A Past Grounded in the Future

Proving that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, a group of local businessmen who called themselves “The Oatmeal Club” decided in the early 1960s to develop an innovative educational concept—an MIT of the South—with a twist. Their institution would break new ground in educational excellence and community service.

Nova Southeastern University was founded in 1964 as Nova University of Advanced Technology, a graduate research institution rooted in the physical and social sciences. Initially located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the university later moved to the former site of Forman Field—a World War II auxiliary airfield that had been returned to the community to be used for educational purposes—in Davie.

Over time we’ve added programs in law, education, business, psychology, engineering and computing, and oceanography, and have become nationally recognized for our innovative distance education programs. Today, field-based programs are located on regional campuses throughout Florida, across the country, and at selected international sites.

In 1994, Nova University merged with Southeastern University of Health Sciences, which had added colleges of Pharmacy, Optometry, Allied Health, Medical Sciences, and Dental Medicine, to form Nova Southeastern University. And it didn’t stop there. Through five decades of explosive growth, NSU’s reputation for academic excellence and innovation continues to flourish. 

Today, NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and is one of only 50 universities to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification. We are also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Hispanic-serving institution.

We're proud of our past, and excited for the future as we continue to adapt and thrive.


Milestones in NSU History

NSU Through the Years

Through the years, the founders' pioneering spirit has remained strong at NSU. Our Timeline reveals our journey from dreams to reality, and a glimpse of what's to come.

NSU Today

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