11. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) is home to several exceptional programs for aspiring game designers. As a compliment to these programs, CIA offers private studio space to each individual student until graduation. The school is one of the only art and design schools in the country to assign private studio space in the student’s 2nd year of study. Students also have access to high-tech facilities such as a game-design editing suite, a sound editing and recording studio, green-screen Chroma Key studio, several lighting and shooting areas, and a game room with game consoles and games.

Program offerings include a BFA in Game Design, a BFA in Illustration, a BFA in Animation, and a BFA in Drawing. Based on enrollment, CIA's Game Design and Illustration programs are among the school's top 5 programs. All CIA art and design programs are accredited by the country’s leading accrediting agency for art and design programs—the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).


The Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) was established in 1882. It sits on a 5-acre campus just east of Downtown Cleveland. Home to around 550 students, the school offers 15 majors in the areas of Art, Craft, Design, and Interactive Media.

12. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication-School of Media Arts and Studies is home to the school’s top-ranked game program. The Scripps College of Communication and its programs are accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education for Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC), which covers the 5 Schools of the Scripps College including Visual Communication, Communication Studies, Information and Telecommunication Systems, Journalism, and of course, Media Arts and Studies.

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The School of Media Arts and Studies features a BS in Communication with several Areas of Emphasis including Games and Animation, Screenwriting and Producing, and Integrated Media.

Established in 1804, Ohio University is the ninth oldest public university in the Northwest Territory. The school has an enrollment of more than 35,000 students across 8 campuses.
The main campus sits on more than 1,800 acres in Athens, Ohio and it is home to 11 colleges offering more than 250 majors, minors, and certificate programs.

13. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Ohio
Home to more than 10,300 students from all 50 states and 93 countries, Case Western Reserve University offers nearly 200 top-ranked programs through 8 schools and 1 college. The Case School of Engineering is home to the Computer Science Program, which offers BA and BS Degrees in Computer Science with open Electives + a Minor in Computer Gaming. A BS/MS, MS, and PhD in Computer Science are also on the menu.

The College of Arts and Sciences offers several other programs that might serve as a great supplement to the Computer Science BS or other degrees. The College offers Minors in Art Studio and Artificial Intelligence.

Established in 1826, Case Western Reserve University was the first college in northern Ohio. Today, the school sits on more than 150 acres within Cleveland’s 500-acre University Circle, which is now home to more than 40 educational, medical, religious, social service, and cultural institutions. Just a few neighboring cities include Akron Ohio, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York.

14. Davenport University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Davenport University (DU) was established in 1866. The school has campuses across the State of Michigan, with a 70+ acre main campus in Grand Rapids. DU is home to nearly 12,000 students enrolled in more than 40 programs through the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Technology, the College of Health Professions, and the Donald W. Maine School of Business. The College of Technology offers a very unique program for aspiring game designers.

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Information Systems features 4 majors including Business Simulation and Computer Gaming, Database Management, Programming, and Web Design and Development. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of open electives to in order to complete more than one major or additional specialty. This will enhance the student’s education and career opportunities by preparing them for entry into multiple in-demand careers.

1515. Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, Ohio
Founded in 1986, Shawnee State University (SSU) is the regional state university of Southern Ohio. The school is situated on a lush 62-acre campus on the banks of the Ohio River in historic Portsmouth. Home to 4,400 students, Shawnee State University offers more than 80 degree programs, with more than 20 program offerings in the areas of Engineering Technologies and Fine, Digital, and Performing Arts.

The Department of Engineering Technology is home to the BS (and Minor) in Digital Simulation and Gaming Engineering Technology Program. This prized program is a mixture of “computer science, computer programming, and 2D/3D graphics programming with additional classes in arts, design, math and physics.” Graduates will walk away with the skills needed to become successful in the fields of Game Simulation, Game Programming,

The Fine, Digital and Performing Arts Department (FDPA) is home another top-rated program for aspiring game designers. The Department offers a BFA in Game and Simulation Development Arts and a Gaming Arts Minor. Related programs include Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degrees in Drawing, Studio Arts, and Visualist Design and Interactive Media with a Design Track, 3D Design Track, and Interactive Media Track. A Studio Arts Minor is also on the menu. 

Shawnee State University is also home to the Center for International Programs and Activities (CIPA) that offers an endless number of Study Abroad options designed to enhance student’s academic and social success. Students may find themselves in places such as China, Chile, Spain, Germany, Morocco, or more than 30 other countries. SSU strongly encourages all students to enroll.