The Princeton Review Names the Top Undergrad & Grad Schools to Study Game Design for 2019

  • U-Southern Cal #1 Undergrad School
  • NYU #1 Grad School

NEW YORK, March 12, 2019, 10 AM EDT / The Princeton Review—known for its education services and school rankings in dozens of categories—today released its 10th annual ranking lists naming the undergraduate and graduate schools with the best programs in game design.

For the second year in a row, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles earned the #1 spot on the undergraduate programs list. New York University is #1 on the graduate programs list, up from #2 last year.

The full ranking lists, which name the top 50 undergraduate and top 25 graduate schools, posted today on The Princeton Review site at Top Schools For Game Design 2019. (The 25 top schools on each list are below.)

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on data it collected in its 2018 survey of administrators at 150 institutions that offer game design courses, majors, or degree programs. Surveyed schools were in the U.S., Canada and abroad.

The survey requested information in four areas: academics, faculty, technology, and career prospects. It covered everything from the schools' courses and facilities to their graduates’ starting salaries and professional achievements. In all, more than 40 data points were analyzed to tally the rankings. The Princeton Review posts information about its methodology for its game design school rankings here.

"The schools that made our lists this year have stellar programs for aspiring game designers and developers," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's Editor-in-Chief. “Their faculties are outstanding and their facilities are awesome. Just as impressive: their alumni include many of the video game industry’s most prominent artists, designers, developers, and entrepreneurs.”

Game design students at schools on the lists also gain valuable professional experience. According to The Princeton Review's survey for this year’s rankings, 62% of undergrad and 70% of grad students enrolled in the schools' game design programs worked on games that shipped before they graduated.

The Princeton Review has reported its "Top Schools for Game Design" ranking lists annually since 2010. In 2013, the company teamed up with PC Gamer, a monthly magazine published by Future plc, as its annual reporting partner on this project.

PC Gamer's May issue has a feature on the 2019 ranking lists. It reports interesting and fun facts on the schools' unique programs, faculty, and alumni. The issue lands in subscriber mailboxes this week and on newsstands March 26.

The Princeton Review's detailed profiles of the schools are accessible here. They give prospective applicants information on the schools' distinctive programs, admission requirements, financial aid resources, and more.    

The top 25 schools on The Princeton Review list, "Top 50 Undergraduate Schools to Study Game Design for 2019," are:

  1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
  2. New York University (Brooklyn, NY)
  3. Becker College (Worcester, MA)
  4. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
  5. Hampshire College (Amherst, MA)
  6. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
  7. Michigan State University (East Lansing)
  8. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
  9. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)
  10. University of Utah (Salt Lake City)
  11. Miami University (Oxford, OH)
  12. Bradley University (Peoria, IL)
  13. University of Central Florida (Orlando)
  14. Cogswell College (San Jose, CA)
  15. LaSalle College Vancouver (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  16. Abertay University (Dundee, Scotland)
  17. Ferris State University (Big Rapids, MI)
  18. Laguna College of Art and Design (Laguna Beach, CA)
  19. Champlain College (Burlington, VT)
  20. Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH)
  21. University of Wisconsin-Stout (Menomonie, WI)
  22. Howest University of Applied Sciences (Kortrijk, Belgium)
  23. North Carolina State University (Raleigh)
  24. Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX)
  25. Falmouth University (Penryn, Cornwall, UK) 

For the full list of top 50 undergraduate schools, please go to Top Schools for Game Design 2019.

The 25 schools on The Princeton Review list, "Top 25 Graduate Schools to Study Game Design for 2019," are:

  1. New York University (Brooklyn, NY)
  2. Southern Methodist University (Plano, TX)
  3. University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
  4. University of Utah (Salt Lake City)
  5. University of Central Florida (Orlando)
  6. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
  7. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
  8. Michigan State University (East Lansing)
  9. Abertay University (Dundee, Scotland)
  10. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
  11. Becker College (Worcester, MA)
  12. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)
  13. Laguna College of Art and Design (Laguna Beach, CA)
  14. Full Sail University (Winter Park, FL)
  15. University of California—Santa Cruz (Santa Clara, CA)
  16. University of Wisconsin—Stout (Menomonie, WI)
  17. University of Malta (Msida, Malta)
  18. Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
  19. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge)
  20. DePaul University (Chicago, IL)
  21. The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, TX)
  22. Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT)
  23. Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA)
  24. American University (Washington, DC)
  25. University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school–bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in-person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev.

