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Game-Design Program Ranks Among the Best, According to Princeton Review

Undergraduate program ranks 42nd of top 50; graduate program is 21st of 25

Gaming track graduate students work with Professor Bob McCloud in the Motion Capture Lab at the Martire Business & Communications Center.

The Princeton Review, a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company, has assigned high marks to SHU’s undergraduate and graduate game-design programs.

In its seventh annual ranking lists, The Princeton Review names the 50 best undergraduate and 25 best graduate schools for students to study and launch a career in game design. Sacred Heart’s undergraduate game design program ranked 42nd, and its graduate game design program ranked 21st.

“The computer science department strives for excellence in all of its programs, and we are so proud of our students’ achievements in our game design and development programs,” said Domenick J. Pinto, chair and associate professor of the computer science and information technology program. “We have a very dedicated faculty and state-of-the-art facilities—in particular, a new motion-capture lab headed by Robert McCloud that has become a milestone for the program.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by The Princeton Review, and I thank everyone at Sacred Heart for their support of our efforts in game design,” Pinto said.

The Princeton Review chose schools based on its 2015 survey of 150 colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and abroad offering degree programs and courses in game design . The survey gathered information on schools’ related academic offerings, lab facilities, graduates’ starting salaries and career achievements.

With the surge in interactive computer games for learning and entertainment, the need for developers has risen. Sacred Heart’s game design and development track begins with a foundation in programming languages, problem-solving techniques and computer ethics. Faculty teaches the game creation process, game play theory, fundamentals in computer graphics, components of animation and how to thrive as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the schools that made the lists also gain valuable professional experience while in school, according to The Princeton Review. About 85 percent of undergraduate and graduate game-design students who earned degrees in 2015 developed actionable plans to launch games while in school, according to the survey. Moreover, 49 percent of undergraduates and 59 percent of graduate students in these programs worked on games that were shipped before they graduated, the survey found.

“For students aspiring to work in game design, the schools that made one or both of our 2016 lists offer extraordinary opportunities to hone one’s talents for a successful career in this burgeoning field,” stated Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice-president and publisher. “The faculties at these schools are outstanding, and their alumni include legions of the industry’s most prominent game designers, developers, artists and entrepreneurs.”

The Princeton Review has reported its game-design program rankings annually since 2010.