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Frequently Asked Questions

Student Life | Academics | Financial Aid | New Students

The Innovation Academy (IA) is a multidisciplinary undergraduate program that infuses an innovation minor focused on providing students with experience and skills for the twenty-first century. Additionally, IA provides students with an intellectual and social community within the larger context of UF and their academic majors. The academy operates on a spring-summer enrollment schedule, and the IA students are encouraged to devote the fall semester to research, internships, co-op, service learning, community service, study abroad, UF online courses, and other opportunities. IA facilitates participation in focused, small-scale interactions and small group experiences that explore the dimensions of innovation, creativity, and the entrepreneurial mindset. Such experiences include seminars, guest lectures, workshops, programs, and more. The academy facilitates the opportunity to create a small college experience coupled with resources available in a large research university. Cohort-based minor course registration, program residence halls, and small group experiences add to the sense of a small college environment.

The Innovation Academy aims to facilitate innovative student thinking, creativity, and the creation of student partnerships with start-up businesses and other entrepreneurs. The goal of the IA is to prepare students for the challenges of living and working in the twenty-first-century economy, with a competitive advantage in areas of science, education, art, medicine, and business solutions for a global marketplace. Moreover, IA follows a spring-summer enrollment calendar that allows the University of Florida to enroll more students without negatively impacting class size, student/faculty ratio, or limiting the availability of student resources.

IA student admission is handled the same as any other potential first-year University of Florida student—you are simply adding a preference for our program. The UF Office of Admissions will determine if you are admitted into UF and if you are a fit for IA, Fall, or Summer B. You will only receive one offer from UF admissions.

The Innovation Academy seeks to admit a highly motivated and academically superior incoming class. Students will have the opportunity to express their interest in the Innovation Academy on the UF undergraduate admission application. Students are only considered for admission to IA if they indicate interest on their application form and have chosen a major supported by the IA spring-summer schedule. Additionally, a separate essay is required as part of the admissions process. IA admission decisions are released during the same notification process for all first-year students.

First Fall is the time between an IA student’s acceptance into UF and their first spring term of enrollment on UF campus, most typically the fall semester directly following high school graduation. Students are considered non-degree seeking during this term. Students have several options available to them, should they wish to jump-start their academic career during the first fall semester, including:

  • Enroll in a First Fall Connection package consisting of up to 11 credits of online UF courses to jump-start their academic career.
  • Attend a Florida community or state college. We recommend that students develop an academic plan at Preview Orientation with an academic advisor before enrolling at any institution to make sure courses are applicable to their major. Students must send their official transcripts to UF at the completion of the first fall term to ensure the credits taken at the other institution are reflected on their UF transcript.
  • Experiential pursuits, such as employment or an internship, to gain perspective on business environments, as well as enhance and develop transferable skills useful for future internships and work experiences.

If a student withdraws from the Innovation Academy, they may have to withdraw from the University. Innovation Academy is not a starting place for students to gain admission to UF and then opt-out. It is designed to be a cohort experience with its own academic structure, calendar, and integrity. If a student is not seeking this kind of educational experience, they should not accept admission to the Innovation Academy.

Innovation Academy students partake in a two-part comprehensive orientation program coordinated by New Student and Family Programs. First, IA students who have confirmed their intent to enroll, are invited to participate in a UF Preview session, these are usually held May through August. Once completed, students will work with their college advisor in early December to develop a schedule and register for Spring classes.

Incoming IA students register for Fall Connection courses and prepare an outline for their spring schedule with an academic advisor during Preview sessions held from May to August. During early December, incoming IA students will have the option of working with their college advisor at a distance or in-person to finalize their spring schedule and register for courses.

Yes. Attendance at Launch into IA is mandatory for all incoming first-year IA students. Colleges will be notified of all IA students who do not attend. Students must arrange with their colleges to make-up their college-specific info session.

Dress for Launch into IA is business professional. This is the first time you are in the company of your entire cohort and representatives from your college. It’s your chance to make a good first impression.

The Family and Friends reception held immediately after Launch into IA is open to family and friends of incoming IA students. This event provides family and friends the opportunity to interact with the University of Florida faculty and staff while the students attend their respective college information sessions.