About Future plc

Future is a global platform business for specialist media with diversified revenue streams. The Media division is high-growth with three complementary revenue streams: eCommerce, events and digital advertising. It operates in a number of sectors including technology, games, music, home interest, hobbies and B2B and its brands include TechRadar, PC Gamer, Tom’s Guide, Homebuilding & Renovating Show, GamesRadar+, The Photography Show, Top Ten Reviews, Live Science, Guitar World, MusicRadar, and Tom’s Hardware. The Magazine division focuses on publishing specialist content, with over 80 publications and over 520 bookazines published per year, totaling global circulation of 1.3 million. The Magazine portfolio spans technology, games and entertainment, music, creative and photography, hobbies, home interest and B2B. Its titles include Classic Rock, Guitar Player, FourFourTwo, Homebuilding & Renovating, Digital Camera, Guitarist, How It Works, Total Film, What Hi-Fi? and Music Week.

The Princeton Review


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    The Princeton Review:
    Jeanne Krier, Publicist, 212-539-1350, and Suzanne Podhurst, Director of Communications and Social Media,

    PC Gamer / Future plc:
    Marci Chocky, VP, US Trade Marketing, 212-703-5899,

    The Princeton Review's Robert Franek, Editor-in-Chief, and David Soto, Director of Content Development, are available for interviews. Reporter resources including lists of ranked schools organized in two ways (alphabetical by country/state/city/school and alphabetical by school), and information on the survey methodology are at

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    List of Programs: Alpha by Country / State / City / School


    British Columbia
    • Vancouver / LaSalle College Vancouver (Ugrad #15)
    • Vancouver / Vancouver Film School (Ugrad #33)

    • Concord / Toronto Film School (Ugrad #41)
    • Oakville / Sheridan College (Ugrad #27)


    • Kortrijk / Howest University of Applied Sciences (Ugrad #22)    


    • Msida / University of Malta (Grad #17)


    • Dundee / Abertay University (Ugrad #16, Grad #9)

    united kingdom

    • Treliever Road, Penryn / Falmouth University (Ugrad #25)


    • Laguna Beach / Laguna College of Art and Design (Ugrad #18, Grad #13)
      • Los Angeles / University of Southern California (Ugrad #1, Grad #3)
      • San Jose / Cogswell College (Ugrad #14)
    • Santa Cruz / University of California, Santa Cruz (Ugrad #26, Grad #15)
    • Fairfield / Sacred Heart University (Grad #22)
    • Hamden / Quinnipiac University (Ugrad #31)
    District of Columbia
    • Washington / American University (Grad #24)
    • Coral Gables / University of Miami (Grad #25)
    • Orlando / University of Central Florida (Ugrad #13, Grad #5)
    • Sarasota / Ringling College of Art + Design (Ugrad #47)
    • Winter Park / Full Sail University (Ugrad #30, Grad #14)
    • Marietta / Kennesaw State University (Ugrad #28)
    • Savannah / Savannah College of Art and Design (Ugrad #40, Grad #23)
    • Chicago / DePaul University (Ugrad #34, Grad #20)
    • Peoria / Bradley University (Ugrad #12)
    • Bloomington / Indiana University (Ugrad #42)

    • Richmond / Eastern Kentucky University (Ugrad #45)
    • Maryland
      • Baltimore / Maryland Institute College of Art (Ugrad #32)
    • Amherst / Hampshire College (Ugrad #5)
    • Boston / Northeastern University (Ugrad #38, Grad #18)
    • Cambridge / Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ugrad #39, Grad #19)
    • Worcester / Becker College (Ugrad #3, Grad #11)
    • Worcester / Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Ugrad #9, Grad #12)
    • Dearborn / University of Michigan-Dearborn (Ugrad #49)
    • East Lansing / Michigan State University (Ugrad #7, Grad #8)
    • Grand Rapids / Ferris State University (Ugrad #17)
    New Jersey
    • Bloomfield / Bloomfield College (Ugrad #35)
      • Newark / New Jersey Institute of Technology (Ugrad #44)
    New York
    • Brooklyn / New York University (Ugrad #2, Grad #1)
    • Ithaca / Cornell University (Ugrad #50)
    • Poughkeepsie / Marist College (Ugrad #46)
    • Rochester / Rochester Institute of Technology (Ugrad #8, Grad #7)
    • Troy / Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Ugrad #36)
    North Carolina
    • Raleigh / North Carolina State University (Ugrad #23)

