ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Central Florida ranked in the top 15 for video game programs in the world.
The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy -- UCF’s graduate game development program -- has been named one of the top five programs in the world by the Princeton Review for the past 10 straight years. UCF's undergraduate Games and Interactive Media department moved up 23 places from 2018’s ranking.
The Princeton Review chose the programs among 150 institutions in the U.S., Canada and abroad that offer game design degree programs or courses from its 40-question survey in 2018. The survey gathered information on UCF’s game design academic offerings, lab facilities, the program’s graduates’ starting salaries and career achievements.
“I’m pleased that the Princeton Review has recognized UCF’s continued focus on gaming education at the undergraduate and graduate level,” Ben Noel, executive director of FIEA, said. “As we continue to grow, I expect UCF Downtown to become an even greater hub for game design education and industry collaboration.”
The top graduate programs for game design are New York University, Southern Methodist University and University of Southern California. The top undergraduate programs for game design are University of Southern California, New York University and Becker College.
Both the undergraduate and graduate video game programs will be moving to the UCF Downtown location starting fall 2019. The university will bring 7,700 students to downtown Orlando to further their education through its partnership with Valencia College.
“The Princeton Review rankings reflect the high quality of our interactive game development programs at UCF,” Robert S. Littlefield, director of the Nicholson School of Communication and Media, said. “We are very pleased that the extraordinary efforts of our faculty to provide high-quality instruction to growing numbers of students has been recognized as being among the best in the world. I look forward to even higher rankings for the programs in the future.”
Since its creation in 2005, there have been 671 students who have graduated from FIEA. The graduates are working at more than 230 companies around the world, including Apple, DreamWorks, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Bungie, Zynga, RockStar, Ubisoft, Disney, Microsoft and Nintendo.
“Our department of Games and Interactive Media offers a space for students to develop their creative voices through expressive work across platforms, ranging from video games, mobile applications and websites to virtual and augmented reality experiments,” assistant director Anastasia Salter said. “The faculty appreciate this recognition of the department’s continual efforts to provide this excellence at UCF’s impressive scale and community impact.”
Part of the Nicholson School of Communication and Media, the Games and Interactive Media department serves more than 1,000 students and offers undergraduate specializations in Game Design and Web and Social Platforms as well as the Master of Arts in Digital Media.
In addition to being published on the Princeton Review website, the ranking will also be featured in the May issue of PC Gamer magazine set to be released on newsstands March 26.