Becker’s Game Design program now #2 in the world
Published on: March 25, 2020
Becker College continues to be a powerhouse in game design education, moving up a spot in this year’s Princeton Review’s rankings to #2 in the world. Becker has not only made the list of “Top 50 Undergraduate Schools for Game Design” since its inception in 2010, but it is one of only four institutions in the U.S. to do so. In addition, Becker College’s Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media moved up to #10 in the world in the Princeton Review’s graduate school rankings. In 2019, the programs were ranked #3 and #11, respectively.
“Becker College’s consistent climb in this prestigious ranking shows we lead the way in game design and interactive media education,” said Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D., President of Becker College. “Students and families see Becker College as a top-choice because we bring together the best faculty, technology, and resources to ensure our students not only succeed in the classroom, but find successful careers in the industry.”
Students enrolled at the College’s School of Design & Technology have access to a world-class education taught by expert faculty with years of experience in the field. “Much of the success of our game program is due to Becker’s unique merging of the creative, the technical, and the business side of interactive media,” said Paul Cotnoir, Ph.D., Director of Design Programs at the College. “This is an inclusive and diverse approach that ensures our students are engaged in a wide variety of real-world projects throughout their education.”
The School also partners with companies, government agencies, and non-profits to develop entertaining and educational games, simulation experiences, and interactive museum exhibits. For example, students are working on a game to help children gain coping skills that can lead to positive life choices and avoid negative ones, like the misuse of opioids. Through a partnership with the Worcester Department of Public Health and the city’s public schools, the game hopes to be an important step in educating the youth of Worcester about opioid abuse. In November 2019, the American Student Assistance® (ASA) gifted $1 million to the College’s School of Design & Technology to create the ASA Center for Digital Learning Models, which is working to advance knowledge and understanding around the use and efficacy of interactive media tools as a platform for young students’ use for self-discovery and career exploration. In addition, students work with the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI)—a statewide non-profit center headquartered on-campus that is dedicated to fostering the growth of the gaming and technology industries. Starting their freshman year, students can work with MassDiGI in a Live Studio lab, crafting strategies to maintain existing games for external clients.
In the College’s MFA in Interactive Media, students complete an original interactive media project fueled by their aspirations and skills. They receive dedicated mentorship along the way that’s provided by Becker faculty. Additionally, the students must participate in at least four critiques or exhibitions during their residency in the program.
“Our students graduate not only with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a top-rated program, but also with a resume that propels them to succeed in a competitive job market,” said Alan Ritacco, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Design & Technology. “We give students real-world experience by having them work with clients in the industry. This experience allows them to jump-start their careers, launch their own companies, and dive into positions across the game industry.” Ritacco cites the ASA Center as one example, which is incorporated into the College’s Interactive Media and Game Design Studio, and will include summer and internship-based opportunities for students.
This year, Becker College launched the first-in-the-nation B.S. in Esports Management, leveraging Becker’s strengths in game design, business, and media design to prepare students to work in the esports industry, one of the fastest-growing sectors in the entertainment industry.
According to the Princeton Review, the rankings are based on a survey of 150 institutions in the U.S., Canada, and abroad offering game design degree programs, majors, or courses. The survey gathered data from four areas: academics, faculty, technology, and career prospects. In all, more than 40 data points were analyzed to tally the rankings.
To learn more about Becker College’s School of Design & Technology, visit https://www.becker.edu/academic/academic-programs/design-technology/.