Coordinates: 28°36′06″N 81°12′02″W / 28.6016°N 81.2005°W / 28.6016; -81.2005
The University of Central Florida, commonly referred to as UCF, is a metropolitan public research university located in Orlando, Florida, United States. UCF is a member institution of the State University System of Florida, and is the second-largest university in the United States by enrollment.
The University of Central Florida was authorized by the Florida State Legislature in 1963, and opened in 1968 as Florida Technological University, with the goal of providing highly-trained personnel to support the Kennedy Space Center, located only 35 miles (56 km) to the east. As the university's academic scope had expanded to encompass other disciplines, "Florida Tech" was renamed the University of Central Florida in 1978. Although initial enrollment in 1968 was only 1,948 students, as of 2012 enrollment consists of 59,767 students representing over 140 countries, all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 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 210 separate degree options through twelve colleges and twelve satellite campuses throughout Florida. Since its founding, UCF has awarded more than 235,000 degrees, including 40,000 graduate and professional degrees, to nearly 190,000 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, and hospitality management, and is considered the fifth-best 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 Conference USA (C-USA). On July 1, 2013, the Knights will join as all-sports members of the American Athletic Conference.
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