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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Rensselaer Game Design Program Among Nation’s Best

Rensselaer Game Design Program Among Nation’s Best



By Tracey Leibach

June 3, 2019

Video games represent one of the largest and fastest-growing entertainment industries in the world. Newzoo analysts predicted that gamers across the globe would spend $137.9 billion on games in 2018. Beyond games, today’s interactive technology also helps shape how young people learn, drives national defense strategies via computer simulations, and assists training efforts in biomedicine, physical fitness, anti-terrorism, and much more.


The highly regarded Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a leader in games studies and rankings released recently by Animation Career Review support that: The program was ranked No. 13 nationally on the list of top game design programs in the United States and No. 11 nationally among schools offering a bachelor of science degree in game design.


Among East Coast colleges and universities, Rensselaer is ranked at No. 5; on the list for private schools and colleges, Rensselaer is ranked No. 9; and among programs offered in New York state, No. 3.


The university has produced many alumni who have gone on to create successful game companies, including Capital Region-based Vicarious Visions, 1st Playable Productions, Velan Studios, and Agora Games.


The GSAS program was established at Rensselaer in 2007. Students in the program gain an understanding of games from the broadest range of possible perspectives, 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 recently celebrated its first semester as part of a New York State Center of Excellence in Digital Game Development. Together with Rochester Institute of Technology and New York University, the center has received nearly $900,000 in new grant funding from New York to support and grow the state’s digital gaming sector.


The university also was recently approved to offer new master’s and doctoral programs in Critical Game Design.


Read the Animation Career Review rankings.


In addition, the GSAS program was ranked No. 8 among the 25 Best Bachelor’s in Game Design Degree Programs for 2019 by the Bachelor’s Degree Center.



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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.