The University of Central Florida (commonly referred to as UCF) is a university located in Orlando, Florida. UCF is the largest undergraduate school in the state of Florida, the second largest school-including graduate programs, and has quickly become the sixth-largest university in the nation.
UCF is a member institution of the State University System of Florida. It was founded in 1963 as Florida Technological University with the goal of providing highly trained personnel to support the Kennedy Space Center, located only to the east, and to this day maintains a satellite campus at the Space Center. In 1978 the school was renamed the University of Central Florida as its academic scope had expanded to encompass all academic fields. In 1990, the University of Central Florida founded the Space Education and Research Center and is a member of the NASA Space grant colleges.
As of 2008, total enrollment consists of a 50,000 student body seeking bachelor's degrees through doctorates, as well as certificates and specialist degrees. The university is organized into twelve colleges providing nearly 100 separate courses of study with the majority of the population located at the main campus, approximately east of downtown Orlando and south of Daytona Beach. Since its rapid growth starting in the late 1990s UCF has expanded its influence throughout Florida and now consists of twelve satellite campuses in eastern central Florida. In the Fall of 2006, UCF's admission rate declined drastically from 61% of prospective students admitted to only 46%, as a result of more and more students applying to the university each year. The acceptance rate continued to decline for Fall 2008 when there was a 38% acceptance rate for 25,000 first time in college applications. Freshmen admitted in Fall 2008 posted average SAT scores of 1218, ACT scores of 26 and average high school GPAs of 3.76.
UCF's official colors are black and gold, the various sports teams go by the name of Knights and the official mascot is a male gold-armored black knight named Knightro. The UCF academic logo is a Pegasus.
One of the founding goals of the university was to act as a support system for the Kennedy Space Center, which is located about 35 miles (56 km) away. Additionally, the nearby Central Florida Research Park, which infuses research funds into the university and draws many interns and graduates from it, has a major focus of simulation as well as space- and defense-related research.
The official colors of the university were chosen by Charles N. Millican, UCF's Founding President. When the first student handbook was being drafted, the university had no mascot. So, Kevin Yee, one of the designers of the university's official seal, created the Citronaut, an orange with the head of an astronaut, as a possible mascot for FTU, and it was put on the cover of the handbook. This remained the University "mascot" for a year until students petitioned Student Government to establish an official mascot. The student newspaper, the Future, drafted up their ideas of what the mascot should look like. The night nurse at the Health Center, Judy Hines, proposed a mascot with these criteria, along with a graphic representation drawn by her husband Gene, to SGA. "Vincent the Vulture" remained the schools unofficial mascot for over a year. Eventually, the students voted and selected the "Knight of Pegasus" as their official mascot. Until 1994, the Knights were represented by a jouster from the Medieval Times dinner show located in nearby Kissimmee, Florida. That year, Knightro was introduced at the homecoming event, the "Spirit Splash". Two years later, UCF students were introduced to Knightro's girlfriend, Glycerin.
According to a report released by the university in 2008, UCF is second only to the University of Florida in National Merit Scholar enrollment in the state of Florida. UCF is actively seeking out-of-state students to increase the prestige and national recognition of the university.
The acceptance rate of the 2008 incoming freshmen class was 38%, making UCF the second most selective university in the state of Florida. Of the 9,500 FTIC students accepted for fall 2008, 3,915 enrolled in the university. The retention rate of the 2007 freshman class was 83%.
UCF College of Medicine at Lake Nona
For the initial charter class entering in the fall of 2009 there has been over 3,000 applications received for only 40 spots. It is predicted that the new UCF medical school will be among the most selective in the country, including Harvard and Yale.
Colleges at UCF include:
Some programs include required internships, practicum or clinical experiences that are not completed online.
