The University of Central Florida, commonly referred to as UCF, is a metropolitan public research university located in Orlando, Florida
University of Central Florida is a member institution of the State University System of Florida, and it is the largest university in the United States by undergraduate enrollment and the country’s second-largest by total enrollment.
The university was founded by the Florida Legislature in 1963, and opened in 1968 as Florida Technological University, with the mission of providing personnel to support the growing U.S. space program at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Florida’s Space Coast. As the academic scope expanded beyond its original focus on engineering and technology, “Florida Tech” was renamed The University of Central Florida in 1978. Initial enrollment was only 1,948 students, as of 2014 enrollment consists of 60,810 students from over 140 countries, more than 40 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The majority of the student population is located on the university’s 1,415-acre (5.73 km2) main campus approximately 13 miles (21 km) east-northeast of downtown Orlando and 55 miles (89 km) south-southwest of Daytona Beach. The university offers over 200 degree options through twelve colleges and twelve satellite campuses throughout Central Florida. Since its founding, UCF has awarded almost 270,000 degrees, including 50,000 graduate, specialist and professional degrees, to over 230,000 alumni worldwide.
UCF is a space-grant university and has made noted research contributions to optics, modeling and simulation, digital media, engineering and computer science, business administration, education, hospitality management, and the arts. It is considered an up-and-coming national university by U.S. News & World Report. UCF’s official colors are black and gold and the university logo is a Pegasus, which “symbolizes the university’s vision of limitless possibilities.” The university’s intercollegiate sports teams, commonly known by their “UCF Knights” nickname and represented by mascot Knightro, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the American Athletic Conference (The American).