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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

Top Game Design & Development Programs in Illinois

Written by Michelle BurtonMarch 31, 2012
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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The U.S. is packed with colleges and universities that just seem to get better with age. Many of the country’s more than 4,500 colleges and universities rank high on the list of top colleges in the world year after year. Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Yale University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Northwestern University, and Princeton University are just a few that come to mind.

With so many renowned schools to choose from, it might be challenging to narrow your list to just a few. Fortunately, if you’re interested in the top game design & development programs for any given state, you won’t have to weed through dozens of top schools, which makes it difficult to choose just one. For this special area of study, you can expect to find anywhere from one up to 5 (or so) top-tier programs per state.

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The nation’s top schools for game design & development majors make the (top) list based on a number of qualities that are high priority for many students. These include the quality and accessibility of production facilities, cost, convenience, job placement services, student life, intramural sports, cultural opportunities, student body, and more. In the state of Illinois, several schools make the cut each year. While many can be found in Chicago—the state’s largest and most progressive city,  several are located in scenic downstate Illinois.

Just a few of the state’s top schools for aspiring game designers & developers include Columbia College (Chicago) and Bradley University (Peoria). Continue reading to find out more about Illinois’ top schools for game designers & developers and what they have to offer. Please note that the top schools listed below are in order by largest to smallest student body for each area. 

Top Game Design & Development School Programs Illinois - Chicago

DePaul University

Student Population: 16,052
Backdrop: Urban, 36-acre campus
Degrees Offered: B. A./B. S. Animation; B. A. Art, Media and Design with Concentration in Art and Design or Media Arts; B. S. Computer Game Development, Computer Graphics and Motion Technology; B. F. A. Graphic Design; M. S. Computer Game Development, Computer Graphics and Motion Technology

Columbia College
Student Population: 12,500
Backdrop: Urban, Downtown Chicago Campus
Degrees Offered: B. A. Art and Design; B. A. Film and Video with Animation (Traditional or Computer) Concentration; B. A. Game Design with Concentration in Game Art, Game Development, Programming or Game Sound; B. F. A. Graphic Design, Illustration; B. A., B. F. A. Interactive Arts and Media

Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy

Student Population: 100+
Backdrop: Urban, Downtown Chicago
Degrees Offered: A. A. S. Animation and Visual Effects, Game and Interactive Media

Top Game Design & Development School Programs Illinois Other Cities and Towns

Western Illinois University
Student Population: 10,520
Backdrop: Small town, 1,050-acre campus
Degrees Offered:  B. F. A. Art with Emphasis in Graphic Design; B. S. Instructional Simulation and Gaming

Bradley University
Student Population: 5,067
Backdrop: Small city, 85-acre campus
Degrees Offered:  B. A., B. S., B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design; B. A., B. S. Interactive Media with Concentration in Animation and Visual Effects, Game Design or Web and Application Design; M. A., M. F. A. Drawing/Illustration, Visual Communications and Design

More Programs to Consider:


Princeton Review,
U.S. News & World Report College Rankings,