Rensselaer Ranks 8th in the Top Undergraduate Schools To Study Game Design and Animation in the U.S.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program keeps hitting the mark. The program is among the list of top undergraduate schools to study game design and animation in the U.S., according to a list by Animation Career Review


Media Relations

August 10, 2015

Rensselaer Ranks 8th in the Top Undergraduate Schools To Study Game Design and Animation in the U.S.

Rensselaer Games and Simulation Program Ranked by Animation Career Review

Troy, N.Y. — When it comes to great places to study game design, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program keeps hitting the mark. The program is No. 8 on the Animation Career Review list of top game design programs in the United States. Rensselaer came in at No. 4 out of 25 programs offered among East Coast colleges and universities, and was recognized as No. 7 on the list for private schools and colleges.

“The Games and Simulations Arts and Sciences (GSAS) degree at Rensselaer provides an undergraduate experience like few others available anywhere in the country,” said Mary Simoni, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. “Our programs are positioned at crossroads of humanistic inquiry and technological innovation. The GSAS program helps students to acquire a comprehensive understanding of interactive digital media, a balance of disciplinary competencies, and a mastery of the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary collaboration. The Rensselaer approach to game studies combines theory and practice, along with a strong emphasis on production-oriented, interdisciplinary teamwork.”

“Today, interactive technology helps shape how young people learn, drives national defense strategies via computer simulations, assists training efforts in physical fitness and biomedicine, and so much more,” Simoni added. “Rensselaer offers the unique opportunity for students to study in a STEM discipline, such as computer science, coupled with a liberal arts approach to arts and technology. We are honored to once again be recognized among the nation’s leading programs.”

The GSAS program was established in 2007 and the first class graduated in 2011. Rensselaer students enrolled in the GSAS program study fields as diverse as electronic arts, artificial intelligence and cognitive science, digital graphics, software development, psychology, human-computer interaction, and computer graphics in communication and the arts. This year, 153 students are enrolled in GSAS, with an additional six students who are internal transfers for the fall semester.

Rensselaer also offers several advanced degree programs for aspiring game designers. Graduate offerings include the Master of Fine Arts in Electronic Arts and the Ph.D. in Electronic Arts that are offered through the Department of Arts. Both degree programs allow students to explore areas of artistic practice ranging from gaming and animation to forging new genres of interdisciplinary artistic expression.

Animation Career Review started publishing regional and national rankings in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators and game designers asking us what the best schools were in the U.S., a given state, or in a particular area of the country. Criteria include: academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program and faculty, value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness, and geographic location. In preparing the 2015 rankings, the organization considered hundreds of schools in the United States that offer programs geared toward animation or game design.

In addition, Animation Career Review also recognized the GSAS program at Rensselaer in its animation rankings list. The program came in at No. 32, and was also ranked as No. 9 on the list among East Coast colleges and universities. Among private colleges, the program came in at No. 25.

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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, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 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. To learn more, please visit