Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Game Design Program is in the Top 10 Nationally
June 26, 2018
Animation Career Review also ranks the program #3 among programs in New York State
Video games represent one of the largest and fastest growing entertainment industries in the world. Beyond games, today’s interactive technology also helps shape the way young people learn, guides national defense strategies through computer simulations, and aids training efforts in biomedicine, physical fitness, wrestling against terrorism and much more.
The highly regarded Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a leader in studies and game rankings recently released by Animation Career Review certify that: The program was ranked #9 nationally on the listed as the top game design programs in the United States and #7 nationally among schools offering a Bachelor of Science in Game Design.
Among East Coast colleges and universities, Rensselaer is ranked #4; on the list of private schools and colleges, Rensselaer is ranked No. 7; and among programs offered in New York State, #3.
The university has produced a host of successful game creators and studies, including capital region-based studios founded by Rensselaer alumni, including Vicarious Visions, 1st Playable Productions, Velan Studios and Agora Games.
Two recent GSAS graduates, Ben Caulkins and Sam Suite, founded a video game company that was named a finalist in the college game competition at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles last week. The company, called Dang!, has developed several video games, including IO Interloper, a “corporate spy hacking game” that gained recognition in March when it was also an awards finalist at the Indie Games Festival in London. San Francisco.
The GSAS program was established at Rensselaer in 2007. Students in the program gain an understanding of games from the widest range of perspectives possible, studying fields as diverse as electronic arts, artificial intelligence and cognitive science, digital graphics, software development, psychology and human-computer interaction and computer graphics in communication and the arts.
Rensselaer also offers a Ph.D. in Electronic Arts, offered by the Department of Arts, which allows students to explore areas of interest ranging from gaming and animation to communication technologies.
In 2016, Empire State Development announced three new digital gaming hubs in New York State, located in Rensselaer, New York University, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Digital Gaming Hubs encourage students and companies to create innovative new technologies.
“Rensselaer is a unique and rich environment for games studies, and our GSAS degree program offers an undergraduate experience like few others available in the country,” said Mary Simoni, Dean of the School. of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS), which houses GSAS. “Our program draws on RPI’s Computer Science, Cognitive Science, Arts, Communication and Media, and Science and Technology Studies departments – a combination of resources that few other gaming programs can even claim, let alone equal. GSAS emphasizes a deep theoretical foundation as well as collaborative, interdisciplinary teamwork, which is how games are actually made. This equal emphasis on theory and practice means that graduate students are fully prepared to work in the games industry, and the program enjoys a considerable success rate in post-graduate employment.
To read the Animation Career Review ranking, go to