Eckerd College is a private liberal arts college in Tampa Bay, Florida. As a liberal arts college, it aims to instil broad knowledge and critical thinking in its students, rather than provide a purely vocational education. Both bachelors of arts and bachelors of science degrees are offered.
Marine Science is a popular major at Eckerd, and its waterfront campus makes for an excellent place to study the Gulf of Mexico up close. It also offers ample opportunity to surf, swim or sunbathe, with warm weather year-round.
Eckerd College’s academic year includes a three week winter term, which is used by many students as a study abroad period. Students have studied the ocean while sailing on a brigantine, learned British history in a 200-year-old London house and been some of the first American students to exchange with Cuban universities. International students from around 40 different countries study at Eckerd each year.
Pets are welcome on campus and in student housing, and many students bring their dog, cat or snake to live with them. “Graduating” pets whose owners are leaving take part in a degree ceremony each year. A veterinarian visits twice a year to provide health checks.
Eckerd College was founded in 1958 by the Presbyterian Church, and was originally known as Florida Presbyterian College. It was renamed in 1971 after it received its largest ever donation from businessman Jack Eckerd. The college’s Center for Spiritual Life is at the core of its religious mission.