What are the top game design schools in the Midwest for 2024?

Top 20 Game Design Schools and Colleges in the Midwest – 2024 College Rankings
1DePaul UniversityIllinois
2Michigan State UniversityMichigan
3Purdue UniversityIndiana
4The Ohio State UniversityOhio
5Indiana University, BloomingtonIndiana
6Miami UniversityOhio
7University of Wisconsin – StoutWisconsin
8Columbia College ChicagoIllinois
9Indiana University, IndianapolisIndiana
10Bradley UniversityIllinois
11Case Western Reserve UniversityOhio
12Cleveland Institute of ArtOhio
13Kent State UniversityOhio
14Columbus College of Art & DesignOhio
15Ferris State UniversityMichigan
16University of Wisconsin – WhitewaterWisconsin
17Eastern Michigan UniversityMichigan
18College for Creative StudiesMichigan
19Ohio UniversityOhio
20University of IdahoIdaho

Our 2024 rankings of the Top 20 game design schools and colleges in the Midwest.  For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
DePaul University

Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) at DePaul University (DePaul) has a Game Design program with five degree options. At the undergraduate level, students can earn a BS in Game Design, Computer Science (CS)/Game Systems, or Game Programming. At the graduate level, options include a Game Programming MS and Game Design MFA. 

Game Design at DePaul University emphasizes collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. As such, students have opportunities to work with peers across the audio, programming, fine art, and writing disciplines. The curriculum includes coursework that helps students navigate the game production process from inception to the testing phase. 

Course examples across programs include Game Development; Game Engine Programming; Playtesting; Unity Workshop; 3D Animation; Advanced Game Design; Practical Scripting for Games; Physics for Game Developers; Game Sound Design; Rendering and Graphics Programming; Real-Time Software Development; 3D Design and Modeling; Tool Programming for Game Development; Game Modification Workshop; and Game Development Studio. Electives allow students to explore areas such as AI, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and animation. 

Across programs, students have access to the game development studio DePaul Originals; the Deep Games Laboratory; and CDM facilities such as the gameplay, playtest and usability, virtual reality, and game development and research labs. Other program features include participation in a variety of exhibitions; internships with local and national studios; and the biennial Japan Study Abroad Program. 

This two-week trip to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagoya consists of visits to game and animation companies; galleries and museums; restaurants; and temples, cultural centers, and historic sites. In Nagoya, students will collaborate with Japanese game and animation students at Trident College of Computing. This two-day game/animation jam is the culminating experience for the trip. 

Graduates of the Game Design programs at DePaul University will enter the job market with a portfolio of their best work. 

Some of the top careers for DePaul Game Design graduates include Game Design and Development, Software Engineering, Animation, Project Management, Computer Graphics, and Commercial Production. Program alumni have been hired at companies and studios such as Epic Games, iiRcade, Leo Burnett Worldwide, Fast Radius, and Speegs Media. 

With around 23,800 students, more than 300 programs, two campuses, and 10 academic colleges and schools, DePaul University is the largest Catholic university in the United States. Founded in 1898, DePaul is also America’s 13th-largest private, not-for-profit university, and the largest private, not-for-profit college in the Midwest. DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

2. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Michigan State University

The College of Communication Arts and Sciences (ComArtSci) and the College of Engineering at Michigan State University (MSU) provide several paths to study game design. Serving more than 3,500 students, the ComArtSci houses the Department of Media and Information (MI)—home to the Game Design and Development Program. Established in 2005, the program consists of a Games and Interactive Media BA, a Game Design and Development minor, a Media and Information MA (MI MA), and a Serious Games MA certificate. 

The College of Engineering at Michigan State University houses the Department of Computer Science and Engineering—home to the Computer Science (CS) program. Available pathways include the BS, MS, and PhD. All programs allow students to specialize in MI Studies, with the option to take games-related courses in other departments. Students in all programs will also take courses in Systems Design and Analysis; Theory and Algorithms; and Data Analysis and Applications. 

