Fueled by booming undergraduate enrollment and transfer students, the University of Central Florida became the second-largest public university in the country when 56,235 students enrolled in the fall of 2010, early figures show. (Arizona State is first with 70,440 students.) The good news? Registering for classes hasn't been a problem, said Cliff Jett, a sophomore and the news editor for UCF's student paper KnightNews.com. The bad news? Not enough parking. "There is only so much space you can have when 30,000 people come to class at the same time," Jett said. And some classes are big. Like biology with 1,400 students that several professors are team-teaching. Tips faculty get to manage such classes: Be conversational when lecturing, make eye contact with all parts of the room and be enthusiastic — not dull or routine.
Chartered: 1963 as Florida Technological University with engineering courses as its main sell because of its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center.
In-state tuition: $500 a year.
Budget (education in general): $5.9 million.
Degree programs: Less than 30.
Degrees awarded: 430 bachelor's degrees in 1969-70 (first year degrees handed out).
First mascot: The Citronaut, a mix between an orange and an astronaut.
Renamed: The University of Central Florida in 1978.
In-state tuition: $4,518 a year.
Buildings: 165 main campus.
Budget (education in general): $440.1 million.
Degree programs: 216.
Degrees awarded: 207,242.
Mascot: The Knights.
“Under Construction Forever"
It's the unofficial nickname for the university located on a roughly 1,400-acre main campus. There's even a blog following all of the myriad projects: underconstructionforever.com. In the last five years, UCF has spent $442.5 million in construction projects.
• An indoor full-size practice football field (2005).
• The 45,000-seat Bright House Networks football stadium and the 10,000-seat UCF Arena opened in the same week (2007).
• The first phase of a $25 million Performing Arts Center and the College of Medicine's education facility at Lake Nona (2010).
•In the works:
• $70 million in eight athletic projects over the next decade.
• $55 million in student housing.
• A $14 million parking garage. Total on-campus parking: 17,848.
The student body
GPA: 3.82 for incoming freshmen, 4.2 for honors.
Average SAT: 1237.
Top 5 majors: psychology, molecular biology and microbiology, nursing, biology, business.
Milestone: A nursing student ,whose parents traveled from their home in rural China for the graduation, received UCF's 200,000th degree in May 2010.