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UCF Engineering and Computer Science Remain Highly-Ranked Undergraduate Programs

By: UCF News | September 13, 2022

The University of Central Florida continues to uphold its reputation as a top-ranked public institution of higher education and a leader in innovation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Colleges rankings, a national list published this week that also places UCF’s engineering and computer science programs in the top 100 out of hundreds of schools.

UCF’s undergraduate engineering program climbed several spots from last year to rank #75 out of more than 200 schools considered. UCF’s computer science program ranks #86 out of 537 schools considered, placing UCF in a top percentile for computer science.

UCF remains a leader in innovation, ranking No. 20 across all institutions for 2023 and in the top 20 in the Most Innovative Schools category for the fifth consecutive year. With the latest ranking, Knight Nation is the highest ranked in Florida and in the same company as excellent universities such as the Georgia Tech, Harvard, the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin.

Innovation is at the heart of how UCF faculty teach, how the university supports the success of students and novel research conducted across its campuses.

“Pushing ourselves beyond what can be imagined is how we do things in the UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science,” says Michael Georgiopoulos, dean. “Our inspiration comes from our world-class faculty, our high-achieving students, our multi-partner research efforts that provide real-world opportunities for all students, our robust industry partnerships, our leadership development programs for all students, our thousands of alumni who give back to us to benefit students — these all contribute to UCF’s growing reputation of excellence on the national and international stage.”

These rankings, and the ones listed below, highlight just a few of the many areas UCF has achieved excellence in due to the efforts and dedication of our students, faculty, staff and partners.

Providing Engineering Talent the Nation Relies on

Equitable access to STEM education is essential for America to remain globally competitive. Since the university began offering classes in 1968, 126,000 STEM degrees have been awarded, accounting for 31.5% of all degrees. Often seen as a challenging field with a high return on investment, UCF has a strong reputation for producing a high volume of engineering graduates. UCF is a top workforce supplier for many global companies such as Lockheed Martin and Mitsubishi Power. And, for more than six years, UCF has ranked as the nation’s largest workforce supplier to the aerospace and defense industry (Aviation Week Network).

This is in part due to efforts to expose students to the most cutting-edge research while preparing them with practical skills that align with our region’s workforce needs.

“UCF is surrounded by an ecosystem of research and technology with major breakthroughs in engineering fields such as aeronautics and space right here in our state,” says Seetha Raghavan, UCF professor and aerospace engineering program coordinator. “We are spearheading this leadership in innovation by building a workforce equipped with scholarship and research capacity through our undergraduate and graduate programs.”

With NASA’s Artemis program aiming to land the first woman and person of color on the moon by 2025 to develop sustainable presence there and advance deep space exploration, now is a pivotal time for space research. As the Artemis 1 mission launch is scheduled for later this year, more than 30 UCF alumni, many of whom are engineering graduates, are supporting the initiative. More than 20 UCF faculty and dozens of students are also involved with Artemis program-related research projects that will provide important insight into the next wave of space exploration.

Raghavan is leading a team of engineering students to create a 3D printed coating to keep spacecrafts and other objects safe while traveling in space. The project is NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Space Technology Artemis Research, or M-STAR, initiative — which UCF was one of seven national institutions awarded a $500,000 grant to participate in. UCF’s Hispanic Serving Institution designation made it eligible for the award. With NASA aiming to build a more diverse and competitive workforce, this award enables UCF to recruit and retain underrepresented and underserved students. Through M-STAR, UCF engineering, as well and physics and medical students, have opportunities to make an impact in the real world — and help shape the future of it — before they even graduate.

“Our students have access to opportunities to engage in pioneering research and industry internships while preparing themselves academically for the exciting careers that lie ahead,” Raghavan says. “These opportunities have paved the way for diverse groups of students to reach their full potential and this is what best measures our success.”

In March, U.S. News & World Report ranked more than 30 UCF graduate programs among the best. In January, UCF broke into the top 10 best online schools with the No. 7 U.S. News & World Report  rankings — the best in university history and seven spots up from the previous year.

Read UCF’s full story about U.S. News 2023 rankings on UCF Today.