Online Undergraduate Degree Completion Programs
Online Graduate Certificate Programs
Student housing is provided along the perimeter of the campus. Outside of Gemini, the campus is divided up into different themed sections. The northwest side of campus includes Greek communities, the north side contains an athletic village, the east side contains the Arboretum of the University of Central Florida, and the south side contains student recreation and wellness facilities.
South of the campus is Central Florida Research Park, which is one of the largest research parks in the nation, providing jobs to more than 500 students and thousands of alumni.
In addition to the main campus in Orlando, The University of Central Florida also has several other campuses to service the central Florida region. In Orlando, there are three other campuses, located in Downtown, MetroWest, and South Orlando.
Outside Orlando, there are campuses in Daytona Beach, Heathrow, Sanford, Lake Mary, Cocoa, Palm Bay, South Lake, Florida, Ocala, and Osceola County. In addition to having standard classes there, some classes offered at these campuses are offered via alternative methods, such as 2-way TV from the main campus, for convenience.
From any location, at any time, University Libraries resources and services are available to the UCF community. The University of Central Florida Libraries supports the research, teaching, learning and service commitments of students and faculty through widely-available access to collections of library resources, and to services to assist in resource use. The collections of the Libraries serve as a resource for the entire Central Florida community. Access to collections is provided through services at the main campus library, the Curriculum Materials Center located in the UCF College of Education, and the Universal Orlando Foundation Library at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, as well as at regional joint-use campuses at the Brevard Community College Cocoa and Palm Bay campuses, Daytona Beach Community College, the MetroWest campus of Valencia Community College, and South Lake campus of Lake Sumter Community College. Collections, services and library information are available to all students and faculty online.
UCF Libraries collections include over 1,800,000 print volumes, a base of 17,000 serial subscriptions, 60,000 e-books, 2.9 million microforms, 304,000 government documents, 40,000 media titles, special collections, university archives materials, and 9,200 full text electronic journal subscriptions. Most of the print and media collection is housed in the main campus library, which is open to the public 80 hours weekly. Materials can be searched and located, using the library's online public access catalog. UCF Libraries is a partner with Florida’s state universities in collaborative development of university collections, giving UCF students access to a growing, robust, statewide electronic collection.
Electronic holdings are available to students and faculty from on-campus, home, or classrooms at any time. Students have direct access to source materials that are part of several unique Special Collections at the main library. Notable collections include the Bryant West Indies collection, the Van Sickle Leftist Pamphlet collection, the Book Arts Collection, collections of materials on tourism and hospitality, and materials on the history of Central Florida. Books, manuscripts, and art can be examined and used by researchers in the Special Collections Department, assisted by staff. The University Archives collects and makes available official records, publications, and materials on the history of the University of Central Florida.
The main campus library is 5 stories tall, and is located on the west side of the campus. Leonardo Nierman's sculpture, Flame of Hope, stands at the entrance to the building. Nierman's stained glass Genesis window is on the third floor of the library building. 40 wireless laptops are available to be checked out and used by students in the building, which has wireless access. Students may also check out the key to one of the 28 group study rooms.
A UCF legend holds that the library was UCF's first building; however, a UCF utility building was the first structure to be built (the library was the second). In the early and mid-1970s, the basement of the library had a closed-circuit radio station that broadcast by cable to the student center and the dorms. Students volunteered as unpaid disc jockeys and newscasters. The basement also housed a small, low-ceilinged television studio for television production classes. The campus newspaper, the Central Florida Future, had offices on an upper floor of the library. Classrooms and faculty offices continued to share floors of the library for many years. In 1984, renovation of the original library building was completed, as well as an addition to the building. The dedication took place in February, 1985.
The library's online system isEx Libris Group's ALEPH. ALEPH has been deployed as part of a project by the Florida Center for Library Automation at all of the state universities in Florida. Infusion, an exciting learning space, is located near the library entrance, featuring computers, enhanced wireless connectivity, books, classrooms, and a Java City coffee shop.
