GRAND RAPIDS – Ferris State University’s Digital Animation and Game Design program was recognized in a Princeton Review study of the nation’s premier schools for video game design.
Ferris was listed in “Honorable Mention” as part of a study that concluded with a March 1 announcement of the Princeton Review’s third annual rankings. Schools were selected based on a comprehensive survey that was conducted of administrators at 150 institutions that offer video game design coursework and/or degrees in the United States and Canada during the 2011-12 academic year. Ferris’ Grand Rapids-based DAGD program, with about 150 students, ranked among the nation’s best.
“We were very excited to hear this news. In 2006, we established a goal to become a Top 10 program for animation and game design, and this is an indication that we are on the right track,” said David Baker, coordinator of Ferris’ DAGD program. “We are running with the big dogs as the schools ranked are highly respected in the industry.”
The new Princeton Review list, “Top Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2012,” recommends 50 schools. It names 10 undergraduate and 10 graduate schools in rank order to its respective “Top 10” lists and 22 undergraduate and eight graduate schools in the “Honorable Mention” category. The ranking, according to Baker, strengthens the reputation of Ferris’ program.
“We feel that this provides a certain amount of credibility for Digital Animation and Game Design at Ferris State University,” he said. “Students are very savvy these days and want value for the time and money they spend on a degree. This ranking will help give them the confidence that they are working with a quality program and university.”
The DAGD program features five full-time faculty members and three adjunct faculty members. Baker noted the diverse and practical experience of the faculty as one of the top features that helps distinguish Ferris from its peers.
“Our program is unique in that all of our faculty have been in the industry and learned our craft as professional designers and animators,” Baker explained of a program started in 2004 by Vice President for Extended and International Operations Don Green and faculty member Marty Lier. “We have returned to the classroom to help a new generation of media artists reach their full potential. We also are careful to continue improving our own skills whether it be in programming, game design, media development or 3D content creation.”
The Princeton Review survey included more than 50 questions, covered a wide range of topics from academics and faculty credentials to graduates’ employment and career achievements. Criteria for 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 career opportunities, financial aid and scholarships.