This is a ranking of the best game design and game art colleges in the US. Some game design degree programs are fully online, but most are on-campus.
Video Games have become part of the fabric of modern society, both socially and economically. According to Gaming Feature, the estimated revenue of the Video Game Design industry reached $152.1 billion globally in 2019. Video Games may be the largest entertainment industry in the world, and it’s still growing.
Video game designers, developers, and artists are in very high demand (with the rising popularity of virtual reality games), and higher education is striving to meet the demand as schools increasingly offer video game design and video game art degrees and programs at undergraduate and graduate levels.
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- 10 Best Game Design Programs at Christian Colleges
- 15 Best Animation and Graphic Design Colleges Online
- Interview with Jeremy Snead, Director of Video Games: The Movie
77 Best Video Game Design Colleges
USC offers four degree programs dedicated to Game Design — two Bachelor’s and two Master’s level programs:
- Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media & Games
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in Games
- Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media & Games
- Master of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in Games
Each degree features hands-on use of technology and creative project development. Students interested in design and production can pursue the Interactive Media and Games degrees through the School of Cinematic Arts. Those seeking to focus on the technical aspects of game development should opt for the Computer Science (Games) degrees through the Viterbi School of Engineering.
USC allows students to gain expertise in specific aspects of games through several video game design minors. The university also encourages teambuilding through the collaboration of students across disciplines and degrees.
Offered through the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Master Games Studio, the University of Utah’s Video Game Design degree is designed for both art-orientated students and technically minded students.
Ranked among the top game development programs in the world, the game design program’s diverse faculty has expertise in every facet of game creation.
Students develop a professional game portfolio through “studio simulation” projects courses, and all students publish a game before graduation.
Undergraduates may enroll in two bachelor’s degree programs:
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an EAE emphasis
- Bachelor of Science in Games
Graduate students may choose from the following programs:
- Master of Entertainment Arts & Engineering
- Master of Business Administration/Master of Entertainment Arts & Engineering dual degree
Transfer applicants must have a transferable GPA of 2.6 or higher with 30 completed semester hours, or 2.35 or higher with a completed Associates of Arts or Associates of Science degree. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all regionally accredited colleges or universities attended.
The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) at the University of Central Florida offers an immersive, interactive and project-based video game curriculum leading to a Master of Science in Interactive Entertainment.
Students work collaboratively as a team of programmers, producers and artists on real-world projects – all with the guidance of world-renowned video game faculty.
Students can choose from three tracks: Producer, Artist or Programmer. Each allows students to gain hands-on experience through a capstone project.
Depending on the chosen track, courses may include game design, technical design, 3D art, animation, AI programming and graphics programming.
Minimum GPA requirement: 2.5
Total transfer credit accepted: 60+
Minimum GPA of transfer credit: 2.0
GRE or GMAT requirement: Yes, for most programs
Founded in 1998, the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon is considered a premiere professional graduate program for interactive entertainment. The ETC focuses on creative development and educational goals to prepare graduates to be creative professionals.
Created as a joint venture between the College of Fine Arts and the School of Computer Science, the Master of Entertainment Technology degree helps students hone their teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and communication skills. The curriculum features courses in improvisational acting and building virtual worlds as well as interdisciplinary projects.
The university’s Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology network also allows students to complete a Game Design minor. The interdisciplinary program features both practice and theory of game creation. Topics include interface design, visual asset creation, game programming and character development.
DigiPen Institute of Technology offers to game design programs at the undergraduate level – a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design, and a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design.
The BS in Computer Science and Game Design program integrates computer science and design coursework that challenges students to create a constant flow of game prototypes and mechanics. The cross-disciplinary program features courses in high-level programming, non-digital game design, computer science principles and game concepts.
The BA in Game Design program enables students to gain a deeper understanding of user experience, communications and psychology while creating compelling interactive systems. Course topics include 2D and 3D level design, game mechanics, scripting languages, cognitive psychology, and more. Students also collaborate with others on a series of semester- and year-long projects.
Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Games and Media features faculty from a variety of academic backgrounds with an interest in computing as it relates to games, media-centric systems, interactive media and simulations. The school encourages and supports collaborative and creative academic inquiry.
The school boasts state-of-the-art facilities and technology and offers a BS in Game Design and Development as well as a MS in Game Design and Development. Students also can complete a dual BS/MS degree.
The BS in Game Design and Development program emphasizes game programming and a solid computing education to prepare graduates for careers in the modeling, training, simulation, and visualization industries. Students gain a breadth of knowledge in animation, interactive media, game design, user interaction, modeling, math, science, and design in the context of computational game development. Through elective courses, students can specialize in graphics, engines, audio, and narrative.
Students also gain real-world experience through two blocks of cooperative education.
The MS in Game Design and Development focuses on the game development field through courses in computer graphics, interactive narrative, game engines, and game design. The program is designed for students seeking careers in the professional gaming industry or a related field such as visualization, simulation or edutainment.
Total transfer credit accepted: 60 credits from a two-year institution, no limit from a four-year institution.
Minimum GPA of transfer credit: Credit must have a grade of C or better
The Savannah College of Art and Design is known for offering more Art and Design programs than any other institution of its kind.
The College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interactive Design and Game Development, a Master of Arts in Interactive Design and Game Development and a Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Design and Game Development – all with online and on-campus options.
The bachelor’s degree programs include courses in form and space, color theory and application, elements and organization, and composition and media. The College’s graduate-level programs feature courses in human-centered interactive design, character development, and visual interface and information. Programs also give students the opportunity to create a comprehensive portfolio.
Students gain real-world experience through internships as well as international experience through study abroad opportunities in Hong Kong.
With more than a decade of experience in gaming, Full Sail’s School of Gaming programs have evolved to suit the needs of animators, writers, developers, and designers. Programs mimic the development studio experience and provide students with a vast and varied knowledge base.
The School offers four game-related bachelor’s degrees – Game Development, Game Art, Game Design or Simulation and Visualization – as well as two master’s degrees – Game Design and Mobile Gaming.
The Online Bachelor of Science in Game Art program focuses on the fundamentals of interactive graphics development, while the Online Bachelor of Science in Game Design program focuses on high-level game design and production as well as concepts influencing level designs and systems.
The Bachelor of Science in Game Development program features course topics in engine development, data structure and algorithms, and artificial intelligence, and the Bachelor’s in Simulation and Visualization program helps students develop technical and critical-thinking skills needed to study, develop, architect and test simulation and visualization systems.
The Online Master’s in Mobile Gaming program allows students to produce content for mobile gaming platforms and explore the production processes.
The Master’s in Game Design program’s curriculum focuses on core concepts in leadership and teamwork, design and prototyping, marketing, and project development.
Westphal College of Media Arts and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs designed to empower students with the skills, knowledge and confidence for successful careers in highly competitive fields. With predominately studio-based programs, the college provides students with hands-on experience.
The B.S. in Game Design & Production combines a strong comprehension of animation and interactivity with an understanding of design and programming.
