The Princeton Review has again named the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program (GSAS) as one of the top 20 video game design programs. Rensselaer is No. 18 on the list this year.
The GSAS program at Rensselaer has appeared on this list every year since the list’s inception in 2010. The ranking is based on a survey The Princeton Review conducted of 150 gaming programs throughout the United States and Canada. The list was produced in conjunction with PC Gamer magazine and will be published in that magazine’s May issue, on newsstands now.
“The top-notch Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program at Rensselaer continues to produce graduates who are shaping the future of gaming. The unique program combines interdisciplinary courses of study, a diverse faculty made up of leaders in the field, and hands-on experiences for students,” said Mary Simoni, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. “We are pleased to once again be recognized among the top institutions for studying video game design.”
Rensselaer students enrolled in the GSAS program study fields as diverse as electronic arts, artificial intelligence and cognitive science, digital graphics, software development, psychology, and human-computer interaction.
Their diverse course of study positions Rensselaer students to make an impact in the field of gaming as soon as they graduate. In fact, many Rensselaer students have developed award-winning games while still enrolled at the Institute. In 2013, Zineth, a game developed by a team of Rensselaer students, beat out more than 300 competitors to win first place in the “Best Student Game” category at the Independent Games Festival.
The GSAS program was established in 2007 and the first class graduated in 2011. This year, more than 140 students are enrolled in GSAS and 35 are slated to graduate in May.
Games developed by GSAS students will be on display to the public during the 10th anniversary Game Fest Saturday, April 26, at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. The event showcases work by gaming students from Rensselaer and other universities in the region and brings experts in the field to discuss the future of the gaming industry.
In ranking schools for the survey, the Princeton Review considered criteria including academic offerings and faculty credentials, the achievements and employment records of graduates of the program, student scholarships, and financial aid.