SMU Guildhall ranked No. 1 in world for Game Design

SMU Guildhall has risen to Princeton Review's top spot among the world’s best graduate game-design programs.

Guildhall Ranking

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.

Guildhall RankingAt No. 1, SMU Guildhall ranks above the No. 2 Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at UCF. Other schools in the top 25 include the University of Utah, Rochester Institute of Technology, USC, NYU, Drexel, Abertay University (Dundee, Scotland), DePaul, Michigan State, Ohio State, MIT, the University of Malta in Msida, and the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition, SMU Guildhall ranks higher than two other top-25 graduate programs in Texas: the University of Texas-Dallas (No. 14) and Texas A&M (No. 17).

The full list of graduate and undergraduate game-design program rankings is available at

“Becoming the No. 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 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.

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About SMU Guildhall

Established in 2003 at Southern Methodist University, SMU Guildhall is the highest-ranked graduate video game education program in the world. Located on SMU’s Plano, Texas campus, the Guildhall was created by and for the industry to train its future leaders by merging solid academic curriculum with practical, real-world preparation. Many of the program’s founders are industry icons, and classes are taught by industry veterans with more than three decades of experience at more than 40 leading game studios. Since its founding, the program has graduated more than 650 students, and its alumni work at more than 250 video game studios around the world.

Students make three or more commercially viable 2D and 3D games through the Guildhall’s Master of Interactive Technology degree and graduate Professional Certificate programs. They also create portfolios that include independent research and specialization-specific projects.

SMU Guildhall is the only program that offers specializations in all four cornerstones of video game development — Art, Design, Production, and Programming. Learn more at

SMU Guildhall and the Intel® University Games Showcase


About SMU

A nationally ranked private university with seven degree-granting schools, SMU is a distinguished center for teaching and research located near the heart of Dallas. SMU’s 11,000 students benefit from small classes, research opportunities, leadership development, international study and innovative programs. The University is strengthened by its partnership with the Dallas region, a global center of commerce and culture. SMU students, faculty and alumni are changing the world through their chosen fields, civic engagement and service to society.

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