Pacific Northwest aspiring game professionals are in an ideal location with a top-rated technology school in their backyard.

Redmond-based DigiPen Institute of Technology was ranked among the best schools to study game design by The Princeton Review for the eighth year running. The review — which based the rankings on a 2016 survey of 150 international institutions — ranked DigiPen No. 4 on its list of top undergraduate schools and No. 7 for best graduate schools.

Photo by Rachel Coward

Photo by Rachel Coward

DigiPen alumni have contributed to more than 1,000 commercial game titles, including Final Fantasy XV, Titanfall 2, and Overwatch, and student game projects have received international accolades at competitions. Students frequently work with innovative and emerging technology and have access to software development kits for products, including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft HoloLens.

“What continues to excite me about DigiPen and the education here is seeing the academics applied immediately in student-driven projects. Students benefit directly from the experience and engagement of the faculty as they address the hurdles that arise,” said Erik Mohrmann, dean of faculty at DigiPen, in a press release. “The game projects are an incredible teaching device, not only for learning how to apply complicated academic concepts, but also for learning how to work with other people. Students really invest in their education, because they are working on projects that are fun, challenging, and personally meaningful.”

The Princeton Review editor-in-chief Robert Franek praised DigiPen’s “outstanding” facilities and alumni being among the industry’s most prominent game designers, developers, artists, and entrepreneurs. Franek highly recommends DigiPen, noting “these are truly the ‘cream of the crop’ institutions from which to launch a career.”