The Game Design and Development minor in the College of ComArtSci can also be added any other major at MSU. The program requires 15 credit hours, including courses such as Game Design and Development I and II; Collaborative Design; and Game Design Studio. 

The Serious Games MA certificate attracts MSU MI graduate students, CS students, Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) students, and doctoral students from other universities. However, the certificate is open to all MSU graduate students as a stand-alone program. Courses include Theories of Games and Interaction Design; Understanding Users; and Foundations of Serious Games. The Serious Games MA certificate is transcriptable, and it can be completed on campus or online. 

The MSU Games and Interactive Media BA is a collaborative, project-based program with three focus areas: Game Design, Games Graphics and Animation, and Game Development. Students in all areas will explore the design process, effects, artistry, management, and production of video games, emerging interactive media, AR/VR, and board games. Examples of required courses include Media and Sketching Graphics; Games and Society; Methods for Understanding Users; Games and Interactivity; and Bringing Media to Market. 

Students in the Game Design focus area will take additional courses such as Game Level Design; Building Virtual Worlds; Game Interface Design; Game Design and Development I and II; and Serious Game Design Studio. Course examples for the Games Graphics and Animation area include Advanced 3D Modeling; Compositing and Special Effects; Concept Design for Games, Film, and TV; and Advanced Three-Dimensional Computer Animation.

Game Development students will take courses such as Introduction to Programming I and II; Building Innovative Interfaces; Game and Interactive Media Development; and Matrix Algebra with Computational Applications.  

All BA students will have opportunities to work on real-world projects with partners such as Electronic Arts (EA), Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games, Ubisoft, Insomniac Games, and Bungie. Students also have access to the GEL Lab and the Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab. Both provide state-of-the-art technology for designing prototypes, learning new techniques, and to advance research on the individual and social impacts of digital games. 

Students will graduate from the MSU Games and Interactive Media program with a professional portfolio of both large and small projects that reflect a wide range of works. Program alumni are prepared to pursue careers such as Game Designer, 2D Artist, Interaction Designer, Game Scenario Writer, Producer, Technical Designer, Usability Engineer, Programmer, UI/UX Designer, Technical Artist, Level Designer, Quality Assurance, and Project Manager. 

The Media and Information MA at Michigan State University is a STEM-approved program that explores the design, the use of communication technologies and information, and management. The program is immersive, hands-on, and customizable, with opportunities to engage in real world experiences. As of 2024, MI MA students also have the option to focus in Game Design, HCI/UX, Information Studies, or Media Policy, or customize a track with courses from all focus areas. 

In addition to specific focus area courses, all MI MA students will take courses such as Foundations of Serious Games; Game and Project Design Studio I and II; Interaction Design; Interactive Usability and Accessibility: Design and Evaluation; Global Media and Communications; and Theories of Games and Interaction Design. 

Other program features include access to state-of-the-art facilities; participation in game development and testing; access to labs that explore virtual reality (VR); and participation in research groups and visiting artist talks. 

The culminating experience for the MI MA is the Master’s Project, completed across two courses. Graduates of the MI MA program at Michigan State University are prepared to pursue leadership roles in areas such as 3D Game Design, UI/UX, and 3D Technology. Program alumni have been hired at major studios such as Rockstar Games, EA, Insomniac Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Ubisoft, and Bungie.

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University began as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. On the first day of classes on May 14, 1857, the College welcomed five faculty members and 63 students into three buildings: College Hall, Saints’ Rest, and a brick horse barn. When it opened, the school became the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to teach scientific agriculture. 

Today, MSU is one of the nation’s premier land-grant research universities. The school serves approximately 51,315 students enrolled in more than 200 programs across 17 degree-granting colleges. Michigan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University

Purdue University is home to Purdue Polytechnic Institute, which houses the Department of Computer Graphics Technology (CGT) and the Game Design Programs. Degree options include a CGT BS with a major in Game Development and Design; a CGT MS; and a Technology PhD. Purdue also houses Purdue Global, which provides more than 175 online degree programs to approximately 33,500 students around the world. 

