Jul 8, 2011

Colleges with Top Programs in Video Game Design

High school students interested in turning a video game hobby into a career might be interested in the latest ranking of video game design programs produced by the Princeton Review in conjunction with GamePro Media.

Reported in the recent edition in GamePro Magazine, the “Top Schools for Video Game Design Study for 2011” features 30 schools divided equally into undergraduate and graduate programs receiving high rankings based on a survey of 150 institutions offering relevant coursework and/or degrees in the US or Canada.

The top schools were chosen based on criteria covering the quality of curriculum, faculty, facilities, and infrastructure. The Princeton Review also factored in data collected on scholarships, financial aid, and career opportunities.

Formerly consigned to a far corner of the computer science department, game design has emerged has a highly respectable, multi-disciplinary course of study. And schools hoping to get in on the growing market for designers are building glitzy new facilities tricked out with cutting edge technology and equipment.

“There are now more colleges and universities than ever focusing on game development, and graduate school has become a viable option for game design,” said Marci Hughes, president of GamePro Media.

Locally, both American University and George Mason offer well-regarded video game design courses and programs. In fact, when the video game design degree was added to GMU’s growing list of programs, enrollment was 500 percent higher than expected.

In addition, video game programs at Old Dominion, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Lynchburg College have been considered among the best in the country.

But anyone determined to explore Princeton Review’s top programs will have to travel out of the immediate area—the nearest school on the list is Drexel University in Philadelphia.

According to Princeton Review and GamePro, the top 10 undergraduate schools for video game design study in 2011 are:

  1. University of Southern California

  2. University of Utah

  3. DigiPen Institute of Technology, WA

  4. The Art Institute of Vancouver

  5. Michigan State University

  6. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA

  7. Drexel University, PA

  8. Champlain College, VT

  9. Rochester Institute of Technology, NY

  10. Becker College, MA

Honorable mention goes to Georgia Tech, North Carolina State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Shawnee State University.

More information and a list of the top graduate programs in video game design is provided on the Princeton Review website.

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