ATEC program named one of the top graduate game design programs in the nation

The Princeton Review

UT Dallas’ ATEC program was named by the Princeton Review as one of the top graduate game design program in the nation. The University was ranked 11th. Read more here.



U-Utah #1 On Undergrad List / U-Southern Cal #1 on Grad List

NEW YORK, March 12, 2013 — The Princeton Review ( — one of the nation’s best-known education services companies — today issued its fourth annual report naming the schools with the best programs to study video game design.

The report, “Top Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2013,” is based on a survey The Princeton Review conducted in 2012-13 of 150 programs at institutions in the U.S.A. and Canada offering video game design coursework and/or degrees.

On The Princeton Review’s list of “Top 15” undergraduate schools to study video game design, the University of Utah is #1. The University of Southern California is #1 on the companion list of “Top 15” graduate schools. The Company gave Honorable Mention designations to 20 additional programs—15 undergraduate and five graduate. Overall, the report salutes 50 game design programs (30 undergraduate/ 20 graduate) at 35 institutions. (Lists follow.)

The Princeton Review’s 50-question survey for this project asked schools to report on a range of topics from academic offerings and faculty credentials to graduates’ employment and professional achievements. Among criteria The Princeton Review weighed to make its selections: the school curriculum, faculty, facilities, and infrastructure, plus career services, student scholarships, and financial aid.

The Princeton Review’s full report on this project — accessible at — includes profiles of the schools with application information and links to the school sites.

This year, The Princeton Review partnered with PC Gamer, a monthly magazine published by Future US, as its reporting partner on the project. PC Gamer has a special feature on the list in its May issue. It is available online tomorrow at, arriving in subscriber mailboxes this week, and on newsstands on April 2. The feature has information on the schools’ degree options, class offerings, prominent professors, and alumni, plus fun facts about the school programs.

The Princeton Review’s “Top 15 Undergraduate Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2013” are:

  • University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH)
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA)
  • The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, British Columbia / CAN)
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)
  • Becker College (Worcester, MA)
  • New England Institute of Technology (East Greenwich, RI)
  • North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)

The Princeton Review’s “Top 15 Graduate Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2013” are:

  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
  • DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA)
  • Southern Methodist University (Plano, TX)
  • The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, TX)
  • New York University / NYU-POLY (New York, NY)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
  • Parsons The New School for Design (New York, NY)
  • DePaul University (Chicago, IL)

Honorable Mentions – Undergraduate Schools (alpha order):

  • Bradley University (Peoria, IL)
  • Champlain College (Burlington, VT)
  • DePaul University (Chicago, IL)
  • Ferris State University (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Full Sail University (Winter Park, FL)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
  • Miami University (Oxford, OH)
  • New York University / NYU-POLY (New York, NY)
  • Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
  • Oklahoma Christian University (Edmond, OK)
  • Quinnipiac University (Hamden, CT)
  • University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
  • The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, TX)
  • University of Wisconsin – Stout (Menomonie, WI)
  • Vancouver Film School (Vancouver, British Columbia / CANADA)

Honorable Mentions – Graduate Schools (alpha order):

  • Full Sail University (Winter Park, FL)
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
  • Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT)
  • University at Buffalo (Buffalo, NY)
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)

Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s SVP/Publisher, noted the burgeoning interest among students in game design and the exceptional study options available from specialized college majors to concentrated graduate degrees. “We salute the schools on our 2013 list for their commitment to this professional field. We hope our project will guide students considering careers in game design to schools best for them on our lists and on to companies at which they can apply their creative ideas and skills for the next generation of game players.”

The Princeton Review is also known for its annual rankings of colleges, law schools, and business schools in dozens of categories which it reports on its website and in its books including The Best 377 Colleges and The Best Value Colleges.

The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.

About The Princeton Review
Founded in 1981, The Princeton Review ( is a privately held education services company headquartered in Framingham, MA. The Company has long been a leader in helping students achieve their education and career goals through its test preparation services, tutoring and admissions resources, online courses, and more than 150 print and digital books published by Random House, Inc. The Princeton Review delivers its programs via a network of more than 5,000 teachers and tutors in the U.S.A., Canada, and international franchises. The Company also partners with schools and guidance counselors worldwide to provide students with college readiness, test preparation and career planning services.

About FUTURE US (publisher of PC Gamer)
Future Plc is an international media group and leading digital publisher, listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). It has operations in the UK, US and Australia creating 200 publications, apps, websites and events. It holds market-leading positions in Technology, Gaming, Entertainment, Creative and Sport & Auto sectors. Future attracts 50 million monthly global unique users to its websites, which include,, and Future sells more than 24 million magazines every year, that’s 45 magazines sold every minute. Our most well-known brands in the US include Mac|Life, Maximum PC, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. We deliver over 100 digital editions, selling over 2 million products in the last 12 months through Apple’s Newsstand for iPad. Future exports or syndicates over 200 publications to over 90 countries. Future is currently Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year for both the Association of Online Publishers and the Professional Publishers Association.

