University of Central Florida


University of Central FloridaEstablished in 1963, the University of Central Florida opened after locals graciously raised funds to purchase the land where the campus now sits. Work started on the campus in 1967, and more than 400 seniors graduated from the school a few years later. During its early years, the university primarily offered science and technical programs, and many of its graduates later worked for NASA and other government agencies. It wasn’t until the 1970s that it introduced new programs, which led to the campus officially becoming the University of Central Florida. Citing the need to help students in other parts of the state, UCF added regional campuses in several cities and partnered with four colleges to offer classes through those schools.

U.S. News & World Report called UCF one of the top growing schools on a 2015 list and included it on their list of top public colleges in America. The publication also ranked some of its programs as the top in the country, including its degree programs in criminology, engineering, education, nursing and psychology. Both Forbes and Washington Monthly included UCF on lists of the best colleges in the country, and ARWU called it one of the best in the world. The university recently became more selective in its admissions policy, which saw a reduction in the number of students admitted drop from more than 60% to just 43% of those who apply.

University of Central Florida Accreditation Details

UCF has program or general accreditation and specialty or program accreditation. Regional accreditation is generally the most important type. This lets you apply for government financial assistance and ensures that you complete a worthwhile degree program. UCF gained its regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). You can check the UCF website to find out when its SACS renewal comes up for renewal and what steps the university took to get its accreditation renewed. UCF also has accreditation for nearly 20 of its degree programs. If you enroll in one of the business programs, you’ll find that the program has accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. You will also find that the university has accreditation from groups that include:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • American Psychological Association
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

University of Central Florida Application Requirements

Those applying for admission to the University of Central Florida must complete several steps or requirements. Start with the basic online application, which serves as an introduction to your skills and talents. The application requires a home address, a valid email address, phone number, information about the courses you took in high school and any hobbies you had. You can also talk about volunteer experiences you had, whether you were on any teams and if you played any sports. Though you can submit the application without completing the essay portion, UCF recommends that you answer the essay. Your response can set you apart from others applying to the university.

There are several other requirements necessary for applying to UCF. You must take the SAT or ACT. While you will need to submit your scores, you can request submission of those scores when you take the test or later. You also need a complete and official transcript from your high school, but you can submit a home school transcript in lieu of a high school one. If you did not graduate from high school, you can use your score or the report you received after taking the GED.

Tuition and Fees

The University of Central Florida ranks as one of the more affordable colleges in the state, especially for local residents. Tuition starts at around $212 per credit hour for Florida residents, which includes all miscellaneous fees you must pay. Out of state students pay around $750 per credit hour, which also includes all fees. Those who take distance learning classes must pay an additional fee of $18 per credit hour for all courses taken off campus. All students are also responsible for their own expenses, including room, board, transportation to school, supplies and textbooks.

UCF has a priority deadline in place for those applying for financial aid. You generally need to complete and submit all forms by March of the year you plan to start classes. This gives the university time to determine how much help you need and put together a good package based on that need. If you receive loans or grants, those funds will appear on your account at the beginning of the semester. The university will cut you a check for any positive balance you might have on your account. You can also get assistance in the form of loans designed for parents and work-study opportunities on campus.

Student Experience

Many of the students applying to UCF apply for a spot in one of the research programs on campus. As the university receives more than $100 million in funding every year, those students may qualify for grants that pay all their educational expenses. You will also discover that the campus is fairly unique. In addition to the 200+ acres of land filled with buildings and dormitories, there is also a large wooded area surrounding the campus where students love playing, relaxing and spending time. UCF is also home to dozens of approved activities and teams, including a campus radio station, basketball team and honors program. You may want to get in shape at the fitness center or see a doctor in its state of the art medical complex.

Incoming freshmen will also want to look into the degree programs available. UCF added an integrated business and communications and conflict program in 2015. Some popular programs include art education, construction engineering, marketing, real estate and writing and rhetoric. The University of Central Florida pairs you with an adviser during your freshman year to help you choose a major and select a related minor.