Orlando, FL, Game Design Schools
Orlando, FL, has about nine schools with programs applicable to game design. However, they may fall under broader titles, such as digital arts, while still covering relevant game design concepts. This article profiles three schools that are less than 40 miles from downtown Orlando and the programs they offer. It also includes a table of facts about the schools, such as size, tuition and graduation rate. At the end of the article is a little information on other Orlando-area schools with relevant programs.
- Students at the University of Central Florida (UCF) can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media with an emphasis in game design and a Master of Science in Interactive Entertainment. This school is about 11 miles from the Orlando city center.
- Orange Tech has a career training program in game, simulation and animation programming. This school is only a few miles from downtown.
- Stetson University , about 33 miles outside of Orlando in DeLand, FL, offers game design instruction through its bachelor's degree program in digital arts with emphases in art, computer science and sound.
Comparison of Schools
Students who are deciding on a college need to be aware of many facts. This table compiles important information about these three schools that can help individuals find their best option.
|University of Central Florida||Orange Tech||Stetson University|
|School Type||Public, 4-year university||Public, 2-year technical center||Private, non-profit, 4-year university|
|Total Enrollment (in 2017)||66,059*||1,287*||4,252*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large city||Midsized suburb|
|Annual Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$6,368 in-state, $22,467 out-of-state*||$3,402*||$44,490*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2017)||87%*||36%*||100%*|
|Acceptance Rate (fall 2017)||50%*||N/A - open admissions||68%*|
|Retention Rate (2017)||90% full-time, 80% part-time*||71% full-time, 76% part-time*||78% full-time, 100% part-time*|
|Graduation Rate||70% (7% transfer-out rate) (for those who began their studies in 2011)*||38% (for those who began their studies in 2014-15)*||62% (for those who began their studies in 2011)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
University of Central Florida
Sitting on more than 1,400 acres, the University of Central Florida offers about 216 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to its main Orlando campus, UCF also has ten regional campuses spread throughout central Florida. The main campus is made up of 13 colleges, including the College of Arts and Humanities where the game design program is located.
Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media
The game design track for the digital media bachelor's program teaches students to design and construct their own video game concepts. Students learn about digital media fundamentals like computer modeling, digital storytelling and electronic media. The game design coursework covers topics such as animation, illustration, computer programming languages, object orientation programming and video game design and production.
Master of Science in Interactive Entertainment
This 16-month program is offered at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, which is part of the Center for Emerging Media in downtown Orlando. Students can choose from three tracks in this program: art, production and programming. In the art track, students learn about digital asset creation and portfolio development. Students in the production track learn about production and design and media distribution. The programming track explores the technical side of game design. Students learn the basics of game programming, advanced game programming and applied programming mechanics. A capstone in the form of a project will be required for the master's degree.
Individuals can enroll in any of Orange Tech's numerous career-related programs offered in arts and technology, business, consumer services, education and healthcare. The school also offers academic programs like GED preparation, adult basic education and adult English literacy. Orange County Public Schools manages Orange Tech, and the school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Occupational Education.
Career Program in Game, Simulation and Animation Visual Design
This 600-hour program teaches students to design video games for various gaming systems, create 2-D and 3-D graphics and construct computer games. Students can prepare for careers in the gaming or digital media industry as a game programmer or designer, computer game developer or simulation programmer. Full-time and part-time options are available for this program.
Stetson was founded in 1883 and today the school has grown to include four locations in Florida. Programs are offered through the School of Music, the College of Law, the School of Business Administration and the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences was ranked 5th in regional universities by US News & World Report, as of 2018.
Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts
While this degree program doesn't include classes specifically in game design, it does offer a variety of classes that are useful in the field and can be found within other game design programs. Additionally, some graduates of the program have landed jobs within the gaming industry. Students learn about interactive media, digital design, 3-D animation and digital video while learning to use industry-standard software. Three tracks are available for students to choose from: computer science, art and sound.
While the Orlando, FL, area doesn't offer any other schools with programs directly in game design, it does have a couple other schools with programs containing applicable courses. Valencia College has an associate's program in digital media technology with a focus in video and motion graphics. Seminole State College of Florida also offers an Associate of Science in Graphics Technology with a specialization in digital and interactive media design, which includes courses in electronic media, animation, interactive design and digital video.