Florida Polytechnic University was created through legislation as an independent university in 2012. On April 20, 2012, the Governor signed the bill into law creating the 12th public university in the State University System of Florida.

The law established Florida Poly as the state’s only polytechnic university and required that it develop new academic programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

On April 24, 2014, Dr. Randy K. Avent was selected by the Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees to be the University’s first President. The University President, as Chief Executive Officer, reports directly to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees, which established the powers and duties of the president by Resolution 2014-01, approved his contract on May 15, 2014.

Florida Poly officially welcomed its inaugural class of 554 students on August 25, 2014. The students included 394 freshmen, 134 transfer students, and 26 graduate students. Ninety-seven percent of the students were Florida residents.

The University was granted initial accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges on June 15, 2017 to award bachelor and master level degrees.  

In August 2019, Florida Poly received ABET accreditation for four of its engineering programs, proving the excellent quality of its education and making the University part of a select group of institutions around the world.