Students receive a solid foundation in design and technology as well as real-world experience through a six month co-op.
Students also can complete a concentration in Game Programming and Development.
Total transfer credit accepted: 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits
Minimum GPA of transfer credit: Transfer credits must have a grade of C or higher
GRE or GMAT requirement: Yes
Hampshire College is known for giving students freedom to design their courses of study. As such, students in the B.A. in Game Design and Development program often work with advisers and peers to create games of their own design.
The program provides students with a solid foundation needed for further study or successful careers. Students develop their communication and teamwork skills as well as their knowledge of game design, audio design, 2D and 3D art and animation, storytelling, and more.
Hampshire College’s library hosts a game lab with modern and historical consoles and an ever-growing game library. The college’s Cluster Computing Facility also houses a high-performance Beowulf-style computer cluster.
Transfer students must have completed at least 15 college credits with a "C" or better.
Transfer students must submit an application, writing supplement, college transcript, final high school transcript and a letter of recommendation.
Southern New Hampshire University offers two undergraduate degrees for those interested in game art or programming careers. Each can be completed online or on campus.
The Bachelor of Art in Game Art and Development program combines fundamental skill development and advanced training in techniques used by industry professionals. Course topics include 3D character animation, illustration, lighting, texturing, and more.
The Bachelor of Science in Game Programming and Development degree program prepares graduates for careers in game programming as well as industries that use simulation and gaming, such as public policy and education. Students learn a variety of computer programming languages and scripting, game engine development, 3D modeling and digital imaging.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program helps students gain a deeper understanding of interactive digital media, the mastery of a self-defined set of inter-related disciplinary challenges and a balance of disciplinary competencies.
The Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program has two components. The first component leads to the Bachelor of Science in Games and Simulation Arts degree. The program helps ensure graduates possess the skills needed to be critical leaders in the field.
The second component is a concentration in one of several disciplines related to career paths in the games and simulation/entertainment industry.
Courses in the games and simulation curriculum provide team experiences and cycles of design and analysis, as well as formal research.
The Worcester Polytechnic Institute houses an Interactive Media and Game Development (IMGD) program for passionate gamers who also are programmers, artists, musicians, and storytellers. One of the oldest gaming programs in the country, WPI’s program combines artistic and technical aspects of game development and interactive media.
Courses and research focus on topics such as 3D modeling, digital painting, game audio, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and more. Students work alongside renowned faculty and industry advisers to create games and interactive environments.
WPI offers three related degree programs – a Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media and Game Development, a Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media and Game Development, and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media and Game Development.
The interdisciplinary BS in Interactive Media and Game Development program focuses on principles of interactive applications and computer-based game development. Each student chooses to focus on either the artistic or technical side of the field; however, all students gain a broad understanding of both, developing a base of knowledge in, mathematics, computer science, science, music, art, and English. Students complete rigorous coursework and projects.
The interdisciplinary MS in Interactive Media and Game Development program provides students with a base of knowledge in interactive media design while specializing in one of three focus areas: serious games, production and management, or technical. All students complete a thesis or substantial group project.
WPI also offers a BS/MS option allowing students to earn both degrees in about five years.
The Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media and Game Development provides students with a solid foundation in gaming theory and practice. Students can tailor their degree with concentrations in Technical Art, Visual Art, or Writing.
Applicants must hold a relevant bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts. Depending on the program, other documents may be required.
For more than 120 years, Parsons The New School for Design has offered programs that immerse students in interdisciplinary inquiry, focused training, and practice-based collaborative learning.
Parsons offers two degree programs for those interested in game design – an undergraduate and graduate degree in Design and Technology.
The BFA in Design and Technology focuses on media storytelling, emerging art and design practices, and interaction technologies. Through courses, collaborations and internships, students learn the ways media and technology drive – and are driven by – cultural and social change.
Students can choose a pathway – Creative Technology or Game Design. Regardless of which path they choose, they’ll solve problems by remixing hardware, software, art and design. Students also develop a process for researching, experimenting, designing, prototyping, iterating, and producing projects. A related program — the BFA in Art, Media, and Technology — is offered at the Parsons Paris campus.
The studio-based MFA in Design and Technology program investigates visual, interactive, and narrative aspects of design technology while emphasizing software programming and computation. Projects focus on interaction design, digital fabrication, game design, Web and mobile apps, and new media art.
Sacred Heart University’s Computer Game Design and Development provides students with a solid foundation in programming languages, problem-solving techniques, and computer ethics. With small class sizes and a faculty of experienced professionals, students also develop skills in game creation process, game play theory, components of animation, and fundamentals in computer graphics.
Freshman can apply to the Gaming and Technology Living and Learning Community, a residential learning experience dedicated to the study of game development, theory and technology.
Students also can take part in the Collegiate Start League, an intercollegiate competition, and Gameheart, an indie development studio.
Students can pursue a Bachelor’s in Game Design and Development, an Undergraduate Computer Gaming Design and Development Certificate, and a Graduate Computer Gaming Design and Development Certificate.
Formed in 2001, the interdisciplinary Game Design Initiative at Cornell (GDIAC) is a highly regarded program known for its technical areas such as technical game design, software development, project management, and game analytics.
The initiative allows students to gain a world-class Cornell education while having fun working on computer games.
The Game Design Initiative offers an undergraduate Game Design minor, which is open to all Cornell students regardless of college or major.
Course topics include interactive digital media, analytics-driven game design, communication and technology, and artificial intelligence.
Students at Columbia College of Chicago’s Interactive Arts and Media Department work with emerging technologies to create immersive experiences. The department is at forefront of creative tech — from video games and animation to virtual reality and app development.
Students collaborate with Columbia’s talented faculty of user experience designers, game developers, animators, programmers, and visual effects artists to bring their ideas to life.
Students can pursue a BA in Game Design, which allows them to design games and simulations. They make games in nearly every gaming class and build their skillset over time. Students choose from two concentrations: Game Development or Sound Design.
Game design students also gain real-world experiences through events such as the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, the Game Developers Conference, and the Industry Night and Manifest.
Columbia College also offers a Game Design minor.
An academic department at the Tisch School of the Arts, the NYU Game Center’s students and faculty are defining the cultural landscape for the future. Students and faculty collaborate to make games, organize events and write articles.
The Game Center’s curriculum combines classes on production, design and the academic study of games.
The Game Design BFA teaches the art and craft of game creation within a context of advanced critical literacy. Students in the BFA program learn about game design, game development, and game scholarship. Students also complete a senior project.
The Game Center MFA allows students to study the development and design of games in the context of advanced critical literacy. Curriculum topics include game design, game development, game studies and game history. Students complete a thesis project.
Oklahoma Christian University approaches the gaming industry from multiple angles – programming, design, social media and music. Its students learn more than two dozen software programs, such as Maya, GameMaker, Optitrack, 3d Coat, and more. Students also gain real-world experience at the university’s four labs – Cox Digital Art Lab, Kicker Sound Studio, Baugh Motion Capture Lab and Sparks Advanced Visualization Lab.
