Florida Institute of Technology

"Florida Tech" redirects here. For other uses, see Florida Tech (disambiguation).
Florida Institute of Technology
Motto Ad Astra Per Scientiam
"To the stars through science."
Type Private
Established September 22, 1958
Endowment $66.2 million[1]
President T. Dwayne McCay
Academic staff
Students 6,631[2]
Undergraduates 3,586[2]
Postgraduates 3,045[2]
Location Melbourne, Florida, U.S.
28°03′56.78″N 80°37′28.14″W / 28.0657722°N 80.6244833°W / 28.0657722; -80.6244833Coordinates: 28°03′56.78″N 80°37′28.14″W / 28.0657722°N 80.6244833°W / 28.0657722; -80.6244833
Campus Small city[2]
130 acres (.53 km²)[3]
Colors Crimson and Gray[4]
Nickname Panthers
Mascot Pete the Panther
Sporting affiliations

NCAA Division II

Website www.fit.edu

The Florida Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Florida Tech and FIT) is a private doctoral/research university in Melbourne, Florida.[5] Florida Tech has six academic divisions with emphases on science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and aviation.[6] The university's 130-acre primary residential campus is located near the Melbourne International Airport and the Florida Tech Research Park.[7] It is about 50 miles (80 km) from the Kennedy Space Center and 75 miles (121 km) from Orlando.

The university was founded in 1958 as Brevard Engineering College and has been known by its present name since 1966.[8] In 2013, Florida Tech had an on-campus student body of 4,633, almost equally divided between graduate- and undergraduate-level students with the majority of them focusing their studies on engineering and the sciences.[3]


Miller Building

Florida Institute of Technology was founded as Brevard Engineering College by Dr. Jerome P. Keuper in 1958.[8] Classes were originally held at the Melbourne Municipal Airport in buildings formerly used by the Naval Air Station Melbourne.[9] In 1961, the university moved its location to Melbourne, Florida.[10] During the 1960s additional classroom and laboratory buildings, a library, the Denius Student Center, Hedgecock Gymnasium, Gleason Auditorium and several dormitories were constructed.[10][11] The university was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1964[12] and officially changed its name to Florida Institute of Technology in 1966.[8]

Historic sign from Florida Tech Alumni Association and Florida Department of State.

In 1972, the university launched its first off-campus program at the request of the United States Navy.[11][13]

The Evans Library was completed in the early 1984.[14] The following year the original library was renovated and dedicated as the Jerome P. Keuper Administration Building.[11] In 1988, the Homer R. Denius Student Center was renovated, the student plaza completed, and the applied research laboratory building acquired.[10] The Claude Pepper Institute for Aging and Therapeutic Research and Skurla Hall, home of the School of Aeronautics, opened in 1990. In 1997, the university received a $50 million grant from the F. W. Olin Foundation.[15] An engineering building and life sciences building were opened in 1999 in result of the grant.[16][17]

Seven new residence halls were completed in 2003.[11] Each resident hall was named after one of the seven fallen astronauts of the Shuttle Columbia disaster and dedicated to their memory.[11] In 2005, the F. W. Olin Physical Sciences Center opened.[11] Construction on the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at Melbourne International Airport began in 2008.[18] The following year, the College of Business became the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, and the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at the Melbourne International Airport, the Scott Center for Autism Treatment, the Harris Center for Science and Engineering and the Harris Institute for Information Assurance were opened.[11] November 20, 2015, marked the unveiling of the Harris Student Design Center, a 11,500 square foot building on the south side of campus.[19] This facility provides space for students completing design projects. In 2016, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID) and the Larsen Motorsports High Performance Vehicles & Research Development Center opened at the Research and Development Center on Palm Bay Road.

The university established its football program in 2010.[20] The Panther Aquatic Center was opened a year later.[11] In 2011, the university partnered with the Brevard Art Museum and established it as the Foosaner Art Museum.[21][22]

Jensen Beach Campus

Florida Institute of Technology's Jensen Beach Campus, also known as School of Marine and Environmental Technology or (SOMET), was a specialized branch campus located on the former campus of Saint Joseph College of Florida on the Indian River Lagoon in Jensen Beach, Florida, approximately 50 miles south of the university's main campus.[1] The campus attracted oceanography, underwater technology and other assorted marine biology students. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had more officers that are graduates of FIT in Jensen Beach than from any other campus or college in the country. The SOMET was transferred to the main campus and became the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences (DMES). The campus closed after the transition in 1986.


