The University of Central Florida’s video game graduate school ranks No. 2 in North America, according to The Princeton Review and PC Gamer magazine.
The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, an anchor of UCF’s planned downtown campus, achieved its third No. 2 ranking in the eight years since The Princeton Review began doing its reviews. FIEA has been ranked in the top five every year.
“FIEA is a global leader in graduate education,” said UCF Provost and Executive Vice President Dale Whittaker. “Its faculty and students anchor an emerging media industry cluster in downtown Orlando and advance our region’s recognition as an interactive entertainment powerhouse. We’re excited to bring more students downtown in related fields as part of our new campus because they will benefit from the foundation FIEA has built.”
Since opening its doors in UCF’s Center for Emerging Media building, across from the former Amway Arena in 2005, FIEA has graduated 537 students. Graduates are working at more than 135 companies around the world, including Apple, Google, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Bungie, Zynga, Ubisoft, Disney, Microsoft, Bethesda, Nintendo and Industrial Light & Magic.
The average starting salary for recent FIEA graduates is $63,500. Graduates are working on some of today’s most popular franchises. Those include “Fallout 4,” “Fortnite,” “Star Wars Battlefront,” “Madden NFL 17,” “NBA Live 17,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division,” “Rise of the Tomb Raider” and “Halo 5.”
“UCF prides itself on its innovative programs and I’m glad the Princeton Review continues to recognize us as a leader in interactive-entertainment education,” said executive director Ben Noel. “Our faculty, staff and of course our students are what make FIEA work so well.”
Plans for UCF Downtown call for a renovated Center for Emerging Media to join a new academic building that UCF and Valencia College will share.
The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com) chose the schools based on a survey it conducted in 2016 of 150 institutions offering game-design coursework and/or degrees in the United States, Canada and some countries abroad.
In addition to being published today on The Princeton Review website, the listing will also be featured in the May issue of PC Gamer magazine, on newsstands March 28.
To see the full rankings, go here.