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03-01-2010

Clarkson University Named Top-50 Game Design Program by Princeton Review and GamePro

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/top-50-game-design.jpg]

Clarkson University is one of the 50 best undergraduate institutions in the United States and Canada to study game design, according to the Princeton Review, one of America’s most widely known education services and test preparation companies. Top-50 Game Design Program by Princeton Review and GamePro

The Princeton Review developed its "Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs" list -- the first project of its kind -- in partnership with GamePro, one of the most respected brands in the video game industry, reaching over 3 million gamers a month.

"This honor reflects the quality of our students, who have extensive creative and scientific portfolios, awards and recognitions by outside organizations, and placement with a variety of distinguished digital art and design industries and graduate schools across the country," says Assistant Professor Dave Beck, director of Clarkson’s Digital Arts & Sciences program.

"It is fitting that our program achieved this honor, as it was originally designed to replicate the cross-disciplinary state of the video game industry. Our goal is to continue as one of the only programs in the country offering this perfect balance between the left and right side of the brain."

To achieve this, Clarkson’s program implements a foundation in the digital arts (including areas like 3D modeling and animation, interactive design, graphic and web design, and video) as well as a foundation in the computer science and mathematics areas (such as programming for video games, virtual reality, and imaging-based math courses).

"In addition to a one-of-a-kind curriculum, we also have the benefit of industry-standard technical facilities," says Beck, "which include virtual reality gear, motion-capture equipment, and a dedicated digital arts lab with 30 cutting-edge computer stations."

The Top 50 list is reported in GamePro’s April 2010 issue and on the Web sites of The Princeton Review http://www.princetonreview.com and GamePro http://www.gamepro.com .

Of the roughly 500 programs at which students can study game design in the U.S. and Canada, The Princeton Review selected these 50 programs based on a survey it conducted in 2009-2010 of administrators at institutions offering game design coursework and/or degrees.

The comprehensive survey numbered more than 50 questions and covered areas from academics and faculty credentials to graduates’ employment and career achievements. Criteria included the quality of the curriculum, faculty, facilities and infrastructure. The Princeton Review also looked at data on scholarships, financial aid and career opportunities.

"We salute Clarkson University and the other outstanding institutions on our list for their exemplary work in game design education," said Robert Franek, Princeton Review SVP/publisher. "It has long been our mission at the Princeton Review to help students research and get in to the education programs best for them. We are also committed to helping them carry that training to rewarding careers in fields they are passionate about. For the burgeoning numbers of students aspiring to careers in the rapidly growing field of game design and the companies that will need their creative talents, we hope our list will inspire many wonderful candidates to apply to these programs."

Franek acknowledged the assistance the Princeton Review received on this project from the ten-member national advisory board it formed to help design the survey instrument and methodology. Board members included administrators and faculty from respected game design programs, and professionals from some of the top gaming companies.

For more information about Digital Arts & Sciences, visit http://www.clarkson.edu/digitalarts .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Alana K. Searleman, a 2008 digital arts & sciences graduate.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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