Profiles of Game Development 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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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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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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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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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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