Nova Southeastern University ( NSU ) is a private nonprofit university, with a main campus located on 300 acres (120 ha) in Davie , in the US state of Florida . Formerly referred to as "Nova" and now commonly called "NSU", the university currently consists of 18 colleges and schools offering over 175 programmes of study with more than 250 majors. The university offers professional degrees in law, business, osteopathic medicine , allied health, pharmacy , dentistry , optometry , physical therapy , occupational therapy , and nursing . Nova Southeastern enrolled 24,148 students in the 2014-2015 academic year, [4] and has produced over 164,000 alumni. [6]

The university was founded as the Nova University of Advanced Technology on a former Naval Outlying Landing Field built throughout World War II . [7] The university first offered graduate degrees in the physical and social sciences. [8] Leo Goodwin, Sr. left a $16 million bequest to the university in 1971 which funded its expansion throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1994, the university merged with the Southeastern University of the Health Sciences and assumed its current name.

NSU is classified as a high research and community engaged university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching . [9] The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and additionally has numerous additional specialised accreditation for its colleges and programs. [10] [11]

The NSU Sharks compete in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as members of the Sunshine State Conference . [12]



The university, originally named Nova University of Advanced Technology, was chartered by the state of Florida on December 4, 1964. [13] [14] With an inaugural class of 17 students, [13] the university opened as a graduate school for the social and physical sciences. [15]

The university was originally located on a campus in downtown Fort Lauderdale but later moved to its current campus in Davie, Florida . [16] A portion of the site of this campus was once a naval training airfield throughout World War II , called the "Naval Outlying Landing Field Forman". [7] The remnants of the taxiway surrounding the airfield are still present in the form of roads used on the campus. [17] After World War II, the federal government made a commitment to the Forman family, from whom the land was purchased, that the land would only be used for educational purposes. [17] This led the land to be used for the creation of the South Florida Education Center, which includes Nova Southeastern University, [17] as well as Broward College , Florida Atlantic University , McFatter Technical College , and the University of Florida . [18]


On June 23, 1970, the board of trustees voted to enter into a federation with the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). The president of NYIT, Alexander Schure , Ph.D., became chancellor of Nova University. [20] Abraham S. Fischler became the second president of the university. The university charter was amended and “of Advanced Technology” was dropped from its corporate name. In 1971, Nova University received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). [10]

In 1972, the university introduced its first off-campus course of study in education. In 1974, NSU opened a law school , [21] with an inaugural class of 175 students. [15] The same year, the university began offering evening courses on campus for undergraduates, and changed its name to Nova University. The following year, in 1975, the law school received approval from the American Bar Association . [22]

In 1976, the university received a $16 million gift from the estate of Leo Goodwin Sr. , and began extensive campus and programme expansion.


In 1985, NSU ended its collaboration with New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), and began offering its first online classes. [15]

In 1989, enrollment reached 8,000 students, with nearly 25,000 alumni. Revenue approached $70 million [14] and three new buildings were constructed.


In 1994, Nova University merged with Southeastern University of the Health Sciences to form Nova Southeastern University (NSU), adding the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine , Pharmacy , Optometry and Allied Health to the university. By that time, enrollment increased approximately 42 percent; full-time members of the faculty, staff, and administration expanded to almost 2,600; and minority representation amongst faculty and staff members and students continued to expand.


The William and Norma Horvitz Administration Building, a two storey 62,000-square-foot (5,800 m 2 ) neoclassical structure, was built at a cost of $3 million, [23] [24] which now houses the office of the president and numerous additional administration departments.

In 2001, the Alvin Sherman Library for Research and Information Technology Center was completed and is the largest public library facility in the state of Florida. [25]

In 2004, the Carl DeSantis Building opened, which houses the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences. The building is a 261,000-square-foot (24,200 m 2 ), five-story facility, and cost about $33 million.

In 2006, the 344,600-square-foot (32,010 m 2 ) University Center opened, which includes a 5,400 seat area, a fitness center, a performance theater, art gallery, a food court, and a student lounge. [26]

Five residence halls on the main campus serve undergraduate, graduate, health professions, and law students, with a capacity for housing 720 students in approximately 207,000 square feet (19,200 m 2 ) of living space. In 2007, a 525 bed residence hall opened, called "The Commons". [27]

In 2008, NSU, in partnership with the National Coral Reef Institute and the International Coral Reef Symposium, held the largest coral reef symposium in the world, which included representation from 75 different countries in attendance. [28]


In 2014, NSU opened a new campus in Puerto Rico , [29] with master and doctoral programs. [30]

In April 2015, NSU opened three new colleges, the College of Engineering and Computing, an undergraduate honours college, and the College of Allopathic Medicine. [2] [31]


Nova Southeastern University has a main campus located in Davie, Florida, with several branch campuses throughout the state, and one in Puerto Rico. [32]

Davie Campus

The main campus consists of 314 acres (127 ha) and is located in Davie, Florida . [33] The main campus includes administrative offices, classroom facilities, library facilities (including the Alvin Sherman Library ), health clinics, mental health clinics, Don Taft University Center , residence halls, cafeterias, computer labs, the bookstore, athletic facilities, and parking facilities.

Dania Beach Campus

The Dania Beach Campus is located on 10 acres (4.0 ha) in the John U. Lloyd Beach State Park , and houses the Oceanographic Center . The Dania Beach campus includes the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystems Research. Completed in 2012 at a cost of US$50 million, the Center is the largest research facility dedicated to studying coral reefs in the United States. [34]

North Miami Beach Campus

The North Miami Beach Campus, additionally known as the Southern Campus, is located on 20 acres (8.1 ha) and serves as the main location for the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. The campus serves approximately 5 percent of all NSU students, and consists of five academic buildings, a library, and academic office buildings.

The campus will be home to the new College of Allopathic Medicine, which will be NSU's new MD degree granting program. The new college is expected to welcome its inaugural class in the fall of 2017, and will make Nova Southeastern the first institution in the Southeast to grant both MD and DO medical degrees. This will become South Florida 's fourth traditional (allopathic) medical school.

Student Education Centers

Nova Southeastern operates Student Education Centers and satellite campuses in Fort Myers , Jacksonville , Kendall, FL , Miramar, FL , Orlando , Palm Beach Gardens , Tampa , and Puerto Rico . [32] These centres provide computer labs, videoconferencing equipment, and additional resources for distance students, who aren't located near the main campus. [35] The satellite campuses and student education centres comprise a total of 150 acres (61 ha). All services provided on the main campuses are additionally available at all NSU Student Educational Centers. [36]


The university awards associate's , bachelor's , master's , specialist , doctoral , and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. [37] A total of 65 undergraduate majors are offered at NSU. [38]

Nova Southeastern University has the only college of optometry in the state of Florida, [39] one of three dental schools and one of three pharmacy schools in the state. [40] [5] NSU offers programmes for families on parenting , preschool , primary education , and secondary education , which are provided through the through the Mailman Segal Institute for Early Childhood Studies and the NSU University School. [5] [43]

The Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center is the largest library building in the state of Florida. [25] The library was opened to the public in December 2001, and offers workshops on a variety of topics each semester online and at NSU Campuses.

Health professions division

The Health Professions Division complex, dedicated in June, 1996, is located on 21 acres (8.5 ha) and encompasses over 900,000 square feet (84,000 m 2 ) of buildings. [5] The Health Professions Division includes the colleges of osteopathic medicine, optometry, dentistry, allied health and nursing.

The NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine was the first osteopathic medical school to be established in the Southeastern United States . The College of Osteopathic Medicine is Florida’s only training Center for Bioterrorism and All-Hazards Preparedness (CBAP) and one of several geriatric education centres in Florida.

The NSU College of Pharmacy offers three degree programs. [5]

The NSU College of Optometry offers 2 degree programs, and operates an optometry residency. [5] Optometry students receive training in community, pediatric, primary, environmental and rehabilitative optometry, optics, and health sciences. The programme offers a combination of lectures and clinical experience.

The NSU College of Medical Sciences offers a two-year programme of study leading to a master's degree in Biomedical Sciences. Each student's programme is individually tailored, and includes basic science courses similar to those taken in professional programs. Throughout the second year, students continue their programme of general studies.

The College of Allied Health and Nursing is part of the Health Professions Division.

