About UCF

UCF Story

Graduate Education that Creates Opportunities

The University of Central Florida is one of the largest and fastest growing research universities in the country, recognized as one of the top 15 most innovative schools by US News & World Report (2015)Located in Orlando, one of the most dynamic metropolitan areas in the United States, UCF has the second largest enrollment among the nation's public universities. UCF is a university that creates and provides opportunities for students and brings them to fruition.

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 60,000 students, and 11,000 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
  • UCF ranked among the top 100 Top Public Schools according to U.S. News & World Report (2015).
  • Second annual UCF Celebrates the Arts festival took place in Spring 2016 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
  • UCF continues to rank among the top 50 “Best Values in Public Colleges” in the United States according to Kiplinger (2016).
Notable Programs and Awards
  • U.S. News & World Report listed 14 UCF programs among the top 100 in their fields in its Best Grad School Rankings. At the top of these rankings are Student Counseling and Personnel Services (#10), the College of Optics and Photonics (#14), Nonprofit Management (#25), and Criminology (#26). The Healthcare Management program made the top 50. Others in the top 100 include the College of Nursing, the College of Education and Human Performance, and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.  
  • UCF's online graduate Criminal Justice and Nursing programs ranked among the top 50 in U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Program Rankings (2015).
  • UCF is ranked fourth on Niche's Best Colleges in Florida (2015).
  • UCF Health Services ranked #6 in Princeton Review's list for 2016.
  • UCF is ranked among the top 125 public universities nationally and among the top 200 worldwide for physics (Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2014).   
  • For the second consecutive year, UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) ranks No. 2 in North America, according to Princeton Review and PC Gamer magazine. 
  • Pegasus Professor Debra Reinhart, assistant vice-president for the Office of Research and Commercialization, was the recipient of the 2014 Stanley E. Kappe Award for extraordinary service in advancing public awareness toward the betterment of the environment.
  • In 2015, UCF medical student and Air Force Lt. Eli Kinberg was selected by the American College of Physicians as their first student representative to their Air Force Leadership Council.
Notable Research
  • UCF researcher Swadeshmukul Santra was awarded a $1.9 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a method to protect the Florida citrus industry from the disease HLB. THE USDA also recognized UCF as a “Center for Excellence."
  • Michael Chini, an assistant physics professor using laser pulses to create more powerful electronics, and Sumit Jha, an assistant computer science professor looking to combine thousands of transistors into a single computer chip, have earned $840,000 in grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
  • Jennifer Kent-Walsh, professor of communication sciences and disorders, has been awarded a $437,812 grant from the National Institutes of Health to improve clinical services for young children with severe speech disabilities. 

Degrees of Distinction

With 1,961 full-time faculty, the university offers 92 bachelor's degrees, 84 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 (13%), African-American (10%), and Asian/Pacific Islander (10%) 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 Board of Trustees approved a memorandum of understanding with Governor Rick Scott's office concerning details about the proposed downtown campus.

Virtual Campus

TheUCFAdvantage-wired UCF's virtual campus UCF Online is leading the way in the integration of technology, teaching, and learning. Twenty-four 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


For the 2015-16 season, UCF ranked in the top 10 in the American Athletic Conference for Men's and Women's Basketball, Women’s Volleyball, Men’s Soccer, and Baseball. The Knights ranked Number 3 in Women’s Soccer and earned the Number 2 spot in 2016 Softball.

The UCF women’s soccer team went undefeated during spring play, posting a 4-0-1 record with four shutouts. 

UCF assistant coach Joe Silvestri was recognized as one of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Thirty Under 30.

UCF's football, volleyball and women's tennis programs were recognized by the NCAA Division 1 Academic Performance Program for scoring in the top 10% nationally in regard to Academic Progress Rate. 

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.