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The University of Central Florida (UCF) is a public research institution that was founded in 1963 in Orange County, Florida with an undergraduate enrollment of roughly 70,000. Founded by the Florida Legislature as Florida Technological University with a mission to prepare students to enter the growing workforce within the U.S. Space Program, UCF has since expanded to provide a range of science and fine arts programs.
The university is in a suburban setting with a campus located just west of Cape Canaveral, and classes follow a semester-based academic calendar. The current student-faculty ratio at UCF is 30:1, which is typical for a large state institution. The University of Central Florida’s tuition and fees for in-state students are about a quarter the cost of those for out-of-state students, and the school has a diverse student body with representation from over 150 different countries around the world.
Located in Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida is made up of 13 colleges with competitive hospitality, media studies, and medical programs. UCF has one of the largest student bodies of any public institution in the United States with nearly 72,000 students enrolled. Beyond academics, UCF’s Knight athletic teams compete in the American Athletic Conference, with an annual football rivalry with the University of South Florida Bulls. On-campus residential housing is an integral part of student life, where undergraduates enjoy a diverse student population and a large Greek system. Notable alumni include comedian Daniel Tosh of Tosh.0 and DJ Diplo.
* These statistics utilize the most recently released data from IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System)
Sources for school statistics and data include U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Data may vary depending on school and academic year.
Source data obtained from U.S. Department of Education's Office of Post-secondary Education (OPE)
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Comedian Daniel Tosh, actress Cheryl Hines, Tijuana Flats founder Brian Wheeler, Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap, astronaut Nicole Stott, and NASCAR CEO Brian France all attended UCF. Many famous athletes took to the field at UCF before embarking on professional careers, including soccer player Michelle Akers, beach volleyball star Phil Dalhausser, and football players Brandon Marshall, Blake Bortles, and Asante Samuel.
The 1,415-acre flagship campus in Orlando not only hosts students – it provides natural habitats for more than 45 animal species! While the sand skink and the gopher tortoise keep to their designated third of campus, students enjoy a Student Union filled with computer labs, eating establishments, and even a small shopping mall. The Recreation and Wellness Center boasts a three-story climbing wall, sand volleyball courts, and a disc golf course. Some 12,000 students live on campus. If you’re lucky, you can secure a spot at the colorful Towers at Knights Plaza, one of the main social hubs of campus.
To make education accessible to as many Floridians as possible, UCF operates ten regional sites in the state. An early leader in online education, the university began offering undergraduate classes during the 1997-98 schoolyear. Nowadays, students can choose from a wide array of programs leading to a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. (The graduate nursing program is a standout.) Online certificates in areas ranging from autism spectrum disorder to fundraising to police leadership help established professionals advance their careers.
University of Central Florida demonstrated its commitment to bolstering athletic programs by opening two new venues in 2007. The football team plays in the 45,000-seat Bright House Networks Stadium, while basketball and volleyball teams enjoy the state-of-the-art CFE Arena. The Knights gained national attention by beating Baylor University in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2014. They finished that season ranked tenth nationally. UCF belongs to NCAA Division I’s American Athletic Conference.
The more than 60,000 students who attend UCF select from some 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. Popular majors include psychology, health/biomedical sciences, nursing, mechanical engineering, accounting, and hospitality management (this is the region of Disney, you know). The university emphasizes hands-on experiences, leading 20,000 students annually to participate in co-ops, internships, and service-learning projects. Recognized nationally as a value in higher education, almost half of UCF students graduate debt-free.