Princeton Review’s Top Game Design Schools 2020

Game Design SchoolsDo you know an aspiring game designer? The Princeton Review® — known for its education services and school rankings in dozens of categories — has released its 11th annual ranking lists naming the top 50 undergraduate and top 25 graduate game design schools for 2020.

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles earned the #1 spot on the undergraduate list for the third year in a row. The University of Central Florida in Orlando now ranks #1 on the graduate list, up from #5 last year. The Princeton Review posted the full ranking lists on its website at Top Schools For Game Design 2020. (The 10 top schools on each list are also shown below.)

The top 10 schools on The Princeton Review’s list of Top 50 Undergraduate Schools to Study Game Design for 2020 are:

  1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
  2. Becker College (Worcester, MA)
  3. New York University (Brooklyn, NY)
  4. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
  5. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
  6. University of Utah (Salt Lake City)
  7. Michigan State University (East Lansing)
  8. Bradley University (Peoria, IL)
  9. Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH)
  10. Vancouver Film School (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

The top 10 schools on The Princeton Review’s list of Top 25 Graduate Schools to Study Game Design for 2020 are:

  1. University of Central Florida (Orlando)
  2. University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
  3. New York University (Brooklyn, NY)
  4. Southern Methodist University (Plano, TX)
  5. University of Utah (Salt Lake City)
  6. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
  7. Abertay University (Dundee, Scotland)
  8. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)
  9. Michigan State University (East Lansing)
  10. Becker College (Worcester, MA)

See all 50 undergrad and 25 graduate game design schools here.

“We recommend these schools highly to students considering careers in the exciting field of game design,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief. “All of the schools that made our lists for 2020 have excellent programs, outstanding faculties, and awesome, state-of-the-art facilities. Not surprisingly, they count among their alumni many of the video game industry’s most prominent artists, designers, developers, and entrepreneurs.”

Franek also noted survey findings revealing the exceptional level of professional experience that students in game design studies at the schools attained last year. At the 50 undergraduate and 25 graduate schools on the lists for 2020, on average:

  • More than half of the students in the programs worked on a shipped game as part of their game design studies. At undergraduate school programs, the figure was 62 percent. At graduate programs, it was 57 percent.
  • 8 out of 10 students in the programs developed a plan to launch a game after graduation. At undergraduate school programs, the figure was 85 percent. At graduate school programs, it was 80 percent.

The Princeton Review’s profiles of the schools, accessible here, give applicants information on admission requirements, distinctive programs, financial aid resources, and more.

Survey Methodology

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on data it collected in its 2019 survey of administrators at 150 institutions that offer game design courses, majors, or degree programs. Surveyed schools were in the United States, Canada, and abroad.

The 50-question survey broadly covered four areas: academics, faculty, technology, and career prospects. It requested information on everything from the schools’ academic programs and facilities to the starting salaries and professional achievements of game design program graduates. In all, the company analyzed more than 40 survey data points to tally the rankings. Detailed information about The Princeton Review’s methodology for the rankings is accessible here.

The Princeton Review has reported its ranking lists for Top Game Design Schools annually since 2010. In 2013, the company teamed up with PC Gamer, a monthly magazine published by Future PLC as its annual reporting partner on this project.

PC Gamer‘s May issue has a feature on the 2020 ranking lists. It reports interesting and fun facts on the schools’ programs, faculty, and alumni.

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. The company’s brand is the largest online tutoring service in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 18 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 Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev and Instagram @theprincetonreview

About Future PLC

Future is a global platform business where the most passionate people on the planet educate and inform their niche audiences. The Media division is high-growth with three complementary revenue streams: eCommerce, events and digital advertising. It operates in a number of sectors including technology, games, music, home interest, hobbies and B2B and its brands include TechRadar, PC Gamer, WindowsCentral, Tom’s Guide, Homebuilding & Renovating Show, iMore, GamesRadar+, The Photography Show, Top Ten Reviews, Live Science, Guitar World, MusicRadar, AndroidCentral, and Tom’s Hardware. The Magazine division focuses on publishing specialist content, with over 80 publications and over 520 bookazines published per year, totaling global circulation of 1.3 million. The Magazine portfolio spans technology, gaming, entertainment, music, photography, hobbies, home interest and B2B. Most popular titles include Classic Rock, Guitar Player, FourFourTwo, Homebuilding & Renovating, Digital Camera, Guitarist, How It Works, Total Film, What Hi-Fi? and Music Week.

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