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The Top Game Design Colleges in New York

Game Design Students
The Top Game Design Colleges in New York
Rank School Location
1 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New York
2 New York University New York, New York
3 Pratt Institute-Main Brooklyn, New York
4 SUNY College of Technology at Canton Canton, New York
5 New York Film Academy Burbank, California

We have researched the top game design colleges in New York, designed as a guide for prospective students, parents, guidance counselors, and the like to be informed of colleges and their degree options.

These include certificates, bachelor's, master's, and doctorates in game design. Yes, there are doctorates in game design, such as the PhD in Critical Game Design at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (see the entry below for more information).

New York is a commercial hub in many industries, including game creation. There are game design companies that have offices in New York, including Rockstar Games, Avalanche, Riot Games, Zynga, and others.

Also see How Much Do Video Game Designers Make? Design Salaries

Top Game Design Colleges in New York


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Troy, New York

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Game Design.

  • Bachelor of Science in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences
  • Master of Science in Critical Game Design, Co-Terminal Program
  • PhD in Critical Game Design

The BS in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences has six concentration options:

  • Computer Science
  • Electronic Arts
  • Cognitive Science
  • Writing
  • Music - this concentration focuses on the sounds and music of games
  • Management

Students will need to determine their concentration in the first year.

The MS in Critical Game Design, Co-Terminal Program is interdisciplinary, in which students study and create games from video game literature and meet the needs of problems presented in the literature. This MS program prepares graduates to enter their doctorate program.

The PhD in Critical Game Design is unique, and is designed to produce scholars who write and research game design, including subjects such as game studies theory and game production. The program is described as a hybrid of theory and practice. Graduates will be qualified to research and teach at university and college level positions.  


New York University

Tisch School of the Arts

New York, New York

New York University

New York University (NYU) offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Game Design.

As a broad overview, students learn these industry-relevant competencies:

  • Game design
  • Game development
  • Game scholarship

Courses include:

  • Introduction to Programming for Games
  • Critical Making
  • Introduction to Narrative Design
  • Intermediate Game Development
  • Project Studio

The program is designed to prepare graduates for jobs as game developers, designers, critics, and/or scholars.

By the end of the program, students have the option to complete their senior project within a group or as an individual.

An undergraduate minor is also available.

The MFA in Game Design degree is a two year program designed to teach graduate students development and design of games.

Students learn design, production, critical theory, history, and the cultural aspects of game design.

Students will work in groups to create digital games. In the second year, students can choose to work in groups or by themselves on their chosen project.


Pratt Institute-Main

School of Art

Brooklyn, New York

Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Arts.

This program teaches students to use game theory and programming to create fully realized games that are designed to convey complex ideas in engaging and playful experiences.

Credits: 126

Courses include:

  • 3D Modeling I
  • Animation
  • Animation narrative
  • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
  • Game design
  • Game theory
  • Lighting and Texturing for Games
  • Programming
  • Physical computing
  • Special effects
  • Visualization/Representation/Concept

This program is designed to prepare graduates to enter the professional gaming industry.


SUNY College of Technology at Canton

Canton, New York

Suny Canton

SUNY College of Technology at Canton offers the Bachelor of Science in Game Design and Development.

This program teaches students how to create games, including virtual reality, on different game devices and platforms.

Credits: 125

Students learn the following skills for game creation:

  • Prototyping
  • Testing
  • Development
  • Design sequence
  • Aesthetics of design
  • Manufacturing and marketing
  • Production

Courses include:

  • 3D Character Modeling
  • 3D Graphics for Game Development
  • Game Design and Prototyping
  • Game Mechanics and Dynamics

This program focuses on imaginary storytelling, production, and video game design and development relevant to the modern game design industry.


New York Film Academy

Burbank, California

New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy (NYFA) offers a one year certificate in game design.

Students learn practical technical and creative skills on game industry-relevant software.

Students create two original games of their own making. Through this process students learn the practical application of their skills in a hands-on manner.

There are also Game Design workshops as options for students, which can be taken on-campus or online.

There is a Game Coding Workshop that is 12 weeks long that is designed to teach students how to code for games, focused on learning the C# scripting language, the Unity platform, and Unreal Engine.

Instruction also includes studying these technologies:

  • Maya
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • HTML
  • Github
  • Bitbucket

Frequently Asked Questions

Is NYU Game Design worth it?

Yes, a game design bachelor's degree can be worth the investment at NYU. The average salary of a Game Designer in New York is over $117,000 per year. The total cost of a bachelor's degree at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts is just under $400,000. The average lifetime income of $117,000 earned each year, between 24 years old to retirement at 65, assuming a 2% annual salary increase, will earn over $7.3 million dollars.

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Does NYU have a Game Design program?

New York University (NYU) offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Game Design.

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What CUNY colleges offer game design?

The City College of New York will soon offer a bachelor's degree in Game Design. The City College of New York also offers an online Video Game Design and Development course

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Which college is best for game art design?

The best on-campus school for game art design is the school that most aligns with that you as a student would like to study, such as game art and animation, 2D and 3D animation, and character development for example. The Savannah College of Art and Design is a good choice. In New York the Pratt Institute is the best choice for learning Game Art.

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