Until a few years ago the transmitter tower for WUCF 89.9 FM was also on top of the library, but the tower was removed after they moved to a new tower on the southwestern edge of the main campus.
UCF entered NCAA Division I in 1990 and was initially a I-AA college football school, independent until 1992 when it joined the Trans-Atlantic Athletic Conference (TAAC) in all D-I sports except football, which remained independent until 1996. UCF is the first school to ever build and open a new stadium, the Bright House Networks Stadium, and a new arena, the new UCF Arena, at the same time, for the 2007-08 season.. In 2007, the UCF Football team won the C-USA Conference Championship for the first time in the school's history, securing a berth to the 49th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
UCF played its first intercollegiate basketball game before the team even had a nickname. In the Division II era, under Torchy Clark, UCF found great success including a DII Final Four appearance and has advanced to the NCAA tournament 4 times (94, 96, 04, 05) since its 1994 debut in Division I, all under coach Kirk Speraw.
UCF has also produced a number of soccer stars, including Michelle Akers. Akers went on to play in the Olympics and was a part of the 1999 USA National Team that won the World Cup.
The UCF cheerleading squad has captured two national titles at the College Cheerleading and Dance Team Nationals, in 2003 and 2007. They were followed by the WE tv's hit cheerleading show, Cheerleader U, as the reigning national champions.
All students have access to the UCF Health Services located on Apollo Circle on main campus. Enrollment in the on-campus health care service is mandatory regardless of the student's other health insurance and the fee is automatically included in tuition. UCF Health Services is intended to be a convenient source of primary health care, OB/GYN and STD screenings and fills students' prescriptions. The university requires all students to have health insurance and offers a more comprehensive student health plan. Other less expensive private student health insurance options are also available.
Spirit Splash was made possible in part by weight testing done on the Reflection Pond in preparation for Richard Nixon's visit to UCF to speak at the 1973 commencement. It was determined that the best way to protect the president would be to hold commencement in the pond itself (after being drained), so that sentries could be stationed on the roofs of the adjacent buildings in order to protect Nixon.
May loyalty and friendship, within our hearts unite,
and light the star to guide us, ever upward in our flight.
With honor and affection, our friendship will renew;
we sing of thee our Alma Mater ever true.
It was officially established in 1976 and consists of an executive, judicial, and legislative branch. The executive branch is headed by the Student Body President and Student Body Vice President. Within the executive branch are between 30 - 40 appointed and paid cabinet members that oversee everything from university policies to tracking the state's legislature. The Student Body President, by mandate of Florida law serves on the university's Board of Trustees for a period of 1 year. The Student Body President and Student Body Vice President are elected in annual elections held in the spring and both receive a paid salary that ranges from $18,000/yr to $21,000/yr. The legislative branch is composed of 52 senators, who serve one year terms. All senate seats are elected each spring semester. The senators elect a Speaker of the Senate who receives a an annual salary between $17,000/yr to $20,000/yr and a Senate President Pro Tempore once a year in the fall to lead the Student Senate. The judicial branch consists of a paid Chief Justice and 10 associate Justices who preside over student conduct hearings and traffic appeals.
Greek life also thrives at the University of Central Florida, with 44 fraternities and sororities. This includes multicultural and honor Greek organizations, but also social sororities and fraternities as well. Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi and Zeta Tau Alpha are the social Panhellenic sororities. The Interfraternity Council fraternities are Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Lambda Sigma Upsilon, Lambda Theta Phi, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI),Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Theta Chi and most recently added Zeta Beta Tau along with a Sigma Pi colony. The Diversified Greek Council includes Chi Upsilon Sigma, Lambda Theta Alpha, Sigma Lambda Gamma, Mu Sigma Upsilon, Sigma Lambda Beta, Delta Phi Lambda, and Pi Delta Psi. There are 4 Greek organizations associated with music: Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, and Sigma Alpha Iota. The Psi Omega chapter of the National Co-ed Service Fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, is also located at UCF.
