50th best design program in world
RICHMOND, Ky. (March 21, 2016) — Eastern Kentucky University’s game design program ranks 50th internationally, according to The Princeton Review. Rankings were based on a survey conducted in 2015 of 150 institutions offering game design coursework and/or degrees in the U.S., Canada, and some other countries.
The company’s 40-question survey asked schools to report on everything from their academic offerings and faculty credentials to their graduates’ starting salaries and employment experience. Among criteria The Princeton Review weighed to make its selections — each school’s academics, facilities, career services, and technology.
The high international ranking “says that we are committed to strive to keep our program and our students competitive,” said Dr. George Landon, director of the EKU Gaming Institute. “We are serious about game design and how EKU fits into the bigger picture – both in academia and industry. Being ranked by The Princeton Review will make it much easier for prospective students to find us.”
EKU boasts one of the newer programs on the list. The Gaming Institute was established in 2014. Home to the commonwealth’s first bachelor’s degree program in game design, EKU will host Kentucky’s first-ever game design conference on April 30. The EKU Gaming Institute is partnering with the Richmond office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, RunJumpDev of Lexington and Tech Base 10 to present Vector, a celebration of developers from the Midwest and southeastern U.S. and an opportunity for them to network with leaders and peers in the field of game design and development.
“We believe this event will expand awareness of our program beyond eastern and Central Kentucky and cement EKU’s standing as the premier game design school in the state and region,” Landon said. “It will also provide our students and alumni and working game developers with a local conference that has many of the benefits of larger west coast game conferences and create a better network for our graduating students by connecting industry with our campus.”
This past year, EKU added a cutting-edge motion capture studio to its facilities in the Wallace Building. With the addition of the studio, EKU now employs the same technology that Hollywood and game studios use to capture actor performance in movies and games. Landon said at the time of its debut that the studio would “make us competitive nationally with the best programs in game design.”
The Interactive Multimedia option within the baccalaureate degree in Computer Science at EKU develops students’ expertise in game design, 3-D modeling and animation, graphics programming, and multimedia systems. The Gaming Institute focuses on the design, development, and publication of video games within an academic context. EKU also offers a minor in Interactive Multimedia.
“It’s an extremely hot career field and growing,” Landon said. “I’m constantly hearing of new ways to get into the field and new job prospects opening. It’s an ever-changing field that is very competitive, but with countless opportunities.”