Profiles of Game Animation, Game Art, Game Design/Development, Game Management, & Game Production Programs & Schools

Top 10 Animation and Game Design Schools in the Southwest

Our 2013 list of the Top 10 Animation and Game Design Schools in the Southwest. We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

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Top 50 Game Design and Development Schools

In preparing our inaugural list of the top schools in the US for aspiring gaming professionals, we considered over 100 schools in the US that offered programs geared towards game design and/or development. Our goal with this list is to give students access to ample information so they can make informed decisions about the schools they choose to attend and the programs they pursue. 

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We started publishing regional and national lists in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators and game designers asking us what the best schools were in the US, a given State, or in a particular area of the country.

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I’ve been professionally writing about the game, film, and tech industries for seven years.

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Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art & Design

Degrees Offered: Concept Art for Animation & Video Games, a 4 year Diploma Program Art & Design, Classical & Computer Animation & Production, a 4 year Diploma Program

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Norco College

Norco College’s Game Development program may be relatively new to the scene but it’s quickly flexing its muscles and earning attention with a rigorous A.S. of Game Art program. By leveraging the savvy insight of working faculty and industry advisors, the curriculum doesn’t lose track of the fundamentals of game development nor does it overlook the trends on the horizon.  It’s also not averse to incorporating a little fun into the tough business of creating games (as is evident by the faculty-created Boom Ninja! Project). These are exciting times for the program which is currently expanding to offer three additional A.S. degrees (Game Design, Game Programming and Game Audio) thanks to a $2.8 million Title V grant.

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New York Film Academy

Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Animation, Master of Fine Arts in Game Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Design, Associate of Fine Arts in Game Design

Tuition Information :
3D Animation: $3,950 - $5,500 for short-term workshops; $15,000 per semester for Bachelor of Fine Arts program
Game Design: $10,000 - 15,000 per semester

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Academy of Interactive Entertainment

Degrees Offered:
Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development - Game Art & Design
Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development - Game Programming
Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media - 3D Animation & Visual F/X

Tuition Information :
2013-2014 Tuition: $16,000 for one year
2014-2015 Tuition: $16,500 for one year

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Norco College

In the southern California county of Riverside sits a 2-year Game Development program like few others, earning considerable attention from industry and universities alike. Norco College’s Game Development department offers an A.S. of Game Art which doesn’t miss a beat, focusing on techniques seldom explored in 2-year programs elsewhere. The high caliber of work produced by students is testament to the program’s emphasis on fundamentals and its close collaboration with industry advisors and working faculty to develop and iterate the curriculum. Though capable of breaking into their careers immediately, many graduates choose to further their studies at premier 4-year institutions.

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Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to nationally ranked schools such as Carroll University, Lawrence University, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), and University of Wisconsin Madison. These schools make it to the top of the list each year based on factors such as financial aid and career opportunites, types of organizations and clubs, convenience, social organizations, recreation, cost, and more.

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