SMU Guildhall Ranked #1 for Game Design for Second Year

SMU Guildhall Named #1 Grad School for Game Design for Second Consecutive Year

Mar 13, 2018

SMU Guildhall has once again been ranked first in the world for graduate game design and development. The Guildhall topped The Princeton Review’s 2018 annual report saluting the 25 best graduate schools for game design, marking the second year in a row that SMU Guildhall has maintained this honored designation.

In the report, SMU Guildhall was placed above NYU (#2), UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (#3), USC (#4), and University of Utah (#5), as well as one other top-25 graduate program in Texas—the University of Texas-Dallas (#14).

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on its 2017 survey of 150 institutions in the United States, Canada, and abroad that offer game design degree programs or courses. The 40-question review gathered data on everything from the schools' game design academic offerings and facilities to their graduates' starting salaries and career achievements.

The Guildhall program was specifically noted for its faculty, curriculum development, career services success, and team game production program.

"Faculty at SMU Guildhall are world class. By design, [they are] recruited from the industry, and the curriculum was designed in collaboration. Student games are produced by a faculty of professional developers, providing students with the ability to be mentored by thirty-year veterans of the industry. These relationships yield professional quality games and teams that are hired by studios all over the world. In fact, an entire student team was hired by Gearbox Software this year to develop an unannounced avant garde VR title. It is the first time in the history of game development programs that a major studio has hired an entire student team upon graduation. [Guildhall faculty] have accumulated so much experience and talent that it has revolutionized game development programs worldwide."

The Princeton Review developed its “Top Game Design Schools" 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. The Princeton Review is also known for its annual rankings of colleges, business schools, and law schools in dozens of categories it reports on its site and in its books including The Best 382 Colleges and Colleges That Pay You Back. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University.

"It has long been our mission to help students find—and get into— the best programs for their needs and interests, " said Robert Franek, Editor-in-Chief for The Princeton Review. "For students aspiring to work in the exciting field of game design, we strongly recommend SMU Guildhall and each of the other top schools that made our 2018 lists. These schools offer extraordinary opportunities to launch a career in this industry. They have outstanding faculties and great facilities which will give students the skills and experience they need to pursue a career in this dynamic and burgeoning field.”

For the sixth consecutive year, The Princeton Review teamed up with PC Gamer, a monthly magazine published by Future plc as its reporting partner for this project. PC Gamer will include a feature about the list in its May issue available on newsstands March 27 including information on some of the schools' unique programs, class offerings, prominent professors, and alumni. It will also include a special section about SMU Guildhall.

Read the Full Report

Official Princeton Review Press Release


About SMU Guildhall

SMU Guildhall is the #1 Graduate Program for Game Design in the world. Many of the school’s founders are industry icons, and classes are taught by industry veterans. Since 2003, the program has graduated over 700 students, who now work at more than 250 video game studios around the world. SMU Guildhall offers both a Master of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development degree and a Professional Certificate of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development, with specializations in Art, Design, Production, and Programming. For more information, visit


About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. Its brand is the largest online tutoring service in the U.S. It comprises a community of more than 3,000 tutors who have delivered more than 15 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit The Princeton Review. Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev.


About Future plc

Future plc is an international media group and leading digital publisher, listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). The Group operates two separately managed brand-led divisions: Media and Magazine. The Group has a reach of 100m+ globally, including 62m online users and 63m social media reach. The Magazine division is brand-led. It has over 100 market-leading publications, with 10 key titles. The Media division focuses on being at the forefront of digital innovation, in particular the high growth technology and games markets, with three complementary revenue streams: eCommerce, events and digital advertising. It has a number of leading brands including TechRadar, PC Gamer, GamesRadar+, The Photography Show, Generate, The Homebuilding and Renovating Show and Golden Joysticks Awards.