Graduate program at U of U ranked best in nation for video game design

Posted at 9:51 PM, Mar 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-28 23:51:54-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Gamers take note: The University of Utah was named the top video game graduate program in the nation.

The Princeton Review named the University of Utah the top video game graduate program in the nation, and staff and students believe the rating was the result of a team effort.

"Through hard work by our faculty and our staff and a great set of students, and then I think we have set up the right kind of educational experience,” said Bob Kessler, who is the director of the Entertainment Art and Engineering Program.

Kessler believes the program's unique track system is what makes them so successful. Students study both design and industry experience. Then they are tasked with creating and publishing their own game, giving them real world experience.

"It is more than a program,” said Jenjen Francis, a student in the EA&E program. “It is an epic adventure, and I am passionate about the power of gaming."

Alumni and professionals in the field also make a difference.

"We bring in industry colleagues, most of them from Salt Lake City,” Kessler said. “And they teach classes to help expose the students to exactly what industry is doing, which helps the students--when they get out of here, they know what's going on in the industry, and they are immediately valuable."

Last year, three months after graduation--more than 90 percent of the U of U’s Entertainment Art and Engineering Program graduates had a job.

The games designed by these students are published and can be found on online platforms and a variety of gaming consoles.