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Game design programs ranked among best in US for 2024

Princeton Review and Animation Career Review rank undergrad, graduate programs among best in country


Students around a table play card games
Students play card game in DePaul's game studio(photo courtesy of DePaul University)
DePaul University continues to solidify its position as a powerhouse in gaming and animation in 2024.  Both the undergraduate and graduate game design programs in the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media secured national recognition again this year.

The Princeton Review ranked DePaul's undergraduate program among the top 50 nationwide this year, placing it at No. 34. The graduate program climbed two spots to No. 23.  

DePaul was also named one of the best game design schools in the U.S. by Animation Career Review, which ranked DePaul at No. 1 in the Midwest and No. 11 nationally

Empowering creativity 

Faculty in DePaul's game design program go above and beyond to ensure students receive the best opportunities available, including attending speaking events with industry leaders and participating in project showcases. ​​

The Jarvis Speaker Series has brought many high-profile guests from the gaming industry to campus – an invaluable learning and networking opportunity for students. Notable figures such as Alex Seropian (founder of Bungie), Chelsea Blasko (co-CEO of Iron Galaxy), Wynston Williams (QA Test Lead of Netflix Games) and the Young Horses team (Creators of Octodad and Bugsnax) have visited DePaul to inspire the next generation of game designers and developers. 

Lien Tran, assistant professor of design, game development and strategy, took students Chase Jones and Chryselle Rego to showcase their project, "A Just Reality," a VR training tool for trauma-informed interviewing, at the 2023 Games for Change's XR for Change Summit workshop. Their project even earned a spot in G4C's Immersive Arcade.  

The DePaul Originals Game Studio, located at the Loop Campus, focuses on producing high-quality game experiences delivered on commercial platforms for students. The goal is to provide game design students with the experience of working at a larger game studio at a high level. 

Global engagement and hands-on learning  

In addition to academic initiatives, DePaul offers unique opportunities for students to engage with the gaming and animation industries on a global scale. The gaming and animation study abroad program in Japan provides students with immersive experiences and cultural exchange, enriching their education and broadening their perspectives. 

For aspiring young minds, DePaul also hosts summer camps such as the Game, Cinema and Animation Summer Academy and DeSports, providing high school students with hands-on experience and mentorship from industry professionals. 

Looking ahead 

There are several events slated for game design students this spring. One is The Jarvis Center's Immersive XP Showcase on April 18. The event will explore innovative projects from students, faculty and partners of DePaul.  

“It is always exciting to explore how new technologies can change our understanding of games as a media," says Richard Wetzel, an associate professor in the School of Design. “Our students are constantly surprising us with unique approaches and ideas, and it is great to see the culmination of their hard work showcased at the end of the academic year." 

There will also be a School of Design showcase on June 13. This event will be a celebration of creativity and innovation, offering a glimpse into the future of gaming and other design projects at DePaul University. 

To learn more about the game design programs, visit the School of Design website