The Florida Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Florida Tech or FIT), is a private research university located in Melbourne, Florida, United States. Florida Tech has five academic divisions with strong emphases on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Its 130-acre primary campus is located near the Kennedy Space Center and the Florida Tech Research Park, which hosts numerous high-tech companies, and a large concentration of technology-sector jobs in the USA.
Founded in 1958 as Brevard Engineering College, the university has been known by its present name since 1966. As of 2012, Florida Tech had an on campus student body of 4,200, almost equally divided between graduate- and undergraduate-level students, with the plurality of them focusing their studies on engineering and the sciences. An additional 3,400 study online and 1,200 reside at extended campuses.
Despite its small size and young history, Florida Tech is consistently ranked among the best national doctoral-granting universities in the US. Florida Tech has more than 50,000 alumni, including a National Teacher of the Year recipient, director of a NASA center, five astronauts who have flown on the Space Shuttle, several astronaut candidates, the first female four-star general, two other four-star generals and nearly two dozen other generals, a 1992 Olympic medalist, a major league pitcher, and thousands that serve as scientists, engineers, pilots, and managers in many high-technology enterprises.