Other schools, colleges, and centers

NSU's law school is located on the main campus in Davie, Florida. Founded in 1974, the school is named the Shepard Broad Law Center , after university founder Shepard Broad . The Law Center hosts over 1,000 students in both its day and evening programs. There are 50 full-time faculty, and 65 adjunct faculty. The average pass rate for students taking the national bar exam was 66.7 percent. [5]

The H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship is housed in the Carl DeSantis building on the main campus, and offers undergraduate degrees, a masters program, and business certificates programs. [5] The school is a member of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education and is in the initial accreditation phase for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - International (AACSB). [5]

The Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences (GSCIS) is located in the Carl DeSantis building on the main campus.

The Nova Southeastern University Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences is located on the Main Campus in the Maltz building, which is additionally shared with the Center for Psychological Studies.

Nova Southeastern University Center for Psychological Studies was established in 1967, and trains current and future psychologists and counselling professionals, conferring the Psy.D. degree. The Center for Psychological Studies is located in the Maltz building on the main campus.

The Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences offers two graduate degree programmes (writing and experimental psychology), and over 30 undergraduate programs. [5]

The Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine is located on both the main campus in Ft. Lauderdale and on the Kendall campus. This centre actively seeks to advance the science of treatment for individuals with neuro-inflammatory diseases via integration of education, research, and patient care. [51]

The NSU University School

The campus hosts the NSU University School . [43] The University School is a fully accredited, independent, college preparatory school that serves grades Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, and is located on the Davie Campus. This school, most often referred to as just the "University School", is broken up into three academic areas: the lower; middle; and upper schools. These represent, respectively, elementary, middle and high school divisions within the school. [52]


Nova Southeastern University Facts [54] [55]
Fall 2015 Applicants 3,780
Fall 2015 Accepted 58%
Average GPA N/A
Middle fifty percent SAT 1350–1640
Middle fifty percent ACT 20–25 [54]
Graduate Students 19,449 [4]
Undergraduate Students 4,699 [4]
Student:Faculty Ratio 16:1 [4]
Majors Available 65 [38]
Faculty with Terminal Degrees 84%
Retention Rate 74% [4]
Average college loan debt per student $302,125 [56]

Nova Southeastern University is classified as a Doctoral/Research University Carnegie Foundation . [9] About 95 percent of professors at NSU hold doctoral or terminal degrees in their field of pedagogy. NSU is ranked by the Washington Monthly as the 259th best national university. [57]

In 2015, NSU was ranked by The Economist at 290 of 1,275 colleges based on income of graduate, compared to expected income. [58] [59]

In 2000, and again in 2014, Nova Southeastern University was ranked third for highest total debt burden amongst its students. [56] In 2014, students at NSU carried the #1 highest debt load compared to all additional students at non-profit universities. [56]

In 2015, NSU was ranked ninth for diversity by U.S. News & World Report . [60] NSU was ranked eighth by Best College Reviews for diversity. [61]

In 2014 and 2015, NSU awarded more professional doctoral degrees to minorities than any additional university in the nation. [62]

Student life

NSU undergraduate demographics [4]
Asian/Pacific Islander 8%
Black/African American 18%
Hispanic/Latino 33%
Two or more 2%
White/non-Hispanic 32%
Unknown 3%
Non-resident alien 5%

In Fall 2014, 24,148 students were attending Nova Southeastern University, including undergraduates , graduate students , and professional programs. [4] About seventy percent of undergraduate students are female, and thirty percent are male. The average student age is 26 years, and sixteen percent are from out-of-state, while the remaining 84 percent of students are from Florida. [55] About 33 percent of students are Hispanic/Latino, 32 percent are White/non-Hispanic, eighteen percent are black/African American, eight percent are Asian/Pacific Islander, two percent identify as two or more races/ethnicities, and three percent of students are of unknown ethnicity.

The Davie Campus accounted for 92 percent of the student population and one hundred percent of housing students. The North Miami Beach Campus accounted for about five percent of the student population. About twenty percent of students at NSU live in university owned or operated housing. [63]


The Nova Southeastern's Undergraduate Student Government Association is the primary organisation for the government of the undergraduate student body. The Office of Student Activities is responsible for a number of activities on campus, including homecoming, and regular extracurricular activities. [64]

About 7-8% of students are involved in Greek Life system, through either a fraternity or sorority. [65] There are a total of five fraternities on the campus and six sororities on the campus. Beyond Greek Life, another 60 undergraduate organisations are on campus.