University Marks Campus Growth in Twin Ceremonies

A crowd gathered at UT Dallas on Wednesday to celebrate two more milestones in campus growth: the official start of construction on the new Arts and Technology building and the successful opening of the Visitor Center and University Bookstore.

Dennis Kratz, dean of the school of Arts and Humanities, described the future ATEC Building as a structure “dedicated to the marriage of the creative arts with advanced technology.”

Student Government President Brittany Sharkey Andrews said she has already enjoyed using the new Visitor Center.

Off-campus guests, including local elected officials, joined faculty, staff and students at the 9 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony for the Arts and Technology (ATEC) building.

Construction of the 155,000-squre-foot facility is scheduled for completion in 2013.

After the ceremonial dirt was turned, the group made its way to the Visitor Center and University Bookstore (VCB) for a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The 33,000-square-foot building was brought online in eight months under a “fast-track” construction program.

Dr. Calvin Jamison, senior vice president for business affairs and master of ceremonies at both locations, praised the “remarkable collaboration” that produced the ATEC building design, and said the VCB would answer many needs for more space on campus.

Dr. Tom Linehan discusses plans for the new ATEC building.

The event was capped with a casual reception in the VCB Atrium, where the Coffee Shop treated guests to samples.

Double Exposure: Artist’s Work Shown in 2 Exhibits

ATEC Graduate Student Weaves Rich Creations of Color With Thread

Gabriel Dawe, a student in the Arts and Technology (ATEC) MFA program at The University of Texas at Dallas, has been busy. He is involved in two concurrent exhibitions in Dallas: a one-man show at Guerilla Arts, Plexus No. 3, and an installation, Plexus No. 4, at the Dallas Contemporary. Both are site-specific installations made from thread.

Plexus No. 3 by Gabriel Dawe is on display at the Guerilla Arts gallery.

Dawe explains, “These installations are about the human need to shelter from the elements. Architecture and fashion partly come from those needs. I am taking the main material clothes are made out of – thread – and making an architectural structure with it. By reversing material and scale, I ended up with something ethereal that speaks to the need for social structures that we require to survive as a species.”

His work can also be seen in the “Indig-nation” exhibition at UT Dallas in late October, as well as a group show in November at the Kellogg Gallery at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

He is an artist in residence at CentralTrak, and will have his MFA show there in April.

Plexus No. 4 (shown here in detail) is on display at the Dallas Contemporary museum.

Living Learning Communities Have a Busy Debut

Seminars and Guest Speakers Enrich Experience in New Residence Hall

Jan. 29, 2010

Living Learning Communities (LLC) at UT Dallas are off to a busy start after their first semester in the University’s new residence hall.

Freshmen began moving in to the residence hall, where the Living Learning Communities are situated, in August.

Community members have attended seminars given by experts in their fields of interest and interacted closely with UT Dallas faculty and staff members. Members have also connected with the community through volunteer projects and honed leadership skills through team-building workshops.

LLCs are small groups of freshmen who have joined together to share common academic goals or interests. Members live in the residence hall, attend at least one class a semester together and participate in enrichment activities and service projects.

Highlights from the fall semester included the following:

  • Art & Technology LLC  students met with industry experts, including a member of the Dreamworks studio, and key faculty members who discussed gaming, emerging media and 3D animation.  Students also toured the Janimation studio in Dallas.
  • The Engineering and Computer Science LLC volunteered nearly 100 hours at the BEST Robotics competition – an annual event that allows middle school children to design, build and test their robotic creations.  They also assisted in two Habitat for Humanity projects in Plano.
  • Music LLC members attended concerts by Gabriel Bianco and the Soli Chamber Ensemble. They also helped children create homemade musical instruments during the annual UT Dallas Family Day Carnival.
  • The Multicultural & Social Justice LLC met privately with Christina Chavez, granddaughter of civil rights pioneer Cesar Chavez. They also researched nutrition problems and visited a southern Dallas community to learn what happens when a community does not have access to a grocery store that offers healthy food products.
  • The Pre-Health Living Learning Community attended a UT Southwestern medical conference to learn more about medical school and the application process.  They participated in the Friday Night Friends program by caring for and engaging with special needs children so that their parents could have a night off to rejuvenate.  They also met with a panel of doctors and medical students in an event hosted by the Health Professions Advising Center.
  • School of Management Living Learning Community students began the year with a personal welcome from Dr. Hasan Pirkul, dean of the School of Management, and were also invited for an evening of dinner and conversation with SOM faculty. In preparation for the spring semester, the LLC organized a “scheduling party” and invited faculty to help them select courses for the new term.


UT Dallas’ Linehan Among Seven to Receive Inaugural Innovations in Education Awards

Faculty at three University of Texas System institutions will be recognized as the inaugural recipients of the System’s Innovations in Education Awards, which laud individuals who produce cutting-edge approaches to teaching that have proven to be both creative and effective in classrooms and laboratories.

“These faculty members demonstrate extraordinary ability in devising novel approaches to teaching and learning – methods that explore alternative pedagogies which could provide a bold new framework for future curricula,” UT System Chancellor Mark G. Yudof said.

