OHIO ranked first in state for Augmented/Virtual Reality programs

Published: October 12, 2021 Author: Isaac Miller

Ohio University has been ranked first in the state of Ohio on Animation Career Review’s inaugural rankings for Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) programs in the United States.

OHIO was also ranked 36th overall in the U.S. and 19th among public schools. Animation Career Review is an online ranking service that helps high school students find the top university programs in AR/VR, animation, game design and graphic design.

“We’re grateful for this recognition of the excellent training we offer in this fast-growing field,” Scripps College of Communication Dean Scott Titsworth said. “Our students have access to hands-on experience in AR and VR technology starting their first year and I’m excited at how we’re continuing to expand those opportunities.”

Associate Professor John Bowditch, director of the Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab, said the rankings are based on academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program faculty, value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness, graduation rate, geographic location and employment data. 

“Ohio University has invested many resources in AR/VR to become a national hub for AR/VR research and education,” Bowditch said. “We hope that future recognition will continue to attract diverse students from all over the world.”

Bowditch said OHIO has a VR and game development major, an MFA program with emphasis on VR/game design, and certificate opportunities such as esports. He said combining AR/VR classes are available under the ECT prefix.

Associate Professor Julio Arauz, director of the J. Warren McClure School of Emerging Communication Technologies, said the ECT Track allows students to acquire skills in AR/VR production and the fundamentals of online learning. He said students gain an understanding of the limits of systems that transport information. 

“This understanding is critical in real time applications like online gaming, multi person VR experiences or the tactile Internet,” Arauz said.