Through Purdue Global and Purdue University’s School of Business and Information Technology, online students can earn a BS in Information Technology with a concentration in Game Development. Consisting of 15 credit hours, the concentration includes the Game Design and Mechanics; Game Programming; and Game Art and Animation courses. 

Examples of required courses in the Information Technology major include Software Development Using C#; Human-Computer Interaction; Software Development Using Python; Website Development; and Technology Infrastructure. The BS program requires 180 credit hours to graduate. The culminating experience for the program is the Information Technology Internship or Capstone in Information technology, student’s choice. Graduates are prepared to pursue roles across the information technology sector, and the game design industry. 

The CGT BS with a Game Development and Design major is an ABET-accredited, STEM-designated program that explores game design, programming, rendering, animation, and visualization. Students in this program will engage in immersive, collaborative projects with peers and professors. Past projects have focused on areas such as games utilization in entertainment; information visualization; and sustainable energy, medicine, and therapy. 

The Game Design and Development major requires 54 credit hours, with 39 credit hours focused on games. Course examples include Game Development I: Core Skills and Technologies; Game Development II: Design and Psychology; Computer Graphics Programming; User Experience Design Studio; Game Development Practicum; and Computer Graphics Professional Practices I and II. Students will complete a professional portfolio across several courses.  

CGT BS graduates are prepared to pursue roles such as Game Design Scripter, Animator, Technical Artist, and Cinematic Lead. Potential employers include Electronic Arts (EA), Riot Games, Zynga, and Volition. 

The CGT MS at Purdue University’s Purdue Polytechnic has nearly 100 students enrolled. The program provides four primary focus areas including Games, Animation, Information Visualization, and UX Design. Graduate students may also customize a plan of study to meet their professional goals. Some students elect to incorporate elements of computational art and computer graphics in to custom plans. 

Other CGT MS features include small class sizes; research opportunities; and the chance to work on real-world projects. Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue leadership roles across industries. Program alumni are Game Developers, UX Designers, Technical Directors, and Data Analysts. Potential employers include DreamWorks, Salesforce, Google, and Deloitte.

The Technology PhD Program at Purdue University allows a minimum of 30 credit hours to be taken in a custom specialization from coursework across six schools and departments. Students will also select 27 credit hours from any Purdue college or school other than Purdue Polytechnic. Students interested in games typically select Computer Graphics Technology, which includes Game Studies, Computer Animation, Data Visualization, User Experience (UX) Design, Human-Computer Interaction, and Digital Enterprise Systems. 

All Technology PhD students will complete a dissertation to graduate. Program alumni are prepared to pursue academic, research, and leadership roles across industries. Graduates are Designers, Educators, Artists, Researchers, and Entrepreneurs. 

Purdue University is Indiana’s only land-grant university. Established in 1869, the school has campuses and centers across the state, as well as Purdue University Global and Purdue University Online. The main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana serves approximately 52,210 students, making it the second largest university in the state. Students at this location come from all 50 states and nearly 130 countries. The school provides more than 400 programs across 13 colleges and schools.

Approximately 11% of all students at Purdue University in West Lafayette attend Purdue Polytechnic Institute, which provides 30 BS programs and more than 20 graduate degrees. Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

4. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University (OSU) has several paths to study game design. In the College of Engineering, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, options include a BS, MS, and PhD in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). Students can also earn a BS in Computer and Information Science (BS CIS). Although the CIS program is listed in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the College of Arts and Sciences awards the degree. 

Students in the BS and MS programs may add the Computer Graphics and Game Design (CGGD) specialization, housed in the College of Engineering. Course examples for the CGDD include Computer Game and Animation Techniques; Virtual Reality; Advanced Computer Graphics; Geometric Modeling; Real-Time Rendering; and Project: Design, Development, and Documentation of Interactive Systems. Many of these courses are offered as electives for the PhD program. 

The culminating experience for the CGGD specialization is the Capstone in Game Design and Development or Computer Animation, student’s choice. PhD students may also select either Capstone as an elective. 

