Stetson Named a Top Game Design Program by Princeton Review for 3rd Year in a Row

Stetson University has been named one of the Top 50 programs for game design in the country by The Princeton Review for a third year in a row.

Princeton Review logo

The Princeton Review surveyed colleges in America, Canada and some countries abroad to compile the list. Stetson was selected for the No. 43 spot among undergraduate programs for 2024, based on the quality of academics, faculty and game design labs, as well as career outcomes for graduates.

“We highly recommend Stetson University, as well as the other outstanding schools on our 2024 lists, to students considering a career in the exciting field of game design,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief. “Their faculties are superb. Their facilities are state-of-the-art, and their alumni include many of the industry’s most successful game designers, developers, and entrepreneurs.”

Nathan Wolek, PhD

Based on the success of Stetson’s program, the university added a second computer lab last summer for students studying game design, upgraded equipment in both labs and hired another faculty member.

“We in Digital Arts are very thrilled to be named in this Top 50 list of outstanding game design programs once again,” said Nathan Wolek, PhD, Professor of Digital Arts and Music Technology at Stetson. “It’s only going to help us raise the visibility of what it is that we’re doing to prospective students, to prospective employers, to all external groups that are going to help us grow as a program.”

Dengke Chen, MFA

Students in the program enjoy small class sizes, allowing them to work closely with accomplished faculty to build their portfolios. Professors also help connect students with alumni who are working in the industry.

“Our students find jobs very quickly and a lot of students find jobs even before they graduate,” said Dengke Chen, MFA, an Associate Professor of Digital Arts who specializes in 3D animation and digital video. “The game companies that hire our students include EA Sports, Pipeworks, Red Storm Entertainment, Grove Street Games and more.”

The ranking brings national recognition to Stetson, which is included in the May issue of PC Gamer magazine in an article listing the “Best Game Design Programs Ranked by The Princeton Review 2024.”

Stephanie Charles, a Digital Arts major from Orlando, hopes to work at a game studio after graduating in May 2025. She said she was nervous at first about learning 3D animation but her close working relationship with Professor Chen and Stetson’s state-of-the-art computer labs have made all the difference.

Stephanie Charles ’25

“The labs that they have set up are a godsend because those computers have so many programs. It’s incredible,” she said. “And there are a lot of people that you could also collaborate with and get feedback from, including Professor Chen. … It’s made learning and working with 3D really nice.”

Stetson’s Digital Arts program offers extra benefits to students, the professors say, because it is housed in the Creative Arts Department. Students can take classes in graphic design, web design, 3D computer animation, 2D hand-drawn animation, video game development, augmented reality and virtual reality, digital photography, digital video, audio recording and production, and electronic music and sound design.

graphic for Princeton Review Top Game Design programs

Students are encouraged to pursue classes outside the program, taking computer science classes, for example, to learn about coding for video games. In addition, students can be selected to study each summer at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, or FIEA, a world-class facility in downtown Orlando that teaches the latest game-development processes for producers, artists and programmers. 

“We really are interested in and invested in the success of our students,” Wolek added.

-Stetson Today