Universities & Colleges
The exceptional quality of technology research and training at Central Florida colleges and universities is increasingly recognized as an extraordinary community asset. Working in tandem, the University of Central Florida in Orlando and the University of South Florida in Tampa anchor Florida's High Tech Corridor, providing undergraduate, graduate and doctoral program options in specialties ranging from microelectronics to bio-med. In addition to the multitude of specialized high tech curriculums, graduate degrees in business administration and law are also available through local universities.
University of Central Florida (UCF)
With more than 60,000 students, UCF is the second largest university in the nation. Maybe even more important is the school’s growing reputation as a top metropolitan research university, and its focus on meeting the needs of the local business community.
UCF's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is home to a nationally and internationally-ranked Champion Programming Team, as well as the university's largest graduate research programs.
The university is also renowned for its unique cross-disciplinary approach to education, which combines the strengths of its colleges of business and engineering to build skills in both the "virtual" and "real" worlds.
Several additional hands-on UCF research and training facilities include:
Materials Characterization Facility (MCF)
Institute for Simulation and Training (IST)
Space Education and Research Center
Florida Solar Energy Center
BioMolecular Science Center
Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL)
Adjacent to the University of Central Florida is the Central Florida Research Park, recognized as one of the top ten research parks in the world. This 1,000-acre corporate community provides an environment for industry and the university to share training facilities, pursue cooperative research and transfer existing technology to the marketplace.
Recognized as one of the nation’s 50 “Best Value” private colleges and universities, according to The Princeton Review
, Rollins is the top regional university in Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report’s
annual rankings. The college’s Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business is noted for excellence in graduate management education and lifelong learning programs. Rollins currently has an enrollment of nearly 3,500 students from more than 40 states and 30 nations.
Full Sail University
Full Sail University is an award-winning educational leader for those pursuing careers in the entertainment and media industry. Founded in 1979, Full Sail offers on-campus and online master's, bachelor's, and associate's degree programs in areas related to animation, art, business, education, graphic design, film, marketing, web development, music, recording arts, sports, and video games. The University has been recognized as one of the Top Five Game Degree Programs by Electronic Gaming Monthly
, one of the Best Music Programs by Rolling Stone
magazine, and one of the Best Film Programs by UNleashed Magazine
. In 2011, Full Sail received the "21st Century Best Practices in Distance Learning Award" from the United States Distance Learning Association, was named the "School/College of the Year" by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges, and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Social Media Colleges by Studentadvisor.com
Lake-Sumter State College
, Seminole State College of Florida
and Valencia College
, all members of the Florida College System, combined serve more than 66,000 students in Orlando. The three institutions also have a combined $1.6 billion economic impact on the region. The colleges partner with the University of Central Florida to offer DirectConnect to UCF. Through DirectConnect, associate (A.A. and A.S.) degree graduates of Lake-Sumter State College, Seminole State College of Florida and Valencia College receive guaranteed admission to UCF as juniors. Aimed at improving local access to higher education, DirectConnect has helped thousands of students earn their bachelor's degrees in a convenient, affordable way close to home. DirectConnect, which was introduced in 2006, is a national model for providing Floridians the opportunity to affordably attain higher education.
Lake-Sumter State College (LSSC)
During the last four decades, Lake-Sumter State College has earned the reputation as one of the best two-year institutions in Florida. There are three convenient campuses: Leesburg, Clermont, and Sumterville. The LSSC mission statement says it best ..."Lake-Sumter State College provides excellent student-centered academic and career-oriented education that is proactive, accessible, and responsive to our community's needs". With this goal in mind, LSSC continues to provide a quality, personalized, economical, and flexible environment for Lake and Sumter County students.
Seminole State College of Florida (SSC)
Seminole State College of Florida is a comprehensive college, offering career and transfer programs, apprenticeships, adult education and five bachelor's degrees. The college serves a diverse population with more than 18,000 students at four sites in Seminole County, including campuses in Altamonte Springs, Heathrow, Oviedo and Sanford/Lake Mary. The college ranks as one of the top 10 most affordable colleges for online degrees in Florida and offers more than 40 degrees and certificates fully online.
Seminole State’s Center for Economic Development focuses on developing and enhancing the business community in Seminole County through the Small Business Development Center, the Seminole Technology Business Incubation Center, the Seminole Advisory Board Council, workforce grants and entrepreneurial education. Seminole State, part of the public Florida College System, has served Central Florida since 1965. Seminole State draws students from 86 countries and is the third largest employer in Seminole County.
Valencia College was ranked the top community college in the nation for 2011-2012 by the Aspen Institute, a Washington educational- and policy-studies center. Aspen chose Valencia as the inaugural winner based on the strength of its graduation and transfer rates, especially among minority students, as well as its workforce training programs which boast high job placement rates.
The college offers a two-year A.A. parallel program that prepares students to transfer to an upper-division college or university; college-preparatory courses that help first-year students excel; and technical programs and continuing education courses that prepare students to meet the needs of business and industry. Valencia College operates six campuses and centers in Central Florida's Orange and Osceola counties. Joint University of Central Florida-Valencia buildings on two campuses offer 15 UCF undergraduate degrees as well as Valencia's own bachelor's programs in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology.
Other higher education institutions with facilities in the region include:
Ana G. Mendez Metro Orlando University // Barry University // Beacon College // Belhaven College // Columbia College // DeVry University // Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University // Florida A&M College of Law // Florida Career College // Florida Institute of Technology // Florida Southern College // Florida State University College of Medicine // Full Sail University // Keller Graduate School of Management // Keiser University // National-Louis University // NOVA Southeastern University // Polytech University // Stetson University // Troy State University // University of Phoenix // University of South Florida // Webster University