For students who enjoy studying in the Florida sunshine, graduate schools in Orlando may be worth consideration. With lots of local amenities and a population shy of 300,000, Orlando is a top destination to many travelers, but it is also well-loved by its residents with a plethora of sunshine and bustling activities.i
written by Rana Waxman
Graduate Schools in Orlando place students in the heart of Florida. While its many themed attractions like Disney World may try to steal the limelight, this vibrant city prides itself on so much more.
Orlando is the hub city of the Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area, colloquially known as "Greater Orlando" or "Metro Orlando". The area spans four counties (Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake).
Part of the Sun Belt, Orlando is nicknamed The City Beautiful. The name dates back to 1908 when urban planners designed parks, museums, and public plazas to beautify and preserve the urban landscape.
Of course, Orlando’s history dates back to 1838 and the height of the Seminole Wars. Just south of present day Orlando, the U.S. army build Fort Gatlin to protect settlers from attacks.
By 1873, Jacob Summerlin, the “Cattle King of Florida” arrived to purchase 200 acres of land in what is now Downtown Orlando. Shortly after the purchase, a sinkhole formed and with the help of a natural aquifer 200 feet below ground and the storm water floods, this area became a beautiful lake (Lake Eola).ii
The Town of Orlando was incorporated not much later in 1875. It had 85 inhabitants, 22 of whom were qualified voters. A hub of Florida’s citrus industry, Orlando is also a major industrial and hi-tech center with a robust research community.
Orlando has the 7th-largest research park in the U.S. The Central Florida Research Park. Over 1,000 acres, it is located adjacent to the University of Central Florida and could provide potential internship opportunitiesiii. Some of CFRP 120 plus tenants include AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing Company, and U.S. Department of Defense.iv
On the hi-tech side, the Florida High Tech Corridor stretches across 23 counties that have a legacy for aerospace, modeling and simulation, optics and photonics, digital media and medical technology.
The Florida High Tech Corridor Council is an economic development initiative of three of the country’s largest research institutions—the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida.vThe Council’s mission is to further high-tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship.
Mix graduate study with your enthusiasm for the outdoors. Orlando residents could enjoy outdoor activities year-round. The climate in Orlando is typically either hot and humid or cooler and drier, with averages in January in the low 60s.
Check out the Urban Bike Trail on foot or wheels. Head to Kelly Park for its lush landscape and a dip your toes in the refreshing Rock Springs Run. Escape the crowds with a stroll around Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve. Or, join other fans as you cheer on the local sports teams like the Orlando Magic NBA team.
DID YOU KNOW?
Orlando is known as "Hollywood East" because of numerous movie studios in the area.vi
There are 115 neighborhoods within the city limits. Take a tour through the north, south, east and west sides of Orlandovii. While there are a number of walkable areas, residents are typically car-dependent and report an average commute of 25 minutes. i
Winter Park on the North side is posh. It is an independent city that sprang up for northern snow birds and is considered an ‘old money’ neighborhood. Here you could walk the cobblestone streets well lined with old oak trees, take in a Saturday farmers market and visit the Charles Hosmer Museum of American Art.
College Park, also on the north end is hip and close to downtown. Walk streets named after colleges (E.g. Princeton, Harvard, Yale) to shop at some of the specialty stores. The area is in fact very walkable which could appeal to prospective homeowners. It is also in close proximity to Loch Haven Park, the city’s cultural corridor.
East Orlando is home to thousands of University of Central Florida students. It is dynamic, young and ethnically diverse with lots of possible rentals, food options and sometimes hectic traffic.
Lake Nona on the south was originally a 7,000-acre golf destination, but is in the process of an image makeover. The Lake Nona Medical City is a cluster of medical care, research and education with a broad range of housing options not to mention a hop away from the airport.
Celebration, to the west, was modeled after the American towns from the 19th century. There’s a Town Center and a neighborhood vibe. Locals often walk, bike or ride in electric vehicles to get around.
There are five beaches on the East Coast within about 75 minutes from Orlando: (1) Cocoa Beach, (2) Daytona Beach, (3) New Smyrna Beach, (4) Canaveral National Seashore, (5) Flagler Beach.
Both Melbourne Beach and Sebastian Inlet are a bit further but still usually an under two-hour drive. For those who want to head towards the Gulf Coast, there are popular spots such as Treasure Island and Clearwater Beach that may take about two and half hours.
Recent scores by Wallet Hub ranked Orlando as one of the “best foodie cities in America” based on metrics such as affordability and diversity.viii On average, Orlando consumers do spend less on food than in other metropolises but how does this translate to good eats?ix
Whether you prefer James Beard winners; Diners, Drive-ins and Dives; or brew pubs, Orlando has a flavorful food scene. Iconic eats include key lime pie, gator bites, fresh squeezed OJ, conch fritters, Cuban sandwiches, swamp cabbage and coconut patties. BBQ is also huge, and great steaks, ramen and seafood could keep your cravings satisfied.
