College for Creative Studies (CCS) - Program Info, Interviews, and Rankings

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

1. Yale University School of the Arts, New Haven, Connecticut (Top 1% of schools considered)

Yale University was founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School to educate students for “public employment both in Church and Civil State.” Today, the school is home to more than 8,300 students and it houses well over 145 departments, schools and programs covering the areas of art, architecture, divinity, drama, forestry and environmental studies, law, management, music, public health, and more. One of Yale’s top schools is the School of the Arts. Opened as Yale School of the Fine Arts in 1869, the School of the Arts was the nation’s first art school connected with an institution of higher learning. 

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Our 2017 rankings of the top 5 gaming school programs in Michigan. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1.  Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 

Founded in 1855 and home to more than 50,000 students, Michigan State University (MSU)  offers more than 200 programs across 17 degree-granting colleges. The College of Communication Arts and Sciences houses the Media and Information (MI) Department—home of the game design program. Undergraduate degree options include BA and BS degrees 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 2017 rankings of the Top 10 game design schools and colleges 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. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois 

The College of Computing and Digital Media CDM at DePaul University houses three schools—the School of Design (SoD), the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), and the School of Computing (SoC). CDM SoD and SoC offer several programs for aspiring game designers. SoD options include a BS in Game Design, MFA in Game Design, and Minors in Game Design and Game Programming. SoC offers BS and MS degrees in Game Programming and Minors in Game Design and Game Programming. The Minors are jointly offered by CDM SoD and SoC. 

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Our 2017 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. The school is home to 44,000 students enrolled in over 500 degree programs across 18 colleges and schools. Program options for aspiring game designers are available through Viterbi School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, Interactive Media & Games Division. Dornsife programs are offered in in conjunction with the School of Cinematic Arts. 

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Our 2017 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 (top 2% of schools considered) 

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is one of the oldest accredited independent schools of art and design in the country. Founded in 1866, the school is home to 3,590 students enrolled in more than 25 programs, offers several programs for aspiring animators through its Film, Video, New Media, and Animation Department (FVNMA). Options include a BFA and MFA in Studio with a Concentration Animation. A Certificate in Studio is also available.   

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Our 2017 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 (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. Home to 1,449 students, CalArts offers more than 70 programs across six schools including the School of Critical Studies, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, the School of Art, the School of Film/Video, The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, and the School of Theater. The School of Film/Video is the largest school at CalArts, accounting for nearly 30% of the student population. Programs offered through the school include a BFA in Character Animation and BFA and MFA degrees in Experimental Animation.

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Our 2016 rankings of the top graphic design schools 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. Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Top 1% of schools considered)

Cranbrook Academy began “informal art education” in the late 1920s. The Academy consists of 10 programs/departments including 2D Design, 3D Design, Architecture, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Print Media, Photography and Sculpture. Per the Academy, “each department is led by a full-time Artist or Designer-in-Residence who is the sole faculty member and head of the department. Each department has an enrollment of approximately 15 students, who are selected by the Artist-in-Residence.” Programs are “free of the formal course structure typical of most art schools and universities. Instead the studio environment is the core of the curriculum with emphasis on developing an individual body of work.” 

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

1. Yale University School of the Arts, New Haven, Connecticut (Top 1% of schools considered)

Opened as Yale School of the Fine Arts in 1869, Yale University School of the Arts was the nation’s first art school connected with an institution of higher learning. Today, the School has a population of 127 students enrolled (Fall 2015), and it offers a competitive MFA degree in Graphic Design that accepts just 10 students each year and up to seven students into the preliminary-year program. 

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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 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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