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UCF Engineering, Computer Science Graduate Programs Rank Top 75 Among Hundreds of Schools

UCF industrial engineering ranks No. 41; aerospace engineering rises to No. 50 in latest national rankings
By: Kimberly J. Lewis | April 25, 2023
Associate Prof. Kareem Ahmed, Ph.D., left, is a mentor to mechanical and aerospace engineering students.

The University of Central Florida has maintained its reputation as one of the best universities in the nation for students looking to advance their education and their careers in a wide range of engineering disciplines and computer science.

The U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-2024 Best Graduate Schools rankings, announced today, are based on in-depth reputational and statistical surveys from more than 800 institutions.

UCF’s master’s and doctoral programs are critical in addressing workforce shortages and fostering job growth in high-demand fields including engineering and computer science disciplines.

In the annual rankings, the UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science’s collegewide graduate program ranked No. 73 across public and private institutions in the country. UCF engineering ranked higher than the engineering programs at several other Florida institutions, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the FAMU-Florida State University College of Engineering, the University of Miami and the University of South Florida.

Nine programs in the College of Engineering and Computer Science were ranked in the top 75 among both public and private institutions, with three programs gaining spots from last year:  UCF’s aerospace engineering program – with master’s and doctoral degree offerings – rose five spots to No. 50. Civil engineering, with master’s and doctoral programs including the nation’s only master’s degree in smart cities, also rose five spots to No. 64. Mechanical engineering – with master’s and doctoral programs – gained four spots to No. 71.

For the first time, UCF’s biomedical engineering program is nationally ranked, after the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering launched a Ph.D. program in 2022, adding to its biomedical engineering master’s degree offering.

A full list of UCF engineering and computer science rankings follows:

Research That’s Out of This World

It’s noteworthy, but no surprise, to see a five-spot jump to No. 50 for UCF’s aerospace engineering graduate program.

UCF’s aerospace research strengths include hypersonic propulsion, turbine technology, efficient engines and sustainable fuels, the mechanics of materials, durable structures, protective coatings for extreme conditions, flight dynamics, and more. In 2019, UCF added a Ph.D. program in aerospace engineering to its graduate offerings and has seen a steady increase in enrollment.

“The high quality and national significance of aerospace engineering research at UCF, our successful alumni working in leadership roles within the aerospace industry, and UCF’s prominence as the top workforce supplier to the nation’s aerospace and defense industry all contribute to UCF’s growing international reputation,” says Yoav Peles, Ph.D., chair, UCF Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

UCF faculty and students regularly research and invent groundbreaking methods for traveling the country, and even space. For instance, Kareem Ahmed, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, studies hypersonic speeds and advanced propulsion. His research, with the help of graduate students, explores aircraft-engine technology that’s capable of propelling travelers from New York to London in 30 minutes. The technology has big implications for space travel, too, which is why Ahmed leads more than $5.5 million worth of research grants from organizations like NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, General Electric and Siemens.

Ahmed is influencing the next generation of engineering pioneers through the graduate students he mentors.

“UCF is a dynamic university with an energetic student population. It’s a central hub of innovation that’s forward-thinking and rapidly growing, and that drives my presence here,” Ahmed says.

UCF has long been recognized as the top supplier of aerospace and defense talent, according to Aviation Week Network. UCF graduates make up 29% of employees at Kennedy Space Center. These graduates often make their first connection to the NASA space center through internship and research experiences while at the university.

Significant University Rankings

Numerous UCF graduate programs achieved top rankings, including the Master of Emergency and Crisis Management program, which placed No. 2 in the nation. See the April 25, 2023 UCF Today story by Rachel Williams’15 ’20 for more university-wide national rankings.

Adapted from the April 25, 2023 UCF Today story by Rachel Williams’15 ’20.