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Princeton Review ranks DSU game design program in top 50 programs

March 27, 2024

The Princeton Review has named Dakota State University’s game design program among the top 50 undergraduate programs.

According to its website, The Princeton Review selects and ranks schools based on criteria related to the quality of faculty, facilities, and technology. The company reviewed 2023 survey data from 150 schools worldwide offering game design courses and degrees.

Dakota State University’s program ranked 36 out of 50. “To be in the top 50 is a great accomplishment for the program and DSU, especially considering the distance from the major development hubs on the East and West coasts,” said Erik Pederson, Assistant Professor of Game Design. “It proves that the faculty are both in tune with each other and the overall goal.”

The program is unique in that students are required to take four project-based courses that require students to learn the process of making games by actually making games, explained Pederson.

“This creates an atmosphere of success, assistance, and personal contribution, while teaching the students that they are a team and must work together for success,” he said.

Additionally, it sets a higher bar for defining success and fosters strong communication between students and faculty. Pederson said it also provides samples for portfolios and resume-building experience applicable to breaking into the gaming industry.

“The students are taught to be designers, allowing for a broader expanse of learning,” he said.  “They are not limited to just programming or art. Creating interactive experiences has many components, and we cover most of them.”

The program is affordable and offers the same techniques, devices, and methodology that larger schools use. The faculty knowledge base is large and diverse, with experience working at game studios, enabling them to provide industry-specific business teaching.

“There is a strong community here that supports itself, from the students to the faculty and administration,” he said.  

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