The Department of Art in the OSU College of Arts and Sciences has several additional options to study game design. Students can earn a BA in Art, a BFA in Studio Art, or an MFA in Studio Art with Thesis and Non-Thesis tracks. Across programs, students may select the emphasis in Art & Technology, which explores areas such as art games, 3D modeling and animation, digital imaging, moving images, sound, interactive installations, and emerging forms. 

Also housed in the College of Arts and Sciences is the Department of Design, which has a fully-funded, three-year MFA program with tracks in Digital Animation and Interactive Media (DAIM); Design Research and Development (DRD); and Art and Technology. The DAIM Track requires 12 studio elective credits and six credits of interdisciplinary electives, allowing for plenty of opportunities to focus in games. 

The DRD track is a collaborative, interdisciplinary program that encourages study across departments, research areas, and themes. Open electives provide many opportunities to explore games. 

Art and Technology is an interdisciplinary area that explores experimentation and new forms. Course examples include Special Topics in Art Games; Sound and Image: Aspects of Art and Technology; 3D Modeling; New Media Robotics; Computer Animation; and Digital Imaging. 

Across all options, possible elective options include Game Design I-II; Games Virtual Modeling; Computational Thinking in Context: Game Development or Image; Video Game Music; Philosophy and Videogames; Esports and Game Studies; Artificial Intelligence (AI); Computer Game Art and Design; Animation; Video Games and Society; Screenwriting, Art, and Technology; and Computer Vision for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The culminating experience for the MFA program is the Thesis Project. 

The College of Arts and Sciences has one non-degree option for students interested in games—the  Game Studies minor. Consisting of 15 credit hours, the program is interdisciplinary, with the option to concentrate the minor by taking courses from one of four focus areas. All students will take Introduction to Video Games Analysis; Video Games and the Individual; and Introduction to Game Design. 

Focus areas with course selections include Create/Engagement (Intermediate Game Design II and II, and Aspects of Art and Technology—in relation to videogame creation); Technical Coding (Computer Game and Animation Techniques, and Capstone Design: Game Design and Development); Critique/Interpretation (Music of Video Games, Philosophy and Videogames, Special Topics in Film (focused on games), and The U.S. Experience: Writing About Videogames); and Social Analysis (Human-Computer Interaction, Social Implications of Communication Technology, and Computer Interface and Human Identity). 

Graduates of the games-related programs at The Ohio State University are prepared to pursue careers in fields such as entertainment, technology, art, and engineering. Potential job titles include Game Designer, CG Specialist, Software Programmer, Virtual Reality Designer, Motion Graphic Designer, Interaction Designer, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Designer, Design Strategist, and User Interface/User Experience Designer (UI/UX). 

The Ohio State University was established in 1870 as Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The school serves close to 67,800 students across six regional campuses including Columbus (main), Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and OSU’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. More than 200 majors, minors, and specializations are offered in 18 colleges and schools. The Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5. Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana
Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington (IU Bloomington) provides several paths to study game design. Programs are housed in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Established in 2000 as the School of Informatics, the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering was the first school of its kind. Within the school is the Department of Computer Science (est. 1971), which serves 950 students enrolled in 11 programs at all degree levels. 

Students seeking an undergraduate degree in games can earn a BS in Computer Science (CSCIBS) with a Game Development specialization. The school also houses a unique minor in Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI), which includes courses such as Game Development; Game Programming; and Game Art and Sound. A flexible Computer Science BA is also conferred granted through IU Bloomington’s College of Arts and Sciences. 

Also housed in the College of Arts and Sciences is The Media School. This multidisciplinary division attracts students seeking careers in game programming, animation, graphic design for multimedia, sound production, and music composition. Specific program options for game designers include the Game Design BS and Minor; the Media BA; and a New Media and Interactive Storytelling certificate. 

Students in all Media School programs have the opportunity to select elective courses from the Luddy School; Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design; and Jacobs School of Music. Media BA students may pursue a concentration such as Media Technologies, Games and Culture; Interactive and Digital Media; or Media Science. Students may also pursue a Media specialization such as Game Art, Game Production, or Game Audio. Concentrations consist of five courses. Specializations require at least three courses. 

