Spring/Summer Residential (In-Person) Program

Employers, thinkers, and leaders are evolving rapidly to keep up with the ever-changing international community. The modern job market is seeking 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.

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 +25 majors across seven colleges, and we offer vast co-curricular experiences including a living-learning community and multiple program-specific student organizations. Given our unique schedule, IA students have the opportunity to enjoy Fall co-curricular activities, pursue internships, study abroad, or enjoy the break at home.

Given the nature of IA’s unique Spring/Summer calendar, IA students are not eligible to participate in NCAA-sponsored athletic teams.

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.;



What can you expect from a living learning community

IA LLC IGNITE is an exclusive program for Innovation Academy students that focuses on personal leadership and scholarship development. The IA LLC aims to create an environment that invites opportunities for formal and informal interactions between residents, staff, and faculty through programs and activities that integrate in-class and out-of-class experiences.


*On campus housing is limited and not guaranteed for all incoming students. Early application submission for housing is highly recommended. Please see for more information.




Programming includes:

  • Welcome and social events
  • Leadership seminars
  • Career exploration sessions
  • Campus resource deep dives
  • Academic advising success sessions
  • Recognition ceremonies 
  • Local innovation ecosystem exploration



Campus Life
Students can stay engaged in their clubs and organizations and attend UF social and athletic events.

Internship Opportunities
IA offers a very successful Fall Internship Program with local start-up companies in Gainesville where students work in teams and earn 4 credits in the process. We also curate an internship database where we list national opportunities to intern in the fall.

Optional Fall Online Classes
Students can use the fall to get ahead academically with two options: online classes through UF, or courses at their local state or community college back home.

IA has caught the attention of many employers and leaders who have sought upper-level students to work for them full-time in the fall when all other students return to campus or can only work part-time.

Study Abroad
The fall semester off is ideal for study abroad, giving students a large window of time to work when studying abroad and increased opportunities.

IA Benefits

IA’s unique spring-summer academic calendar allows for a free fall semester to engage in internships, study abroad, research, or other professional development opportunities during a less competitive time. We also offer the following benefits:

IA Ambassador Program
Leadership development including public speaking, pitching, and professional development

3D Printing & Laser-Cutting
Learn new tangible skills in prototyping to bring your ideas to life. 

Mentoring and professional development through local start-up companies, or through an individual position. 

Study Abroad
Pre-enrollment opportunity to gain experience and exposure prior to freshman year in Maynooth, Ireland.

Co-Curricular Experiences
Gain unique programmatic and community engagement opportunities. 

Tailored Advising
IA advisors, in addition to college major advisors, help students navigate through the IA curriculum/program. 


Innovation Academy students will participate in several unique events that serve to welcome students to the program, expose them to fellow innovators, and showcase their success once their Innovation minor is complete. Click on each event to find out more.

Info sessions to allow prospective students and their families to learn about the IA program and its exciting benefits.

This housing program assists incoming UF IA students in making a smooth transition into UF by holding weekly involvement sessions during the first pre-matriculation fall.

The official new student convocation bringing all of the incoming IA students together for the university welcome.

The Innovation Academy invites various industry professionals and thought leaders to speak to IA students as guest lecturers.

A student showcase where first-year students present a prototype they design of a product, service, or model developed in an interdisciplinary team environment

IA Senior Projects designed to build on skills acquired in the earlier IA minor courses and emphasize situations and challenges that exist in the “real world.”

Summit celebrates students’ successful completion of the Innovation minor and readies them for graduation from the University of Florida by awarding the IA medallion.

IA in the Fall

IA in the Fall

Innovation Academy features a unique Spring-Summer academic calendar. This means students are free in the Fall to pursue internships in a far less competitive time of the year, seek opportunities for job shadowing and volunteering, participate in a study abroad program, and much more. If students are taking courses during the fall (Fall Connection, online courses, IA Internship Program, etc.) and thus are paying student fees, they are typically able to use any and all on-campus resources. Payment of student fees is typically completed when students enroll for at least 6 credit hours. First Fall students are considered non-degree seeking until their first Spring semester, and not eligible for financial aid. Contact Student Financial Affairs [352-392-1275] with any questions related to fee or tuition payment or status.




This is the time between your admission to Innovation Academy and officially starting your first spring semester (the first fall before you officially start in the spring). Students can begin coursework during first fall with UF, through First Fall Connection courses online. These courses are a collection of online courses taught by UF during this first fall semester exclusively for incoming Innovation Academy students. At Preview, students will be able to work with an academic advisor to select and enroll in First Fall Connection courses that are relevant to their academic goals and major. During the first fall semester, IA students are considered non-degree seeking and therefore not eligible for financial aid. Students with Florida Prepaid may use their funds for their first fall. More details and the schedule of First Fall Connection courses will be available at Preview. Preview is a mandatory orientation held in the summer for incoming UF students.


Living Learning

Living Learning

LIVE, LEARN, LEAD where INNOVATION thrives. The IA Living Learning Community (LLC) is open to students admitted to the Innovation Academy and allows students in the same academic program to live at Simpson Hall and study together year-round if they choose. However, on campus housing is limited and not guaranteed. On campus housing applications are processed on a first come, first serve basis. The IA LLC aims to create an environment that invites opportunities for formal and informal interactions between residents, staff, and faculty through programs and activities that integrate in-class and out-of-class experiences. The IA LLC IGNITE program assists incoming Innovation Academy students in making a smooth transition into the University during their first fall. Sessions are held weekly during the First Fall Semester and provide dynamic social, learning, and community interactions.