Oklahoma Christian University offers two undergraduate degrees in gaming – the Bachelor of Arts in Gaming and Animation and the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Gaming and Animation.
Designed for students seeking a general background in art or a vocation in the art field or a related industry, the BA in Gaming and Animation includes courses in drawing, digital painting, texturing, game history, and animation principles.
The BFA in Gaming and Animation prepares students to use emerging media for the purpose of game design, self-expression, and experimentation. Students will hone industry-level skills and artistic techniques including animating 3D models, game level design, 2D animation techniques, UV mapping, and interactive design.
North Carolina State University’s Department of Computer Science houses the nationally recognized undergraduate Video Game Development Concentration. The concentration allows students to develop an understanding of technological and scientific principles associated with the development and design of console and computer games for entertainment and serious applications.
Students enrolled in the BS in Computer Science with a Video Game Development concentration program gain a solid foundation in computer science and game design with courses in artificial intelligence, computer graphics and advanced game development.
While Massachusetts Institute of Technology does not have a formal game development or game design degree program, the MIT Game Lab helps students who are interested in games create their own program of study. Games require an interdisciplinary approach to their study, but approaches vary depending on what the student wants to do with games.
Because MIT is a research institute, all students interested in games should take at least one year of UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity) with the MIT Game Lab or with one of the CMS research groups developing games.
The MIT Game Lab serves as an interpreter between industry and academia by creating playable, real-world demonstrations of state-of-the-art concepts and research. The lab provides a place for students, academics and industry professionals to work collaboratively and to develop feasible and engaging games.
Founded in 2005, the Game Design and Development Program at Michigan State University has grown into a top ranked program. Students can pursue a number of game-related degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.
Students gain hands-on skills – and develop the knowledge needed to anticipate trends in communication and media technologies — through the university’s state-of-the-art studios, including the Games for Entertaining and Learning Lab, Behavior Information Technology Lab and Quello Center.
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Information prepares students for careers in film-making and media production, interactive media and games, and the creation of human-centered technology.
The Minor in Game Design and Development complements students’ knowledge with a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum. Within the minor courses, students learn the foundations and develop core competencies in art, design, or programming. Administered by the Department of Media and Information, the minor is open to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science, the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Games and Interactive Media, or the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Arts and Information.
The university also offers a Graduate Certificate in Serious Games with both online and on-campus options. The certificate is designed to give business professionals, game designers, teacher and researchers a greater insight into serious game design, game theories and human-centered design.
The Master’s Degree in Media and Information features an immersive, hands-on, student-centered approach to education with a focus on the design, management and use of information and communication technologies.
The interdepartmental Information and Media Ph.D. Program engages students to become leaders in academia, government, and industry in the media and information fields. The program combines faculty in with degrees in communication, advertising, public relations, economics, information studies, law, marketing, computer science, and more.
MSU also offers Media Summer Camps. The camps, open to middle and high school students, provide exposure to media and technology topic such as 3D animation, web design, game design, and TV production.
Students also can complete an Online GameDev Specialization, which focuses on the theoretical and practical foundations of video game production. The specialization builds a solid foundation for industry roles as a gameplay designer, level designer, technical designer, technical artist, programmer, or producer. Students complete a hands-on project.
Shawnee State University’s nationally ranked game design programs help students develop technical skills needed for successful careers in the gaming industry.
Students can pursue two undergraduate degrees – a Bachelor of Science in Digital Simulation and Gaming Engineering Technology and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game and Simulation Arts.
Each degree program provides students with a solid foundation in programming, computer science and graphics programming as well as knowledge of art, design, physics and math.
Students receive a competitive advantage in education technology through game simulations at the Motion Capture Studio Lab.
Shawnee students also can network and form business relationships at the university’s annual Art and Technology Game Conference, which draws students, industry leaders and game developers from across the nation.
The University of Pennsylvania created its Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Graphics and Game Technology (CGGT) to prepare graduates as highly skilled professionals, such as animators, writers and software developers, who work with cutting-edge technology.
Established in 2004, the interdisciplinary CGGT program exposes students to state-of-the-art graphics and animation technologies as well as product development, interactive media design principles, and engineering entrepreneurship.
The program blends art with science to create interactive entertainment and computer-animated visual effects.
Students can tailor the degree with specializations in animation and simulation technology, art and animation, human/computer interfaces, and more.
For more than 40 years, the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS) has been a leader in the fields of human simulation, 3D computer graphics, and the behavioral animation of embodied intelligent agents. The lab has achieved international recognition for its research and is well known for the “Jack” software, a procedural character animation system.
Computer Graphics alumni have been influential in computer graphics applications worldwide.
The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication curriculum exposes students to science, technology, arts, history, criticism, history, new knowledge creation and complex understandings.
Information is presented through lectures and seminars, portfolio- and project-based exercises, and applied and experimental research.
The School offers – and accepts students into – the BA in Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication and the PhD in Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication.
The Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication program blends theory and practice. Students who choose the Games pathway hone their skills in game development and production and critical game studies.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication features a diverse group of faculty and an integrative curriculum. The program cultivates creative scholars, scholarly practitioners, and interdisciplinary researchers.
Founded in 2003 at the request of industry leaders, Guildhall at Southern Methodist University is a graduate-level facility focused on educating students in all aspects of video game development. Recognized as one of the best graduate schools for game design, SMU Guildhall works collaboratively across industries and disciplines to train the next generation of game developers.
Guildhall was the first in the world to offer a master’s degree in interactive technology and is the only program with specializations in all four cornerstones of game development.
Students can complete specializations in Art, Design, Production or Programming.
Guildhall also houses GameLab, which connects students with industry professionals and hosts events such as Game Jams and Game Changers Speakers Series.
Texas A&M University provides students with a unique opportunity through its Department of Visualization in the College of Architecture.
The department offers three related degree options – a Bachelor of Science in Visualization, a Master of Science in Visualization and a Master of Fine Arts in Visualization.
The interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes the creation, design, and development of all aspects of the visual experience. Students are expected to spend at least one semester studying abroad or completing an internship.
With industry-renowned faculty, the University of Wisconsin – Stout provides students with a strong foundation in art and design. The university offers three degree options for those interested in careers in game design or development.
The award-winning BFA in Game Design and Development – Art program helps students develop core skills in design and art, such as 3D modeling, animation and drawing. Students create visual elements including characters, level design, concept art, and animations. BFA students collaborate with computer science students.
The BFA in Graphic Design and Interactive Media features a progressive curriculum and a faculty of practicing designers. Through hands-on experiences, students are prepared for careers in the interactive media industry. Students can choose from concentrations in Communication Design and Interaction Design.
The BFA in Entertainment Design (ENTD) provides students with skills and flexibility to succeed in animation. The concentration in animation includes cross-disciplinary and collaborative projects that combine art and technology. Students will explore 2D and 3D animation techniques.
