The rankings are the latest acknowledgment of UCF’s dedication to academic excellence,

UCF Recognized for Academic Excellence and Advancing Professional Careers in Engineering, Research and Innovation

By: Graduate Studies on

UCF is one of the best universities in the nation for students looking to continue their education and advance their careers in a wide range of professional areas, including emergency and crisis management, high-tech research and the engineering fields.

Take it from U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 Best Graduate Schools Rankings, which are based on in-depth reputational and statistical surveys from more than 800 institutions. Located in one of the nation’s major metropolitan cities, UCF is close to a host of internship and job opportunities with many of the nation’s most successful companies.

The rankings are the latest acknowledgment of UCF’s dedication to academic excellence, commitment to advancing the professional careers of students, and an institutional priority for making significant societal contributions. Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report recognized UCF as one of the top 10 universities in the nation for Online Bachelor’s Programs. Last fall, the publication named UCF a national leader in innovation and social mobility. Taken as a whole, the rankings show UCF is the place to be for those looking to take their professional careers to the next level.

In the annual rankings, announced today, UCF’s Master of Emergency and Crisis Management program placed No. 3 in the nation, ranking among the top ten in the country for the fifth consecutive year. UCF was No. 12 for Atomic/ Molecular / Optical Physics. Four areas of study within Public Administration ranked among the top 40 in the country. Nine UCF engineering programs were in the top 50 among public institutions and in the top 100 among all institutions, both public and private. Overall, nearly 40 programs at UCF were rated among the top 150 within their respective fields.

Emergency and Crisis Management Ranked in Top Three – Again

Placing third in the nation, the Master of Emergency and Crisis Management program is the university’s highest-ranking program. The program has been UCF’s top-ranked graduate program each of the last four years. The fifth consecutive year that it has placed in the top 10, UCF’s program is the only one in Florida to place in the top 10 in this category for 2023.

Earning an average annual salary of around $75,000, the demand for emergency management practitioners is expected to grow 4% through 2029. UCF’s program prepares its students, both those working in the industry as well as those looking to break into it, to secure management roles in prominent local and national entities. These include the City of Orlando, Lockheed Martin, the National Military Command Center, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Seminole County Office of Emergency Management.

Program leadership says UCF prepares its students to meet the employment demand like few other universities. UCF focuses on a whole community approach for all phases of emergency management while emphasizing ethical and culturally competent leadership in public service.

“The ever-increasing number of man-made and natural disasters necessitates the need for professional emergency management practitioners to guide our nation’s communities through times of tragedy and distress,” says Qian Hu, program director and an associate professor within UCF’s School of Public Administration. “For nearly 20 years, UCF has been training individuals to meet the demands of threats to our homeland. At UCF, our students receive an innovative, hands-on experience that qualifies them to be crisis management leaders anywhere across the globe.”

In addition to the graduate program in Emergency and Crisis Management, the following academic areas within UCF’s School of Public Administration were ranked within the top 40 of their respective fields:

A Leader in National Research

Signaling the strength of interdisciplinary research at UCF, the university placed No. 12 in the Atomic/Molecular/Optical (AMO) category. The ranking recognizes the high quality of collaborative education and research conducted through UCF’s Department of Physics as well as through the CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics. In placing 12th, UCF finished in a statistical tie with such notable private research universities as the University of Chicago, Duke, and Princeton.

Earlier this year, Michael Chini, a UCF physics professor, led a UCF team that developed the world’s first optical oscilloscope, an instrument that can measure the electric field of light, based on all-solid-state materials. A research team led by Physics professor Li Fang was awarded an almost $2 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to develop a first-of-its-kind infrared laser system. A team of physics and CREOL professors earned UCF an invitation to join LaserNetUS, a U.S. Department of Energy consortium of the nation’s most prominent laser facilities. Recently ficonTEC, a German-based global leader in photonics manufacturing, partnered with UCF to establish a Central Florida location and provide CREOL student and faculty researchers access to sophisticated industry production tools through a new lab in the college.

“UCF’s steady and ongoing investments in AMO physics and laser sciences, both in the Department of Physics and at CREOL, allow our students to work and collaborate on interdisciplinary research at the cutting edge of these fields,” says Zenghu Chang, a Pegasus Professor of Physics and Optics and Photonics

Overall, 2021 was a banner year for UCF research endeavors. From innovative jet propulsion systems to explorations on office-space behaviors, UCF research endeavors focused on work that battled threats and sought out opportunities to advance society. An internationally recognized space pioneer, UCF conducts innovative applied research, including more than 12 projects related to NASA’s Artemis mission. Last year, UCF ranked 25th among public universities for producing patents and 60th in the world, according to the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

A Leader in Engineering

Among engineering programs, UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science ranked No. 43 across public institutions and No. 73 overall. The university placed ahead of several other Florida institutions, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the University of Miami and the University of South Florida.

Nine individual engineering programs and areas were ranked within the top 50 among public institutions. They were all ranked in the top 100 among both public and private institutions. The Computer Science program saw the college’s biggest one-year national leap, rising eleven spaces to No. 69, overall.

A full listing of UCF engineering rankings follow:

Other 2023 UCF Rankings

Across the UCF community, a wide range of other academic programs and areas were recognized within the nation’s top 150 of their respective fields. They were:

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