DePaul University - Program Info, Interviews, and Rankings

Programs to consider:

Our 2016 list of the Top 50 Game Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California (top 1% of schools considered)

University of Southern California (USC) was established in 1880 and it is home to 43,000 students enrolled in more than 500 graduate and undergraduate programs, and over 150 minors across 18 colleges and schools. Program offerings for aspiring game designers are offered through several colleges and schools including the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences - Interactive Media & Games Division (in conjunction with the School of Cinematic Arts) and the Viterbi School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science. 

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Our 2016 rankings of the Top 25 Game Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Established in 1880, University of Southern California (USC) is home to 43,000 students enrolled in more than 500 undergraduate and graduate programs, and over 150 minors across 18 colleges and schools. Program offerings for aspiring game designers are offered through several colleges and schools including the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences - Interactive Media & Games Division (in conjunction with the School of Cinematic Arts) and the Viterbi School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science.

The Interactive Media & Games Division offers a BA in Interactive Entertainment, an intensive three-year MFA in Interactive Media, and Minors in Game Design and Game Entrepreneurism. According to USC, the MFA program “draws on the strengths of the School of Cinematic Arts, including Game Design, Animation, Sound Production, Screenwriting, Producing and Critical Studies, bringing these resources together in a vibrant community of innovative digital media practice.” 

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Our 2016 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, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University (MSU) is home to approximately 50,543 students. enrolled in more than 200 programs across 17 colleges. Programs for aspiring game designers are offered through the College of Communication Arts and Sciences’ Media and Information (MI) Department. Program offerings include a BA and a BS in Media and Information with a Game Design and Development Specialization, a BS in Computer Science with a Game Design and Development Specialization, and a BA or BFA in Studio Art with a Game Design and Development Specialization.

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Our 2016 rankings of the top animation programs in the Midwest. We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers more than 25 art and design programs,  including several popular programs for aspiring animators. Options include a BFA or MFA in Studio with a Concentration Animation. A Certificate in Studio is also on the menu. Programs are offered through SAIC’s competitive Film, Video, New Media, and Animation Department (FVNMA). 

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Our 2016 list of the Top 50 Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California (top 1% of schools considered)

Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. With a population of 1,489 students enrolled in more than 70 programs at all degree levels, CalArts attracts a large population of aspiring filmmakers and animators. Around 26.9% of the student body is enrolled in the School of Film/Video, which offers BFA degrees in Character Animation and Experimental Animation. An MFA in Experimental Animation is also available.

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Our 2016 list of the Top 50 Private Animation School Programs in the US. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California 

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, and with a population of 1,489 students, the school offers more than 70 programs at all degree levels. However, CalArts attracts a large population of aspiring filmmakers and animators. In fact, around 26.9% of the student body is enrolled in the School of Film/Video, which offers BFA degrees in Character Animation and Experimental Animation. An MFA in Experimental Animation is also available. 

Called the “Harvard Business School of Animation” by the Los Angeles Times, CalArts has produced hundreds of successful alumni who have generated more than $26 billion in box office grosses since 1985.

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DePaul University’s animation program has grown considerably in recent years, attracting top talent to the Windy City in the process. With undergraduate (BA and BFA) and graduate (MA and MFA) degree offerings, DePaul’s students explore different animation techniques and styles taught by a large roster of faculty that hails from diverse animation backgrounds themselves.

For our latest Spotlight Q&A, we connect with two DePaul animation instructors whose contrasting styles and experience illustrate the program’s breadth and depth. Associate Professor Scott Roberts has been integral to the development of the program. His extensive commercial and artistic portfolio- which includes 3D game art and sculpture- allows him to straddle both DePaul’s Animation and Game Development programs. Veteran Disney animator Brian Ferguson offers his unparalleled insight to students as DePaul’s Animator in Residence instructor. While his work on classics like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast are unforgettable, it’s his ability to go between classical and 3D animation with ease that has us in awe. We hope you enjoy! (This interview was conducted via phone & has been edited for length & clarity).

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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

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