April 17, 2023

For the thirteen consecutive year, Shawnee State University has been ranked among the top game design programs in the nation, ranking in the Top 15 on the Top 50 Game Design Undergraduate list published by The Princeton Review.  

SSU Game design student

“Shawnee State consistently produces talented young game developers and digital artists in a region that has not been traditionally associated with contemporary technology,” SSU Chair of Fine, Digital & Performing Arts Dr. Michael Barnhart said. “It is encouraging to see the success of our students and their dedicated faculty mentors receiving continuing national attention.”

SSU’s game design programs – which includes degrees in both game programming and game arts – are highly competitive. Students in both tracks have the opportunity to develop their skills through hands-on courses leading up to their Senior Studio where the two tracks come together to allow students to simulate the experience of working in a game studio.

“One of the things that I am most proud of is that Shawnee State has remained a fixture in the rankings since the inception of this Princeton Review list,” SSU Chair of Engineering Technologies Adam Miller said. “The sustained level of success really speaks to the strong foundation of our programs and the hard work and dedication of the faculty that support the programs.”

As part of an ever-evolving industry, SSU faculty members work to keep students connected to the latest developments and trends in gaming technology. Classes rely on the experience of its professors as well as guest speakers from the industry – including many that are alumni of the programs. With opportunity to connect with other gamers through on-campus organizations, at the Shawnee Game Conference, and multi-day game development sessions called Game Jams a year, SSU gaming students are routinely collaborating and strengthening their understanding and ability within the field. 

“The gaming culture on campus has grown tremendously over the years,” said Miller. “While the foundation of this culture is in the game development degree programs in Arts and Engineering Technologies, we also host the longest-running academic gaming conference in the Midwest and have seen the emergence and growth of our Esports team and coursework in Esports management. With the recent opening of the Kricker Innovation Hub and the opportunity that brings, I’m excited to see how the innovating gaming culture continues to evolve and grow on campus in the coming years.”

Graduates from SSU gaming are found working throughout the nation in various industries including gaming, sales, programming, production, and more, using the hands-on skillsets developed in the classroom.

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on its 2023 survey of administrators at 150 institutions in the U.S., Canada, and abroad offering game design courses, majors, or degree programs. For more information about Shawnee State University’s gaming programs, visit