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Full Sail University Review

Full Sail University is an arts and entertainment academy founded in 1979, and currently serving both campus-based and online students. With 49 degree programs offered and more than a hundred state-of-the-art studios and production facilities, Full Sail aims to provide students with a solid background in the theories, techniques and practical fundamentals of creative disciplines like film production, game design, sound recording, creative writing, event production, graphic design and software development. The campus is located in Winter Park, Florida, and offers daily tours to prospective students.

  • Total enrollment, Fall 2015: 20,025
  • Undergraduate enrollment, Fall 2015: 17,890
  • Graduate enrollment, Fall 2015: 2,135
  • Steps to undergraduate admission include:
    • Complete admission application
    • Pay $40 application fee & $200 enrollment deposit (creditable toward tuition)
    • Produce official documentation of high school graduation or successful completion of an approved high school equivalency exam
  • Steps to graduate admission include:
    • Complete graduate admissions application
    • Pay $75 application fee & 200 enrollment deposit (creditable toward tuition)
    • Furnish official transcripts from accredited postsecondary institution with cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better
    • Provide documentation of prior study of similar scope and subject focus to a graduate degree, or a résumé and letter of intent
  • Admission deadline: Rolling, but prospective students are encouraged to apply 3 months or more prior to official semester start date
  • Transfers accepted in both spring and fall? Yes

Financial Aid

  • Is this school eligible for federal financial aid? Yes
  • Does this school offer scholarships? Yes
  • What percentage of students receive financial aid? 86 percent
  • What percentage of students receive federal financial aid? 81 percent
Featured Programs


The Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting is the newest addition to Full Sail. Developed in collaboration with famous sportscaster, Dan Patrick, this bachelor’s program aims to immerse students into the world of sportscasting. Being a successful sportscaster requires many skills from live production and interviewing, to on-camera presenting and content creation. As part of this program, students are shown what it takes to be successful in today’s market.

Game Development and Design

The cross-discipline creative resources available at Full Sail help students take a balanced approach to crafting interactive experiences that integrates usability, aesthetics, level design, social interaction, game economics, storytelling, immersion and more with the understood sociological, anthropological and psychological aspects of the medium. On top of all that, Electronic Gaming Monthly named the school among its 2012 list of the best in the country for aspiring developers and Tips and Tricks magazine called it the "Harvard of game schools" in 2007.

Web Design and Development

Full Sail's Web design and development degree program provides a strong foundation in both front- and back-end development, covering the necessities of digital graphic design as well as training students in HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, ActionScript, XML and other important Web programming languages. Since Web designers and developers work in a variety of professional environments, the program also covers general career development skills like professional communication, portfolio creation, business software applications and personal finance management.


Full Sail University began as a music production and sound recording school, and that media production focus has stayed sharp throughout the institution's 35-year history. Concentrating on training students for jobs in the arts and entertainment industry has helped create an environment of cooperation, collaboration and unbridled creativity.

For on-campus students, Full Sail hosts activities and programs throughout the year, including workshops, guest speakers, film nights and other events that help students network and learn about their industry. The city of Winter Park also has two downtown areas within a short drive of the Full Sail campus, and the university also has a great location near one of Florida's biggest draws: the beach.

Full Sail's focus on training students for arts and entertainment jobs has fostered an environment of cooperation, collaboration and unbridled creativity.

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Degree programs at Full Sail have earned accolades from entertainment industry publications, educational innovation watchdogs, and national college and university ranking agencies. Here are a few of the rankings lists on which Full Sail degree programs have appeared over the last several years:

  • Top 100 Social Media Colleges, StudentAdvisor.com (2013): No. 7
  • Top 5 Music Programs, Rolling Stone Magazine (2005)
  • Best Colleges for Veterans - Nontraditional and Online, Military Times (2013, 2014)
  • Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs, The Princeton Review (2010)
  • Top 25 Graduate Game Design Programs, The Princeton Review (2014): No. 18

In some of these cases, Full Sail finds itself ranked in some fairly prestigious company. On the StudentAdvisor list, for example, the only colleges to rank higher than Full Sail were Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Duke and Princeton — putting it ahead of such established institutions as Columbia, Brown, Georgetown, Ohio State and the University of Texas.

Notable Faculty/Awards
  • Film instructor James Neihouse became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2014
  • Named School/College of the Year in 2008, 2011 and 2014 by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges (FAPSC)
  • Won 2011 21st Century Best Practices Award from the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
  • Given 2011 NMC Center for Excellence Award by the New Media Consortium (NMC)
  • Named one of Apple's Innovators in Education in 2010

1. Full Sail University, http://www.fullsail.edu
2. Best for Vets: Colleges 2013, Online & nontraditional schools, Military Times, http://projects.militarytimes.com/jobs/best-for-vets/2013/colleges/online-nontraditional/
3. Best for Vets: Colleges 2014, Online & nontraditional schools, Military Times, http://projects.militarytimes.com/jobs/best-for-vets/2014/colleges/online-nontraditional/
4. Selected statistics for degree-granting postsecondary institutions enrolling more than 15,000 students in 2012, by selected institution and student characteristics, Digest of Education Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_312.20.asp
5. Top Graduate Schools for Video Game Design, The Princeton Review, 2014, http://www.princetonreview.com/top-graduate-schools-for-video-game-design.aspx
6. "The Princeton Review's Top 50 Undergraduate Video Game Design Programs," Mike Snider, USA Today, February 20, 2010, http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2010/02/the-princeton-reviews-top-50-undergraduate-game-design-programs -- /1
7. Top 100 Social Media Colleges 2013, StudentAdvisor, http://www.studentadvisor.com/top-100-social-media-colleges

Disclaimer: Information on this page was not provided or commissioned by the featured school. Information has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the featured school.

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