Columbia College Chicago Joins the Unreal Academic Partner Program

Unreal Engine Academic Partnership Logo
Partner program creates new opportunities for IAM students, providing cutting-edge Unreal Engine resources, development tools, and an important bridge between Columbia and industry experts.

The Interactive Arts and Media Department at Columbia College Chicago has been recognized for its work with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and has been invited to join Epic’s Unreal Academic Partner Program. The partner program brings a number of benefits to Columbia College students working in game design and development including a library of virtual assets, access to asset management tools, and a number of training opportunities with the engine and its ecosystem of technology, including MetaHuman Creator and Twinmotion.

“As a member of the Unreal Academic Partner Program, we continue to open up new opportunities for our students in Interactive Arts and Media and related disciplines. The network provides our students with access to cutting-edge resources and development tools and serves as an important bridge between us and a community of industry experts,” says Eric Freedman, PhD, dean of the School of Media Arts at Columbia.

Offering photorealistic rendering, dynamic physics and visual effects, and lifelike character animation, Unreal Engine is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D tool. While its origins are in video game development, creators across games, film and television, architecture, automotive, manufacturing, live events, simulation and other industries choose Unreal to deliver high-fidelity content, interactive experiences, and immersive virtual worlds.          

“Epic’s Unreal Engine is used in multiple classes across the curriculum in the Interactive Arts and Media Department. It is used for game development, world building and soundscape generation,” says Joseph Cancellaro, PhD, chair of Interactive Arts and Media Department.

Through the Unreal Academic Partner Program, Epic invites those universities and schools “that have committed to providing high-quality educational opportunities with an experienced faculty, proven curricula, sufficient facilities, and resources to create positive outcomes for students with a variety of personal growth and career objectives.” Columbia College has been recognized for its academic programs in game design and development based on a deep portfolio of work and a broad roster of faculty skilled in these fields.