SMU Guildhall Named
Top Video Game-Design Program

The rankings were based on a 2016 survey of 150 programs in the United States, Canada, and overseas.


Gamers are always chasing the high score, the top of the list for any game.

SMU Guildhall has reached the top, being named the No. 1 graduate game-design program in The Princeton Review’s eighth annual report.

Gary Brubaker, director of The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University. [Photo by Michael Samples]

“Becoming the No. 1 graduate game-design school is a tribute to faculty with deep experience, bright and motivated students, a robust network of successful alumni, stellar industry support, cutting edge curriculum, and a commitment to continual improvement,” SMU Guildhall Director Gary Brubaker said in a release.

Ranked second to SMU was Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at the University of Central Florida.

Other highly-ranked Texas programs were the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson at No. 14 and Texas A&M University at No. 17.

The rankings were based on a 2016 survey of 150 programs in the United States, Canada, and overseas that offer game-design courses or degrees.

SMU said the 40-question review sought information on such things as academic offerings, faculty credentials, and graduates’ starting salaries and employment experience.

PC Gamer, The Princeton Review’s reporting partner, will include a section on the top schools in the May issue, SMU said in its release. The issue will be available on newsstands March 29, the university said.


Included in the issue will be information on degree programs, events, class offerings, prominent professors, and alumni, SMU said.

Located on SMU’s Plano campus, Guildhall was established in 2003. Industry veterans with more than three decades of experience at more than 40 game studios teach Guildhall classes.

According to the release, SMU Guildhall is the only program in the nation that offers specializations in the “four cornerstones” of video game development — art, design, production, and programming.

More than 650 students have graduated from the program, and alumni work at more than 250 video game studios globally, the school said.

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