The University of Central Florida’s video game graduate school ranks No. 2 in North America, and 23 other UCF graduate programs rank among the top 100 in their fields in the United States.

The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy’s No. 2 ranking was released today by The Princeton Review and PC Gamer Magazine. FIEA has been ranked among the top five in all four Princeton Review sets of rankings since the school opened in downtown Orlando nine years ago.

Since opening its doors in 2005, FIEA has graduated 359 alumni working at 124 companies around the world, including Google, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Ubisoft, Disney and Microsoft. The average starting salary for FIEA graduates is $54,581.

“I’m glad to see the Princeton Review recognize the hard work put in by our faculty and staff at FIEA,” said FIEA executive director Ben Noel. “We spend every day ensuring our students are as ready as possible to have valuable careers in the video game, film and simulation industries.”

In other rankings released today, U.S. News & World Report ranked 23 UCF graduate programs among the top 100 in their fields. Last year, 21 UCF programs were ranked in the top 100 in their fields. The Best Grad Schools 2015 rankings are available online at, and the Best Grad Schools 2015 guidebook will be available on newsstands beginning April 8.

The Counselor Education program earned UCF’s highest ranking at No. 7, up two spots from its 2014 ranking. Counselor Education educates and prepares students interested in working as counselors and practitioners in schools, community mental health settings, institutions, hospitals, and private practice.

UCF’s Special Education program also earned a Top 20 ranking, jumping up four places to No. 12. The program provides course work needed to meet state certification requirements in special education of children and youth with disabilities

“We’re very pleased with the recognition our programs have received,” said Sandra Robinson, dean of the College of Education and Human Performance. “Faculty, staff and students have earned these accolades through their hard work and professionalism.”

UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics ranked No. 14 among the nation’s atomic, molecular and optical sciences programs. The Nonprofit Management program in the College of Health and Public Affairs ranked No. 25.

Two other programs in the College of Health and Public Affairs also made the top 50 – Criminal Justice (26) and Healthcare Management (46) – along with the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Industrial Engineering program, which ranked No. 42.

“These rankings clearly demonstrate the national recognition our programs have achieved in both health and public affairs,” said Michael Frumkin, dean of the College of Health and Public Affairs. “They are truly a testimony to the commitment and hard work of our faculty and the excellence of our students.”

Others from UCF in the top 100 of their specific fields are: Computer Engineering (58), Public Administration (59), Materials Engineering (61), Electrical Engineering (64), Environmental Engineering (68), Communication Sciences and Disorders (73), Civil Engineering (76), College of Nursing (79), College of Engineering & Computer Science (81), Physics (85), Social Work (89), Computer Science (90), Business Part-Time MBA Program (94), Mechanical Engineering (97), College of Education (98) and Physical Therapy (99).

More than 1,300 programs are reviewed nationwide for the magazine’s annual graduate-school guide. Scores are based on expert opinions about programs and statistical indicators that reflect the quality of faculty, researchers and students at each institution.

In a separate set of rankings released in January, UCF ranked No. 24 among the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, up from No. 45 in 2013.