Innovation Academy

The University of Florida Innovation Academy (IA) was developed to equip students with the 21st-century skills needed to thrive in an innovative culture. IA is an undergraduate Spring/Summer program that teaches innovation through an Innovation minor embedded in many majors across seven colleges, and offers vast co-curricular experiences which include a living-learning community.

Employers, thinkers, and leaders must evolve rapidly to keep up with the ever-changing international community. The modern job market seeks interdisciplinary individuals that welcome change, embrace creativity, and venture into the unknown. Our quality of life, economic growth, and access to affordable technology depend on our commitment to innovation. 

Students select from over 30 UF majors and earn their degree with a minor in Innovation. The IA academic calendar operates on a Spring-Summer schedule, providing students the opportunity to enjoy Fall co-curricular activities, pursue internships, study abroad, or enjoy the break at home.

Innovation Minor

The exclusive minor curriculum focuses on entrepreneurship, design, creativity, collaboration, leadership, ethics, prototyping, and innovation. Learn strategic risk-taking, experiment with rapid prototyping, collaborate with experts and peers, and earn a competitive edge in your career.


These courses examine the dynamics of creativity, discovery, and invention across disciplines. Students learn problem identifying and solving skill through design thinking.


Course provides a grounding in ethical theory and practice, in careful reasoning about moral issues, with a focus on changes and their consequences.


Courses teach entrepreneurial thought and action that students can utilize in starting companies or executing R&D projects in large companies.


Students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to move an innovation from creation to implementation.



The Innovation Academy (IA) seeks to admit a highly motivated and academically superior incoming class. IA facilitates participation in focused interactions and small group experiences that explore the dimensions of innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, ethics, and leadership.

Application Process

Any prospective UF freshman can apply to the Innovation Academy Program as part of the University of Florida application. To apply to the Innovation Academy, freshman applicants should indicate interest in the Innovation Academy on their UF undergraduate admissions application. There is also an additional short essay on the UF application for students interested in IA. 
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Please note that the decision to apply or not apply for UF IA has no impact on the general UF admissions decision.

The Office of Admissions considers all applicants for the IA admission, Summer B admission and Fall admission. After their admission decisions are made, the Office of Admissions makes only one offer for the student to accept: IA, Summer B, or Fall.

Please visit the Office of Admissions  for more information for students interested in applying to UF, and being part of the Innovation Academy. Prospective students may also benefit from reading through the FAQs.

When to Apply

To apply to the Innovation Academy, freshman applicants should indicate interest in the Innovation Academy on their UF undergraduate admissions application. There is an additional short essay on the UF application for students interested in IA. Even though IA students officially start in the Spring, they still need to complete the UF application on the same schedule as students applying for UF’s standard Fall/Spring program. Freshman applications for the University of Florida are available online beginning in August and are typically due November 1.
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Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Decision notifications are released in February for all first-year students. The Office of Admissions website has more information regarding specific dates and application deadlines for freshmen.
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Who Should Apply

Students interested in the Innovation Academy should have a strong desire for:

  • Expert and peer collaboration
  • Multidisciplinary learning (Arts, Humanities, and Science)
  • Trial & error (rapid prototyping)
  • Creating
  • Strategic risk-taking

Innovation Academy enrolls students in a select group of majors. The majors IA supports are always growing, and as the program grows more will be added over time.

Our program offers a Decision Tool chart to help students make an informed decision on applying to Innovation Academy.
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International Students are not currently eligible for participation in the Innovation Academy.

Transfer Students

The UF colleges that participate in the Innovation Academy admit highly qualified transfer students who have completed an Associate in Arts degree at a Florida public community or state college.

Students seeking admission from other universities or out-of-state schools may be considered for admission on a space-available basis. Transfer students are only admitted to Innovation Academy for the Spring semester. Students who transfer to IA will attend UF on Innovation Academy’s Spring/Summer schedule until the completion of their degree program. This allows IA students the Fall semester to seek out opportunities.


Agricultural and Life Sciences, College of

Agricultural Education and Communication

The Department of Agricultural Education and Communication aims to serve society by advancing individuals and organizations in agriculture and natural resources through research and evidence-based practice in education, communication, and leadership.

Communication and Leadership Development & Innovation Minor 

For entry into agribusiness and communication positions related to human resource development, corporate training and development, political interests, and agricultural literacy.


