Profiles of Game Design 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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Riot Games League of Legends Interview on Champion Animation Process

Rory “RiotLamz” Alderton is a Senior Animator for the League of Legends game developer, Riot Games. After almost six years of working at Jagex Games Studio he joined Riot in April of 2013 as an Animator, and was then promoted to Senior Animator in May of last year. He’s one of the people responsible for making the iconic battle moves for the many playable Champions in their famous MOBA game, which is played by over 27 million gamers from around the world every single day.

We recently ranked Riot Games in fourth place in our 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Video Game Studios list, and last year their Season 4 World Championship reached a prize pool of $2,130,000! To help readers get to know Riot Games better we talked with Rory Alderton about his work at the studio.

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California is home to more colleges and universities than any other state. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) reports that California is home to 454 Title IV degree-granting institutions. Title IV schools are eligible for federal financial aid programs, which makes them more accessible to students with financial need. To become a Title IV school, the institution must obtain accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, they must be in business for at least two years, they must sign a participation agreement with the Department, they must grant an associate's degree or higher, and they must offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length.

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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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UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television

The professional programs in UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television act as a sister program to the university’s renowned MFA, offering post-graduates the ability to learn from the best through a non-degree granting certification. Affordable courses in Screenwriting, Producing and Writing for Television have been luring students for nearly two decades- many of which now offer an online alternative for those far from the Los Angeles campus.

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