About University of Florida UF is a major, public, comprehensive, land-grant, research university. The state's oldest, largest and most comprehensive university, Florida is among the nation's most academically diverse public universities. Florida has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service. It is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that belongs to the Association of American Universities. History In 1853, the state-funded East Florida Seminary took over the Kingsbury Academy in Ocala. The seminary moved to Gainesville in the 1860s and later was consolidated with the state's land-grant Florida Agricultural College, then in Lake City. In 1905, by legislative action, the college became a university and was moved to Gainesville. Classes first met with 102 students on the present site on Sept. 26, 1906. UF officially opened its doors to women in 1947. With more than 50,000 students, Florida is now one of the five largest universities in the nation.