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3300 University Blvd
Winter Park, FL 32792-7429
p. 407-679-0100
w. www.fullsail.edu

Full Sail University

Full Sail University Rating: 4.1/5 (60 votes)

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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

Unique Programs

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

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

Ranks 434th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Florida.


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

Local Community

Winter Park has a population of nearly 30,000 residents. It is home to Rollins College in addition to Full Sail University. Local attractions include a museum of American art that is home to the world’s largest collection of the famed Tiffany glass, several theatres, and Hannibal Square.

Winter Park is northeast of Orlando, home to Walt Disney World and a plethora of other famous theme parks and attractions.


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.

Information Summary

Ranks 108th in Florida and 2788th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 2 0.01
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery 2 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 3 0.01
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 45 0.16
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape 5 0.02
Robbery 27 0.10
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 226 0.80
Larceny 615 2.18
Vehicle theft 29 0.10

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions focus, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate professional (business dominant)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, inclusive
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily nonresidential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringMaster's degree
Calendar SystemOther academic year
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District1207

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1739th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $19,001 $19,001 $19,001
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $3,045 $3,045 $3,045
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Tuition $16,377 $16,377 $16,377
FT Graduate Required Fees $3,081 $3,081 $3,081
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $22,288 $22,288 $22,288
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $42,616 $42,616 $42,616
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $24,664 $24,664 $24,664

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $20,907 $21,448 $20,907 $21,448 $20,907 $21,448
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $200(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $16,648(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,680(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $2,376(N/C)

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 136 645 430 86 20 1,838 845 4,197
Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects 17 16 44 12 1 188 37 325
Business/Commerce, General 25 171 52 7 7 187 161 647
Cinematography and Film/Video Production 15 39 63 9 220 84 445
Computer Graphics 3 13 22 6 58 11 120
Computer Programming/Programmer, General 8 4 10 7 1 90 11 133
Creative Writing 1 37 6 1 49 86 191
Design and Visual Communications, General 2 13 5 2 1 19 76 129
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce 4 25 14 2 1 89 72 228
Educational/Instructional Technology 17 1 1 34 57 123
Graphic Design 5 21 20 11 3 218 29 317
Journalism 28 5 17 43 97
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 1 28 40 7 1 157 35 279
Music Management 4 94 37 2 1 179 23 349
Operations Management and Supervision 7 1 18 7 35
Recording Arts Technology/Technician 35 115 82 13 1 181 87 541
Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology 7 9 15 3 1 59 14 110
Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster 2 14 14 5 75 12 128

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 3663rd for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $48,086 ($47,832 male / $38,517 female)
Number of FT Faculty 967 (704 male / 263 female)
Number of PT Faculty 967
FT Faculty Ratio 1 : 1
Total Benefits N/A

Melissa Rhone+

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.

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