Profiles of Game Art Programs & Schools

Our 2014 rankings of the top programs on the East Coast for game design and development.

We define the East Coast as Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

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Our 2014 list of the Top 75 Game Design/Development School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
The University of Southern California (USC) is home to USC Games. Created by the School of Cinematic Arts’ (SCA) Interactive Media & Games Division in collaboration with the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, USC Games offers several renowned graduate level game design programs and several undergraduate programs. Options include an MFA in Interactive Media, an MS in Computer Science with a Specialization in Game Development, a BA in Interactive Entertainment, and a BS in Computer Science (Games).

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Our 2014 rankings of the Top 20 schools on the West Coast for game design and development. 

We define the West Coast as California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and Idaho. 

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Our 2014 rankings of the Top 15 game design and development programs in the Midwest.

We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

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Our 2014 rankings of the Top 15 schools for game design and development in the Southwest US. 

We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.

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Our 2014 rankings of the top game design and development schools in the South. 

We define the South as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas.

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Woodbury University

Finding a B.F.A. program in Game Art & Design can be a challenge, as many aspiring game designers and artists can attest. Three years ago, Woodbury University formed its Game Art & Design program within the School of Media, Culture & Design. In the time since, the program continues to grow, adding new courses and even gaining plan approval from NASAD (it will be eligible for full accreditation once it graduates its first class). Students focus on one of two tracks in Game Art or Game Design. Both options integrate and collaborate with each other as well as with other departments in the school.

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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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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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Laguna College of Art & Design

A mere five years old, the Game Art program at Laguna College of Art & Design may be young but it’s already established deep industry roots that feed its students and cultivate its approach. Required coursework in foundational, multi-disciplinary studies include figure drawing, anatomy, the liberal arts and more. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the program seeks to create generalists. The curriculum is designed instead to develop artists with marketable skills and a solid foundation to move the game industry forward. So far, it’s working with an enviably high graduate job placement rating and recent alumni in every major studio that you can think of.

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