the 2021 list.

UF Board of Trustees Chairperson Mori Hosseini said the university’s “momentum is unbreakable” in its drive to crack the top five public universities.

“Now is the time to double down, make the final push and carry the ball across the goal line,” he said.

Florida State University (FSU) tied for 19th this year among public universities, compared with 18th last year, giving Florida two of the nation’s top 20 public universities.

FSU, which was 58th among all universities, improved in class sizes and graduation rates of students who receive Pell Grants.

“We continue to make investments to ensure our students have a world-class learning experience, and reducing class sizes helps our students have engaging, active classroom experiences,” FSU Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Sally McRorie said.

The University of South Florida (USF) tied for 46th among public universities, compared with 44th last year, marking its second year among the nation’s top 50 public universities.

USF has rose 54 spots among public universities and 78 spots among all universities in the past 10 years, making it the “fastest rising,” according to the report.

USF was ranked 71st for best value, a category in which UF ranked 116th and FSU 123rd, and 17th among all universities and 12th among public institutions for social mobility, “a ranking based on the enrollment and graduation rates of those who receive Pell Grants, federal subsidies given to low income students,” according to the report.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) ranked 77th among public universities, and Florida International University (FIU) was 95th, placing five of the nation’s top 100 public universities in the state.

UCF ranked 16th in the nation, tying with Cornell University, for “Most Innovative School,” in recognition of 11 graduate certificate programs created in response to the pandemic.

Saint Leo University ranked fourth in best value among universities in the South and was 26th among best regional universities. The University of Tampa was 13th in best regional universities.

Florida A&M University maintained its status as the nation’s highest-ranked historically Black public university, with an overall 117th ranking among the nation’s best universities.