Graduate Schools in Florida: PhD & Masters Programs

The land of palm trees and manatees is home to the most visited tourist destination in America (Disney!) and no matter where you reside in the sunshine state, you’re never more than 60 miles from the Atlantic.

The beautiful weather and laid-back beach culture makes Florida a bright option for those looking for sun, sand and graduate schools with a water view. Start here to learn about living and studying in sunny Florida!

Popular Graduate Degree Programs in Florida

ProgramInstitutionDegree Awarded
Oriental MedicineAcupuncture and Massage CollegeMS
MSN - Nurse EducatorPurdue University GlobalMSN
Game Design MSFull Sail UniversityMS
Business Administration, MBA - Health Services AdministrationKeiser UniversityN/A
M.S.N. - RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Family Nurse PractitionerSouth UniversityN/A
Developmental Disabilities, M.S. – Child Life SpecialistNova Southeastern UniversityMS
Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy - Medical Family Therapy Northcentral UniversityPhD
M.Ed. in Elementary Education (NITL)Grand Canyon UniversityMEd
Endorsement Prep. Program in ELL (PreK-12)Western Governors UniversityN/A
Master - Healthcare Administration and ManagementColorado State University GlobalN/A
Ph.D. in PsychologyMeridian UniversityPhD
MBA - Nonprofit Leadership ConcentrationRockhurst UniversityMBA
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Why Go to Grad School in Florida?

Florida offers a rare mix of outdoor opportunities and glamorous city life where you can study entertainment, media and art in cities like Miami and Tampa or choose a more intimate program in a smaller seaside town like Dania Beach. The plethora of airports attracts grad students from around the world, and makes traveling to and from the state an easy advantage.

Additionally, Florida’s economy is expected to reach $1 trillion in 2018, a number greater than that of all but 15 countries. And the unemployment rate is at just 3.9%, below the national average of 4.1%, so there could be many opportunities for employment. Knowing the occupations employing the largest number of people in the Sunshine State could help guide your decision about which graduate degree to pursue.  

Top 7 Occupations in Florida

Requiring a Post-Secondary Degree

Professions with the highest employment in Florida

Whether you need help deciding what degree to pursue, or just want to get a feel for
professions with the highest employment in Florida , the table below should be helpful.

  • Registered Nurses
  • General and Operations Managers
  • Business Operations Specialists, All Other
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education
  • Lawyers
  • Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

These results were reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information see the OES May 2017 State Data Report.

Live and Learn in Florida

Can you have it all? These five Florida gems represent with their range of exciting city amenities, beach access and multiple options for university graduate programs:


Miami is a multi-cultural resort town rich in history, art and opulence. The city and surrounding neighborhoods extend between the Florida Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east. Miami’s famous Art Deco district is made up of hundreds of hotels, apartments and structures built during the iconic era. South Beach, anchored by a vibrant collection of brightly-painted lifeguard stations, is 2.5-square-miles of open-air restaurants, chic hotels and nightlife. Most recently, the Deco-inspired Faena hotel and surrounding Faena District has brought a new wave of modern art and architecture to the city. As projects like the Faena District continue to keep Miami a desirable destination, the town has become a playground for celebrities and world-class festival including Art Basel. Naturally, graduate studies in hospitality, design and entertainment draw interest from students around the world.


Jacksonville is the most populated city in the state. Located just north of Miami along the St. Johns River, the cityscape is a mix of preserved historic architecture—some buildings from 1902—to skyscrapers and new modern development. Jacksonville’s convenient location has made the city a hub for transportation and distribution and the town boasts a strong military presence. Jacksonville offers 22 miles of beach, the largest urban park system in the country and unexpected art in public places like the mural at the Jacksonville Main Library. The “River City by the Sea” has attracted major corporations including Amazon and Mercedes-Benz USA to open locations here.


Tampa is a decidedly metropolitan area on the Gulf Coast and the second largest city in the state. The interesting landscape features high-rises and skyscrapers in downtown and historical landmarks from the early 1900s in the Ybor City district. Like many coastal towns in Florida, Tampa's climate is hot and humid in the summer with frequent thunderstorms and mild winters. On nice days, the 2.4-mile Riverwalk is teeming with people heading from downtown to the public market, Florida Aquarium and Tampa Bay History Center. Or take a ride on the TECO Streetcar, which connects downtown to Channelside, Amalie Arena and Ybor City.

Palm Beach

Palm Beach has a storied charm that extends from its historic mansions to the upscale shopping on Worth Avenue. Situated on an 18-mile-long barrier island along the Intracoastal Waterway dotted with towering palm trees (which inspired the name), Palm Beach is the easternmost town in Florida. While cost of living is on the affluent side, the tight-knit community and waterfront residences have made Palm Beach a desirable place to live and play.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale requires two things: sunscreen and a sea-loving spirit. The town is famous for its sandy beaches, and abundance of water activities including gondola rides through the historic riverfront, the brick-paved beachfront promenade, scuba and snorkeling adventures and airboat tours through the swamp (look for gators!). The famous luxury shopping on Las Olas Boulevard is surrounded by mansions and yachts on Millionaires Row.

Explore Graduate Schools in Florida

Here’s a list of five sponsored graduate schools in Florida. Check out the directory for more options.

  1. Florida Atlantic
  2. Jacksonville University
  3. Nova
  4. Full Sail University
  5. University of Tampa 

The Floridian lifestyle lends to a diverse range of graduate school options. And the state’s melding of cultures also influences continuing education. From tourism to foreign language programs to environmental education, here are some top options to study from our partner grad schools.