The Biology major develops fundamental knowledge of animals, plants, and microorganisms. The four specializations offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are tailored to meet the needs of preprofessional students, those preparing for graduate studies in biology or specialized areas such as bioinformatics, ecology, genetics, and molecular biology, and those seeking a career in biotechnology, education, natural resource management, and environmental or biotechnology law.

Applied Biology 

For students interested in learning how fundamental biology is applied to solving problems. This specialization provides exposure to the major issues facing sustainability of human populations and natural resources.


For careers where knowledge of molecular biology and genetic engineering are important. Students have the opportunity to learn various techniques and scientific procedures in molecular biology, virology, bioengineering, cell and tissue culture, and bioinformatics.

Natural Science 

For students interested in descriptive and interpretive biology, with an emphasis on field biology. The specialization provides exposure to the major forms of flora and fauna and integrates some of the major elements that influence flora and fauna, namely soil/water relations and human activities.


For students preparing for admission to medical, dental, optometry, veterinary, or other professional schools.

Entomology and Nematology

Entomology and Nematology are biological sciences dealing with insects, mites, ticks, spiders, and nematodes. The Department of Entomology and Nematology offers six specializations within the major.


Receive instruction in biosecurity emphasizing areas of entomology, nematology, plant pathology, and weed science. The curriculum focuses on the study of invasive species, including their detection, identification, exclusion, regulation, and management.


For professional careers in the ecotourism industry and is appropriate for employment with nature preserves, nature-based theme parks, and in natural history education or nature-based recreation.


Provides preparation for programs in medicine, dentistry, optometry, veterinary, chiropractic, osteopathy, and podiatry.

Urban Pest Management 

For entry to the pest control industry. Students receive instruction about arthropods, nematodes, plant diseases, and weeds with reference to the pest problems in residential and commercial property.

Biological Science of Insects

Includes the study of insects, mites, ticks, spiders, and nematodes. These creatures can have both helpful and harmful effects on our food, environment, and health. Entomology and Nematology students study ecology, medically significant arthropods, social insects, insect management, physiology, behavior, evolution, natural ecosystem cycles, and systematics.

Business, Warrington College of


The Bachelor of Science in Accounting is a four-year degree program that provides an excellent foundation in accounting and business. Its conceptual focus is designed to prepare students for success in a constantly evolving business environment and to prepare students for graduate studies.

Business Administration | General Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration | General Studies degree provides a broad overview of the functional areas of business with a selected area of specialization. Students take foundation courses in economics, mathematics, computing skills, and accounting; core courses that relate to the basic functions of business, such as finance, management, marketing and operations management; and area of specialization courses that focus on a specific topic, such as international studies, mass communication, criminology science, or a foreign language.


The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration | Finance degree program provides a broad overview of the functional areas of business with an emphasis in Finance. Students take foundation courses in economics, mathematics, computing skills, and accounting; core courses that relate to the basic functions of business, such as finance, management, marketing, and operations management; and major courses that develop students’ financial decision-making skills.

Information Systems

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration | Information Systems degree program provides a broad overview of the functional areas of business with an emphasis in information systems. Students take foundation courses in economics, mathematics, computing skills, and accounting; core courses that relate to the basic functions of business, such as finance, management, marketing and operations management; and major courses that focus on the computing, quantitative, and application skills that are vital to a business problem-solving setting.


The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration | Management degree program provides a broad overview of the functional areas of business with an emphasis in management. Students take foundation courses in economics, mathematics, computing skills, and accounting; core courses that relate to the basic functions of business, such as finance, management, marketing and operations management; and major courses that focus on the behavioral and organizational problems of management.


The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration | Marketing degree program provides a broad overview of the functional areas of business with an emphasis in marketing. Students take foundation courses in economics, mathematics, computing skills, and accounting; core courses that relate to the basic functions of a business, such as finance, management, marketing and operations management; and major courses that teach students how to plan and execute the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of products and manage customer relationships in ways that benefit organizations and their stakeholders.

Design, Construction and Planning, College of

Sustainability and the Built Environment

The Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and the Built Environment allows students to explore creative solutions for the planning, design, and construction of human structures and settlements. 

Education, College of 

Education Sciences

The Education Sciences major promotes an understanding of education and learning systems, policy, and outcomes in traditional and non-traditional contexts. This degree prepares individuals for a variety of career paths and for graduate school.

Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of

Computer Science

The Computer Science program combines a strong engineering-oriented technical basis with a flexible interdisciplinary component and an emphasis on communication skills. This flexibility will be increasingly important in the future as computers become more important tools in an ever-increasing number of disciplines.

Digital Arts and Sciences

The Digital Arts and Sciences degree is a core computer science degree with special emphasis on human-centered computing, which includes art, design, and computing courses that are related to digital media, interaction and communication. Graduates will be well-versed in issues and solutions for basic art techniques and graphic art design as well as modeling 3D virtual worlds.

Journalism and Communications, College of 


Advertising Agency 

Curriculum emphasizes skills that are necessary for entry-level positions in an advertising agency and is designed to provide a foundation for advancement to positions of leadership in these organizations. This specialization introduces the concepts and skills needed to prepare for careers in account management, account planning, media planning, research, art direction, and copywriting. All students in the Advertising Campaigns course are required to complete a program-level assessment.

Persuasive Messaging 

Curriculum focuses on the skill set required to engage media audiences through the use of strategic, persuasive communications. The specialization emphasizes the concepts and application of audience and media analytics, advertising sales, brand storytelling, and message persuasion. The specialization prepares students for careers in a broad array of industries and organizations.


The Department of Journalism consistently ranks among the best journalism programs in the country. It is housed in a college professionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The department’s mission is to teach the art and craft of journalism and to foster an appreciation for accuracy, fairness, truth and diversity.

Public Relations

Public Relations

Public Relations is designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs as technicians (for example, producing news releases), as well as for career advancement as managers (for example, formulating communication strategy for a new initiative). Excellent writing skills are essential.

Public Interest Communications

Corporate Communications

Media Production, Management, and Technology

The Department of Media Production, Management, and Technology consistently ranks among the top five in the United States and is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Media and Society 

Focuses on the theories, methods and techniques used to play, produce and distribute audio and video programs and messages; personnel and facilities management; marketing and distribution; media regulations, law and policy; and principles of broadcast technology. It prepares individuals to work in media organizations and those organizations that use electronic media, such as political campaigns, government, education and business.

Digital Film and Television Production 

Prepares students for careers in program creation, writing and the creative applications of video and audio technology.

Management and Strategy 

Prepares students to enter the profession through positions in research, sales, and marketing and promotion.

Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of 

African American Studies

 The primary emphasis of the African American Studies program is to educate students about the theories and methodologies pertaining to the study of African Americans. Students will be able to compare and contrast the experiences of people of African descent in the US to those in the wider African Diaspora. They will also learn through participation in community-service activities. After obtaining a degree in African American studies, students can seek careers as archivists, attorneys, civil rights professionals, community organizers, government employees, librarians, public policy professionals, professors, teachers, and researchers.


Anthropology is the study of people in their cultural context and the examination of all aspects of patterned social behavior. The discipline is worldwide in scope and encompasses all aspects of human biological and social life from earliest times to the present. It is a broad, holistic field that seeks to understand human adaptation to natural and social environments.

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science


The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a biology major that allows students to develop a broad, integrative background in the biological sciences.


For students who wish to pursue admission to professional healthcare graduate programs.


Chemistry is often called the central science because of the pivotal role it plays in the biological and physical sciences, and in engineering, agriculture, medicine and allied health disciplines. Bachelor's degree chemists choose from diverse paths for their short-term and lifetime careers, including graduate study in a variety of programs, rewarding employment in industry or government laboratories, professional or law school, or much-needed teaching in high schools.


Undergraduate study in English prepares students for diverse careers in law, publishing, advertising, media and business, teaching and advanced degree work. Courses offered by the department introduce students to a world of experiences that cannot be exhausted in the brief span of a college education; new authors, new works, new media, and new tools for understanding continually enlarge and transform the world.


Geography is the science of place, space, and environment. Each place on earth is distinguished by a unique mix of natural resources, cultural practices, and socioeconomic and political systems. Geographers study what makes each place unique, as well as the connections and interactions between places.

Geography | BA

Best suited for students interested in careers in urban and regional planning, business geography, medical geography, and geographic education, or for students who want a broad overview of the discipline with a focus on human geography.

Environmental Geosciences | BA

A joint program between the Department of Geography and the Department of Geological Sciences and is intended for students interested in land and water aspects of the environment. The degree focuses on human impacts, water and mineral resource exploitation and management, disasters, environmental planning, earth science education, or environmental law.

