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The Fastest Game Design Degrees Online: Bachelor's Programs

Game Designer
The Fastest Game Design Degrees Online: Bachelor's Programs
Rank School Location
1 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, New Hampshire
2 Champlain College Burlington, Vermont
3 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, Utah
4 Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia
5 Purdue University Global West Lafayette, Indiana
6 Full Sail University Winter Park, Florida
7 Lamar University Beaumont, Texas

We have researched the fastest game design degrees online as a guide for online students.

Colleges and universities are increasingly offering fast online game design degrees for bachelor's programs, and many other subjects.

Completing a fast degree can be accomplished in a few ways:

  • Degree completion programs: If you already have completed college credits, then getting into an online degree completion program that accepts those transfer credits.
  • Sophia Learning: Find an online college or university that allows credit transfers from Sophia Learning (more on that below), such as Southern New Hampshire University. A significant upside to this strategy is the reduced cost of getting a bachelor's degree.
  • Competency-based programs: Attend an online degree program that lets you advance through courses at your own pace, such as at Western Governors University. In these programs, students can take the next class without waiting until a semester ends. As soon as one class is completed, students can begin a new class.
  • Credit for experience: Some colleges and universities will give credit to students who already have experience in their discipline from working in real world same or similar environments. These credits and the approval of the college for work experience need to be negotiated with the college, and depends largely on what the work was and how long a student worked in that capacity.

Sophia Learning is a program that offers general courses that can be applied to a student's necessary general education requirements. Sophia Learning's classes can be taken online, and it's a strategic way to take many of the basic classes in a given bachelor's degree.

The way in which Sophia Learning can accelerate getting a bachelor's degree online, is by allowing students to advance through classes at their own pace, within predetermined periods of time, and for flat rate fees.

For $99, online students can finish classes within one month. For $299 students can finish as many classes as they can manage for 6 months. For $599, students are allotted one year to complete as many of their classes as necessary or required. And all ofd the finished and passing classes will be transferred a college that they participate with. See their website for a list of colleges that works with Sophia Learning.

The Fastest Game Design Degrees Online: Bachelor's Programs

Ranking Methodology

This ranking was created using Successful Student's ranking algorithm. This algorithm uses the following data points to calculate a school's ranking placement:

  • Acceptance rate
  • Graduation rate
  • Cost of undergraduate tuition
  • Percentage of first time undergraduates awarded aid
  • Percentage of students who are fully online
  • Academic influence
Online Undergraduate College | Ranking CriteriaWeight
Acceptance Rate15%
Graduation Rate25%
Undergraduate Tuition15%
First Time Undergraduates Awarded Aid15%
Undergraduate Fully Online Enrollment Percentage15%
Academic Influence15%

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a leader in online education, and has one of the largest online student bodies in the nation.

SNHU offers these online fast bachelor's degrees in game design:

  • Bachelor of Science in Game Programming and Development
  • Bachelor of Arts in Game Art and Development

SNHU accepts transfer credits from Sophia Learning, which can allow for students to complete their bachelor's degrees in 24 months (2 years).

The BS in Game Programming and Development teaches students the technical aspects of making games, whereas the BA in Game Art and Development teaches the artistic side of game creation.

One thing to note, the BS in Game Programming is one of the only online programs in the U.S. to include instruction in Artificial Intelligence.


Champlain College

The Game Studio

Burlington, Vermont

Champlain College

Champlain College is a partner school with Sophia Learning, and accepts transfer credits taken from their online classes. Students may transfer up to 90 credits of qualifying classes.

Credits: 120

Champlain College offers an online Bachelor's degree in Interactive Game Design.

The program is divided into these requirements:

  • General Education Courses (42 credits - this is where Sophia Learning comes into play)
  • Game Development Requirements
  • Game Design Core
  • Technical Electives
  • General Electives
  • Additional Requirements

Game Design Core classes include:

  • Technical Skills for Game Design
  • Game Engines for Designers
  • Advanced Level Design
  • Capstone Game Development Project

The goal of this online degree is to prepare graduates to enter the professional gaming industry to work in gameplay programming, game art, or systems design, among other roles.

