It’s a question undecided applicants are always asking: what should I put down as my intended major on my college applications? The answer of course will depend on the exact colleges one is applying to and the potential majors one will consider; however, this year, 2017, as students get ready to apply during the 2017-2018 admissions cycle for Fall 2018 freshmen spots at America’s most selective colleges, there is one major that certainly deserves your attention more so than others. Drumroll please….
And the University of Southern California captured the No. 1 spot on the undergraduate list of schools (up from #2 in 2016). Southern Methodist University (SMU) took the top place on the graduate schools list (also up from #2 last year).
“USC Games represents an exciting collaboration between the School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science,” explains the USC Games website. “Incorporating elements of design, artistry, production and engineering, USC Games offers an utterly unique educational experience for students, and serves as the launching pad for them to play significant roles in the game design field.”
According to CNN Money and PayScale, video game design is in the top third of “best jobs” in America, with potential for substantial growth, great pay and satisfying work. What’s particularly appealing about the profession is that the industry is relatively new, so it’s still an innovative field open to pioneers and creative minds.
Formerly assigned to a far corner of the computer science department, game design has emerged as a respectable, multidisciplinary course of study. And schools hoping to cash in on the growing market for designers are building glitzy new facilities tricked out with cutting-edge technology and equipment.
The Princeton Review selected schools based on a survey of 150 institutions in the U.S., Canada and abroad offering video game design programs or courses. The 40-question survey asked schools to report on a range of topics from academic offerings and lab facilities to starting salaries and career achievements.
“Game design is an exciting field and programs are springing up in colleges all over the world, said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor in Chief. “The top schools on our lists have outstanding faculties and great facilities which will give students the skills and experience they need to pursue a career in this dynamic and burgeoning field.”
Although relatively new, George Mason University has a well-respected game design program in the Washington metropolitan area and has received recognition, along with the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) as among the 50 best game design schools and colleges by gamedesigning.org. Using slightly different criteria from that used by Princeton Review, GameDesigning ranks the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, and DigiPen Institute of Technology as the top three programs in the field.
And for the record, the Princeton Review’s top 25 undergraduate schools to study game design for 2017 are:
- University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
- Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
- University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
- DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
- Becker College (Worcester, MA)
- Hampshire College (Amherst, MA)
- New York University (Brooklyn, NY)
- The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, British Columbia)
- Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
- Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
- Vancouver Film School (Vancouver, British Columbia)
- Bradley University (Peoria, IL)
- Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
- Champlain College (Burlington, VT)
- University of Wisconsin-Stout (Menomonie, WI)
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)
- The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, TX)
- DePaul University (Chicago, IL)
- Abertay University (Dundee, Scotland)
- Ferris State University (Big Rapids, MI)
- University of California-Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
- Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH)
- Cogswell College (San Jose, CA)
- Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA)
- Miami University (Oxford, OH)
Keep in mind that like any other “ranking,” this list represents one organization’s opinions and should provide little more than “food for thought” or a starting place for a more thorough investigation of a whole range of video game design programs.
NOTE: George Mason University will be holding Game Design Open Houses on April 8 and April 22, 2017. This could be a great way to learn about game design in general and the George Mason program in specific. Interested students can reserve a space by emailing Mary Bean ([email protected]) or calling 703.993.5734.
Prospective veterinarians, including high school students or undergrads on a pre-professional veterinary track, should make a point of attending the 2017 Veterinary Medical Career Fair. Sponsored by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), the fair is scheduled for Sunday, March 12, from 2:30 to 5 p.m., at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, in downtown Washington, D.C.
This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet veterinary medical school admissions officials, get advice on applying to veterinary school, and learn about various veterinary medical careers. It’s one of very few college fairs in the country targeted to students interested in pursuing careers in veterinary medicine, and families travel long distances to attend.
Already gathered for an annual conference, representatives from national and international colleges of veterinary medicine will be on hand to walk students through the application process while explaining the kinds of credentials necessary to attend any of the AAVMC member institutions.