Medical Geography in Global Health | BA

Intended for students interested in social and cultural aspects of medical geography and global health and disease issues. The degree focuses on human impacts, cultural and social aspects of health and disease, and public health planning and management.

Medical Geography in Global Health | BS

Best suited for someone who wishes to pursue a career in public or animal health or disease management or graduate work in medical geography, public health or related natural sciences, including ecology, biology, or epidemiology/public health. This specialization offers the flexibility for students to prepare for admission to health professions programs.


The history department fosters a learning experience that stands apart from newer modes of instruction at large universities. Amid the shift to larger classes, televised lectures and machine-gradable exams, history faculty have chosen to follow a more traditional path. The department’s emphasis on small courses, analytical reading, lively debate and interpretative writing offers committed students unique rewards. It also comes with high expectations.


Studying mathematics develops such skills as critical thinking, oral and written communication, arguing logically and rigorously, thinking abstractly, formulating and solving problems, analyzing data, analyzing mathematical models, quantitative and computer proficiency, and the ability to work in groups. Employers value these skills; consequently, math majors find themselves in demand by employers for careers in a wide spectrum of fields.

Political Science

The Political Science major is intended for students who wish to pursue a career in or near the public sector. Students take coursework in areas as diverse as American and comparative politics, political theory, international relations, public policy, and public administration.


Psychology is the science of human and animal behavior. Psychology majors receive a broad science-based liberal arts education. As a result, those with a BS in psychology are widely sought in business, education and mental health fields. For a professional career in psychology, a graduate degree is needed.

General Psychology 

Requires courses in four core areas within the discipline as well as elective psychology courses.

Behavior Analysis 

Focuses more specifically on natural science-oriented psychology courses and how the environment around an organism can be modified to change behavior.

Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience 

Focuses on natural science-oriented psychology courses and allows students to take limited approved non-psychology courses relevant to contemporary neuroscience.


Sociology is the study of social life and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists examine the structure of groups, organizations and societies and how people interact within these contexts. Sociologists use diverse research methods and many unique perspectives to analyze virtually any social issue.

Innovation Minor

Additional Minors and Certificates

Innovation Academy students are not limited to only completing the Innovation Minor. These minors and certificates may be completed by students enrolled full-time during the Spring and Summer semesters.

Students who choose to pursue an additional minor must complete the application to add a minor.
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Agricultural and Life Sciences, College of

Arts, College of the

Business, Warrington College of

Design, Construction and Planning, College of

Education, College of 

Health & Human Performance, College of

Journalism and Communications, College of 

Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of 


There are many students in the IA program who plan to go on to a graduate program in the health professions such as medical school, dental school, or one of the many other health profession programs available. Students are encouraged to explore all options if they are interested in a career in the health professions.

What Major Should be Chosen?

Professional schools have no preference for any particular type of major. While students can be almost any major and be pre-health, there are a few IA majors that include some or all of the required prerequisite courses that students may wish to consider.

These majors include, but are not limited to:

  • Biology | Preprofessional
  • Chemistry
  • Entomology
  • Plant Science

Regardless of the major, it’s important to work closely with academic advisors to develop a plan for the completion of your major, the IA minor, and pre-health prerequisite courses.

What are the prerequisite courses?

Most professional schools including medical, dental, veterinary, optometry, and pharmacy require at a minimum:

Please refer to the Prerequisite chart on the pre-health website for additional requirements for each profession. For additional pre-health forms and handouts please visit the Academic Advising Center. Students should also check the requirements for the individual schools to which they may be applying.

What are some things pre-health students in the IA program should consider?

  • Use Fall semesters to get in-depth volunteer or shadowing experiences. If the student is in their hometown, it is a great opportunity to shadow a family physician (dentist, veterinarian, etc.) or volunteer in a local hospital or assisted-living facility. Shadowing professionals in different areas of healthcare allows exploration of all of available options.
  • Consider studying abroad in a future Fall semester. Health-care professionals need to be culturally competent and living abroad for a semester can teach about other cultures, practice language skills, and enhance a student's world view.
  • Attend the Pre-Health session at Preview, watch the Pre-Health 101 workshop on the Pre-Health website, and join the Pre-Health listserv.
  • Meet with a Pre-Health advisor in the Academic Advising Center during the first Spring term. They can help students develop an academic plan that includes the prerequisite courses for their profession.