Students have access to the Fast Start Formula Career Bundle, which includes the Landing A Job You'll Love Ebook, the Fast Start Formula Career Course, and live webinar coaching by Jen Morris, an Executive Career Coach. The Fast Start Formula Career Bundle which is designed to help students with job placement.


Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah

Western Governors University

Western Governors University (WGU) offers online classes where students can advance to the next class when they're ready, and don't have to wait on a predetermined schedule of semester-based classes. As soon as an online student is finished, they may take the next class in the degree program.

WGU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering degree.

This program teaches students the technical aspects of game design. Students can choose the C# or Java tracks.

Java track classes include:

  • Mobile Application Development
  • Back-end Programming
  • Java Fundamentals
  • User Experience Design

C# track classes include:

  • Software I - C#
  • Software Security and Testing
  • Software Design and Quality Assurance
  • Mobile Application Development Using C#

Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Liberty University

Liberty University (LU) is a Christian university, and one of the largest universities in the world. Liberty has many undergraduate and graduate programs available online.

LU offers the online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology: Game Design degree. LU participates in the Sophia Learning program (explained above).

This program lets motivates distance learners finish as many programs as they can manage within certain time frames, without interruption.

LU also allows for transferring in up to 75% of the total credits in the program.


Purdue University Global

West Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue University Global (PUG) offers an online bachelor's degree in Data Analytics that has a concentration in Game Development. The reason this degree can be completed quicker than a traditional online program, is because PUG participates in the Sophia Learning program. Given this, students can complete their basic courses online in a faster time through Sophia Learning, and transfer them to PUG.

PUG also offers an Excel Track option for this bachelor's in Data Analytics, but it doesn't include the Game Development concentration option.

Courses include:

  • Game Design and Mechanics
  • Software Development Concepts Using C#
  • Game Art and Animation
  • Game Programming

The online degree teaches students how to create gamified experiences for different applications, such as business training or in healthcare settings, and the like. It's making games for particular purposes, such as training or following health guidance into a game.


Full Sail University

Winter Park, Florida

Full Sail University

Full Sail University is a well known college for online degrees in the entertainment industry. Full Sail offers the online Interactive Technology Bachelor of Science Completion Program with a Game Design Concentration.

This degree completion program can be taken at an accelerated pace. Students receive their credits at a faster pace, earning credits each month, which allows for graduating in half the time (two years), compared to traditional bachelor's degrees (which are four years in length).

Once students complete the core Interactive Technology coursework, they can select a concentration in the following:

  • Game Design
  • Game Development
  • Software Development
  • Simulation and Visualization

Courses include:

  • Analytics and Decision Making
  • Game Design Preproduction
  • Game Balancing
  • Game Systems Integration

Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Lamar University

Lamar University offers the Bachelor of Science in Computer Game Development online. The University accepts up to 90 transfer credits. The degree is 120 credits total, so 90 credits constitutes 75% of the total degree credit requirements.

Students will use C++ for creating interactive graphics applications, create models in 3D, blend together separate animations, and create a new game, among other proficiencies.


  • Think, Speak, Write
  • Design Programming Languages
  • Linear Algebra I
  • Computer Networks

Lamar allows for paying tuition by the course.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a degree in game design?

The typical bachelor's degree takes four years to get a degree in game design. However, there are accelerated bachelor's degrees in game design, which can be taken on-campus or online, that can be completed in two years.

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How fast can you finish an online degree?

How fast you can finish an online degree depends on the amount of work the student wants to put into the program. There are colleges and universities, such as Western Governors University, that allow students to advance into a new class as soon as they're finished with the coursework from a previous class. Working at an accelerated pace, students can finish an online bachelor's degree in 2 years or possibly less.

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Can I study game design online?

Yes. There are online undergraduate and graduate degrees in game design and game art available at over 100 colleges or universities in the United States.

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Can you graduate faster with an online degree?

Potentially, yes. If a students can manage their time effectively, they can enroll into competency-based programs that allow them to take classes at their own pace. In this way, as soon as they're finished with a previous class, then can go on to the next class in the degree.

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