The school's student-run newspaper, The Current , is published weekly. [66] There is additionally a school-sponsored radio station called WNSU RADIO X which broadcasts in the evenings and weekends on 88.5 FM WKPX , a station owned by Broward County Public Schools ; Radio X airs from 6pm to midnight every night, and around the clock on [67]


NSU residence halls Year built Students
The Commons 2007 501
Cultural Living Center 1984 125
Farquhar Hall NA 55
Founders Hall NA 55
Leo Goodwin, Sr. Hall 1992 292
Rolling Hills Apartments 2008 373
Vettel Hall NA 55
Total - 1,529

1,529 students or about five percent of the Nova student population lives in on-campus residence halls. The newest residence hall is the Rolling Hills Apartments, which opened in 2008. [68] Rolling Hills Apartments is a renovated residence hall that was originally the "Best Western Rolling Hills Resort." This residence hall is for graduate and doctoral students. The oldest dorms, Farquhar, Founders, and Vettel, each house 55 students.


The NSU Sharks compete in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as members of the Sunshine State Conference . [12] [69] Nova Southeastern University offers 17 intercollegiate athletic programmes consisting of ten women's and seven men's teams. Women's sports include basketball, cross country , golf , rowing , soccer , softball , swimming and diving , tennis, track , and volleyball . Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, track and field, soccer, swimming, and diving. [70]

Since joining the NCAA in 2002, [69] the NSU Sharks have produced several NCAA All-Region selections and NCAA All-Americans, and have been nationally ranked in numerous sports. The NSU Sharks have won four straight championships in women's golf from 2009 to 2012. In 2016, for the first time in school history, the NSU baseball team won the Division II National Championship. [8]

Many athletic events at NSU take place at University Center Arena . In 2005, students voted for a new school mascot, and the student body selected the Sharks. NSU's athletic teams had previously been known as the Knights. [8]

Student series

Several projects have been established that allow students to voluntarily listen to speakers brought in from outside the campus.

The Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences hosts the Distinguished Speakers Series , which brings experts and notable persons from diverse fields to the campus. [73] Past speakers have included Salman Rushdie , Prime Minister Ehud Barak , Film Maker Spike Lee , Maziar Bahari , Bob Woodward , Elie Wiesel , Paul Bremer , Dr. Jack Kevorkian , Desmond Tutu , and Tenzin Gyatso, The fourteenth Dalai Lama . [73]

The Life 101 series brings leaders from business, entertainment, politics and athletics to Nova Southeastern University to share their life accomplishments and “life lessons” learned. Past speakers have included Dwayne Johnson , Wayne Huizenga , Vanessa L. Williams , Dan Abrams , Jason Taylor , Michael Phelps , James Earl Jones , Janet Reno , Alyssa Milano , and Ivanka Trump . [8]

The Power Lunch series brings in local professionals and companies for a formal lunch and learn setting, which is supported by the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship. The series is for all students of the Huizenga School and is promoted to help learn about working in the corporate setting as well as a networking tool for the students. Past speakers and companies have included Geico , BankAtlantic , Miami Heat , Florida Panthers , Miami Dolphins , T. Boone Pickens , Wayne Huizenga , DHL , Samuel DiPiazza , Frederick Henderson , and additional local South Florida companies. [8] [8] [8]


Notable alumni

NSU has produced over 164,000 alumni, [6] who live in all 50 US States, and over 110 countries worldwide. [78] Alumni work in various fields, including academia, government, research, and professional sports.


George L. Hanbury II is the sixth and current president of Nova Southeastern University, and assumed the position of president in January 2010.

President Tenure
Warren J. Winstead 1964–1969
Abraham S. Fischler 1970–1991
Stephen Feldman 1992–1993
Ovid C. Lewis 1994–1997
Ray F. Ferrero Jr. 1998–2009
George L. Hanbury II 2010–present


Nova Southeastern University is classified as an "R2: Doctoral Universities - Higher Research Activity" in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Carnegie Foundation . [9]

In 2014, NSU received $37.5 million to research the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. [8] NSU conducts research on coral reefs, partially funded by a $15 million federal grant. [8]


The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and additionally has numerous additional specialised accreditations for its colleges and programs. [10] [11] The Center for Psychological Studies is accredited by the American Psychological Association and the Florida Department of Education . [11] [81] [82] The NSU University School is accredited by the Florida Kindergarten Council, [83] the Florida Council of Independent Schools, and AdvancED. [84]