Is Miami (Municipality of West Miami) to FAU (Boca Ratón) too far of a commute?

I am 19 years old and plan to stay local for college. I start in the Fall at Miami-Dade College on my AA. I’m looking to either stay at Miami-Dade College after 2 years and get a BS in Biotechnology or transfer to FAU and major in Neuroscience. The only thing that doesn’t convince me about FAU and worries me is the distance. I know there is also U of Miami and FIU which is similar but I can’t go there for personal reasons so these are my options for Colleges. I was wondering if it’s been done before successfully or if it’s a crazy idea. For example I read the Tri-Rail offers 50% Off for FAU students commuting to Boca Ratón.


Hello, and I hope you are well!

Consider that 60 or 70% of the students are commuters, which means a lot of traffic. They have also closed one of the three parking garages and given away a parking lot to the State College that shares a campus. There are a lot of people driving in every morning and very few places for them to park. I have been keeping track of the parking in the mornings for the past few weeks, and parking is gone by 9:30AM every weekday. If you are okay with arriving earlier and spending the day, then not to worry!

Beyond that, I imagine that the I-95 is the most direct route from Miami to Boca. Traffic is bad from 7AM to 9AM, Noon to 1PM, and 4PM to 6PM, but I imagine most of the traffic is also moving towards Miami, while you would move away from it.

I would recommend that you use Google Maps and use the traffic layer on it. You can check it any time of the day, and should look at Ft. Lauderdale and FAU. Get a sense for what the very busy times are, when and where accidents are likely to occur, how bad the traffic is (if it is black or red, it is not moving). From that, you may be able to determine a safer, more effective route, but you will spend a lot of time on the road (and a lot of money on gas). I currently commute from about 1 hours north on the worst days, 45 minutes usually. People do not talk much about it but commuting is very aggravating and stressful on its own; the roads are very rough, it is very busy, and there are many bad drivers. I think it is very minor, but please don’t forget to consider your feelings and how these things affect your mental well-being! If you do decide to commute, please be safe!

If you begin your classes early enough, or maybe have a research opportunity in the mornings, you can drive there just before rush hour, find a parking space and spend the day. It is very exhausting to be on-campus all day, but you may be able to give yourself “days off” where you do not have to drive to campus. If you do drive, think about balancing your schedule with some online courses so you do not have to go to campus every day, but you can still take lots of classes. You can use this page to see course offerings. There are many online courses offered, so it is a viable way to give yourself some breaks from driving! I am doing some of my writing requirements and math requirements online.

If you do not have a car, or do not fancy the idea of spending so much time on the road, investigate that Tri-Rail offer.

Another option may be that there is a smaller FAU campus in Davie (Broward County). If you do your first two years at Miami-Dade College or Broward College, then transfer to FAU, much of your degree (including research) can be completed taking classes at Davie and online. You would want to complete your core classes and introductory level biology, psychology and chemistry classes at Miami-Dade or Broward (and physics if possible, but there are online sections every few semesters). Upper-level classes like genetics, evolution, cell biology, psychopharmacology, and biological basis of behavior are offered at Davie. At the end, you still graduate from FAU and from the College of Science.

I wish you the very best!

Yes. Way way too far, especially fighting traffic from Miami to Boca every day.

The Tri-Rail can get you to the Yamato Station, but then it’s either a bike ride/long hot walk to campus, or hope to get on a shuttle, and try to coordinate your life around that schedule.

You’d have to live closer to make it reasonable. Most people commute to FAU from Boynton Beach area (on the north side) to say Coral Springs (on the south side). There are exceptions, of course, but that’s what I noticed for the most part.