A state university located in Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida has more students enrolled and on campus than any other university in the United States. It was founded in 1963 and opened as Florida Technological University in 1968.
Originally, the goal of the university was to provide personnel to support the U.S. space program at the Kennedy Space Center. The university began to expand past engineering and technology and was renamed the University of Central Florida in 1978. Even with the new name, UCF still leads the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium.
Originally, when UCF opened as Florida Technological University, it has an enrollment of just under 2,000 students. Today, as UCF, the enrollment exceeds 66,000 students.
Campuses & Partnerships
UCF offers its' main campus, but also offers several other campuses throughout Florida. The main UCF campus offers a very unique layout much like the plans Walt Disney created for EPCOT or the Experiential Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
The main campus provides a design specifically for pedestrians and offers a series of concentric circles. It's one of only two universities in the U.S. with this type of design.
The Central Florida Research Park is found just to the south of the main campus. It's the seventh-largest research park found in the nation and the largest in the state of Florida with more than 115 corporations. The park offers more than 10,000 jobs, as well.
Along with the main UCF campus, the university offers one other campus found at Valencia West. UCF has also partnered with several local colleges including:
- Eastern Florida State College
- Seminole State College of Florida
- Valencia College
- Lake-Sumter State College
- The Rosen College of Hospitality Management
In addition, partnerships have been formed with local colleges found in Daytona Beach, Kissimmee, Leesburg, Ocala, Sanford, Palm Bay, Clermont, and Cocoa.
Along with the main campus and the Valencia West campus, UCF does offer the UCF Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona. This campus includes the College of Medicine and the Burnett Biomedical Sciences Building.
UCF was ranked as the third-best up-and-coming national university by U.S. News & World Report in 2015. It was also ranked as the tenth most innovative school and 91st overall among public Universities.
Many of the graduate programs at UCF have been ranked in the top 100 by the U.S. News & World Report. A few of the programs have even made it into the top 25 on the lists.
UCF offers several athletic programs, which compete at the Division I level of the NCAA. They are a part of the American Athletic Conference with 16 total varsity teams (6 men, 9 women, and 1 co-ed). Men compete in baseball, basketball, golf, football, tennis, and soccer. Women compete in golf, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball, basketball, and cross country. The co-ed sport is cheerleading.
Many national and conference titles have been won by UCF teams in many different sports. In fact, in 2017, the UCF football team went undefeated and beat eighth-ranked Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
With more than 220 degree programs offered from 13 colleges and plenty of athletics, UCF has become one of the leading Universities in Florida. It's a very popular place to call home for students and offers plenty of options for those seeking a college degree from a major university.