Schools in Orlando, FL, with Digital Media Degrees
Several schools in the Orlando area offer certificate and degree programs in digital media at the graduate and undergraduate levels. This article looks at three public schools within a half-hour of the city's downtown and the programs they offer. It also includes a table that prospective students can use to compare schools in important areas, such as graduation rates, costs and school size. At the end of the article is an extensive listing of other schools in the area with relevant programs.
- One option for individuals seeking a digital media degree from a public university is the University of Central Florida (UCF), which is the largest postsecondary institution in Orlando. Located about 11 miles from downtown, UCF offers a bachelor's and two master's degree programs in the field.
- Students looking to earn associate's degrees or certificates in the field while paying lower tuition rates can find options at Valencia College in the heart of downtown Orlando.
- Seminole State College of Florida, about 17 miles outside of Orlando, also offers several types of certificate and associate's degree programs in digital media.
Comparison of Schools
Students need to look at many factors when choosing a school, and the following table provides this information in an easy-to-access format.
|University of Central Florida||Valencia Community College||Seminole State College of Florida|
|School Type||Public, 4-year university||Public, 4-year college (primarily associate's)||Public, 4-year college (primarily associate's)|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||66,059*||44,834*||17,550*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large city||Small city|
|Annual Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$6,368 in-state; $22,467 out-of-state*||$2,474 in-state, $9,383 out-of-state*||$3,131 in-state, $11,456 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year, Full-Time Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2016-2017)||87%*||75%*||79%*|
|Acceptance Rate (Fall 2017)||50%*||N/A - Open admissions*||N/A - Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||90% for full-time students; 80% for part-time students*||N/A*||N/A*|
|Graduation Rate (students who began in Fall 2011)||70% (7% transfer-out rate)*||41% (15% transfer-out rate)*||37% (12% transfer-out rate)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
University of Central Florida
The School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) is housed within the College of Arts and Humanities. The school blends the traditional art disciplines and digital media. More than 75 faculty members are employed within SVAD. All students in this school take two drawing and two design courses to learn basic art principles.
Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media
Before students can take major coursework, they must first complete prerequisite courses in art history, 2-D design, drawing, computer science and algebra. Lower-level coursework for the digital media major includes digital video basics, introduction to digital imaging and basic interactive design. Some of the upper-level classes include digital media production and digital cultures and stories.
Students can choose from two concentrations: game design and Web design. In the game design option, some of the classes include illustration, animation fundamentals and object-oriented programming. In the Web design track, students can take classes in graphic design, Internet interaction and media business procedures, among others.
Master of Arts in Digital Media
This program emphasizes visual language and interactive media. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in any field, GRE scores, a portfolio and an essay. In the program, students can learn advanced techniques while honing their technical abilities. The program consists of 36 credits, and students can choose either a thesis or non-thesis option. Some of the classes offered include media design, visual language principles, transmedia story development and applied interactive story.
Master of Fine Arts in Emerging Media
The MFA in Emerging Media offers concentrations in studio art and the computer, entrepreneurial digital cinema, and animation and visual effects. These tracks require the completion of 60-66 credits. Coursework for the animation and visual effects degree program includes topics like story development, live action effects, troubleshooting, visual development, and research and marketing methods. Students in the program will also be responsible for a 12-credit thesis.
Valencia College's east campus houses the Arts and Entertainment Division where the digital media technology programs are found. The digital media program includes one full-time faculty member, two adjunct faculty members and one senior instructional assistant.
Certificate in Digital Media Development
Students in this 12-credit program learn to produce video, develop graphics and manage websites. Classes include interactive design basics, digital storytelling and introduction to digital imaging.
Certificate in Digital Media Video Production
Students looking to learn about video editing and motion graphics for digital video presentations may be interested in this 12-credit program. Classes include digital storytelling, advanced digital video and sound, and motion graphics fundamentals.
Certificate in Digital Media Web Production
Individuals looking for entry-level work as Web production assistants can learn foundational concepts and skills through this program. Students complete seven classes in this 15-credit-hour program, such as Web fundamentals, digital imaging basics, sound for media, and digital media and design.
Associate in Science in Digital Media Technology
This AS program offers four concentration areas. In the live event video production specialization, students can learn to integrate audio and video technologies for various media formats. Classes include audiovisual production, audiovisual technology and stage lighting. Students who choose the mobile journalism track study multimedia news production. In addition to taking courses in journalism basics, such as news reporting, students study electronic journalism, digital storytelling and audiovisual technology.
In the motion graphics track, students learn to create appealing motion graphics. They take classes in typography, drawing and Adobe Illustrator. They also complete a digital media project. Individuals looking to obtain positions in Web development can choose the Web development track, where they have the opportunity to learn about computer programming and scripting. Classes include basic and advanced Web essentials, client- and server-side programming and project management. A digital media project, portfolio review and internship are required for this track.
Seminole State College of Florida
Seminole State College has three Orlando-area campuses in addition to its main campus in Sanford, FL. The school enrolled more than 18,500 students in 2011, making it the eighth largest school in the Florida College System.
Certificate in Digital Media
Seminole State College offers three digital media certificate programs; students can choose between concentrations in digital media/multimedia production, graphic design production and graphic design support. Those interested in 3-D animation may find the digital media/multimedia production option their preferred choice. Students in this 15-credit program take digital media basics, 3-D modeling and beginning animation, motion graphics, digital illustration and bitmap graphics.
The graphic design production certificate program requires 24 credits and is designed for students looking to learn about design concepts and software programs. Students take classes in digital publishing, layout and design, interactive design, digital imaging and Adobe Illustrator. The graphic design support certificate program is less intensive, requiring only 15 credits. Students take two classes in bitmap graphics, introductory classes in digital media and digital imaging and a class on Adobe Illustrator.
Certificate in Digital and Interactive Media Design Technical
Students study the basics of digital and interactive media in this 12-credit certificate program. They take four classes: digital media introduction, digital video basics, digital imaging basics and interactive design fundamentals.
Associate of Arts in Digital Media
This program is ideal for students who plan to transfer to a 4-year digital media degree program after graduation. Students may take classes in art history, design fundamentals, drawing and algebra. Major coursework includes digital media basics, digital video fundamentals, introduction to digital imaging and interactive design.
Associate of Science in Media Design
After completing an AS program, graduates are prepared to immediately enter the workforce; however, students may also transfer their credits to a qualifying bachelor's program. Students can choose from three concentration areas: graphic design, Web design or entertainment design. The graphic design specialization teaches students about page layout and graphic design concepts. Students take classes in digital publishing, Web publishing, animation and illustration. They also take courses covering Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
In the Web design track, students create appealing websites that use graphics and 2-D and 3-D effects. Students take Web effects classes as well as courses that teach them to create bitmap and vector graphics using Adobe software programs.
Other School Options
Rollins College, which is a private school located less than three miles from Orlando in Winter Park, FL, offers a bachelor's degree program in studio art that allows students to choose electives relevant to digital media. About 31 miles from Orlando in DeLand, FL, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts from Stetson University. This school also offers concentrations in art, computer science and sound, and a minor in the field is also available.
Beacon College in Leesburg, FL, which is about 36 miles from Orlando, allows students in the computer information systems associate's and bachelor's degree programs to choose a concentration in Web and digital media. In Cocoa, FL, which is almost 40 miles from Orlando, Brevard Community College has an associate's degree program in digital television/digital media production.
About 42 miles from Orlando in Winter Haven, FL, Polk State College offers an Associate of Science in Digital Media Technology program with specializations in Web production, video production and graphic design. Certificate programs in these three areas are also available.