Florida Tech Panther

The university's 130-acre main campus is located in Melbourne, Florida, on what is known as the Space Coast region along the Atlantic Ocean.[6] The university offers many student services including tutoring, health services, health insurance, and campus safety.[6] Florida Tech has six residence halls and three apartment style accommodations for on-campus living.[23]

Off-campus sites

Florida Tech offers specialized graduate degree programs through sites in Huntsville, Alabama, Fort Eustis, Virginia, Fort Lee, Virginia, Alexandria, Virginia, Quantico, Virginia, Dover, New Jersey, Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, Lexington Park, Maryland, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Kennedy Space Center, Rockledge, Florida and Orlando, Florida.[24]


Student demographics

In fall 2013, Florida Tech enrolled 4,633 students at the main campus; 1,160 at off-campus locations; and 3,466 online for a total of 9,112 students.[3] The male to female ratio in the student body was 73:27. 69% of all students came from the United States, representing 47 states; 38% of those were from Florida and 31% of all students came from 101 other countries. In 2014, the average combined verbal and math SAT score of incoming freshmen at the undergraduate level of Florida Tech was 1131.[25]

2013-2014 On Campus Enrollment Breakdown[3]
College of Engineering 55.34%
College of Science 15.07%
College of Aeronautics 8.42%
College of Business 10.28%
College of Psychology and Liberal Arts 9.68%
No College Designated 1.22%


The university offers degrees in a wide variety of science and engineering disciplines and is one of the few universities to offer aviation degrees. Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).[12] The Engineering programs are also accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).[26] The Computer Science program is accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Commission of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board. Florida Tech's chemistry program is accredited by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society. Aeronautical Science and Aviation Management programs are accredited by the Council on Aviation Accreditation. The Clinical Psychology PsyD program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and the graduate Behavior Analysis programs by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). The university is divided into five colleges: College of Aeronautics, College of Engineering, Nathan Bisk College of Business, College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, and College of Science. In 2016, FIT added the School of Computing to focus of programs in computer information systems, computer science, cybersecurity, data sciences, and software engineering.


University rankings
Forbes[27] 391
U.S. News & World Report[28] 161
Washington Monthly[29] 210
Times[30] 601–800

Times Higher Education ranks Florida Tech as one of the top 800 universities in the world.[31] U.S. News & World Report classifies Florida Tech a tier-one national university,[32] ranking it second among private national universities in Florida and 161st among all national universities.[33]

PayScale rates Florida Tech highly in return on investment (ROI), ranking it first in Florida and 53rd in the U.S., with a 20-year net return of $620,000 on average.[34] In 2012, Bloomberg rated Florida Tech as the best Florida college in ROI, using their own methodology and data from PayScale.[35] The Brookings Institution ranked Florida Tech first in Florida and 94th nationally for alumni earnings in 2015, also using data from PayScale.[36] CollegeNET and PayScale ranked Florida Tech 549th out of 931 colleges for enabling social mobility in 2015.[37]

In 2016, Niche ranked FIT 317th out of 1,164 colleges after surveying students and recent alumni about their experiences on and off campus.[38] The university received A's in the areas of academics, campus food, and diversity.

Barron's ranks Florida Tech a "best buy" in college education.[39] Florida Tech is also listed as a top technical institution in the Fiske Guide to Colleges.[40]


In 2014, Florida Tech was awarded $14.3 million in external research funding.[41] From 2009 to 2012, the number of Florida Tech faculty who serve as principal investigators increased by 100% including four recipients of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Awards.[42] During this time period, five new interdisciplinary research institutes were initiated that are the focal point for Florida Tech undergraduate and graduate research. These new research university institutes include the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute, Human-Centered Design Institute, Institute for Energy Systems, Institute for Marine Research, Institute for Materials Science & Nanotechnology and Institute for Research on Global Climate Change. Other research facilities include the Harris Institute for Assured Information, Institute for Computing and Information Systems, National Center for Hydrogen Research, Institute for Biological and Biomedical Sciences and the National Center for Small Business Information.

In the college of engineering, the faculty performs research as part of numerous departmental laboratories and research groups. These include Robotics and Spatial Systems;[43] Laser, Optics, and Instrumentation Laboratory;[44] Wind and Hurricane Impact Research Laboratory;[45] Wireless Center of Excellence;[46] Information Characterization and Exploitation Laboratory;[47] BioComplex Laboratory;[48] Computer Vision Group;[49] Laboratory for Learning Research;[50] Software Evolution Laboratory;[51] Center for Software Testing Research;[52] and others.

