Full Sail University is a for-profit university located in Winter Park, a suburb of Orlando, Florida. The school was established as a recording arts institution in Ohio in the late 1970s. It moved to Florida, where film and video production programs were added, in 1980.
The university is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, which provides national accreditation for a variety of career training programs throughout the United States. It is not a regionally accredited school. Students may pursue associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.
The institution was originally founded as Full Sail Recording Workshop, a school intended to train students to become recording engineers. As film and other media programs were offered, its name changed to Full Sail Real World Education. The school received its current name in 2008 after receiving university status from the state of Florida’s Department of Education Commission for Independent Education.
Students may pursue degrees and certificates online or on campus. The school’s programs of study concentrate on entertainment industry-related fields, including web-based technologies, audio and digital media production, video game design, animation, and more. The school prides itself on offering up-to-the-minute courses relevant to real-world happenings in the entertainment, media, and arts industry.
The university offers a variety of associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees well as graduate certificates. A monthly course system is used instead of the traditional academic semester system. The typical associate’s degree program at Full Sail University takes approximately one year to complete, while bachelor’s degree programs take an average of 20-30 months. Master’s program average around one year to complete.
The online academic offerings are more extensive than its on-campus offering. However, not all on-campus programs are offered online (and vice versa).
Most Popular Fields of Study
The university’s campus includes a backlot to replicate Hollywood movie and television sets.
The World Wrestling Entertainment internet show WWE NXT and the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz are both filmed at the school.
Specific admissions requirements vary depending on the program that students wish to study. For example, applicants must display artistic talent and understanding in order to be considered for the programs in Game Art or Computer Animation. Applicants must also have a strong foundation in upper-level math courses in order to be admitted to the Game Development program.
Bachelor’s level programs require applicants to possess a high school diploma or a GED as well as a letter of recommendation from a previous teacher or mentor.
The admissions process is greatly centered around an interview that applicants must have with one of the school’s admissions representatives. Based on the results of this interview, both the student as well as the school will have a better idea of the likelihood of Full Sail University being the right fit.
Financial aid is available for eligible students. Prospective students are encouraged to learn more about aid options directly from the university.
Student Financial Aid Details
The university does not offer on-campus housing, yet thanks to the school’s proximity to the Orlando-Kissimmee metro area there are countless apartment complexes and other housing options nearby. The school can help students locate suitable housing accommodations and offer assistance to students who wish to find other students as roommates.
There are a wide variety of school-approved organizations for students, most of which are geared toward entertainment and media industries. These include student chapters of AIGA, a professional design organization, and GRAMMY U, the Grammy University Network. Other student groups include an entertainment industry networking club and a Gay-Straight Alliance.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The university has over 35,000 graduates. Notable alumni include Oscar winner Gary Rizzo, screenwriter / director Darren Lynn Bousman of the horror movie Saw franchise, and Howard Stern Show producer J.D. Harmeyer.
Notable instructors have included Dave Arneson, the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, and businessman Stedman Graham, perhaps best known as Oprah Winfrey’s significant other since the mid-1980s.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.