For example, prospective veterinarians may be surprised to learn that some veterinary medical schools are interested in time spent in animal care related activities as early as high school. In fact, students considering veterinary careers are well advised to start keeping track of their volunteer hours in activities related to animals or animal care throughout all four years of high school.
And we’re not just talking about cats and dogs!
“This year’s event will feature a session on equine medicine because we know many students have visions of doing this type of work,” explained Dr. Lisa Greenhill, AAVMC senior director for institutional research and diversity. “We will also have a group of veterinary students talking about their experiences in vet school; it’s a session students won’t want to miss.”
By the way, US News lists veterinary medicine among the 100 “best” jobs of 2017, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the employment of veterinarians to grow nine percent through 2024, faster than average for all occupations.
And for high school students thinking ahead, the choice of undergraduate school could possibly fast track acceptance to veterinary medical colleges as opportunities exist for early admission to DVM programs by bypassing completion of the BS. For students committed to the field, this could mean significant savings in terms of time and money!
This year’s AAVMC event will offer four information sessions in addition to the career fair:
- 3:00 p.m.: Applying to Veterinary School (for all attendees)
- 4:00 p.m.: Equine Medicine (for all attendees) OR Veterinary Student Panel (for all attendees)
“Students visiting the career fair should consider asking about summer programs and how to get veterinary-related experience while still in high school,” suggested Dr. Greenhill. “Research programs are available with undergraduate ‘feeder’ opportunities at some vet schools.”
And there are prizes!
“Once again, we will have some of our limited edition ‘I’m a Future Vet’ t-shirts. This year’s shirt features a horse in honor of equine medicine, and for the first time ever, our shirts will be dated!,” said Dr. Greenhill. “Numerous other items, including some surprises, will be given to students who answer questions throughout our information sessions on Sunday, so get ready to engage with our speakers!”
Although not required, students are asked to register in advance for the fair. Last year’s event was very well attended, and early registration helps conference organizers do a better job. And note that while hourly parking is available at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, students and their families are strongly encouraged to take the Metro (Red Line exiting at the Woodley Park/Zoo Station).
But if you can’t attend, take the time to check out the AAVMC website for information on how to become a veterinarian.
Do Ivy League graduates make more money? It depends on what they major in.
Graduates of top-tier schools who major in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) don’t earn much more than graduates of schools that are easier to get into, according to research from Michael Hilmer, an economist at San Diego State University, and Eric Eide and Mark Showalter, economists at Brigham Young University. But for students who major in business or liberal arts, where you go to school matters — business majors from top schools make 12% more than those from midtier schools and 18% more than their colleagues from bottom tier schools, for example.
More in MarketWatch.com (2/2/16)
If you only have one more spot to fill on your college list and it comes down to New York University or University of Southern California, here are the factors you should consider before making the final cut.
If you only have one more spot to fill on your college list and it comes down to Northwestern University or Washington University in St. Louis, here are the factors you should consider before making the final cut.
If you know what you want to study in college and want to earn a high quality undergraduate degree without having to take courses you aren’t interested in, it makes a lot of sense head over to merry old England ASAP!
The teeming plant world could become a virtual mystery in the coming decades as college students increasingly shy away from studying botany and universities across the U.S. shutter their long-standing herbaria. Since 1988, the number of research universities offering botany degrees has dropped by half, according to National Science Foundation research funding statistics.
More: Fewer students study botany, more plant collections closing, Chron.com via the Associated Press’ Claudia Lauer (5/25/15)
Confused about all the different rankings for universities out there regarding universities in the United Kingdom? The Telegraph picks out the ones that matter, asks why they are important, and tells you how to read them. In the process, the newspaper does us all a favor by adding clarity to a higher education market that is of increasing interest to millions of American students.
More: How to read the different UK university rankings, The Telegraph (4/29/15)
Over the past year, colleges and universities across the country have received millions in funding from the government and foundations to launch cybersecurity initiatives. The result is a stark change for an industry made up of programmers who have often learned by trial and error.
More: Once a field of self-taught hackers, cybersecurity education shifts to universities, The Christian Science Monitor (4/22/15)