Florida Polytechnic University is the newest university in the State University System of Florida. It is also Florida’s only public university wholly dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Florida Poly, which opened for classes in August 2014, provides students with hands-on learning, applied research opportunities, industry connections and the ability to work on real-world problems under the guidance of distinguished faculty with experience in both industry and academia.
Florida Poly’s curriculum focuses on the core STEM subjects of Technology and Engineering and includes both undergraduate and master’s degree programs. Courses are designed to prepare 21st-century students for employment and entrepreneurship in high-demand technology fields.
The campus is located in Lakeland, Fla. off I-4 at the heart of Florida’s High Tech Corridor. The campus is distinguished by the iconic Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building, designed by world-renowned architect Dr. Santiago Calatrava. Crowned by operable louvers that shift throughout the day to shade its top-floor atrium from the sun, the energy-efficient structure is the primary classroom building and a hub of activity. In addition to 26 classrooms, the IST has 11 innovation labs including a supercomputer, 3D printing lab, cyber security lab, nanotechnology lab and an all-digital library. These technology-rich resources combined with Florida Poly’s rigorous curriculum enable students to excel in the classroom and graduate well prepared to become high-tech leaders in Florida, the nation and around the globe. Learn more about the university.
Florida Polytechnic University is located in Lakeland, Fla., which is in Polk County, along the I-4 High Tech Corridor halfway between Orlando and Tampa. As its name suggests, the community features many lakes, giving it a natural beauty and a vibrant waterfront culture.
Florida Poly students have the opportunity to explore all that Lakeland offers, starting with biking along Lake Hollingsworth or catching a movie at the Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre. In the heart of downtown, students can attend the First Friday Food Truck Rally, which features samples of delicious cuisine from over 20 different vendors.
Seasonally, Lakeland hosts several festivals and public events including: shows, comedy skits, movies, and more. EventFul is a source that students can utilize to find current events, shows and productions happening in the area. For theatre and production enthusiasts, the historic Polk Theatre performs, hosts and features independent films, live theatre productions and performing arts.
Students that crave outdoor activities can check out Off the Wall Adventures, where they can participate in paintball, rock climbing, batting cages, volleyball and kayking. For students and faculty who enjoy professional sports, be sure to watch the Major League Baseball team, the Detroit Tigers during their spring training in Lakeland. The Florida Marine Raiders are a professional indoor football team who also set up camp in Lakeland.
Located just outside of Lakeland, are two metropolitan cities, Tampa and Orlando. These two cities are less than an hour away in either direction and are viable options for a day trip or weekend getaway. Tampa is known for its major attractions such as Bayshore Boulevard, Busch Gardens, Hyde Park and Amalie Arena. Orlando is home to many theme parks such as Disney World, Islands of Adventures and Universal Studios. The Blue Man Group and many other theatre productions perform in Orlando as well.
For comic books and science fiction fans, both Orlando and Tampa have annual events such as MegaCon and Tampa Bay Comic Con. These events will fulfill your daily dose of comic pop culture, entertainment, horror, animation, anime, video games, and much more.
For students who are interested in learning about the benefits of attending college in Lakeland, Florida or about other activities to participate in the Lakeland area, visit YLakeland which contains information about what is happening around town and what opportunities the community offers.