For the first time in school history, UCF cracked a top five ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

The publication’s “America’s Best Colleges” guide ranked UCF No. 5 on its “Top Up-and-Coming Schools” list.


This category recognizes national universities that “recently made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus or facilities,” according to a UCF news release.


UCF was the only Florida school to place in this category, and moved up two spots from its No. 7 ranking last year.


Despite the high praise in the up-and-coming category, the publication still classified UCF as a third tier university in its overall national category.

The third tier includes institutions ranked 134th through 190th, and lumps them together alphabetically instead of ranking each member of the third tier based on prestiege. The least prestigious tier is the fourth tier, which includes the remaining universities up to No. 262 listed alphabetically.

USF was also ranked as a third tier school, and unfortunately for the Gator haters on campus, the University of Florida placed ahead of UCF with its 47th national ranking. UM came in 50th.

The following Florida schools ranked in the fourth tier: Barry University, Florida A&M University, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, University of West Florida.

The ranks and tiers are chosen based on objective measures, like student selectivity, graduation and retention rates, along with a subjective — and an often controversial — “peer assessment,” where university leaders rank other schools.