Florida Tech Facts And Figures
Florida Tech is a national, private, not-for-profit, technological, co-educational, doctoral-granting, research-intensive university. While it is primarily residential, the university offers several degree programs online and at off-campus instructional sites.
The university consists of four colleges:
- College of Aeronautics
- College of Business, Nathan M. Bisk
- College of Engineering and Science
- College of Psychology and Liberal Arts
Florida Tech offers more than 200 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, as well as Ed.S. and certificate programs.
More than 68,000 students from more than 120 countries have earned degrees from Florida Tech. Notable alumni include five space shuttle astronauts, the first female four-star general in U.S. military history, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist in rowing, a two-time major league World Series-winning pitcher, a National Teacher of the Year and a member of the LPGA tour.
Florida Tech is a member of NCAA Division II. It is home to 15 intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports teams, which play as the Florida Tech Panthers. Most teams participate in the competitive Sunshine State Conference. Tickets are available through FloridaTechSports.com.
Five of Florida Tech’s alumni have served as space shuttle astronauts:
Sunita Williams (STS-116, STS-117)
M.S., Engineering Management, 1995
Joan Higginbotham (STS-116)
M.S., Management, 1992
M.S., Space Systems, 1996
Kathryn Hire (STS-90)
M.S., Space Technology, 1991
George Zamka (STS-120)
M.S., Engineering Management, 1997
Frederick Sturckow (STS-88, STS-105, STS-117, STS-128)
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2000
Florida Tech is one of only 46 universities to be selected as a cooperating educational institution by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. Two exceptionally qualified undergraduate Florida Tech students are selected annually to receive a prestigious Astronaut Scholarship of $10,000.
Board of Trustees
See Board of Trustees.
The 15-acre public Joy and Gordon Patterson Botanical Garden, as featured in the AAA Florida Tour Guide, winds through the heart of campus. Affectionately nicknamed "The Jungle," it contains more than 200 palms, bamboos and other rare and common specimens. Patterson Botanical Garden is also home to Melbourne’s original “little red schoolhouse.” A self-guided walking tour is available and certain garden spaces may be booked for wedding ceremonies.
Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID)
CAMID is a high-tech design and manufacturing facility that educates, enables and empowers individuals and organizations of all sizes to design, prototype and build new products. CAMID also serves as a STEM education and outreach center, connecting Brevard County students with Florida Tech educators, technologies and opportunities.
Campus and Location
Located on 130 subtropical acres in the City of Melbourne on Florida's "Space Coast," Florida Tech’s campus includes various academic, athletic, residential, dining, recreational, performance, administrative and multiuse facilities. It is an Arbor Day Foundation-designated "Tree Campus USA."
The Florida Tech campus sits about 2 miles from downtown Melbourne, 2 miles from Melbourne Orlando International Airport, 6 miles from the nearest beach, 45 miles to NASA—Kennedy Space Center, and 75 miles to the Orlando area. The Milken Institute ranks the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida, MSA the No. 10 best-performing tier one large city in the U.S.
The Florida Tech Challenge Course is a publicly owned outdoor recreation and leadership training facility operated by Florida Tech in cooperation with the City of Fellsmere, Florida. A portion of funds go toward maintaining the 80-acre preserve of natural Florida ecosystems surrounding the course.
There are 424 faculty at Florida Tech. About 74% of full-time teaching faculty have a Ph.D. or other terminal degree appropriate to their field. Faculty experts may be contacted for consulting services and media commentary.
Florida Tech is an independent, not-for-profit university with a total budget of approximately $200 million.
History & Founder
Florida Tech was founded in 1958 as “Brevard Engineering College” by Dr. Jerome P. Keuper, a physicist who worked at Cape Canaveral during the start of the Space Race. University lore suggests he started the university with an initial donation of 37 cents. The university’s name was changed to "Florida Institute of Technology" in 1966. Keuper served as president until 1986. Notable milestones are outlined in Florida Tech's Historical Timeline.
Florida Tech's annual Homecoming Fest, held in partnership with Nance Park in Indialantic, features street vendors, food, drinks and a free outdoor concert . Recent performers include Saint Motel (2023), MATISYAHU (2019), Cold War Kids (2018), The Fratellis (2017), Wyclef Jean (2016) and Matt and Kim (2015).
Indian River Lagoon Research Institute
University faculty have studied the Indian River Lagoon for more than 30 years. The Indian River Lagoon Research Institute was established in 2013 to improve and sustain the health of the one-of-a-kind estuary. More than 15 engineering and science faculty conduct research and projects as part of the institute.
The 5,500-horse power Florida Tech-branded jet dragster is owned and operated by university affiliate and tenant, Larsen Motorsports, a family-run motorsports company and industry leader in jet technology and student enrichment. Larsen Motorsports operates out of a 30,000-square-foot-space in Florida Tech's Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design, which is located minutes away from campus in Palm Bay, Florida.
L3Harris Student Design Center
The L3Harris Student Design Center is a 11,500-square-foot student project facility. Made possible by a $1 million gift from L3Harris Technologies Inc. (then Harris Corp.), it serves College of Engineering and Science seniors completing capstone design projects. The space includes a spray booth, welding stations, 2.5-ton overhead crane, electronics rooms and a conference room for team planning and idea development.
The Evans Library and Learning Commons is a high-tech hub for learning, innovation, discovery and digital scholarship where students and faculty alike can access information and resources vital to their research and scholarship. Evans Library houses a Digital Scholarship Laboratory, the Harry P. Weber University Archives, and special collections including the papers of Edwin A. Link, Maj. Gen. Bruce Medaris and poet Edmund Skellings.
Completed in 2016 through a partnership with Melbourne Mainstreet, and renovated in 2022, the Florida Tech mural is located on the side of the building at 800 E. New Haven Ave. in historic Downtown Melbourne. The mural, by artist Christopher Maslow, depicts a black panther moving through water, earth, air and space—areas in which Florida Tech has made significant scientific contributions.
Inscribed on the university’s seal is Florida Tech’s motto, “Ad Astra Per Scientiam.” This Latin phrase translates as, “To the Stars Through Science.”
Northrop Grumman Engineering & Science Student Design Showcase
The Northrop Grumman Engineering and Science Student Design Showcase is an annual event during which teams of graduating engineering and science students present their capstone projects and research posters. In 2009, a $1 million endowment gift from Northrop Grumman Corp. provided ongoing support for the students’ work. The gift reflects the company’s longstanding commitment to boosting interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and the value of hands-on learning.
Florida Tech offers a variety of degree and certificate programs online. Associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees are offered in eight-week terms through Florida Tech Online. Graduate degrees and certificates are also offered on a semester basis through the Virtual Education Center, ABA Online and the College of Aeronautics.
Florida Tech is currently led by sixth president John Nicklow.
Past Florida Tech Presidents:
- T. Dwayne McCay (2016-2022)
- Anthony J. Catanese (2002-2016)
- Lynn E. Weaver (1987-2002)
- John E. Miller (1986-1987)
- Jerome P. Keuper (1958-1986)
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)
Florida Tech ROTC, home of the Panther Battalion, provides leadership training and military science education for students who wish to become officers in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve and the U.S. Army National Guard. Students who participate in the program are eligible for full tuition scholarships from the U.S. Army.
Safety & Security
Florida Tech is committed to ensuring the safety, security and well-being of its faculty, staff and students. As such, the 20+ officers that make up the university’s Office of Security actively monitor the campus, respond to emergencies and serve the diverse needs the Panther community 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This includes active coordination with local and state emergency service providers as warranted. Annual security and fire safety reports are made available to the public.
Florida Tech awards merit-based Panther Fund scholarships of up to 50% of tuition to qualified students at the time of admission. Annually, the university selects one outstanding new student to receive its most prestigious award, the Farmer Scholarship, which covers 100% of tuition, fees, housing and a regular university meal plan.
Scott Center for Autism Treatment
Made possible by the generosity of Edward and Cheryl Scott, The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Tech opened on the university's campus in 2009. It is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization that provides children, youth and families affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD) with a full range of diagnostic and treatment services.
WFIT 89.5 FM is a noncommercial, public radio station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to the Trustees of the Florida Institute of Technology. It is a National Public Radio affiliate station broadcasting with HD radio technology at 8,000 kilowatts, reaching north to Cocoa Beach and south to Vero Beach. WFIT operates out of a 5,000-square-foot facility that includes six recording studios, a performance studio and a conference studio to facilitate the broadcast of round table discussions.
Florida Institute of Technology is a 501(c)3 charitable educational organization, and as such, any donations made to Florida Institute of Technology are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. For specific details on tax regulations governing charitable contributions, consult IRS Publication 526.