Princeton Review Ranks RIT as a top video-game design school

Undergraduate program ranks No. 3, graduate program No. 7 in annual listing




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David Schwartz, director of RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media

Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the top schools in the world to study—and launch a career in—game design for 2016, according to new international rankings from The Princeton Review.

RIT’s game design and development program was ranked third at the undergraduate level and seventh at the graduate level. In 2015, RIT ranked sixth at both 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.

“We are proud to once again be named one of the country’s best game design programs,” said David Schwartz, director of RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media. “Our students are ushering in a new era of games and experiences with their work in the classroom, competitions, at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and during their cooperative education experiences at some the industry’s biggest names in games.”

The Princeton Review, one of the nation’s best known educational services companies, partnered with PC Gamer to report the lists of “Top 50” undergraduate and “Top 25” graduate schools for gaming 2016. The seventh-annual list is published in the March 29 issue of PC Gamer magazine.

The Princeton Review selected the schools based on a survey of 150 institutions in the U.S., Canada and abroad offering game design degree programs and courses. To make its selections, The Princeton Review weighed a number of criteria, including academic offerings, lab facilities, graduates’ starting salaries and career achievements.

The Princeton Review survey found that undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in schools that made the lists gain valuable professional experience while in school. According to The Princeton Review’s 2015 survey of administrators at top schools, about 85 percent of undergraduate and graduate game design students that graduated in 2015 developed actionable plans to launch games while in school. Moreover, 49 percent of undergrads and 59 percent of grad students at these programs worked on games that were shipped before they graduated.

RIT has been a pioneer in the field of video game design and development education. IGM students work with RIT's Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC), an on-campus research laboratory and production studio that helps students bring ideas from prototype to commercial production in the marketplace. Graduates of RIT’s game design and development programs go on to work at companies including Microsoft, Sony Playstation, Zynga, Arkadium and Google.

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 design and 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 focus on the technical roots in the computing and information sciences disciplines, while simultaneously covering the breadth of the development landscape through involvement in topics, including computer graphics, game engines, interactive narrative and game world design. The degree culminates with a capstone project in which students create their own games.

The Princeton Review’s rankings for the top 10 undergraduate and graduate schools to study video game design for 2016 are listed below. The full list is available at The Princeton Review’s Game Design Rankings.

Top 10 Undergraduate Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2016

1. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)

2. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)

3. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, N.Y.)

4. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, Wash.)

5. Becker College (Worcester, Mass.)

6. The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, British Columbia)

7. Hampshire College (Amherst, Mass.)

8. Michigan State University (East Lansing, Mich.)

9. Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.)

10. New York University (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Top 10 Graduate Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2016

1. University of Central Florida (Orlando, Fla.)

2. Southern Methodist University (Plano, Texas)

3. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)

4. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)

5. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, Wash.)

6. New York University (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

7. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, N.Y.)

8. Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.)

9. The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, Texas)

10. Michigan State University (East Lansing, Mich.)

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David Schwartz, director of RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media