    • Cleveland / Cleveland Institute of Art (Ugrad #43)
    • Oxford / Miami University (Ugrad #11)
    • Portsmouth / Shawnee State University (Ugrad #20)
    • Edmond / Oklahoma Christian University (Ugrad #48)
    • Philadelphia / Drexel University (Ugrad #6, Grad #10)
    Rhode Island
    • East Greenwich / New England Institute of Technology (Ugrad #29)
    • Abilene / Abilene Christian University (Ugrad #24)
    • Plano / Southern Methodist University (Grad #2)
    • Richardson / The University of Texas at Dallas (Ugrad #37, Grad #21)
    • Salt Lake City / University of Utah (Ugrad #10, Grad #4)
    • Burlington / Champlain College (Ugrad #19)
    • Redmond / DigiPen Institute of Technology (Ugrad #4, Grad #6)
    • Menomonie / University of Wisconsin - Stout (Ugrad #21, Grad #16)

    List of Programs: Alpha by School

    • Abertay University / Dundee, Scotland (Ugrad #16, Grad #9)

      Abilene Christian University / Abilene, TX (Ugrad #24)

      American University / Washington, DC (Grad #24)

      Becker College / Worcester, MA (Ugrad #3, Grad #11)

      Bloomfield College / Bloomfield, NJ (Ugrad #35)

      Bradley University / Peoria, IL (Ugrad #12)

      Champlain College / Burlington, VT (Ugrad #19)

      Cleveland Institute of Art / Cleveland, OH (Ugrad #43)

      Cogswell Polytechnical College / San Jose, CA (Ugrad #14)

      Cornell University / Ithaca, NY (Ugrad #50)

      DePaul University / Chicago, IL (Ugrad #34, Grad #20)

      DigiPen Institute of Technology / Redmond, WA (Ugrad #4, Grad #6)

      Drexel University / Philadelphia, PA (Ugrad #6, Grad #10)

      Eastern Kentucky University / Richmond, KY (Ugrad #45)

      Falmouth University / Treliever Road, Penryn, United Kingdom (Ugrad #25)

      Ferris State University / Grand Rapids,, MI (Ugrad #17)

      Full Sail University / Winter Park, FL (Ugrad #30, Grad #14)

      Hampshire College / Amherst, MA (Ugrad #5)

      Howest University of Applied Sciences / Kortrijk, Belgium (Ugrad #22)

      Indiana University / Bloomington, IN (Ugrad #42)

      Kennesaw State University / Marietta, GA (Ugrad #28)

      Laguna College of Art and Design / Laguna Beach, CA (Ugrad #18, Grad #13)

      LaSalle College Vancouver / Vancouver, British Columbia (Ugrad #15)

      Marist College / Poughkeepsie, NY (Ugrad #46)

      Maryland Institute College of Art / Baltimore, MD (Ugrad #32)

      Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Cambridge, MA (Ugrad #39, Grad #19)

      Miami University / Oxford, OH (Ugrad #11)

      Michigan State University / East Lansing, MI (Ugrad #7, Grad #8)

      New England Institute of Technology / East Greenwich, RI (Ugrad #29)

      New Jersey Institute of Technology / Newark, NJ (Ugrad #44)

      New York University / Brooklyn, NY (Ugrad #2, Grad #1)

      North Carolina State University / Raleigh, NC (Ugrad #23)

      Northeastern University / Arlington, MA (Ugrad #38, Grad #18)

      Oklahoma Christian University / Edmond, OK (Ugrad #48)

      Quinnipiac University / Hamden, CT (Ugrad #31)

      Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute / Troy, NY (Ugrad #36)

      Ringling College of Art and Design / Sarasota, FL (Ugrad #47)

      Rochester Institute of Technology / Rochester, NY (Ugrad #8, Grad #7)

      Sacred Heart University / Fairfield, CT (Grad #22)

      Savannah College of Art and Design / Savannah, GA (Ugrad #40, Grad #23)

      Shawnee State University / Portsmouth, OH (Ugrad #20)

      Sheridan College / Oakville, Ontario (Ugrad #27)

      Southern Methodist University / Plano, TX (Grad #2)

      The University of Texas at Dallas / Richardson, TX (Ugrad #37, Grad #21)

      Toronto Film School / Concord, Ontario (Ugrad #41)

      University of California, Santa Cruz / Santa Cruz, CA (Ugrad #26, Grad #15)

      University of Central Florida / Orlando, FL (Ugrad #13, Grad #5)

      University of Malta / Msida, Malta (Grad #17)

      University of Miami / Coral Gables, FL (Grad #25)

      University of Michigan-Dearborn / Dearborn, MI (Ugrad #49)

      University of Southern California / Los Angeles, CA (Ugrad #1, Grad #3)

      University of Utah / Salt Lake City, UT (Ugrad #10, Grad #4)

      University of Wisconsin - Stout / Menomonie, WI (Ugrad #21, Grad #16)

      Vancouver Film School / Vancouver, British Columbia (Ugrad #33)

      Worcester Polytechnic Institute / Worcester, MA (Ugrad #9, Grad #12)