The Growth of a Graduate Community
For a young university, UCF has seen phenomenal growth in graduate enrollment: from about 1,000 graduate students in 1980, 4,000 in 1990, 6,000 in 2001, and 8,500 in 2010. In 2013 we have more than 10,500 active graduate students, with over 2,000 doctoral students and about 1,100 students currently engaged in dissertation and thesis research. One of the largest graduate schools in the nation, UCF is ranked in the top 5 percent of master’s programs in the United States, based on both enrollment and numbers of master’s graduates. We are currently graduating over 2,300 master’s students and about 250 doctoral students each year.
As the number of graduate programs and students has grown, those involved in delivering graduate education at UCF has increased. Today nearly 1,000 Graduate Faculty and more than 300 Graduate Program Directors and Staff, Department Chairs, and College representatives contribute to these efforts. In addition, many offices across campus provide valuable services to graduate students. We are grateful to these individuals for their commitments to providing the best education and experience for graduate students at UCF.
The College of Graduate Studies hosts several major events each year for graduate students that engage and foster interactions among the scholars and students of the UCF graduate community.
For more than ten years, GradFair has offered an open house-style event that is free and available to anyone interested in a UCF doctoral, master’s, specialist or certificate program. In September 2012 graduate programs from all colleges and representatives from student service offices welcomed and provided guidance to more than 1,400 prospective graduate students. An event not to be missed, GradFair 2013 is September 11, 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the Student Union, Pegasus Ballroom.
In August, the Graduate Orientation welcomes incoming graduate students to UCF and provides guidance on getting the most out of their graduate education experience. About 600 students attend this orientation each year and many more review the orientation videos and handouts online afterward.
In April of each year the Graduate Research Forum offers students experience in presenting their research and creative projects in an interdisciplinary, conference-like setting. Since 2007 the Graduate Research Forum has helped more than 800 graduate students polish their presentation skills. In 2013 over 200 graduate students submitted proposals for the forum and an estimated 500 faculty and students attended. This year 21 Graduate Research Forum award winners presented at the Statewide Graduate Student Research Symposium and four were first-place winners within the seven categories. Our graduate students participate in academic and professional conferences in the United States and abroad. The College of Graduate Studies funds more than 500 student presenters each year, making it possible for them to share their research and interact with scholars from around the world.
Since opening In Fall 2012, the Graduate Student Center has received hundreds of room reservations and had thousands of visitors. About 250 workshops and presentations have been held, and lots of student group meetings, studying, and collaborating is happening. Visitors include students from all colleges.
The Pathways to Success Program offers workshops designed especially for graduate students in academic integrity and the responsible conduct of research, graduate teaching, and professional and personal development. In 2012-2013 more than 1,700 students attended Pathways to Success workshops and connected with students from other UCF programs.
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