Faculty and students in the Physics/Space Science department conduct research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, High Energy Physics (experimental particle physics), Lightning, Solid State and Condensed Matter Physics, and Space and Magnetospheric Physics.


Main article: Florida Tech Panthers

Florida Tech's athletic teams are known as the Panthers.[53] The school fields 22 sports, 11 each for men and women, at the NCAA Division II level and is a member of the Sunshine State Conference.[53] The sports include: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's crew, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming & diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track & field, and women's volleyball.[54] The university added the men's and women's track & field team to the athletics program in spring 2011.[55] The men's and women's swimming & diving teams were added in fall 2011 and men's lacrosse in Spring 2012.[56] In 2010, the university announced plans to create a football program that held its inaugural season in 2013, and went on to win its first game, its first homecoming game and its first bowl game.[57][58] The football team plays in the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference as an affiliate member.[59] In 2015, Florida Tech Track joined the Peach Belt Conference as associate members.[60]

Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield attended Florida Tech and set the home run record in 1987 as a first baseman.[61][62] His number (3) was retired in 2006.[63]

Florida Tech won the NCAA Division II National Championship in Men's soccer in 1988 and 1991.[64]

Florida Tech's Daniela Iacobelli won the National NCAA Division II Woman's Golf Championship in 2007.[65]

Student life

On-campus housing

Florida Tech has seven traditional residence halls, an eight-building Southgate Apartments complex, the seven-building Columbia Village suites and the three-building Harris Village suites.

Student organizations

Student Union Building
Inside of the Homer Denius Student Union Building (1st Floor)

Florida Institute of Technology has 132 active student organizations on campus.[66] The university-sponsored student organizations, such as Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, the Homecoming Committee, FITV (CCTV Channel 99 on campus), and The Crimson (student-run university newspaper) operate in primary university funding.[66] Some organizations are run by membership dues, such as the many fraternities and sororities on campus, as well as certain professional organizations like American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), IEEE and AIAA. Other organizations are operated via Student Activities Funding Committee funding, overseen by the Student Government Association Treasurer. Organizations like Residence Hall Association, ACM, Anime Club, and others are operated by SAFC funding. Arts, media, and performance organizations include: Amateur Radio Club, Belletrist, College Players, Dance Association, Film Society, FITV, Florida Tech Pep Band, The Crimson and WFIT.[66]

Students at Florida Tech have the opportunity to participate in a number of club and intramural sports in addition to the varsity athletics programs.[67] The university offers intramural sports Flag Football, Ultimate Frisbee, martial arts, paintball, Disc Golf and Judo.[67] Sport clubs include ice hockey, soccer, table tennis, Collegiate wrestling and baseball.[66] The Florida Tech ice hockey program is a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, playing at that organization's Division 3 level. The Florida Tech ice hockey program is a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, playing at that organization's Division 3 level.[68]

Greek life

Florida Tech has a number of Greek life opportunities for students. The university's fraternities include Alpha Tau Omega, Lambda Chi Alpha, Chi Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Lambda Phi, Sigma Tau Gamma and Tau Kappa Epsilon.[69] Its sororities include Alpha Phi, Gamma Phi Beta and Phi Sigma Sigma.[69] Florida Tech also has a chapter of Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity. Squamish, a co-ed fraternal organization, also exists on campus, although it is not Greek life affiliated.[70]

Honor societies

The university offers a number of national and international Honor Societies including the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, Chi Epsilon a Civil Engineering Students honor society, Delta Mu Delta business honor society, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society for freshman class academic achievement, Phi Kappa Phi general academic honor society, Psi Chi honor society of psychology, Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society and Upsilon Pi Epsilon computing and information systems honor society.[71]


The university publishes the Florida Tech Crimson, student published newspaper and the International Journal of Aviation Sciences, an on-line publication launched in 2016 by the College of Aeronautics.

Events and conferences



On 1 July 2016, T. Dwayne McCay assumed role as President.

