Game development

Shawnee State University gaming programs rank 9th nationally

PORTSMOUTH – Shawnee State University was ranked 9th in the nation among the best undergraduate schools for game design by the Princeton Review. This marks the 12th consecutive year that the university has been named to the list.

“I’m very proud of the curriculum,” said Paul Yost, associate professor in the Simulation & Gaming Engineering Technology program. “One thing that attracted me to the ‘game programming’ aspect of this degree is that game programming naturally has the ability to do what a college degree should do – encourage critical thinking and encourage integration of a broad range of topics in a meaningful way.”

Yost was a pioneer in creating SSU’s Game Programming and Simulation degree in 2004, an addition to the university’s Game Arts degree. He has noticed a desire among his students to take a more rigorous course load related to this specific area of ​​study.

“During my classes, many students mentioned how much they enjoyed homework on game programming and graphics programming,” he said. “Because of their enthusiasm, I began to think seriously about creating a new type of degree – a rigorous computer science/engineering degree that placed game and simulation programming at the center of the learning experience. Now I am an associate professor specifically in this degree where I teach a range of engineering, programming and computer science courses.

As with most technology, game development evolves and changes rapidly. Yost witnessed this first-hand in his program and learned to adapt.

“We are always adapting the degree and the content of our courses to cope with these changes,” Yost said. “Graphical programming, optimization techniques, and real-time interactive programming are rapidly evolving in our program. The faculty is constantly evolving the course material and the course sequence itself to adapt to the industry. »

In an environment where emerging technologies are essential, Yost noted the courses the degree program offers to prepare students for a professional career after graduation.

“The program continues to provide educational opportunities for new technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and many other subjects by offering ‘special subject’ courses and technical electives” , did he declare.

SSU’s game design programs — which include degrees in game programming and game arts — are competitive. Greg Lyons, Professor of 3D Art and Design, specifically mentioned how he witnessed this and how SSU students stand out in the industry.

“It’s a competitive industry,” Lyons said. “The good thing about programming and the artistic side of the industry is that it’s purely merit-based. Shawnee students arrive from day one with a work ethic that will help them succeed. They work tirelessly in their respective fields to really perfect their craft and market themselves.

Students in both pathways of the gaming program at SSU have a number of resources to their advantage. The professors and professors of the program are committed to providing a healthy and beneficial learning experience.

“Our faculty is able to provide students with personal and academic guidance through our smaller class sizes,” Lyons said. “We want to see our students become successful developers and artists and discover who they are as professionals in the field. Students learn and work in different ways, and we encourage that. These specialized differences help the gaming industry evolve.

Faculty in the SSU program are optimistic about career opportunities for their graduates.

“A lot of our students do very well after graduation,” Lyons said. “As a game developer, students are not tied to a specific paycheck-to-paycheck position. Students will have marketable programming and art skills by the time they leave us. Merit-based skills can take them anywhere if they work hard in our program.

SSU’s playing program plans to continue working diligently to move up the ranks. Yost is passionate about the success of the program.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who took this degree from a small idea to success,” he said. “Education works best when we help our students realize their dreams, both personal and professional. I look forward to continuing the quest for excellence within our program.

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on its 2022 survey of administrators from 150 institutions in the United States, Canada, and abroad offering game design courses, majors, or degree programs. . For more information about Shawnee State University’s gaming programs, visit

Shawnee State University was ranked 9th in the nation among the best undergraduate schools for game design by the Princeton Review. This marks the 12th consecutive year that the university has been named to the list.