Florida International University (FIU) in Greater Miami was established in 1972 on the base of an abandoned airfield.
It was Miami’s first public research university and its first intake of more than 5,500 students was the largest opening day enrolment of any American higher education institution in history.
Today it serves close to 55,000 students, is one of the largest public universities in the United States and is the nation’s top university for awarding BA and MA degrees to Hispanic students.
It consists of two main campuses: one in Modesto Maidique, which is the original home of FIU, and another in Biscayne Bay, overlooking the North Miami bay.
The university also has satellite centres throughout South Florida, and overseas in Tianjin, China, and in Nervi and Genoa in Italy. Through the MICEFA programme, students at FIU are able to participate in study abroad schemes in Paris, France.
FIU also operates the Aquarius Reef Base, an ocean laboratory located 63 feet below sea level in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
The university offers 68 baccalaureate programmes, 91 master’s and specialist programmes, 31 research doctorate programmes, and four professional doctorate programmes.
Its library system is made up of six individual libraries and holds more than two million books, over 160,000 journals, with access to 822 databases and over 50,000 digital collections.
With an alumni network of over 200,000, notable people affiliated with the university include actor Andy Garcia, ex-Mayor of Miami Manny Diaz, NBA basketball player Carlos Arroyo, and author Carlos Alvarado-Larroucau.
FIU’s athletic teams are named the Panthers, their mascot is Roary the Panther and the teams' colours are blue and gold.