The University of Central Florida is a public research university with its main campus located in unincorporated Orange County, Florida, northeast of the city of Orlando and south of Oviedo. UCF also has nine smaller regional campuses throughout central Florida. It is part of the State University System of Florida. With 70,406 students as of the Fall 2021 semester, it currently has the second-largest student body of any public university in the United States.
UCF was founded 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 Space Force Station on Florida's Space Coast. As the school's academic scope expanded beyond engineering and technology, Florida Tech was renamed the University of Central Florida in 1978. UCF's space roots continue, as it leads the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium. Initial enrollment was 1,948 students; enrollment in 2021 exceeds 71,000 students from 157 countries, all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Most students attend classes held on the university's main campus, 13 miles east of downtown Orlando and 35 miles west of Cape Canaveral. The university offers more than 230 degrees through 13 colleges at 10 regional campuses in Central Florida, including the Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona Medical City, the Rosen College of Hospitality Management