About UCF

UCF Story

Graduate Education that Creates Opportunities

The University of Central Florida is one of the largest pre-eminent research universities in the countryLocated in Orlando, one of the most dynamic metropolitan areas in the United States, UCF benefits from a diverse faculty and staff who create a welcoming environment. UCF is a university that creates and provides opportunities for students to grow, learn, and succeed.

As central Florida's higher-education partner, UCF plays a major role in the region's fast-paced growth through its community and corporate partnerships, its research programs, and the talents of its more than 230,000 alumni, over 64,000 students, and 12,000 faculty and staff. As a metropolitan research university, UCF is committed to innovative community partnerships, world-class research with local impact, and the integration of technology and learning.

Centers of Excellence

TheUCFAdvantage-centersUCF's colleges include Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Human Performance, Engineering and Computer Science, Graduate Studies, Health and Public Affairs, Hospitality Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Optics and Photonics.

The university's internationally renowned colleges, centers and institutes include the College of Optics and Photonics/CREOL (Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers), the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC), the Biomolecular Science Center, the Institute for Simulation and Training (IST), the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), the NanoScience Technology Center, the National Center for Forensic Science, the Florida Space Institute, and the Florida Photonics Center of Excellence. For additional information regarding these centers and institutes and other research programs, visit www.research.ucf.edu/centers.html.

Pride in Accomplishments

The reputation of any educational institution is best reflected in the accomplishments of its students, faculty, and alumni—and for a university that's now more than 50 years old, UCF has moved rapidly from promise to academic prominence.

Campus Accomplishments

  • Once again, UCF ranked among U.S. News & World Report's 100 Top Public Schools (2017).
  • UCF continues to rank among the top 50 “Best Values in Public Colleges” in the United States according to Kiplinger (2017).
  • UCF faculty ranked 19th in the nation among public universities for the number of U.S. patents they secured and 40th in the world, according to the National Academy of Inventors.
  • UCF and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reached a historic agreement establishing a permanent research facility in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge on the beaches of Brevard County, one of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in the Western Hemisphere.
  • In September 2016, the Florida Board of Governors officially recognized UCF as an “Emerging Preeminent Research University,” putting it on the path to attain equal footing with the state’s two Preeminent Research Universities, the University of Florida and Florida State University. The designation came with an additional $5 million in funding to further enhance quality.

Notable Programs and Awards

  • Twenty-two UCF graduate programs were ranked in the top 100 in their respective fields by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools of 2018. Among these are Counselor Education, Industrial Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Nursing MS, and Nursing DNP.
  • UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy was named the No. 1 graduate-level video game design school in North America by The Princeton Review. Graduates are working at more than 130 companies around the world, including Google, Disney, Microsoft, Nintendo and Industrial Light & Magic. The program celebrated its 10-year anniversary this past fall.
  • Once again, UCF's online graduate Criminal Justice program ranked among the top 50 in U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Program Rankings (2017).
  • For the second year in a row, a survey by Aviation Week magazine, the top aviation-industry publication in the country, found that UCF produces more engineering graduates who get jobs in aerospace and defense companies than any other university in the nation.
  • In November 2016, the UCF College of Medicine celebrated its 10th anniversary and began the process of starting a teaching hospital. UCF has partnered with Hospital Corporation of America to build the new hospital alongside the medical school in Lake Nona.
  • The Institute for Simulation & Training received a $2 million award from oilfield services company Schlumberger to analyze downhole tool operations and develop targeted learning and training programs.

Notable Research

  • College of Medicine scientist Dr. Annette Khaled’s lab has discovered a way to kill spreading breast cancer cells and her new technology has generated a licensing agreement that will accelerate the therapy’s path to clinical trials.
  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a $1.3 million grant to a team led by UCF researcher Debashis Chanda, PhD to fund the development of a next-generation infrared detector that could be used in fields as varied as night vision, meteorology and space exploration.
  • Nazim Muradov, PhD of UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his contributions to the field of clean alternative fuels. Dr. Muradov also received NASA’s Commercial Invention of the Year Award for his role in developing an innovative tape that can be used to detect hydrogen leaks.
  • A team of scientists from UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center has developed a new process for creating flexible supercapacitors that could eventually revolutionize technology as varied as mobile phones and electric vehicles.
  • Nanotechnology PSM student John Bittman was one of only six students in the state of Florida - anbd the only UCF student - to receive the Presidential Management Fellowship which will enable him to apply for federal positions in such agencies as the FBI, NASA, Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Secret Service, among others.

Degrees of Distinction

With 1,626 full-time faculty, the university offers 92 bachelor's degrees, 86 master's and MFA degrees, three specialist degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees as well as 78 graduate certificate programs and the Doctor of Medicine program.

The list of prominent alumni gets longer with each graduation ceremony. A sampler of notable alumni includes Kevin Beary, former Sheriff, Orange County, Florida; Juanita Black, president, Mental Health Association of Central Florida; Jim Atchison, President and CEO, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment; John C. Bersia, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer; Phil Dalhausser, Olympic Gold Medalist, volleyball; Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004; Cheryl Hines, actress; R. Glenn Hubbard, former chair, U.S. Council of Economic Advisors; George Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort; Mark Miller, country music singer/songwriter, Sawyer Brown band; William W. Parsons, Jr., Director, NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center; Angel Ruiz, president and CEO, Ericsson North America; Nicole Stott, space shuttle astronaut; Daniel Tosh, standup comedian/television host; and Al Weiss, President of Worldwide Operations, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

International Impact

UCF's growing cadre of international students adds both diversity and global connections to its central Florida community. More than 130 countries—most notably India, China, Canada, Vietnam, Jamaica, United Kingdom, and Colombia—are represented in the student body, and faculty research is taking place in areas ranging from South America to the Arctic polar ice cap.

UCF has study and research agreements with 98 institutions in 36 countries—providing learning and research opportunities for students and faculty in countries ranging from the Udmurt Republic to South Africa. The university's Eastern Europe Linkage Institute alone maintains educational and research partnerships with 20 institutions in nine countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, and the United States. The student experience abroad does not stop in the classroom with opportunities available for students to travel internationally.

Strength in Diversity and Inclusiveness

Increasing diversity and inclusiveness is one of the central goals of UCF. The university is particularly proud of an aggressive minority recruitment plan, and minorities now account for nearly 20 percent of the faculty.

The student community includes Hispanic/Latino (15%), African-American (10%), and Asian/Pacific Islander (11%) students and represents 64 of Florida's 67 counties, all 50 states, and 145 countries.

Partnerships and Community Service

One of UCF's main objectives is to be America's partnership university. Hundreds of joint projects are in place with community organizations and government agencies at all levels and corporations—ranging from collaborative research in nanoscience to neighborhood nursing clinics.

Two major partnerships target the region's most prominent business sectors. The Rosen College of Hospitality Management will increase the university's already significant commitment to the area's tourism and hospitality sector. High-tech interests are being well-served by the Florida High Tech Corridor partnership—an initiative of UCF, University of South Florida and the University of Florida that now involves more than 25 local and regional economic development organizations, 14 community colleges and thousands of companies.

Orlando and Beyond

In addition to its 1,415-acre main campus in Orlando, UCF has area campuses in Daytona Beach, Cocoa, and Clermont; centers in Deland, Palm Bay, Melbourne, Kennedy Space Center, Downtown Orlando, South Orlando, Kirkman Road, and Lake Mary; and instructional sites in Deltona, Flagler, New Smyrna, Osceola, Celebration, Leesburg, Chiefland, Lecanto, and Sumterville giving students throughout central Florida the chance to take classes, pursue degrees, and interact with faculty and staff.

Pardon Our Dust

  • The Florida Board of Governors approved UCF’s plans to build a new campus in downtown Orlando. The new campus will open with 7,700 students in 2019.
  • An Interdisciplinary Research and Incubator building is under construction near Engineering II. This facility will be utilized by researchers from various UCF colleges and centers, including physics, chemistry, biology, materials characterization, optics and photonics, nanoscience and more.
  • A new 3,200-square-foot building located next to the Recreation and Wellness Center will house a Pollo Tropical restaurant as well as another Café Bustello location. This building is targeted for LEED Silver certification, a measure of the sustainable features in its construction and operation.
  • Garage C is expanding to include an additional 604 parking spaces.
  • Libra Drive was widened from two to four lanes between Research Parkway and Gemini Boulevard.

Virtual Campus

TheUCFAdvantage-wired UCF's virtual campus UCF Online is leading the way in the integration of technology, teaching, and learning. Twenty-five graduate degrees and 30 certificate programs are available online, in addition to many individual graduate-level courses. Essential student services, such as parking, course registration, and textbook purchases are also available online.

For more information on UCF's online programs, visit www.ucf.edu/online.

UCF Athletics

TheUCFAdvantage-playingFor the third consecutive year, UCF student athletes are graduating at a higher rate than any other NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision public institution in the nation. UCF has an overall success rate of 93 percent - nine points above the national average of 84, according to the NCAA.

UCF Knights football competed in the 2016 Cure Bowl, raising $1.15 million for breast cancer research, including $250,000 for the research being conducted at UCF College of Medicine by Dr. Annette Khaled to stop metestatic cancer cells. 

Both UCF men's and women's basketball teams competed in the National Invitational Tournament in March.

Central Florida—A great place to be

UCF is located 13 miles east of downtown Orlando, 45 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Canaveral, and 100 miles from Tampa and the Gulf of Mexico. The area boasts world-class shopping and dining, amusement parks, lakes, golf courses, jogging and biking trails, and nature preserves.

UCF—A Time of Opportunity

The time is now for UCF—one of the fastest growing, metropolitan research universities in the country and a catalyst for economic development in central Florida. Significant in size, excellent in academics, and prominent in accomplishments, the University of Central Florida is one of Florida's leading educational assets.

The University's culture of opportunity is driven by the diverse people it attracts, its Orlando location, its history of entrepreneurship, and its youth, relevance and energy.