When it comes to game design education in Florida, it looks like Orlando is your best bet.
The Princeton Review released its Top Schools for Game Design rankings — with the 25 best college and 25 best graduate programs — and UCF tops the latter at No. 2. Not far behind is Full Sail University at No. 18.
This is the second year in a row the university has taken the No. 2 ranking, and it has been in the top five every year since The Princeton Review ranking began.
"FIEA's exceptional faculty members, first-class facilities and close connections with the gaming industry's top companies have propelled the school to one of the very best of its kind in the country in less than 10 years," said UCF Provost and Vice President Dale Whittaker in a release. "This is a testament to UCF's success with location-based education and valuable partnerships – our students thrive in the classroom and in the job market when they learn in an environment so closely immersed in their industry."
UCF's graduate program, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, earned its spot with 16 award-winning student-made video games and 421 graduates to date, according to the FIEA website. Additionally, 127 companies have hired 412 graduates since its founding in 2005. The average starting salary for FIEA's graduates is $60,359.
Alumni have gone on to work on some of the industry's most popular games including Skyrim, Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Dead Space 3, just to name a few.
Taking the No. 1 spot is the University of Utah.
Top 10 game design graduate programs:
1. University of Utah
2. University of Central Florida
3. Southern Methodist University
4. University of Southern California
5. DigiPen Institute of Technology
6. Rochester Institute of Technology
7. Drexel University
8. University of California at Santa Cruz
9. New York University
10. Savannah College of Art and Design
Caroline Glenn is the News Editor at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @byCarolineGlennor email her at CarolineG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.