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Digital Animation and Game Design Program Continues Top 20 Tradition in Princeton Review Rankings

Ferris State UniversityFor a fourth straight year, Ferris State University’s Digital Animation and Game Design program has been selected as a top-20 school by The Princeton Review, a leading college admission services company based in Massachusetts.

This is the ninth annual roster, compiled by TPR, of the leading schools offering game design, which has been published in the May issue of PC Gamer, a magazine available on newsstands as of Tuesday, March 27. The University of Southern California has again been honored as the top-ranked school for undergraduate game design instruction, along with a repeat performance for Southern Methodist University as the highest-rated graduate-level program. Ferris ranked 18th among undergraduate institutions.

School of Digital Media Assistant Professor David Baker, Ferris’ DAGD program coordinator, said it takes considerable effort to maintain this standing, as more and more schools worldwide are developing degree programs for game design.

“Our focus is on keeping our instruction relevant for our students and presenting them the opportunity to get into very viable career paths,” Baker said. “It is the appropriate thing to do, to keep striving to improve our classroom product. I keep an eye on Michigan State’s standing (MSU is eighth in undergraduate game design, seventh among graduate-level programs) and both schools are running in the first pack.”

The Princeton Review said its rankings are developed based on responses from 150 institutions in the United States, Canada and a number of other countries where game design is taught in individual classes or degree programs are offered. The survey addresses academic and technological aspects of a school’s training, the professional experiences of its faculty and the career-related aspects of its instruction, such as industry visits and lectures and whether students worked on products that have shipped while they pursued their degrees.

DAGD instruction at Ferris began nearly 15 years ago with an emphasis on visionary approaches which Baker said placed the program in the position of having industry leaders as alumni and consequently produced work for current Ferris students and being able to “make things happen in game production and design.” He added that a facet of the program’s growth is its offering of classes both at Ferris-Grand Rapids and on the main campus in Big Rapids.

“Students can make their choice to learn with the focus of a traditional campus, or the vibrancy of an urban setting,” Baker said. “Steelcase has turned to us in an effort to expand their abilities in virtual reality presentation, while other regional industries explore game-related technologies as an avenue to capably train their workers on a global scale. We are excited to offer an adaptable and relatable product to a diverse group of end-users.”

Baker said The Princeton Review rankings, for Ferris’ DAGD program, have been a key point of conversation with potential students and their parents, as instructors and recruiters promote the program while on campus or during their high school visits.

PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University’s Digital Animation and Game Design program has once again been named a top-20 program among institutions offering an undergraduate curriculum, as compiled by The Princeton Review, based in Framingham, Massachusetts.