The history of higher education in Florida began in 1853 with the establishment of the East Florida Seminary in Ocala, Florida. However, the impact of the Civil War caused the school to quickly close. In 1866, the school reopened in Gainesville, beginning a 150-year journey to become one of the largest, most prestigious schools in the world.
In the early 1900s, the leaders of Gainesville felt it was time to lobby for the creation of the University of Florida we know today. The Gainesville campus opened for registration on Sept. 24, 1906. Classes begin two days later for the 102 students enrolled. Withstanding the struggles that would affect Florida and the nation over the years, including wars, depression, and devastating hurricanes, UF has remained strong and continued its tradition of educational excellence.
Today, UF is a renowned public research university and with a focus on excellence in research, teaching, and technology, has solidified its position as a leader in higher education. That position of leadership in higher education is evident in the reputation of the Master of Arts in Art Education program. The University of Florida has established a premier art graduate school, which is housed in the College of Fine Arts.