SMU Guildhall has risen to the top spot among the world’s best graduate game-design programs in The Princeton Review’s eighth annual report, published Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
At #1, SMU Guildhall ranks above UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (the #1 program in 2016) at #2, as well as the University of Utah (#3), Rochester Institute of Technology (#4), USC (#5), New York University (#6), Drexel (#8), Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland (#9), DePaul (#10), Michigan State (#11) Ohio State (#19), the University of Wisconsin-Stout (#20), MIT (#22), the University of Malta in Msida (#23), the University of Pennsylvania (#24), and the University of Miami in Florida (#25).
In addition, it ranks higher than two other top-25 graduate programs in Texas: the University of Texas-Dallas (#14) and Texas A&M (#17).
“Becoming the #1 graduate game-design school is a tribute to faculty with deep experience, bright and motivated students, a robust network of successful alumni, stellar industry support, cutting-edge curriculum, and a commitment to continual improvement,” said SMU Guildhall Director Gary Brubaker.
The Review determined its rankings based on its 2016-17 survey of 150 institutions in the United States, Canada, and abroad that offer game design coursework and/or degrees. The 40-question review asked schools to report on everything from academic offerings and faculty credentials to graduates’ starting salaries and employment experience. Curriculum, faculty, facilities, career services, and technology were all among criteria The Princeton Review weighed to make its selections.
The Princeton Review’s reporting partner, PC Gamer magazine, will include a section on the top schools in its May 2017 issue, available on newsstands March 29. It will feature information on degree programs, class offerings, events, prominent professors, and alumni.
The Princeton Review developed its “Top Schools to Study Game Design" project in 2009 with assistance from a national advisory board that helped design the survey instrument and methodology. Board members included administrators and faculty from respected game design programs, and professionals from some of the top gaming companies.