LOS ANGELES – USC’s videogame-design graduate program continued to score big points in an annual ranking released today by The Princeton Review, finishing atop a list of more than 100 North American schools.
Conducted jointly by USC’s film and engineering schools, the 10-year-old graduate program has earned the top spot all four years The Princeton Review has conducted its rankings. USC’s undergraduate program was ranked second behind the University of Utah.
The USC program includes a one-year games course, called USC Games, in which students work with faculty to develop their dream game and present it to industry professionals. Students in the USC Games course have gone on to develop such games as “Modern Warfare 3,” “Journey,” “The Unfinished Swan” and “Farmville,” according to the university.
The Princeton Review’s 2012-13 rankings cap a year in which the work of several USC alumni garnered critical acclaim and awards, including Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany, who developed the award-winning “Journey,” a game in which players control a mysterious character as it explores a glistening, dune-filled landscape.
Tracy Fullerton, USC’s Electronic Arts endowed chair of the Interactive Media and Games Division, called it a “banner year” for the program, “with some outstanding new faculty joining us from industry, our brand new interactive building, the 10th anniversary of the program and the amazing achievements of our alumni like those at thatgamecompany, who won eight D.I.C.E. awards last month. It’s all very gratifying to see how our efforts are having real impact for our students and in the industry.”
Each year, The Princeton Review releases two lists ranking graduate and undergraduate schools based on a report from each institution detailing the curriculum, faculty, facilities and infrastructure, career services, student scholarships and financial aid.
The only other California school on either list this year was UC Santa Cruz for its graduate game design program.