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Nova Southeastern was founded in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during a time of historic social and cultural change. Looking back, 1964 was the perfect time for a small university with a handful of students and some revolutionary ideas to take shape.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And if it weren’t for a group of businessmen who met regularly for this meal, Nova Southeastern University might not be here today. Known as The Oatmeal Club, these civic-minded pioneers gathered in the early ’60s, determined to develop an innovative educational concept—an MIT of the South, with a twist.

In 1964, what was then called Nova University of Advanced Technology was chartered as a graduate institution in the physical and social sciences. Initially located at 232 East Las Olas Blvd. in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Nova later moved to the former site of Forman Field in Davie—an auxiliary airfield during WWII. The field was returned to the community after the war by the state Board of Education to be used for educational purposes as determined by brothers Hamilton and Charles Forman.

Over time, Nova added programs in law, education, business, psychology, engineering and computing, and oceanography. In 1972, the university introduced its first off-campus course of study in education. Soon, Nova became nationally recognized for its innovative distance education programs. Today, field-based programs are located on regional campuses throughout Florida, across the country, and at selected international sites.

While Nova University continued to expand its educational reach, Southeastern University of the Health Sciences was also on a course for expansion. The school was created by osteopathic physicians committed to establishing a college in the Southeast. As a result, the Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine, as it was first known, opened in 1981.

From 1987 to 1997, Southeastern added colleges of Pharmacy, Optometry, Allied Health, Medical Sciences, and Dental Medicine. In 1994, Nova University merged with Southeastern University of Health Sciences to form Nova Southeastern University– and the rest is history.

Today, NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, and is 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. 

NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico. NSU also offers a vast array of degree programs in fully online or hybrid formats. Having pioneered distance education more than 40 years ago, NSU's online education experience is unparalleled and has served as a model for other institutions across the country. 

NSU has always had an innovative, unique approach to education. NSU offers a personal, nurturing atmosphere. But NSU is also an exciting university – young, bold and forward thinking. With so many traditional and non-traditional learning opportunities, NSU is the ideal place to reach your potential.

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