Florida’s most popular university is writing the next exciting chapters of a remarkable success story in American higher education.
Since marking its 50th anniversary on June 10, 2013, UCF has enrolled school-record numbers of National Merit Scholars, awarded the most college degrees in Florida, and set a new school record for research funding. In athletics, UCF's student-athletes for three years in a row have achieved the highest graduation success rate of any Division I public university in the nation.
"If there is anything that I have learned ..., it is that our greatest danger lies not in dreaming too large, but in dreaming too small. At UCF, we dream big. Our greatest limitations are those we place on ourselves." — President HittThe College Board says more students send their SAT test scores to UCF for consideration than to any other Florida school. Meanwhile, more than 66,000 students have enrolled to make UCF the largest university in Florida and one of the largest in the nation. Why so much interest in becoming a Knight? Because of acclaimed academic programs, talented faculty members, an inviting campus atmosphere, more than 600 student clubs and organizations, and the growing awareness of UCF as a place of opportunity for making dreams come true.
UCF is known for innovative programs in such fields as optics and lasers, engineering, simulation and training, video game production, education, planetary sciences, medicine, and hospitality management. In recent years, U.S. News & World Report has listed UCF as the most innovative school in Florida and among the most innovative institutions in the country, and UCF ranks as one of the best college values in America, according to The Princeton Review, Kiplinger Magazine, and Forbes magazine.
Created by the Florida Legislature in 1963, UCF originated as Florida Technological University. The new university opened in 1968 with 1,948 students, and its name changed to UCF in 1978. In a relatively short time, UCF has emerged as a major metropolitan research university of global impact and a driver of prosperity for Central Florida. For more on UCF’s exciting journey, see the 50th anniversary tribute pages.
Much of UCF's rise to prominence coincides with the tenure of President John C. Hitt, who became the university's fourth president on March 1, 1992. From the start, the president emphasized that partnerships with others in government, business, and philanthropy would be the key to making UCF a vital force for progress — and he was right.