The University of Central Florida, the nation’s second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. UCF has grown in size, quality, diversity and reputation, and today the university offers more than 200 degree programs at its main campus in Orlando and more than a dozen other locations. Known as America’s leading partnership university, UCF is an economic engine attracting and supporting industries vital to the region’s success now and into the future. Research funding totals $113.2 million and the university is ranked in the highest category of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
UCF’s rapid growth can be seen in statistics: half of all graduates have graduated in the last 12 years, enrollment has doubled in the last 14 years, the number of Ph.D. students has doubled in six years and the amount of sponsored research has doubled in 11 years.
Established with the mission of educating engineers for Kennedy Space Center and its industry partners, UCF has continued its emphasis on developing quality programs that impact existing and emerging industry clusters in the region and in the state.
These include the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute for Simulation and Training, Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, Florida Photonics Center of Excellence, Florida Solar Energy Center, Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center, and NanoScience Technology Center.
UCF has 12 colleges: Arts & Humanities, Burnett Honors, Business Administration, Education & Human Performance, Engineering & Computer Science, Graduate Studies, Health & Public Affairs, Hospitality Management, Optics & Photonics, Nursing, College of Sciences and the College of Medicine. Research includes work in and across multiple disciplines such as optics and lasers, modeling and simulation, materials science, energy, biomolecular science, neuroscience, nanoscience, computer science, forensic science, education/ distributed learning, and business operations including human factors and entrepreneurship.
UCF has built a national reputation as a leader in research commercialization. In 2013 UCF’s Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP) was named the Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association. The UCFBIP has expanded to nine locations throughout Central Florida and has helped more than 300 emerging companies create more than $500 million in annual revenue and generate an average wage than is 45 percent above the average wage in the area.
In 2012 the power of patents earned by UCF researchers was ranked among the top 20 internationally by the IEEE, the world’s 1argest professional association for the advancement of technology.
UCF has successfully parlayed high quality research results into company creation with entrepreneurial training through the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, the Venture Lab and local entrepreneurial talent.
UCF is also the home of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute which administers the GrowFL technical assistance program. GrowFL helped more than 402 companies create 1,419 new jobs during the pilot program from 2009-2011.
UCF is delivering on its promise of becoming America’s leading partnership university through relationships on local, national and international levels. A significant amount of the sponsored research UCF generates annually is provided by industry along Florida’s High-Tech corridor from Tampa/St. Petersburg through Orlando to Daytona/Melbourne. UCF keeps regional, state, national, and international needs in the forefront when recruiting top students, faculty and staff, and developing the infrastructure to achieve global prominence in selected areas of research.