Video gamers rejoice: The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at UCF was today ranked the No. 1 game design graduate school in the nation.

The school, which is located in Downtown Orlando, was formerly ranked No. 2 for two consecutive years by The Princeton Review. This year, the school took first place among 25 graduate school gaming programs.

“I’m thrilled that the Princeton Review recognizes the quality of our outstanding faculty and students, our facilities and our close partnerships with industry,” said FIEA executive director Ben Noel in a press release. “Every day we look forward to preparing the next generation of filmmakers, game makers and digital media entrepreneurs from Central Florida and around the world.”

The rankings account for four primary factors, including academics, faculty, technology and careers. These provide a metric by which to compare schools based on the tools, experience, knowledge and professional outcomes offered to students.

PC Gamer remarked that the facilities at FIEA were a primary factor in its high marks.

“An epic studio houses many different stages that are also used for movies and commercials, which offer students paid internships,” according to the article.

The school has enrolled more than 500 graduate students since it began operation in 2005, according to a press release. The average starting salary of FIEA graduates is $63,000, and several have worked on AAA-gaming titles, such as Fallout 4, Star Wars: Battlefront, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Madden NFL 17 and Halo 5.

FIEA does not currently boast any undergraduate programs.


Bernard Wilchusky is the Editor-in-Chief of the Central Florida Future. You can reach him by email at or on Twitter @cameradudeman.

Read or Share this story: