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California Game Design & Development Schools: Most Expensive to Least Expensive
California is home to more colleges and universities than anywhere else in the country. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) updates this information frequently, so the number of schools may fluctuate slightly throughout the year. The latest figures releases show that California is home to 450 Title IV degree-granting institutions. A Title IV school is eligible for federal financial-aid programs. To become eligible, these schools obtained accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, they have been in business for at least 2 years, they signed a participation agreement with the Department, they grant an associate's degree or higher, and they offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length.
California’s Title IV schools offer some of the best art and design programs in the world—including game design & development. While some of these schools are expensive, most former students say its well worth it because a degree from a top school can place you ahead of the pack. Fortunately, because the top schools are also Title IV, students have access to a wide variety of financial aid programs to help meet the costs of attendance.
If you’re ready to shop and compare California game design and development schools, take a look at the most to least expensive schools below and what you can expect to pay. Keep in mind that resident tuition is typically lower than nonresident tuition, and graduate programs usually cost more than undergraduate programs. To save even more on tuition, consider checking into the school’s online programs.
Most Expensive California Game Design & Development Schools
University of Southern California (USC)
Los Angeles, Tuition Cost: Undergraduates $40,384, graduates $40,384 for the 2010 – 2011 school year
Art Center College of Design
Pasadena, Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $32,592 for the 2010 – 2011 school year
Ex’pression College for Digital Arts
Emeryville, Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $21,080 for the 2010 – 2011 school year
Least Expensive California Game Design & Development Schools
Academy of Art University
San Francisco, Tuition Cost: Undergraduate $17,760, graduate $20,160 for the 2010 – 2011 school year
University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC)
Santa Cruz, Tuition Cost: Undergraduate residents $12,447, nonresidents $35,325; graduate residents $12,214, nonresidents $27,316 for the 2011 - 2012 school year.
More California schools to consider with Game Design related programs:
California Game Design & Development Scene
California is an artists dream. The Golden State is home to the largest population of working artists and designers in the world, and the job options are virtually endless. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California was home to 272,130 artists, designers, entertainment, and media professionals in 2010, up from 226,280 in 2002.
Although salaries depend on industry, employer, experience, location, and more, the average salary for this group as a whole was $65,370 as of 2010. According to a number of salary reporting sites such as Indeed.com, the average salary for California game designers is around $97,000 per year and game developers here average around $79,000.
You’ll find hundreds of game companies in the state of California, from San Diego to San Francisco and beyond. Just a few major California gaming companies include Activision (Santa Monica), Epicenter Studios (Sherman Oaks), Insomniac Games (Burbank), Lucas Arts (San Francisco), Legacy Interactive, (Los Angeles) Mattel (El Segundo), Electronic Arts/EA Games (Redwood City), THQ (Agoura Hills), Inc., Obsidian Entertainment (Santa Ana), PlayFirst (San Francisco), and Sony Computer Entertainment (Foster City). Others (including a few hard-driving start-ups) include Trion Studios (San Diego), Funzio (San Francisco), Red Tentacle Studios (San Diego), LeapFrog Enterprises (Emeryville), Rebel Entertainment (Los Angeles), and Bento Box Interactive (Burbank).