Students also can complete a concentration in Game Design and Development, which prepares students to design and develop software programs using digital imagery and physics to create games, simulations or other applications.
The university also is home to the Animation Studio for students in the Entertainment Design and Game Design programs, and the Game Design studio. Each allows students to gain hands-on experience.
Through engagement with emerging techniques and technologies, Northeastern University’s game art and design programs provide students with a conceptual framework and mastery of practical skills in design and media art.
Northeastern University allows students to get real-world experience before graduation through co-op opportunities.
The BS in Game Design and Music with a Concentration in Music Technology prepares students to manage music and sound design needed for the creative process in Game Design.
The BFA in Game Art and Animation provides students the opportunity to master animation and visual arts within the game medium. The curriculum focuses on developing the depth of knowledge needed for successful careers in a competitive industry.
The MS in Game Science and Design focuses on the technological and design skills necessary to build a game and develop a solid understanding of analytics and playability that make games successful in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Quinnipiac University’s game design and development program serves as a stepping stone into the field of game design for educational games, entertainment, casual games, serious games, virtual reality and eSports.
The BA in Game Design and Development provides hands-on experience building games through research projects, game labs and internships. Students can choose the game design track, which focuses on building, designing and programming games, or the game art track, which focuses on game features, such as props, characters, architecture and levels.
In the game lab, students work in interdisciplinary teams to build game prototypes. The program culminates in a capstone experience.
The Center for Game Development supports the continued development of student and faculty games by providing financial support and resources and fosters a shared and continuing culture of technological innovation.
The Minor in Game Design and Development delves into the practice of designing games. Students study the social effects of games, examine the theories behind game play, and understand the role of serious games for teaching and learning.
Georgia Tech provides students with a well-rounded interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Computational Media degree. After completing required courses, students choose a specialty area, such as Interactive Games Design.
Georgia Tech also offers a Master of Science in Digital Media, an Accelerated 5-year Bachelor in Computational Media/Master in Digital Media, and a PhD in Digital Media.
The college also houses the Emergent Game Group and the Experimental Game Lab.
The Cleveland Institute of Art’s Game Design major helps students develop game experiences and build the foundation for a career in game design and art- and media-related industries.
The innovative program allows students to work with 3D modeling, animation, interactive storytelling, programming, audio, visual design, and game production. Students also hone their knowledge of theory, criticism, and context of video game culture and digital media.
As part of the college’s Integrated Media Environment, students collaborate with students with differing techniques and perspectives.
The Cleveland Institute also prepares students for successful careers through its Engaged Practice requirement. Students work on real-world projects with external clients or partners or in the public sphere before graduation.
In collaboration between the Information Technology Division and the School and Art and Design, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) offers degrees that allow students to focus their academic careers toward game development.
NJIT doesn’t offer degrees in “Game Design”, “Game Production”, or “Game Programming,” but offers tracks within its existing degree programs. This format allows students to gain knowledge in a wider subject area within the industry.
Students interested in game design can pursue the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design. Those interested in game production can study in the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program, while those seeking careers in game programming can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
The university also houses the NJIT MIXR Laboratory, a dual project of the Ying Wu College of Computing and Hillier College of Architecture and Design that focuses on augmented reality, virtual reality and innovations yet to happen.
New England Institute of Technology students can gain skills needed for successful careers in the gaming industry through three undergraduate degree programs.
The Bachelor’s degree in Video Game Design allows students to immerse themselves in high-level concepts, programs and design challenges. Students master 2D and 3D animation concepts and develop a portfolio of game assets.
The Bachelor of Science in Game Development and Simulation Programming emphasizes technical skills needed to implement games on a variety of platforms. Students will study and apply key principles of software design as they design and implement games of increasing complexity and size. Students also work collaboratively on a six-month capstone project.
The Associate’s degree in Graphics, Multimedia and Web Design program focuses on visual creativity. Topics include interactive digital media, typography, website design, e-publishing and graphic design. Each student designs and produces a personal “brand” to promote their portfolios.
The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art with both online and on-campus options.
The Game Art curriculum combines technical and artistic coursework with a focus on the computer, analytical, and technical skills required to understand the mechanics of game design. Students also receive a foundation in different aspects of graphic design as well as creative and technical writing.
By working with students from different programs, the collaborative program also enables students to gain a broader perspective and greater creativity.
Champlain College offers four gaming-related bachelor’s degrees. Each features the college’s unique “upside-down” curriculum allowing students to take relevant courses in their first year at Champlain.
The BS in Game Design program teaches students to design and create the game play that defines a player’s experience. Students hone their skills in narratives, systems, quests, levels, and puzzles.
The BS in Game Art is a visual art program with a focus on the creation of 2D and 3D art and animation for real-time, interactive game media. Through project-based coursework, students develop artistic, technical, and collaborative skills needed for successful careers in a studio environment.
Champlain College is home to one of the only BS in Game Production Management programs in the nation. In the program, students organize, motivate, and oversee creative teams.
The BS in Game Programming curriculum gives students a foundation in computer science, physics, software engineering, and mathematics as well as advanced skills in 2D and 3D graphics. The program’s project-based courses help students develop much-
Students also gain end-to-end game creation experience in the college’s Game Studio environment, which replicates the real-world process, and build their portfolio.
Champlain students also take part in the annual Game Development Senior Show and the Game Developers Conference.
Minimum GPA requirement: 2.5
Total transfer credit accepted: 90 towards a Bachelor or 45 towards an Associate
Minimum GPA of transfer credit: 2.5
Becker College gives students the opportunity to develop an expansive and flexible skill set. Students can opt to major in any number of programs and pair it with a minor in a complementary department, such as a Computer Science major with Game Design and Business minors, or choose the Interactive Media Design program.
The groundbreaking BA in Interactive Media Design features five concentrations — Game Arts, Game Audio, Game Design, Game Development and Programming, and Game Production and Management.
The Interactive Media Design program also offers Bachelor of Arts / Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media Design 4+1. Students enrolled in the program earn both their BA and MFA in five years.
Students benefit from MassDiGI@ Becker College, an industry/education partnership that drives entrepreneurship, economic improvement and academic collaboration in the digital and video game industries.
Applicants can submit an essay and schedule an interview.
The Department of Software Engineering and Game Development offers a number of student-centered degree and certificate programs. Featuring state-of-the-art instructional technology and applied research activities, the university’s high-quality programs prepare graduates for successful careers in the game design field.
The university’s degree offerings include:
- Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Game Development
- Master of Science degree in Software Engineering
Students also can complete minors in Software Engineering and Computer Game Development as well as graduate certificates in Software Engineering Foundations and Software Engineering.
Each program offers flexible options, including online courses.
Case Western University’s Minor in Computer Gaming is open to students from any major; however, most are computer science majors.
The minor features five courses, including topics in basic game design and Unity3D game engine development. Co-taught by the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Game Design Department, students also complete a four-week project course in which they create and publish an original game.
