Digital Design student Danielle Esmaya
It took NJIT nearly a decade to create a top-ranked game development program. But thanks to teamwork between the College of Computing Sciences (CCS) and the College of Architecture and Design (COAD), two new and popular programs in which students may study electronic game design not only exist but are getting rave reviews. The Princeton Review just hailed the new offerings http://www.princetonreview.com/game-design.aspx in its 2012 ranking of top undergraduate schools to study video game design.“This is amazing and we couldn’t be prouder,” said CCS University Lecturer and coordinator of the game development specialization Marc Sequeira. Sequeira helped launch the program as part of the Information Technology (IT) degree in 2003. “Out of 150 universities with game development programs, 32 were named as the top-ranked schools. Of these schools, only the top ten were ranked in specific order, so NJIT is effectively in a 22-way tie for 11th place with NYU, Georgia Tech and RPI.
“NJIT is the only New Jersey school on the list and NYU is the only other school on the list from the New York metro area. With the support of the university and the ongoing collaboration between CCS and COAD, we plan to push NJIT into the top 10 universities for game design by 2013.”
The program began with students enrolled in the BS degree program in IT taking a limited number of newly developed game design courses. Enrollment grew steadily and by 2007, IT launched a degree specialization in game development. All good, but not great until Fall, 2008 when COAD launched its digital design program. The two programs, IT and digital design, quickly developed a strong academic relationship and have worked collaboratively ever since.
“This cross-campus collaboration was key to NJIT ranking among the nation’s top universities,” said Sequeira. Today, game development at NJIT, as assessed by the Princeton Review, has two main paths. A student can experience the program as an IT major, focused on the development, architecture, programming and production of games, or as a digital design major, focused on game design, art, aesthetics and related areas.”
Indeed, COAD Professor Glenn Goldman, director of the School of Art + Design, noted the fluidity of the course structure. “A student's decision to study in this field is not limited to the original choice of programming vs. design. Digital design students typically take programming courses from IT, and we are seeing an ever-increasing number of IT students taking design and graphics courses at COAD,” he said.
Students from both majors also take a number of joint classes where they work collaboratively on game projects. “This intercollegiate collaboration has been extremely fruitful and it was an important factor in our ranking with the Princeton Review,” Sequeira added. To learn more, please contact Marc Sequeira, 646-242-5939 at CCS or Glenn Goldman, 973-596-3012 at COAD.