Becker Game Design Program Ranked Top 10

Published on Friday, March 2nd, 2012

For the third consecutive year, Becker College is ranked among the top 10 on The Princeton Review’s list saluting the best undergraduate schools in the U.S. and Canada at which to study video game design.

Becker College has increased enrollment, expanded its curriculum, and acquired a new building to house its students, academic program, and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI), since it first appeared on The Princeton Review’s inaugural video game list in 2010.

“Recognition by The Princeton Review confirms our belief that Becker College’s computer game design program offers excellence in course work and real-world preparation that creates value for students and employers,” says Becker College President Robert E. Johnson. “We are confident that partnerships created through our affiliation with the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) will build on our success and continue to set the standard in digital games education.”

“Becker College is consistently updating and upgrading its computer game design program,” says Paul D. Cotnoir, Ph.D., director of design programs at Becker. “This year we have added significant physical assets including motion capture and 3D printing facilities as well as the ground-breaking association with the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute. This has allowed Becker College to be the only Massachusetts college to maintain a top-ten spot on The Princeton Review listing for the last three years. We are extremely proud of our students, faculty and staff.”

Said Robert Franek, Princeton Review senior vice president and publisher, “It has long been our mission to help students find – and get into – the schools best for them to pursue their interests and develop their talents.  For the burgeoning number of students aspiring to become game designers, we highly recommend Becker College as one of the best and most innovative institutions to study and succeed in this exciting field.  We also salute the faculty and administrators at Becker and the other schools on our 2012 list for their extraordinary programs and commitment to students.”

Becker College students have ample opportunities to build portfolio experience. As part of MassDiGI’s Reverse Sabbatical program, a team of Becker College student game developers will apply techniques found in video game play to develop new tactics that will evolve and enhance the chat feature of Simon & Schuster’s Pimsleur Unlimited foreign language courses.

Becker student-created games are in use by the UMass Medical School-City of Worcester Mobile Safety Street Bus, Old Sturbridge Village, and the Danforth Museum, with similar projects in the works for the Worcester Historical Museum, Worcester Youth Center, and the Why Not Stop Project. Students have also shared their skills with the Easter Seals and Center for Living and Working’s Tech Savvy Group and helped build game development communities in local public high schools.

Student work will also be showcased at the Becker College booth at the game conference and exhibition, PAX East, now in its third year in Boston, April 6-8 at the Boston Convention Center.

“Being recognized by The Princeton Review as the number two undergraduate video game design program in New England, after MIT, reinforces the value Becker College places on our video game programs,” says Terrasa Ulm, professor of game development. “In addition, each year Becker College presents at PAX East, among such companies as Electronic Arts, Bethesda, and Rockstar Games, where we exhibit and release a senior-level game, providing real-world experience for our students.”

Alumni of the video game programs at Becker have gone on to work for numerous entertainment companies such as Harmonix, Blizzard, and Blue Fang Games, as well as in other digital technology applications for John Hancock, the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Army.

The Princeton Review, one of America’s best-known education services companies, compiled the 2012 list, which names 10 undergraduate and 10 graduate schools in ranked order (1 to 10) and 22 undergraduate and 8 graduate schools as Honorable Mentions.  The list is published on The Princeton Review’s website at Criteria for The Princeton Review’s school selections covered the quality of the curriculum, faculty, facilities, and infrastructure. The company also factored in data it collected from the schools on their scholarships, financial aid, and career opportunities.