You could also cater to your inner child. Both Downtown Disney and Universal City Walk are home to several theme restaurants (e.g. Planet Hollywood, House of Blues). Or head out to an entertainment facility where you get sports bar, arcade and dinner rolled into one.
You do not have to visit a theme park to enjoy Orlando. Discover a number of beautiful parks, cool museums, great local restaurants and shops, waterfront attractions, entertaining shows, and much more.
Opt for downtown dance clubs, cozy pubs, cigar lounges, comedy clubs, live music, tour a winery or brewery.
There are a variety of Graduate Schools in Orlando, Florida to look into which offer Masters, Doctorate and Certificate programs to campus and online students. Check out several partner schools below.
Graduate Programs in Orlando, Florida span various disciplines and degree levels. Nurture your creativity, augment business acumen, and study to acquire new professional or clinical skills.
Below are some examples of graduate degrees in Orlando from partner schools. Since this is just a sample, make sure to conduct your own extensive search to find a program that might line up with your aims and interests.
Merge strategy with creativity as you study to earn a Masters in Graphic Design in Orlando. Orlando is a prime example of feature animation, big brands and large-scale marketing practices at-work.
One such program is a Media Design MFA offered at Full Sail University. Their MFA in Media Design is available in an online format which might be completed in about 12 months of full-time study.
Curriculums blend research, client communications and team dynamics. Other courses might focus on the psychological and motivational theories to understand consumers and trends. Students could therefore learn about the visual and cognitive elements used to create and deliver strong brand voices and successful design campaigns.
To cap their program, students channel their artistic skills and mastery of work flow processes and strategy into a Design Solution Project. This is presented to a panel of professionals and peers.
Compare this with a Masters in Marketing. Also available through Full Sail is an online Master of Science in Internet Marketing which full-time students might complete in about 12 months.Courses could cover a broad range of multi-channel marketing practices. Students might therefore develop skills in search engine optimization, web culture and new media in tandem with a stronger sense of consumer behavior patterns.
Individuals who have their sights set on advanced practice nursing might consider a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from one of the universities in Orlando.
South University offers an online DNP degree which could allow current local nurses to conveniently study via web while they complete fieldwork in their community. Planned out for advanced practice registered nurses, the curriculum might be completed in two years full-time.
Participants in the CCNE-accredited online DNP program could study to enhance clinical nursing practice, inquiry, and leadership skills. Aside from the compulsory courses, students could focus more deeply in areas such as Administration, Information Technology, Leadership, or Public Health. To earn their degree, students work on a scholarly capstone project.
Do you want to provide primary care across the lifespan? Compare a DNP with a RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program. South University offers an intensive program where students could earn their BSN degree along the way towards their MSN.
Graduates of the CCNE-accredited RN – MSN program may be prepared to meet the educational requisites to take the nurse practitioner examination. Successful candidates might then be eligible to sit for certification through national certifying bodies - American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
Expand your professional counseling skills through a Masters in Counseling program at one of the Graduate Schools in Orlando, Fl.
Nova Southeastern University offers a Master of Science in Counseling where students could focus on one of several distinct areas. These include mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling and education, applied behavior analysis, and advanced applied behavior analysis. Participants could study online or at the Orlando campus where it may be offered in an intensive weekend format.
MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: A 60-credit program that stacks counseling theories with intervention methods. Students might reasonably expect to study ethics, adult psychopathology, human growth, substance abuse and more.
MS in School Counseling: A 48 credit program which could prepare students to pursue Florida certification in Guidance and Counseling for Pre-K to 12 grade school systems.
MS in Substance Abuse Counseling: A 48-credit program which could cover help students build skills in diagnosis and treatment. Courses could cover a wide array of topics such as evaluation methods, counseling theories, pharmacology and co-occurring disorders.
MS in Applied Behavior Analysis: A 51-credit program, participants could learn how to help those with autism and development disorders adapt and grow. NSU’s ABA concentration meets the academic and experience certification requirements as per the BACB. Graduates might therefore be prepared to take the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®.
Do you prefer to counsel couples? If so, compare with a Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy. NSU’s DMFT program is a practitioner-focused terminal degree. Their 78-credit program is built for the Masters level graduate who wants to ground their studies in a systems-based approach to family psychotherapy.
We highlighted a few Graduate Schools in Orlando, Florida and provided an overview of some options for graduate degrees. Easily review more graduate programs in Orlando with these easy steps. Go straight to the school page, or choose subject, degree level and program format from the menu. Your filters yield results that you could then immediately apply to with the on-page form. Take that next step and you might earn a grad degree in Orlando soon!
[i]census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/orlandocityflorida/PST045216 | [ii] cityoforlando.net/about/ | [iii] cfrp.org/about-cfrp/ | [iv] cfrp.org/download/cfrp-tenants/?wpdmdl=154 | [v] floridahightech.com/about/ | [vi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orlando,_Florida#Geography_and_cityscape | [vii] greatamericancountry.com/places/local-life/5-great-neighborhoods-in-orlando | [viii] wallethub.com/edu/best-foodie-cities/7522/ [ix] bls.gov/regions/southeast/summary/blssummary_orlando.pdf