Miami University's game design, software engineering and creative writing programs ranked Top Picks by

By Susan Meikle, university news and communications

Three of Miami University’s degree programs were rated among the best of their kind in the country in a recent ranking by

Researchers at evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. They calculate an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100.

Their Top Picks are highly regarded, economical, and equipped with the tools needed to teach their given degree, according to

Game Design ranks Miami second in its list of the Top 49 Game Design Programs, selected from 236 programs offered by 206 colleges and universities.

Miami has had a game design major or co-major for 12 years, but the academic year 2020-2021 is the first for the new bachelor’s degree program in games and simulation. Glenn Platt, chair of the new department of Emerging Technology in Business + Design (ETBD, formerly the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies, AIMS), said demand for the new degree program was so strong they doubled the original size of the incoming class to 50 students. They had initially planned for 25 students per year. 

Platt said about 25-30% of students who apply are accepted into the competitive program. This speaks to the quality of Miami’s program, he said, because most of the top-ranked game design schools are on the West or East Coasts near the gaming industry. 

Job opportunities in multimedia arts and animation are expected to increase 4% through 2029, and demand for higher-quality graphics, immersive gameplay, and creative storytelling in mobile and console games continues to rise, according to 

Software engineering ranks Miami seventh in its list of the Top 42 Best Software Engineering programs, selected from 309 programs offered by 157 colleges and universities.

James Kiper, professor of computer science and software engineering (SE) and chair of the department from 2010-2020, oversaw a large growth in the software engineering degree program that began in 2009.

“The SE program builds on the technical strength of our curriculum,” Kiper said. “Students learn to help create the large software systems that are typical in today's society. To a strong technical basis, the program's curriculum adds a focus on customer needs and user experience.”

Miami’s engineering majors may choose to enroll in the new Humanitarian Engineering and Computing minor, designed to graduate engineering and computing majors who are globally aware, culturally sensitive, and socially conscious and who would use their knowledge to design solutions that enhance the lives of people on a local, national, or international level.

The demand for our students is very strong, with our software engineering degree graduates working at a wide range of companies, including Google, Eli Lilly and others, Kiper said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the need for innovative software in the healthcare industry and the increasing number of people who use digital platforms will keep job growth for software engineers significantly higher than all U.S. occupations. Demand for software developers is expected to increase by 22% by 2029, according to

Master’s degree in Creative Writing

student hands with pens at a desk ranked Miami among the Top 47 Masters in Creative Writing Degree programs, selected from 190 schools and 287 programs.

Miami’s master of fine arts (MFA) in creative writing program accepts 10-12 students per year for the two-year program, according to program director Margaret Luongo, associate professor of English. The commitment of the creative writing faculty to their students extends beyond Miami after they graduate, Luongo said. 

One highlight of the creative writing program is an annual publisher’s symposium that provides opportunities for graduate students to meet with publisher’s representatives, and for undergraduates to attend workshops and panels.

Students in the MFA program are trained to teach both composition and creative writing.

Job Outlook 2019 reported written communication skills are the most sought-after attributes employers seek, states The number of postsecondary English teachers employed by schools in the U.S. is expected to grow by 2% through 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Follow Miami's creative writing program on Twitter @MiamiOH_CW.