Eckerd will change your life so you can change the world
We inspire and empower individuals to improve the world through mastery of self and a lifetime of learning. Our students are guided on a four-year journey of discovery, with small classes, professor-mentors and a commitment to community service.
We love our spectacular mile-long waterfront and white-sand beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast. But we are more than a pretty face. Eckerd is an innovative liberal arts and sciences community where students are well-taught and well-mentored, deemed one of 40 Colleges That Change Lives.
We’re not for everyone but we might be just the place for you.
An oasis of learning in a natural Florida environment
Our waterfront campus sits on the southern tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, a region that was inhabited by the Tocobaga. Native plants and wildlife cover the campus, which we nurture with sustainability efforts. Four chickees constructed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida stand in the heart of campus and are used for outdoor classes and studying.
Eckerd College celebrates the beautiful campus it calls home and teaches the importance of environmental stewardship as a core value. An essential part of this commitment is acknowledging the Indigenous communities—past, present, and future—who are the traditional custodians of these lands and waterways.
Eckerd College acknowledges that its campus lies within the traditional homelands of the Seminole and Miccosukee people and their ancestral groups whose history here stretches back more than 12,000 years. We recognize the profound resilience of Seminole, Miccosukee, Choctaw, Cherokee, and other Native peoples who fought bravely to defend their homelands against powerful colonial forces. As a campus community, we commit to learning and teaching Native American history and cultural awareness, recognizing and honoring the presence of Indigenous people, and caring for the land that has become our home to the best of our ability.
Most of our faculty offices open directly outside or in common areas to encourage interaction with students. The bay and other natural areas are living laboratories for research—even for first-years.
Making a difference within and without
You won’t find any ivory towers here. Each day we aim to change the world around us, whether on our campus where we value the individuality of each community member and respect all members and their free expression or in our hometown of St. Petersburg—a city of arts and outdoor activities that understands the importance of diversity.
Our students contribute thousands of hours’ worth of work each year to nonprofits in St. Petersburg.
We’ve also earned the distinction of Age-Friendly University for our commitment to promoting intergenerational exchange and lifelong learning.
The Eckerd College St. Pete Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact gathers the Eckerd community, local government, and neighboring organizations under one banner to create mutually beneficial research, teaching and service opportunities.
Liberal arts in the unique Florida environment
Founded as Florida Presbyterian College, we opened our doors on Sept. 2, 1960, with 155 first-year students and 22 faculty.
We have grown steadily over the years and became Eckerd College in 1972.
But one thing hasn’t changed: a focus on creative, innovative curricula in the liberal arts tradition with a strong emphasis on small classes and world-class faculty who know and care about the success of every student.
Facts & Figures
Eckerd College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Eckerd College may be directed to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in writing at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097; by calling 404.679.4500; or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website.
Our Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS).