Animation Career Review has again named Rochester Institute of Technology the top game design school on the East Coast. RIT also ranked second on the list of Top 50 Game Design Schools in the U.S., moving up from third in 2017.
The 2018 rankings were created by Animation Career Review, an online resource for aspiring animation, game design and development, graphic design and digital art professionals. The annual list also named RIT the top game design school in New York state and second best private school nationally.
“RIT is a special place for learning game design because of its burgeoning collaborations in all forms of games and interactive media that are developing throughout the university,” said David Schwartz, director of RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media (IGM). “In fact, games belong to everyone and working across the huge variety of academic programs at RIT will benefit everyone and advance the entire field.”
Animation Career Review noted that RIT offers several programs for aspiring game designers, including two bachelor’s degrees and one master’s. In fact, any student studying computing in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences has the opportunity to minor in game design and development.
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. The bachelor’s program in new media interactive development also explores casual games, in addition to new technologies and experiences with web, wearable and mobile computing.
Students who pursue a master’s degree in game design and development at RIT 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.
RIT game design students can also work with RIT’s MAGIC Center, a nonprofit university-wide research and development laboratory and a for-profit production studio that assists in efforts to bring digital media creations up to marketplace standards and commercialization. RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studios, which officially launched in November and will move into a new building in 2018, focuses on nurturing and growing new companies and publishing and distributing their projects.
“As the new MAGIC building opens this year, RIT will have a pipeline of students spanning design, expression, computing, art, music, writing, entrepreneurship and more,” said Schwartz. “They will all learn and make games together.”
The ranking also highlights RIT’s emphasis on cooperative education—full-time paid work experiences that provide students with an opportunity to learn on the job in real-world industry settings. With help from the co-op program, graduates of RIT’s game design and development programs go on to work at companies including Microsoft, Rockstar Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Valve Corp. and Walt Disney Interactive.
For the full game design school rankings, go to animationcareerreview.com/articles/2018-game-design-school-rankings.