Popular Graduate Schools in Florida

Program School Degree Type

Business Intelligence

Full Sail University



Digital Media

Lynn University


Campus and Online

Healthcare Leadership

Union Institute and University



Family Nurse Practitioner

South University

Post Graduate Certificate



University of Tampa



Computer Science

Nova Southeastern University

M.S., Ph.D.

Campus and Online

Applied Behavior Analysis

Florida Institute of Technology


Campus and Online

Business Administration

Jacksonville University


Campus and Online

Leadership Studies in Education

Saint Leo University


Campus and Online

Information Technology

American InterContinental

M.I.T. (Master of Information Technology)

Campus and Online

Hospitality and Tourism Management

With the influx of residents and visitors to the sunshine state every year, it’s no surprise that Florida is a great option for educational opportunities focused on how to keep people satisfied in their choice of property and destination. At Florida International University, the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is ranked one of the top hospitality management schools in the U.S. thanks to faculty members with strong credentials and executive-level industry experience. The course is only offered on-campus, but the reputation behind FIU may fast-track career advantages in the international hotel, foodservice and tourism industries: More than 100 hospitality and tourism companies visit FIU every year to hire new graduates for management positions.

Compare to the on-campus, Master of Science in Entertainment Business degree at Full Sail University. Described as an advanced exploration of the business and management skill needed to lead in the entertainment field, students learn financial planning and strategies from top executive including formal business plan development and contract negotiation.

Environmental Education

Florida is a haven for park lovers and coastal enthusiasts. At Florida Atlantic University, the graduate resident program consists of two years of course work, teaching, developing environmental education program and working at the Pine Jog Environment Education Center. At the end of the program, students will earn a Master’s in Curriculum with an emphasis in Environmental Education. Compare to the Master’s Environmental Science program at Florida Gulf Coast University which also has a strong emphasis on sustainability and involves an integrated study of uplands, wetlands, estuaries and coastal systems, environmental education and public outreach.

Marine and Coastal Sciences

At Nova Southeastern University in Dania Beach, students at the Oceanographic Center conduct research on a variety of marine issues ranging from physical oceanography to coral reefs. The on-campus program can be done in less than two years. Or consider the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science—one of the largest oceanographic facilities in the U.S. Established in 1943, the Rosenstiel School started as the Marine Laboratory for the University of Miami and has since expanded from a humble boathouse to one the nation’s leading options for oceanographic and atmospheric education and research. The school offers courses in all things ocean: marine and atmospheric chemistry, marine geology and geophysics, ocean acoustics, ocean engineering, applied marine physics, physical oceanography, satellite oceanography, meteorology, marine biology and fisheries, biochemistry, marine biomedicine, marine biotechnology and marine affairs and management. Graduate studies include Master of Science, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.


For those looking to work in the media in Europe, Latin America or the United States, the Spanish-Language Journalism program at Jacksonville University focuses on the writing, critical thinking, analytic and ethical skills necessary for a professional career in the communications field. At Lynn University in Boca Raton, the on-campus Master of Science in Media Studies and Practice offers hands-on experience in editing, designing and video production. Perks include:

  • A television producer who’s worked with Fox and the Oprah Winfrey Network
  • A former international radio and TV reporter, producer and presenter
  • A video, animation and 3D graphics expert
  • A Fulbright scholar specializing in international advertising
  • A widely published scholar and past editor of Women’s Studies in Communication

Fun Fact

The sports drink Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where the drink was first developed.

Pro Florida Sports

There’s a lot to cheer for in the Sunshine State: Florida has three teams in the National Football League: the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The National Basketball League: Miami Heat and Orlando Magic. The Major League Baseball teams include the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning for the National Hockey League.

Did you know?

Islamorada is an angler’s paradise and knowns as the Sports fishing Capital of the World.

Nature Lovers Wanted

You may want to put your Netflix account on hold considering all the unspoiled islands, wetlands, marshes, beaches and preserves available to explore in Florida. Here, five favorites:

  1. For divers: The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: The park protects some 2,900 nautical miles surrounding the Keys. While the reef is protected, you are free to swim, dive and snorkel among the world’s third largest barrier reef, 6,000 species of marine life, shipwrecks and mangrove-fringed island.
  2. For walking: Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail: As part of Florida’s Rails to Trails initiative, the popular 16-mile path winds through the Payne’s Prairie Preserve for walkers, joggers, cyclists and the occasional horse.
  3. For hiking: Pinellas Trail: Deemed as the longest urban linear trail in the eastern U.S., this 47-mile trek connects St. Petersburg with Central and North Pinellas County. Biking welcome.
  4. For cyclists: Abbey Hanna Park: Jacksonville has more than 80,000 acres of parks, including 10 national parks and a national preserve. At Abbey Hanna, 20-miles of mixed-use trails meander past cabin rentals, a freshwater lake and access to beaches where you may spot egrets, osprey and manatees.
  5. For tours: The Florida Everglades: The Sawgrass Recreational Park offers airboat excursions into the thick of the swamp among endangered wildlife and native species. Turtles, iguanas and Florida alligators call this subtropical ecosystem home. They also host a nighttime tour appropriately called Gator Nights.

Did you know?

The Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art in Coral Gables is the first and only museum in the United States dedicated to the preservation, diffusion and promotion of Hispanic and Latin American Art.

Choose a Grad School in Florida

Feel like you’re one Jimmy Buffet song away from becoming a true Floridian? If Florida may be a good fit for your professional goals,browse the programs below or use the filter up top to get started!

  • No application fee for April & June terms
  • Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
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