“We believe these innovative programs maximize our students’ engagement in their coursework, increase their potential for achievement and advance excellence at our institutions.”

In all, seven faculty members were recognized for their work on three projects. In one case, five professors collaborated on the program; in the other two, a single professor was recognized for the program. Each prize comes with a $5,000 award.

The awards, funded by the UT System Chancellor’s Council, will be presented at the group’s annual meeting in Austin on May 4.

“We recognize there are many successes throughout the UT System ranks and we hope these awards will help continue to foster a culture of innovation and healthy scholarship among our faculty members,” said John T. Stuart III of Dallas, chairman of the Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee.

“We hope these awards continue to increase awareness of our faculty’s outstanding work throughout the system.”

The faculty and their respective programs receiving recognition are:

  • Alma Leal, Ed.D.; Olivia Rivas, Ed.D.; Selma Yznaga, Ph.D.; Manuel Zamarripa, Ph.D. and Ray Adomaitis, Ph.D., of UT Brownsville. These faculty members collaborated to create the Community and Counseling Clinic at UT Brownsville. Because many students in the program are fluent in Spanish and English, but have learned virtually all of the basic counseling and psychological constructs in English, the faculty developed a bilingual lab manual that provides translations to important terms regarding emotions and psychological disorders. It gives students the linguistic tools necessary to explain counseling ideas and concepts to future Spanish-speaking clients.
  • Thomas E. Linehan, Ph.D., of UT Dallas. Linehan developed the Arts and Technology (ATEC) Programthe first comprehensive degree program in Texas that combines computer science and engineering with creative arts and the humanities. The program offers a unique approach in that it combines a variety of fields with modes of thinking and incorporates multiple forms of digital content. Students can mix interactive narration with game creation, visual elements and sound design and even animated and simulated worlds. The courses are intended to educate students to succeed in a media-rich, technologically sophisticated world. With more than 400 students, and in less than three years of existence, the program grew into the university’s largest undergraduate major in the School of Arts and Humanities.
  • Manuel Berriozábal, Ph.D., of UT San Antonio. Berriozábal founded the Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program (TexPREP) at UT San Antonio. Begun in 1979, the program conducts no-cost summer math-based academic enrichment programs for high-achieving middle school and high school students who come from the city’s most underserved areas.  More than 25,000 students have completed at least one summer session in the program, and by 2005, 97 percent of its attendees were either in college or had graduated from college.

Computer Animation Visionary Dr. Tom Linehan Joins UTD as Professor, Director of New Institute for Interactive Arts and Technology

Dr. Thomas E. Linehan, a visionary in the field of computer animation, has joined The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as a professor of aesthetic studies and director of UTD’s newly formed Institute for Interactive Arts and Technology.

UTD’s School of Arts and Humanities and its Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science collaborated to create the institute, which will provide students an opportunity to learn about interactive advancements in the fields of communication, entertainment, education and training, as well as in scientific and medical applications.

The institute is meant to attract the best and brightest students to study the effects technology can have on such fields as the arts, computer science, physics, filmmaking, literature and communications. As part of their studies, students, along with faculty, will be charged with inventing new pathways for the converging disciplines and fields.

Linehan’s arrival and the creation of the institute will afford the university the opportunity to become known as an innovator in providing degree programs in advanced interactive arts and technology, said Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of UTD’s School of Arts and Humanities.

“The creation of the Institute for Interactive Arts and Technology is a pivotal step toward UTD becoming a school dedicated to the study of the mutual impact of art and technology,” Kratz said. “Tom has provided instruction to artists, designers, filmmakers and art educators, and we are excited to have someone with his experience and expertise join UTD at this critical moment in the school’s history.”

Linehan, who also has a background in corporate management and educational administration, has extensive experience in computer game design and animation.

Most recently, he served as creator and director of the Research Partners program at The Ohio State University, where he was responsible for pairing university faculty and graduate students with corporations for research partnerships to study digital communication technologies.

Prior to that, Linehan was president of The Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., where he helped create an undergraduate curriculum in computer animation.

Before that, Linehan established and directed graduate programs in computer animation at Ohio State’s Advanced Computing Center for Arts and Design. During his tenure, he was responsible for merging a graduate program of 50 master and doctoral students from computer science, physics, electrical engineering, art, film, architecture and education backgrounds.

Linehan also has worked with Texas A&M University to establish the College of Architecture’s Visualization Laboratory. Under his direction, A&M created a program of study leading to master’s and doctoral programs in visualization sciences. He served as a consultant in the development of similar programs in The Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand and Canada.

“I look forward to helping UTD create an interactive arts and technology program from the ground up,” Linehan said. “With the help of the Erik Jonsson School and the talented faculty and staff in the School of Arts and Humanities, I am confident UTD will become one of the top educational programs in interactive technologies in the world.”

A native of Wisconsin, Linehan received both his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in art education from The Ohio State University and his bachelor’s degree in fine art from Webster University in St. Louis.

For additional information about the institute, its degree programs or Tom Linehan, please call (972) 883-4379 or e-mail