In what was probably the worst year for Greek Life in any academic institution, the 2006-2007 school calendar year at the University of Central Florida saw three of its fraternities' charters revoked; Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Pi Kappa Phi,and Sigma Phi Epsilon were kicked off campus. Other chapters that are no longer active at the University of Central Florida: Acacia, Delta Gamma, Alpha Chi Omega and Pi Kappa Alpha.
The film, The Blair Witch Project, was filmed by UCF students and became one of the most successful independent films ever made. UCF was also the film location for a Amanda Bynes movie called Sydney White, which follows a college freshman as she pledges her late mother's once dignified sorority. Actor James Best (best known as Sheriff Roscoe from the Dukes of Hazzard TV Series) taught classes at UCF for several years. Actress Cheryl Hines (best known for her role as Cheryl David on Curb Your Enthusiasm) graduated from UCF with a degree in Communication. The horror film Bloody 27 which starred Michael Winslow and Tara Cardinal used several location on the UCF main campus.
This adds up to over 10,000 beds either on campus or in campus affiliated housing, which is 20% of the student population. The majority of UCF students live in non affiliated apartment style housing, located close by to the university. These offer the benefits of being less expensive, and relaxed rules and regulations. Some of the popular residencies are: Northgate Lakes, University House, The Village at Alafaya Club, The Park and Jefferson Lofts.
The newest housing complex completed for the 2007 school year, the Towers at Knights Plaza, commonly known as "The Towers", were constructed as a part of the Knights Plaza, which includes the UCF Arena, Bright House Networks Stadium, as well as of retail and restaurant space, to be built in three phases over the coming years. Some retailers and restaurants currently occupying Knights Plaza are Barnes & Noble, Papa John's, Subway, Maggie Moo's, Red Brick Pizza, Volcanoe's, Jimmy John's, Beach Scene, Starbucks, Boba Tease, and "Knightros", an all-you care to eat restaurant. The complex also features a branch of the UCF Pharmacy called Knight Aide, a Princeton Review, and a secure mail room for students who live in the Towers. Apartments in the Towers are offered in various plans ranging from 1 bedroom/1 bathroom to 4 bedroom/4 bathroom. The availability of one bedroom studio apartments is limited to 3 rooms for Towers II and III(floors 1, 6 and 7). The other 11 one bedrooms are used for RAs and GAs. Most of the building is composed of 4 bedroom/4 bathroom and 4 bedroom/2 bathroom apartments. Each tower houses approximately 500 students. Tower III is the home of the students in the Burnett Honors College. The towers are partnered with the athletics department and UPI. Through a loophole in NCAA regulation, there is one building that is almost completely comprised of UCF athletic students.
All residents of the Towers Communities and Rosen College Apartment sign annual contracts to rent their apartments for a full calendar year, whereas residents of all other standard housing communities on the main campus sign academic contracts to rent their rooms only for one or two semesters at a time.
All communities have staff living in each community. There is at least one Resident Assistant per 40-70 residents. There are also at least one Graduate Assistant per community. Finally, there is an Area Coordinator. At any given time, there are Resident Assistants on duty, Graduate Assistants and Area Coordinators on duty. UCF has over 175 RA's, 17 GA's, and 11 Area Coordinators.
Housing on the main campus typically fills to capacity well before the start of the Fall semester, and can not accommodate everyone who applies; however, this is not the case for the Rosen College Apartments, since the Rosen College of Hospitality only accepts a tightly-controlled, limited number of students and many of those opt to live off-campus.
On November 9,2006 Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was kicked off campus and their charter withdrawn after a series of hazing and drug related problems. Three months later, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity was also kicked off campus for a hazing incident. The university plans on building another Greek housing community in the coming years, however it will have a much higher population density than that is currently in Greek Park.
There are also a number of Greek organizations with no housing including:
Current on campus Greek houses:
There are also five fraternities known to have off campus housing options including: