March 12, 2013

USC Games Number One

Graduate Program Secures Fourth Consecutive #1 Ranking

The University of Southern California has been named the number one game design school in North America by the Princeton Review for its graduate program.  This ranking is shared by the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Interactive Media and Games Division and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science. USC has been ranked the number one school for game design for each year the Princeton Review has released the college ranking.  Additionally, USC took the number 2 position for its undergraduate program.

"This ranking is a tremendous honor for us, and it recognizes the effort we put into constantly growing and improving our program,” said Tracy Fullerton, the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair of the Interactive Media and Games Division.  “I'd say this has been a banner year for us in that regard, with some outstanding new faculty joining us from the industry, our brand new interactive building, the tenth 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 a real impact for our students and in the industry."

The ranking is based on a survey The Princeton Review conducted in 2012-13 of 150 programs at institutions in the U.S.A. and Canada offering video game design coursework and/or degrees. The survey asked schools to report on topics ranging from academic offerings and faculty credentials to graduates’ employment and professional achievements. Among criteria The Princeton Review weighed to make its selections: the school curriculum, faculty, facilities and infrastructure, plus career services, student scholarships and financial aid.

The Company gave Honorable Mention designations to 20 additional programs—15 undergraduate and five graduate. Overall, the report salutes 50 game design programs at 35 institutions.

"We are thrilled to once again be named the number one game design program for graduate students. It validates our students’ talent, innovation and collaborative efforts," said Professor Mike Zyda, Director of the USC GamePipe Laboratory and Professor of Engineering Practice in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science. "One of the most distinguishing features of the USC Games Program is its year-long joint games course. In that course, our students build the games of their dreams, work closely with our distinguished faculty and have the opportunity to present their work to professionals in the game design industry."

USC Games is a collaboration between the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media and Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering but encourages collaboration across all Schools and Divisions at USC. Incorporating elements of design, artistry and engineering, USC Games offers an utterly unique educational experience for students and serves as the launching pad for significant roles in the game design field. With rigorous, hands-on instruction from master designers, engineers and industry professionals, students gain an invaluable education necessary to delve into every aspect of creating games for a global audience.

Some of the USC Games’ successes include fLow, Cloud, Flower andJourney, all created by alumni Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany; The Unfinished Swan, developed by Ian Dallas and Max Geiger, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, developed and designed by Matt Korba and Paul Bellezza; Puzzlejuice, developed by Asher Vollmer; Darfur is Dying, developed by Susana Ruiz; Modern Warfare 3 which had Bwarathwaj Nandakumar as lead programmer; FarmVille and FarmVille 2 which had Raymond Xiang as Senior Software Engineer; and Star Wars 1313 which had Pol Jeremias as a graphics engineer.

For more information, please visit: