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Gaming & Animation at OC jumps up global rankings according to the Princeton Review

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students creating on computer

Oklahoma Christian University retains the top spot in gaming and animation degrees in Oklahoma, top 10 in the southwest and climbs world rankings.

Animation Career Review's 2020 rankings placed OC as the top animation school in Oklahoma, as did the Princeton Review and PC Gamer. Known as the most authoritative in ranking these programs, Princeton Review pushed OC up to #37 in the world. The 2020 rank is a leap from #48 the previous year. The university sees this as a nod to new faculty who have energized the program, provided new game development opportunities and launched a lecture series with top-level industry professionals.

The Kicker Audio Lab provides next level sound capabilities for game creation. The sound-proof room features the Wall of Boom.

"Students and the huge game industry place Gaming and Animation degrees in great demand. We have responded by bringing in highly skilled faculty, adding the Kicker Audio Lab for top quality sound, bringing industry leaders to campus for our ARC Talks speaker series and hosting our state's largest Global Game Jam weekend," said Dean of Liberal Arts Tina Winn. "We are thrilled that the efforts our faculty have made to position students for optimal success is being recognized in the global marketplace."

Instructor of Gaming and Animation Ellie Kirkner is an international illustrator and art director who focuses on concept art. She leads OC's ARC Talks series that celebrates the intersection of art, religion and culture within creative crafts.

This award is rooted in excellence in academic programming, faculty, student opportunities and facilities. The Princeton Review chose the schools based on data it collected in its 2019 survey of administrators at 150 institutions that offer game design courses, majors, or degree programs. Surveyed schools were in the U.S., Canada and abroad.

The 50-question survey broadly covered four areas: academics, faculty, technology and career prospects. It requested information on everything from the schools' academic programs and facilities to the starting salaries and professional achievements of game design program graduates. In all, the company analyzed more than 40 survey data points to tally the rankings. Detailed information about The Princeton Review's methodology for the rankings is accessible here.

Assistant Professor Skyler Thomas has seen the size of his classes triple in his seven years of teaching Gaming and Animation at OC.

"We recommend these schools highly to students considering careers in the exciting field of game design," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's Editor-in-Chief. "All of the schools that made our lists for 2020 have excellent programs, outstanding faculties, and awesome, state-of-the-art facilities. Not surprisingly, they count among their alumni many of the video game industry’s most prominent artists, designers, developers, and entrepreneurs.”

Global Game Jam revolves around our heavily connected world. We can come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games. Global Game Jam is the largest event of its kind, spanning 119 countries.

Franek also noted survey findings revealing the exceptional level of professional experience that students in game design studies at the schools attained last year. More than half of the students in the programs worked on a shipped game as part of their game design studies. Eight of 10 students in the programs developed a plan to launch a game after graduation.

Over 60 OC students and alumni converged on OC's Art and Design studios and labs to participate in the 2020 Global Game Jam, the world's largest annual event of its kind. Seven teams developed seven unique gameplay experiences surrounding the theme of "Repair."

Oklahoma Christian Gaming and Animation students are purpose-driven innovators preparing for a future we haven’t yet discovered. The OC community is made up of unique individuals who help each other thrive. Located in Oklahoma City on a 200-acre walking campus, OC offers a personalized education experience with a student to faculty ratio of 14 to one.