The university also hosts an Arcade Day, where students projects are judged by industry experts.
The BS and BA degrees in Computer Science provide students with fundamental technical knowledge as well as the communication skills and technical breadth to become industry leaders.
The College of Engineering and Computer Science offers a graduate Certificate in Game Design, which provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to program computer games at a professional level.
Core courses are taught from a software engineering perspective and include game programming techniques. Course topics include computer graphics, computer animation, artificial intelligence, and computer game design.
Through elective courses, students can strengthen their software engineering backgrounds or explore advanced areas of computer science.
Students can complete the program online or on campus.
With award-winning faculty, cutting-edge technology and a supportive creative community, Ringling College of Art and Design helps students turn passion into a profession. The college’s rigorous curriculum combines studio and liberal arts and provides students with relevant, real-world experience through internships, client projects and national competitions.
At Ringling College, students can complete three Bachelor’s degrees to prepare them for careers in game design.
The BFA in Game Art focuses on providing students with the professional artistic skills needed to create compelling and believable interactive experiences. The curriculum features the basics of game design-mechanics, meaningful play, interactivity, and options for creating and refining game content.
The BFA in Illustration consists of courses in the fundamentals of color theory, composition, anatomy, and digital and traditional media. Students become familiar with professional industry techniques through demonstrations, critiques, exercises, and more.
Students in the BFA in Motion Design program push the boundaries of visual communications and technology. Students work individually, with teams and across disciplines and explore the principles of art direction, design, animation, and composition, among others.
Liberty University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Gaming Design program provides students with the skills necessary for successful careers as game artists, programmers or game designers. The degree program features both online and on-campus options.
Knowledgeable faculty provide students with a solid foundation in technical skills, computer science and graphic design.
The university also provides students with the opportunity to grow their network of like-minded people also interested in the game design field.
Minimum GPA of transfer credit: 2.0
The School of Information Technology and Computing prepares graduates for today’s high-tech, fast-paced computer and technology career fields.
Students receive mentoring from highly qualified, Christian faculty as well as an innovative curriculum and internship opportunities.
The interdisciplinary BS in Digital Entertainment Technology program is portfolio driven and helps students explore theories in design, art and storytelling.
Students also can tailor their degree with a concentration in Game Development.
The School of Information Technology and Computing sponsors chapters of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Association for Information Systems as well as Digital Entertainment Technology and Security clubs.
The university also encourages all students to take part in its study abroad program.
Dedicated to preparing the next generation of innovators find solutions to challenging problems, the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science provides students with opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and hands-on, experiential learning.
The School houses Innovation Labs, where students can use technology such as laser cutters and 3D printers to create and design.
The Ritchie School offers both a BS in Game Development and a BA in Game Development.
The BA in Game Development provides students with the skills needed to produce artistic content for games and develop their own distinct artistic voice. Course topics include computer science, programming and graphics.
Students must complete a double major – one in game development and one in electronic media art design, digital media studies or studio art.
The BS in Game Development focuses on computer science and programming skills as well as the design, artistic and critical elements of games. Students can focus on the understanding, appreciation and production of art or the technical, critical and design elements of digital media.
Students must also pursue a minor in mathematics and a second art-related minor.
As the only computing-focused school in the University of California system, the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences is a leader in computer science and information technology through its collaborations, innovative curricula, and research and development of emerging technologies.
The Donald Bren School’s Department of Computer Science is internationally recognized as a unique group of faculty, programs, students and visiting researchers who provide a world-class research environment.
The professional Master of Human-Interaction and Design (MHCID) degree program prepares students to be leaders in human computer interaction, product management, and user experience design and research. Designed as a terminal degree for early and mid-career professionals and executives, the one-year program features an innovative hybrid learning approach.
MHCID students also work in teams to solve real-world problems, master a range of skills and subjects and complete a capstone project course.
The University of Texas at Austin Game Development and Design Program (formerly Game and Mobile Media Applications – GAMMA – Program) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate program.
Open to students of the Arts and Entertainment Technologies and Computer Science departments, the program prepares graduates to design, develop and provide leadership for the AR/VR, game, mobile app and creative media industries.
Students work together to develop 2D and 3D games for AR/VR, mobile, online, and personal computer platforms in the program’s capstone course.
In its effort to graduate creative, talented and scholarly students, the Game Development and Design Program works with local organizations, such as UT’s EGaDS! and IGDA Austin, and game and mobile studios and industry professionals.
The University houses the Simulation and Game Applications (SAGA) Lab, which is part of the Center for Arts and Entertainment Technology (CAET). The lab focuses on producing simulations and games for the greater good.
The Department of Radio, Television and Digital Media’s programs combine practical and analytical study in producing animation, audio and radio, television and video, together with the global media industries, the music business, and research on traditional and emerging media.
The department’s undergraduate degree has several specializations including Digital Arts and Animation. Its curriculum focuses on 2D and 3D computer animation, digital art creation, and creative storytelling for gaming and animation. Courses include Writing for Game Production and 2D Animation.
The multidisciplinary minor in Game Design and Development (GDD) is offered by the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies (ISAT), and the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts (MCMA).
The 18-credit minor prepares students to enter the field of game design and development.
Minimum GPA requirement:
Total transfer credit accepted: Students must have a minimum of 26 transferable credits
Minimum GPA of transfer credit: 2.0
George Mason’s Computer Game Design Program features study in both the sciences and the arts, all in a revolving-role team-based, project-based new pedagogical environment.
The Computer Game Design Program offers several degree and minor options. The program also hosts the only U.S. Serious Game Institute (in partnership with the University of Coventry U.K.), which concentrates on game-related applied research and innovative game company cultivation.
The BFA in Computer Games Design focuses on the artistic components of computer game design and the technical skills prerequisite to the field. Courses include computer science, art and visual technology, music, the humanities, and computer game design. Students also must complete a required internship.
The MA in Computer Game Design prepares students for employment and further study in the computer game design and development fields. The curriculum reflects the gaming industry’s demand for an academically rigorous, technical program paired with an understanding of the artistic and creative elements of the evolving field.
The Computer Game Design Minor features a core of foundational studies with intermediate and advanced course options in game animation, game sound and music, or game design and development. Students can participate in game program events, game design competitions, and projects hosted in the Computer Game Design Research Studio.
Students also can complete a minor in Sport and Computer Game Design, which provides students with a foundational overview of the sports industry, the sport management academic discipline, and computer game design.
Miami University’s Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies (AIMS) is a cross-disciplinary institute offering undergraduate, graduate certificate and graduate programs. The Institute explores the intersection of technology, design business, and how digital technology transforms traditional areas of inquiry. AIMS offers a range of hands-on, interactive and project-based courses and experiences, which allow students to experiment, innovate and collaborate.
The interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Games + Simulation covers all aspects of creating and interpreting games. With a focus on making and praxis, the BS in Games + Simulation encourages students to take creative risks and think critically about narratives, audiences and aesthetics. The program prepares students for a career or graduate study in game design, development, 3D modeling, creative development, writing or designing, esports, and more.
Students tailor their undergraduate degree with one of three concentrations:
- Game Art
- Game Development
- Game Studies
The Institute also offer a Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media Studies, which emphasizes multidisciplinary thinking, organizational problem-solving, research and inquiry, and creative production and design.
The university encourages students to gain real-world experience through internships.
The Nido R. Qubein School of Communication combines theory and application courses in a multidisciplinary environment. The School prepares students to become community and industry leaders with a focus on communication and critical-thinking skills.
The School offers a B.A. in Game and Interactive Media Design with courses in theory and criticism of games, game development and collaborative game design and development, among others.
Game and Interactive Media Design students create compelling interactive experiences. Most students are artistically inclined and technologically adept – and enjoy playing, making and modifying games.
The major prepares students to produce, analyze and critique games and interactive media based in a deep understanding of the cultural and historical impacts of games.
The University allows students to spend the summer helping professors engaged in research.
Students also can join two clubs – the Video Game Club and the Game Development Club.
The University of Miami’s Interactive Media prepares a new generation of innovators and leaders in the field of interaction design. The multidisciplinary curriculum focuses on user experience design, human-computer interaction, game design, mobile, data visualization, wearables, VR and other emerging technologies. The program trains students to research, prototype, design, and build projects in a variety of contexts.
The program combines formal methods, studio courses, computer programming and empirical research.
Students can choose from three focus areas:
- UX/UI (User Experience Design/User Interface Design)
- Game Design
- Data Visualization
The university offers two related degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media, which focuses on digital product design, with an emphasis on interaction design.
- Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media, which features courses in infographics, prototyping techniques, creative coding, and more. Students also complete a capstone project seminar.
The university also offers two minors that are open to all undergraduate students – a Minor in Interactive Media and a Minor in Game Design.
The University of California – Santa Cruz offers a number of games-related degree programs.
The highly collaborative and interdisciplinary BA in Art & Design: Games & Playable Media provides students with a strong foundation in both art and technology. The degree program focuses on the design of game systems and interactive experiences with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of artistic practice and expressive game development.
The BS in Computer Science: Computer Game Design focuses on the construction and design of interactive computer games with courses in the technical, narrative, and artistic underpinnings of these games.
Students in the BA in Art & Design and BS in Computer Science programs work together, including on a year-long capstone sequence resulting in a releasable game.
The MS in Games and Playable Media is a one-year, professional graduate degree offered through the Baskin School of Engineering and the Digital Arts and New Media program. The degree program offers unparalleled access to game industry experience with a curriculum rooted in design and code.
The university will launch a MS in Series Games in fall 2019. The focus will be on developing and analyzing serious games.
The MS in Computational Media features knowledge and practical training for students interested in the varied and emerging field.
The Ph.D. in Computational Media is designed for those working in computational media who seek new knowledge. The Ph.D. program provides students with an interdisciplinary foundation and supportive research community.
For more than 40 years, SAE Institute has provided niche creative media programs. Recognized for providing students with access to best industry facilities and equipment, SAE Institute has more than 50 campuses worldwide.
Students can complete an intensive Bachelor of Applied Science in Game Development, which features both practical and theoretical training. The staged learning curriculum has students build paper games, 2D games and 3D games using industry-standard software.
Students also work collaboratively to bring a gaming project from conception to release.
To tailor their degree, students can choose from specializations in:
- Level Design
- Game Scripting
- Game Design
DePaul University’s Game Design program teaches the fundamentals and details of game design and prepares graduates for successful careers in computer gaming and interactive media fields. Throughout the program, students work collaboratively with programmers, artists, writers and audio designers.
Students also can take advantage of four gaming labs — development and research labs, the game play lab, the augmented reality lab, and the playtest and usability lab.
The BS in Game Design prepares students to become critical thinkers, storytellers, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the gaming field. Students build a portfolio that showcases their skills developing AAA, indie and art games, as well as transformative play experiences on a variety of platforms including augmented and virtual reality, tabletop, and physical technology.
Designed for creative visionaries, the MFA in Game Design prepares students to advance the frontier of games by exploring and applying emerging theories. Students’ games are challenged and critiqued by peers and faculty.
Ferris State University offers two undergraduate degrees for those interested in careers in the gaming field.
The Bachelor of Applied Science in Digital Animation and Game Design focuses on the latest tools and technology used to create digital and interactive content. Foundation classes provide a depth of knowledge applicable to a number of digital technology fields with classes in design, business, 3D animation, and programming. Students can tailor their degree with electives in programming, 3D animation, and digital effects.
All students also gain real-world experience through a required internship.
The Associate in Science in Digital Media combines courses within the Digital Animation and Game Design (DAGD), Digital Media Software Engineering (DMSE), and Television and Digital Media Production (TDMP) programs into an introductory and exploratory degree. The program allows students to complete their general education requirements as well as courses from across the digital media curriculum. Students will use state-of-the-art digital equipment and software and gain practical experience and a foundation to a variety of media.
The university also offers Digital Animation and Game Design Simmer Camp for high school students.
The New York Film Academy strives to be considered amongst the best video game design schools in the world. Its Game Design School allows students to lead their own student game studio with classmates, build winning portfolio pieces and engage with industry leaders.
The Game Design School offers several degree programs as well as a one-year Game Design Program, an Intensive Game Coding Workshop and a VR Game Design Workshop.
The Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree in Game Design provides students with a full complement of game design and development training as well as exposure to Playcentric Design, Agile development, programming for non-programmers, and storytelling studies.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Game Design gives students the tools needed for successful careers as video game designers and storytellers.
The Master of Fine Arts in Game Design program helps students gain the skills in game prototyping, collaboration, coding and more through lectures, seminars, and total-immersion workshops.
The School also offers high school students the opportunity to gain valuable skills through Teen Video Game Design Camps.
The Department of Game Design & Development helps students develop an understanding of both the technical and creative sides of the video game industry.
Students can pursue either a BA in Game Design Art or a BS in Game Design Engineering. All programs feature hands-on experience and the opportunity for collaboration.
Designed for those interested in the creative side of game development, The BA in Game Design Art focuses on characters, environments and the story – elements need to breathe life into gameplay. Students can complete concentrations in writing or art.
Designed for those interested in the technical development of games, the BS in Game Design Engineering introduces students to development and design processes.
The Media School combines traditions of communications and journalism with a commitment to preparing students for 21st-century media careers. Its faculty consists of recognized writers, scholars, game designers and filmmakers.
The Media School’s BS in Game Design introduces students to all aspects of game design: programming, sound, art, design and project management. The program emphasizes technical and creative aspects of game design. Students learn to transform their ideas into a compelling virtual reality.
