Florida State University is a comprehensive, graduate-national research university, based in Tallahassee, Florida.
One of the largest and oldest of the 10 institutions of higher learning in the State University System of Florida, Florida State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
FSU had its beginning with a grant from the Legislature of the State of Florida in a Legislative Act of January 1851, to establish two seminaries of learning on the east and west of the Suwannee River.
Accordingly, by 1854, the City of Tallahassee established a school for boys, known as the Florida Institute.
In 1857, it was taken over by the State as one of the seminaries, as a result of an attempt made by the city, under the leadership of Mayor Francis Eppes.
In 1858, the school absorbed the Tallahassee Female Academy, founded in 1843, and became a co-educational institute.
It then remained as the West Florida Seminary, until the state legislature added the military section and changed its name to The Florida Military and Collegiate Institute in 1863.
In 1901, the school was renamed Florida State College and became a four-year institution with four departments such as the School for Teachers, the School of Music, and the College Academy.
In 1905, the state Legislature reorganized Florida's educational system and consolidated six state institutions into two, with the establishment of the University of Florida in Gainesville as men’s college and transformation of Florida State College to Florida Female College.
Later, the name of the college was changed to Florida State College for Women, in 1909. Demand by returning World War II veterans had brought men back to the campus, in 1946, when the Tallahassee Branch of the University of Florida was founded.
It attained university status in May 1947, when the Governor of Florida signed an act of the Legislature returning Florida State College for Women to co-educational status.
Presently, FSU imparts leading graduate, professional, and undergraduate programs in more than 300 areas of study, through its 17 independent schools and colleges, prominent among them being the College of Law, the College of Medicine, the Debman School of Hospitality, and the School of Theatre.
It is well-regarded for its programs in Business, Creative Writing, Dance, Evolutionary Biology, Information Studies, and Meteorology.
The main campus is located in Tallahassee, near the Florida State Capitol building. FSU has two other campuses, one in Panama City and one in Sarasota.
It also operates an overseas branch campus with degree programs in the Republic of Panama. Further, special summer programs, and distant education facilities are offered.
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, funded by the National Science Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Power Systems, supported by the Office of Naval Research, are some of the cutting-edge research facilities of the FSU.
The largest university complex in the nation, the Ringling Museum in Sarasota is affiliated with the university.
Florida State is also home of the first chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society in the state of Florida.