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Princeton Review ranks RIT as a Top Video Game Design School

By Scott Bureau

Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the top schools to study video game design for 2013, according to new international rankings from The Princeton Review.

RIT’s game design and development programs rank fourth at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. RIT’s program is housed in the School of Interactive Games and Media within the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

“Our faculty continue to refine our programs and provide our game design and development students with a world-class educational experience,” says Andrew Sears, dean of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. “This is important and challenging given the rapidly evolving nature of this field and the number of students enrolled in these programs.”

The Princeton Review, one of the nation’s best known educational services companies, partnered with PC Gamer to produce the “Best Schools for Gaming 2013.” The fourth-annual list is published in the April edition of PC Gamer magazine.

To make its selections, The Princeton Review weighed a number of criteria, including school curriculum, faculty, facilities, infrastructure, career services, student scholarships and financial aid.

RIT has been a pioneer in the field of video game design and development education. Gaming students get to work with hands-on research projects like Just Press Play, a game aimed at increasing student engagement and exploration of the collegiate experience. Graduates of RIT’s game design and development programs have gone on to work at companies including Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Vicarious Visions and Nickelodeon.

RIT’s Bachelor of Science in game design and development provides a broad-based undergraduate education in computing while exposing students to the breadth of game development processes. Students are required to complete coursework in the liberal arts, social sciences and the laboratory sciences.

Students who pursue RIT’s master’s degree in game design and development take a series of core courses in such areas as emerging technologies, electronic entertainment and history of games. Students can focus on game engine development or artificial intelligence for games while supplementing these studies with courses in a variety of other areas. The degree culminates with a capstone project in which students create their own games.

“Our undergraduate program is one of the largest of its kind,” Sears says. “While larger programs are not always better, in this case, the number of students studying game design allows us to offer students a rich variety of relevant courses.”

The Princeton Review’s rankings for the top 15 undergraduate and graduate schools to study video game design for 2013 are listed below.

Top 15 Undergraduate Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2013

  1. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  2. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  3. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, Wash.)
  4. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, N.Y.)
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)
  6. Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  7. Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, Ohio)
  8. Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, Ga.)
  9. The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  10. Michigan State University (East Lansing, Mich.)
  11. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
  12. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, Mass.)
  13. Becker College (Worcester, Mass.)
  14. New England Institute of Technology (East Greenwich, R.I.)
  15. North Carolina State University (Raleigh, N.C.)

Top 15 Graduate Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2013

  1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  2. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  3. Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  4. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, N.Y.)
  5. University of Central Florida (Orlando, Fla.)
  6. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, Wash.)
  7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)
  8. University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, Calif.)
  9. Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, Ga.)
  10. Southern Methodist University (Plano, Texas)
  11. The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, Texas)
  12. New York University / NYU-POLY (New York, N.Y.)
  13. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Ga.)
  14. Parsons The New School for Design (New York, N.Y.)
  15. DePaul University (Chicago, Ill.)