Notable people

See also


  1. 1 2 "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY2014 to FY2015" (PDF). 2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowment Results. National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. January 27, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "College Navigator". U.S. Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "2013-2014 Fact Card". Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  4. "Graphic Identity Manual". Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  5. "Institution Lookup". Carnegie Classifications. Indiana University Bloomington. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 "Florida Institute of Technology". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  7. "Florida Tech Research Park". Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 Patterson, Gordon (Fall 1998). "Countdown to College: Launching Florida Institute of Technology". The Florida Historical Quarterly. Florida Historical Society. 77 (2): 163–180. JSTOR 30152246.
  9. Stone, Elaine Murray. Brevard County: From Cape of the Canes to Space Coast, 1st ed. (United States: Windsor Publications, Inc., 1988), p. 51.
  10. 1 2 3 "Florida Tech History". March 12, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Florida Tech History". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  12. 1 2 "Commission on Colleges". Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  13. "Florida Institute of Technology at Melbourne, Florida". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  14. "History of the Evans Library (1984 - 2009)". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  15. William H. Honan (June 6, 1997). "Largest Gift Ever Endows a New College". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  16. Lynne Bumpus-Hoope (October 15, 1999). "Florida Tech Gets Ready To Show Off 2 New High-tech Buildings". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  17. Lynne Bumpus-Hooper (June 4, 1997). "$50 Million Gift Is Big Vote On Future Of Florida Tech". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  18. David Kearns (March 5, 2009). "FIT's Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training now open". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  19. Price, Wayne T. (November 20, 2015). "Harris Design Center opening". Florida Today. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  20. "GSC Adds Florida Tech To Its Football Membership". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  21. "Foosaner Art Museum History". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  22. Brevard Business News. Florida Tech announces $1 million gift, renames Brevard Art Museum the Foosaner Art Museum (Melbourne, Florida: Brevard Business News, August 8, 2011), p. 15.
  23. "Campus Life". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  24. "Florida Institute of Technology University College Site Locations". Uc.fit.edu. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  25. "Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL - Find information about admissions, tuition, majors and campus life at". Petersons.com. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
  26. "Find an ABET-Accredited Program". ABET. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  27. "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 5, 2016.
  28. "Best Colleges 2017: National Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2016.
  29. "2016 Rankings - National Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  30. "World University Rankings 2016-17". THE Education Ltd. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  31. "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  32. "FAQ: 2015 Best Colleges Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  33. "National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  34. "College ROI Report: Best Value Colleges". PayScale. 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  35. "Best Colleges for Return on Investment". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  36. "Beyond college rankings: A value-added approach to assessing two- and four-year schools". Brookings Institution. 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  37. "Social Mobility Index 2014". CollegeNET and PayScale. 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  38. "College Rankings". Niche. 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  39. Solorzano, Lucia (2010). Best Buys in College Education (11th ed.). Barron's Educational Series. pp. 67–70.
  40. Fiske, Edward (2015). Fiske Guide to Colleges 2016 (32nd ed.). Sourcebooks. p. xxxiv.
  41. "Table 17". NCSES Higher Education Research and Development: Fiscal Year 2014. U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  42. "Florida Tech Research". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  43. "Robotics and Spatial Systems Lab". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  44. "Laser, Optics, and Instrumentation Laboratory". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  45. "Wind and Hurricane Impact Research Laboratory". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  46. "Wireless Center of Excellence". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  47. "Information Characterization and Exploitation (ICE) Laboratory". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  48. "BioComplex Laboratory". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  49. "Computer Vision Group". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  50. "Laboratory for Learning Research". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  51. "Software Evolution Lab". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  52. "Center for Software Testing Research". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  53. 1 2 "Florida Tech". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  54. "Florida Tech Athletics Grows with Addition of Six Teams". August 19, 2010.
  55. "Florida Tech Athletics Adds to its Sports Offerings". Florida Institute of Technology. August 3, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  56. "Florida Tech Adding Men's Lacrosse for 2011–2012". LaxPower.com. August 3, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  57. "Touchdown Florida Tech: Football Approved". Florida Institute of Technology. April 30, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  58. "Florida Tech Football 2014 Season Tickets Now On Sale". March 20, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  59. DeCotis, M. (June 16, 2011). "Englehart Florida Tech Panthers' first football coach". Florida Today. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  60. "Conference Adds Florida Tech as Associate Member for Track & Field". Peach Belt. 2015-01-13. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
  61. "Florida Institute of Technology Baseball Players Who Made it to the Major Leagues". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  62. Matthew Pouliot (February 17, 2012). "Tim Wakefield ranks with Red Sox legends". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  63. "Fenway's Best Players". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  64. "Championship history". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  65. Parsons, Mike (May 13, 2007). Iacobelli's eagles land NCAA title. Florida Today.
  66. 1 2 3 4 "Student Activities". Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  67. 1 2 "Student organizations". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  68. "Hockey sticks with Florida Tech". January 31, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  69. 1 2 "Chapters at Florida Tech". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  70. "Student Organizations". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  71. "Honors Societies". Florida Institute of Technology. Retrieved June 24, 2011.

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