2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 21, 2021  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interactive Entertainment MS

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College: Nicholson School of Communication and Media Degree: MS
Department: Games and Interactive Media Option: Nonthesis
Program Websites: https://fiea.ucf.edu/
Graduate Program Handbook

Program Description

The Master’s of Science in Interactive Entertainment at UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) teaches artists, programmers, and producers the techniques, tools, and skills to succeed in the gaming industry. The program provides specific skills in the area of game design, as well as essential skills such as problem solving, teamwork, and project management.

FIEA provides a team-based, industry-oriented education in a world-class facility located at UCF’s Center for Emerging Media in downtown Orlando. Student production teams are mentored by industry experts and researchers who provide instruction in game design, technical design, creative collaboration, rapid prototyping, 3-D animation and modeling, technical art, motion capture, software engineering, legal and ethical issues, preproduction, and postmortems. Graduates have access to internship opportunities and job interviews with game and media companies from across the country.


The Interactive Entertainment MS degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree including 12 credit hours of core courses, 9 credit hours of specialization, a practicum and a capstone experience.

Total Credit Hours Required: 30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Required Courses: 24 Credit Hours

Core: 12 Credit Hours

The foundation of the degree is the four-course core sequence that focuses on team-based learning. This sequence is designed to provide declarative, procedural, and strategic knowledge in a variety of issues related to game design. These include creative collaboration, rapid prototyping, 3-D animation and modeling, documentation, software engineering, legal and ethical issues, preproduction, and postmortems.

Specialization: 9 Credit Hours

Specialization courses help prepare students in their chosen field (Art, Production or Programming) by covering the details of each discipline. Art classes help students develop aesthetic and technical skills necessary to create compelling visuals for the entertainment industry. Programming classes focus on software engineering techniques as they apply to interactive entertainment products, while production classes focus on the specifics of game design as well as project management.

Students take all three courses in their chosen specialization.

Production Specialization

Programming Specialization

Capstone: 3 Credit Hours

The capstone experience applies the concepts and theories learned to produce a large-scale project. The target deliverable is a playable demonstration of a game that simulates the core experience and demonstrates the key features of the project’s vision. The course concludes with a special event premiering the final project to the FIEA community and invited guests.

Practicum: 6 Credit Hours

The practicum is a supervised experience supplementing theoretical and practical experiences involving new research developments or partnerships within industry. Students may participate on a research team exploring new ideas in interactive entertainment with industry partners, work on an on-site internship with a game company, or develop their own interests by working with faculty on a personal research area of interest.

Independent Learning

Both the capstone course and the practicum provide independent learning experiences. The capstone experience is a project-based class that features a game demonstration. The practicum allows students to work with industry partners, in an internship, or to conduct research.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
  • A portfolio of prior work as it relates to their area of specialization (art, programming, production, etc.) sent directly to the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy.

This program admits students in the fall semesters into production teams. Students will be selected based on the skills they possess and contributions they can make to the production team.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, and the applicant’s potential for completing the degree.

Because of the high volume of portfolios received, we regret that we cannot offer individual feedback on the materials that are submitted as part of the application process.

Application Deadlines

Interactive Entertainment MS *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1    
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15    
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Richard Grula
Telephone: 407-235-3616
FIEA 130

FIEA Admissions
Telephone: 407-235-3580
CEM 115F

Graduate Admissions

Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230  
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL  32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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