The BA in Media with a concentration in Interactive and Digital Media provides students with an understanding of the intersection of data, code, research, storytelling and design. The program focuses on how we access information through video, photos, graphics and data visualization.
Minimum GPA of transfer credit: 2.3 for state residents, 2.5 for non-state residents
The Eastern Kentucky University Gaming Institute focuses on the development, design, and publication of video games within an academic context. The university is home to one of the first bachelor’s degrees in game design in the state.
Students can complete a BS in Computer Science with a concentration in Interactive Multimedia. Courses include 3D modeling, 3D game engine design and graphics programming, among others.
The university also offers a Minor in Game Content Design.
Eastern Kentucky University is home to a game design conference, Vector.
Minimum GPA requirement: 2.5
California Institute of the Arts offers a fully online Game Design: Art and Concepts Specialization for those entering the career field.
The specialization features a primary foundation for experimentation and exploration of video game design, story, character development, and winning gameplay.
The specialization consists of four courses that emphasize self-reliance and personal expression and encourage students to take conceptual risks and develop new modes of expression.
Through a final Capstone Project, students outline the conceptual, narrative and aesthetic elements of their own game.
Once all courses and the project have been completed, students will receive a certificate.
For more than 16 years, the Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE) School has trained entertainment industry 3D artists. The DAVE School, housed in a 36,055-square-foot space on the back lot of Universal Studios Florida, features classrooms, labs, a 3D print lab, a shooting stage, a motion capture stage, and more.
Among its program offerings is an Associate’s Degree in Game Production and a Bachelor’s Degree in Game Production. Each allows students to develop practical skills while working as part of a team. Students learn the proper techniques and tools used by industry professionals.
The DAVE School also offers a 12-month Game Production Diploma Program and a game design track.
Founded in 1996 as a non-profit institution, the Academy of Interactive Entertainment offers advanced specialized training in 3D animation for video game development.
Students can complete an Associate of Occupational Studies in Game Art and Animation and an Associate of Occupational Studies in Game Programming.
The AOS in Game Art program helps students develop their creative skills in 3D modeling, animation, texturing, and level design. Students work with other artists and programmers to design and create a unique entertainment experience.
The AOS in Game Programming helps students hone the programming skills necessary to bring games to life.
Both associate degree programs feature a collaborative project in which game art and game programming students work together to design and produce a playable video game demo.
The Academy of Interactive Entertainment also offers a number of advanced diplomas, including an Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development.
Students in the School of Game Development experience the entire game development cycle — from creating concept art for games to coding for artificial intelligence and virtual reality gaming experiences. Students develop specialized skills necessary for cutting-edge careers in a vibrant, multifaceted, and expansive industry.
The School of Game Development offers a BS in Game Programming, which helps students develop strong problem-solving skills, write efficient code, and collaborate with artists and designers to provide optimized solutions for game design. The curriculum emphasizes data structures, algorithms, and software architecture techniques.
The School also offers four degrees in Game Development ranging from an associate’s to a master’s of fine arts. Each enables students to learn techniques in concept art, game design, technical art, and animation.
The Associate of Arts in Game Development provides students with an introduction to the fundamental concepts of game construction and game engine technology.
The Game Development BFA provides students with a well-rounded education in the arts and an emphasis on understanding and applying techniques including 3D modeling, animation and lighting in video game production.
The MA in Game Development and MFA in Game Development programs combine traditional art and design fundamentals and groundbreaking technologies. Students take part in hands-on prototyping of game mechanics and art creation and create a final project industry-quality portfolio.
Woodbury University’s School of Media, Culture and Design offers a BFA in Game Art & Design, which helps students conceptualize and develop video games.
The program combines animation, art, sound design, computer technology, game design and story development.
Students can tailor the degree to their interests with an emphasis in Game Art or Game Design.
All Game Art & Design students take game courses together while also developing their own design or art specialties.
Game art focuses on 2D and 3D character, environmental design and animation.
Game design focuses on elements such as play mechanics, game conceptualization, game rules, story, program flow, scoring systems and prototyping.
All students also must complete a required internship. Internship locations include Nickelodeon, Disney, Code Headquarters, and Insomniac Games, among others.
Bradley University allows students to complete a number of game-related degree options.
Students develop skills needed for games, game design, animation and storytelling.
Among the offerings are:
- BFA in Game Design
- Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems – Game Technology
- Bachelor’s in Computer Science – Game Technology
- Bachelor’s in Game Design
- Bachelor’s in Interactive Media
- Master’s in Computer Science and Information Systems – Game Technology
The university also offers undergraduate minors in Game Design and Game Production.
For more than two decades, the Gnomon School of Visual Effects has educated some of the world’s best digital artists. Located on the Television Center Studio Lot, Gnomon offers degree and vocational certificate programs as well as more than 100 courses for professional enrichment.
The full-time Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Production prepares production-ready artists who are versed in foundational arts, general academic knowledge, and production skills. The curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in visual arts as well as a 3D generalist skill set.
Laguna College of Art and Design’s game programs are taught by awe-inspiring game industry veterans and other creative visionaries who help students learn cutting-edge game techniques.
The College’s BFA program in Game Art is project-based and highly collaborative. Students develop a broad range of skills and work with graduate partners such as GamePipe Lab and the graduate students to create games.
The Game Design MFA strives to advance the art, science and culture of play by creating a context for innovative work and advanced study. With a multidisciplinary approach, students explore the design and development of games as a creative practice. Students develop the skills and knowledge Candidates can create a graduate-level game development environment, nurturing advanced skills in design, research and development, leadership and marketing.
At the Maryland Institute College of Art students and faculty explore games from a unique perspective. The program explores the role of play in our culture and questions how games are used to educate, entertain, and create meaning.
Working in a team-based, open lab model, BFA in Game Design students learn to create games from prototype to finished form. Students can focus on individual areas of interest, such as game design, narrative, programming, art production, and animation, as they complete collaborative projects.
The curriculum, which expands upon MICA’s concentration in game arts, reflects the multidisciplinary nature of game development.
The concentration in Game Design gives students the technical and artistic skills needed to create professional interactive game experiences.
The BFA in Interactive Arts program allows students to innovate, improvise, play and experiment as they create interactive experiences across traditional and emerging media. Students learn how to integrate art with technology to make games, work with virtual reality and create unique experiences.
The Department of Computer Science is the largest unit in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and among the top departments in terms of size and course offerings. The department is active in major research areas in computer science including artificial intelligence, visual computing, computer systems, networking, cybersecurity, and data science.
Students interested in the gaming field can pursue a major in Computer Science with Digital Media Specialization, a minor in Digital Arts Digital Arts, or a game programming specialization.
The Digital Arts Minor allows students to explore digital production tools and build critical literacy in reading and understanding images, sound, and information.
The specialization in game programming prepares students for careers as a professional game developer or researcher. The program emphasizes game graphics and multiplayer network programming techniques.
Otis College of Art and Design is a national leader in art and design education. The College strives to prepare diverse students of art and design to enrich the world through their creativity, skill, and vision.
Students can complete a Major in Digital Media with an emphasis in Animation, Game and Entertainment, or Motion Design.
Regardless of the emphasis, students enrolled in the Digital Media major will gain real-world skills in industry-standard technology as well as concept development.
Using a variety of techniques, Animation students bring characters and stories to life. Students learn to develop narratives and hone their skills in 2D animation and 3D computer-generated imagery.
In the Game & Entertainment emphasis, students learn to create the visual elements for games, apps and more. Students develop skills in concept art and visual development as well as the principles and processes involved in creating visual representations of characters, environments, and props. Students also develop skills to design the gameplay, environment, storyline, and characters of interactive games.
The Motion Design emphasis teaches students to combine graphics, typography, filmmaking, video, images, and sound to communicate ideas.
The Art Center College of Design’s approach for art and design education is based on the College’s conservatory-like method of teaching and learning; a desire for rich, multidisciplinary and intercultural dialogue; and a desire to provide students innovative learning and making spaces.
The BS in Entertainment Design prepares students for careers in animation, theme park design, video games, and film and TV.
The Entertainment Design degree features three tracks:
- Concept, focused on the skills and creative ability required of entertainment industry concept designers
- Animation, focused on character animation, storyboarding, modeling, art direction, and lighting for 3D and 2D animation
- Game Design, focused on creating and conveying game concepts through prototyping and production for multiple platforms
The Tandy School of Computer Science offers a BS in Computer Simulation and Gaming program, which provides students with a solid foundation in computer science.
Gaming students can tailor their degree with options in either Design or Development. Each introduces students to technologies such as virtual reality environments, computer games and advanced scientific simulators.
The BS in Computer Simulation and Gaming: Design program includes courses in game level design, 3D modeling and animation, and 3D character design.
The BS in Computer Simulation and Gaming: Development program includes courses in digital drawing, Adobe Illustrator, interactive media, and more.
The Tandy School also offers a Computer Simulation and Gaming Development minor for students majoring in other disciplines.
Marist College allows students interested in gaming careers to complete degrees from the Department of Computing Technology or the Department of Art and Digital Media.
The interdisciplinary B.S. in Games and Emerging Media program provides students with a foundation in art, game design, programming, UI/UX, game writing, and the business of games.
Students take part in a game studio course and complete a capstone course. This allows them to establish a portfolio before graduation.
Students also can complete a concentration in either Technical Development and Programming or Design, Writing and Culture.
The B.S. in Digital Media allows students to explore digital media under the guidance of working designers, artists and educators. The curriculum combines art history, art studio, digital media, and liberal arts.
Students can tailor their degree with one of three concentrations:
- Graphic Design
- Digital Arts
Marist College also offers a Summer Pre-College program for high school students. Students can choose to focus on Game Design and start their foundation in the field before enrolling in college.
Consistently ranked among the top programs in the nation, Edinboro’s Bachelor of Science in Game and Virtual World Development prepares graduates for careers in virtual worlds, gaming as well as traditional areas of computer science.
The rigorous curriculum includes courses in computer science, art, animation, mathematics, virtual simulations, and more.
Edinboro faculty from all specialties collaborate for research and service projects.
The college also prepares graduates for life beyond the classroom with hands-on learning, internships and global travel.
Baker College’s BS in Game Software Development helps students develop the skills and knowledge needed to design, develop, and test games across a variety of platforms and formats.
Designed with industry expects, the program teaches students the full game development process from conception to final publication. Students complete the process – and gain hands-on experience – before graduation.
Course topics include programming, artificial intelligence, and data structures, among others.
Graduates who seek further education can pursue a Master of Science in Information Systems degree at Baker.
Lawrence Technical University (Lawrence Tech) offers two degree options, as well as a minor, for those interested in careers in the growing game design field.
The project-based, multidisciplinary BFA in Game Art provides students with skills and tools needed for successful careers in game design. The program incorporates an Integrated Game Studio sequence, which acts as a platform for professional practice.
The curriculum includes asset integration, storytelling techniques, critical-thinking skills, and asset creation, among others.
The BS in Computer Science with a Game Software Development Concentration provides students with access to hands-on interactive studios allowing them to explore interactive computer graphics, 2D and 3D representation and transformation, animation, and graphics programming, among other skills.
Students create their own computer games.
The Minor in Game Art provides students with a technical and creative skillset. Through lecture and studio courses, students are introduced to the history, theory and practice of the discipline. Course topics include 2D and 3D game assets, characters and props, conceptual art for environments, and game prototypes.
American University encourages students to stretch their capacities as developers, designers, game administrators and consumers and apply it to the game design field. Each of the university’s game-related program features a multidisciplinary approach.
Focused on game design and game engagement mechanics, the Master of Arts in Game Design helps students learn to tailor play design for distinct purposes. Courses include games and rhetoric, and games and society. Students also can tailor their degree by completing a variety of concentrations.
The terminal MFA in Games and Interactive Media goes beyond traditional game design and development by teaching students to tailor play design to meet specific goals in player impact. Focused on theory and practice, the program also prepares graduates for creative leadership and instructional roles.
The MFA in Film and Media Arts prepares students to become compelling visual storytellers. Students develop the skills to create meaningful stories for games, videos and film. Courses include advanced-level fiction, production, scriptwriting, and more.
Students complete one of four concentrations:
- Environmental and Wildlife Filmmaking
- Political, Cultural and Social Impact
- Art in Entertainment
- Games and Interactivity
The MS in Computer Science with a Game and Computational Media track helps students build a solid foundation in computer science. Students can pursue a traditional master’s thesis or an internship.
The university also offers a Certificate in Game Design, which combines game design and game development.
American University also enables students to gain real-world experience by working on projects in the Game Studio. Over the past few years, the Studio has received more than $1 million in grants or contacts through collaborations with non-profit organizations or government agencies.
Video Game Design Career Information:
The median salary for Game Designers is $59,695.00, according to PayScale. The lowest entry level salary is $34,557.00, and the highest level salary is $103,993.00.
The median salary for Game Artists is $50,632.00, according to PayScale. The lowest entry level salary is $31,781.00, and the highest level salary is $75,891.00.
Some of the different aspects of Video Game Design Careers can include:
- Game Designer
- Game Tester
- Creative Game Director
- Game Marketer and PR
- Game Software Developer and Programmer
- Game Audio Engineer
Game Animation and Graphic Design Majors may work as:
Best Video Game Design Colleges Ranking Guidelines:
As usual at SuccessfulStudent.org, this ranking was made for the benefit of students, to help make sense of education options in Game Design and Game Art. Factors that went into consideration of the ranking were factors that are important to students, such as well rounded academics, cost, career prospects in the gaming industry, cutting edge technological instruction, a track record of graduates making an impact in commercial video games, and proximity to video game and entertainment epicenters.
Game Design students may also be interested in our 20 Best App Development Colleges ranking article, which includes gaming apps for mobile.