Course examples across concentrations include Game Experience Design; Animation for Digital Media; Story Lab; Game Art and Sound; Narrative Design; Game Technology; Game Production; Games, Culture, and Society; Digital Media; and Media Technologies and Culture. 

Course examples across specializations include The Videogame Industry: Systems and Management; Game Experience Design; Sound for Games and Playable Media; Game Art and Sound; Introduction to Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and Computer Music; Game Character Art; Game Analytics; Game Production; and Game Environment Art. 

Game Design BS students at Indiana University Bloomington have the option to select courses from focal areas to create a specialization. Areas include Design: Games and Mind; Art; Design: Game Design Theory; Programming; Sound; and Management, Advertising, and Public Relations. The program begins with a mix of seminars and hands-on production classes. 

Upper division Game Design students will work their way through a three-semester, three-course Game Workshop Sequence. Courses include Game Workshop I: Prototype; Game Workshop II: Demo; and Game Workshop III: Publish. Modeled after game studios, the sequence culminates with an industry-ready published game. 

Students in all IU Bloomington Computer Science, Game Design, and Media Programs have access to GameDev@IU. This student-run organization provides hands-on experience for student game designers. Features include workshops; the opportunity to collaborate on game design projects; and participation in game jams. Game design students can also gain valuable hands-on experience through the Indiana University Bloomington Internship Program. Students have interned everywhere from Google to General Motors. 

Graduates of the Computer Science, Game Design, and Media programs at Indiana University Bloomington are prepared to pursue titles such as Game Designer, Animator, Game Artist, World Designer, Game Developer, Creative Director, Game Programmer, and Software Developer. Potential employer’s include Electronic Arts (EA), Blizzard Entertainment, Ubisoft, and Zynga. 

Established in 1820, Indiana University Bloomington was one of the first public universities west of the Allegheny Mountains and one of the first universities to admit women. The flagship campus of Indiana University’s seven campuses, IU Bloomington serves approximately 44,675 of the systems approximately 84,450 students. Indiana University Bloomington is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

6. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Miami University

The College of Creative Arts at Miami University (Miami U) is home to the Department of Emerging Technology in Business + Design (ETBD). Within the department is a Games + Simulation program with BS and minor options. The Games + Simulation BS has concentrations in Game Art, Game Studies, and Game Development. Students in all concentrations will complete a total of 124 credit hours including 76 in the Games + Simulation major. Concentration areas are 21 credit hours, with a specific set of required client-based, collaborative courses for each. The Games + Simulation program culminates with the 12 credit-hour Capstone Studio, consisting of Game Pipeline and Production (three credits); Game Pre-production (three credits); and Game Production (six credit hours). Upon completion of the Capstone, students will have an industry-ready game. 

The cross-disciplinary Games + Simulation minor consists of 19 total credit hours, with collaborative courses between ETBD and the Art and Computer Science Departments. Electives within the program allow students to create a specialty area such as Game Development, Writing for Games, or 3D Art and animation.   

Other ETBD features include access to more than 50 games courses; semester-long preprofessional experiences at locations across the U.S. and Europe; an honors program consisting of special course selections and the opportunity to work with the same cohort for four years; and access to state-of-the-art production facilities and labs. 

The Miami U ETBD Department has an additional option that is ideal for game designers seeing careers that combine game design, the game design business, and games marketing. The BA in Emerging Technology in Business and Design (ET BA) is a highly competitive program that features four foundational pillars: Design, Technology, Collaboration & Making, and Business. All students will study coding; design and design thinking; product management; artificial intelligence (AI); marketing; augmented reality (AR); The Internet of Things (IoT); communication; and entrepreneurship. 

Course examples for the program include Game Design; Principles and Practices of Managing Interactive Projects; Game Programming; Interactive Business Communication; Social Media Marketing; Online Community Management; Game Studies; Interaction Design and Development; Art and Digital Tools; and Mobile Application Development. ET BA students may also add the Games + Simulation minor. 

To gain valuable work experience in the industry, all ETBD students will complete an internship at a local or national studio. Students have access to more than 20 local game studios. Examples include Max Gaming Technologies, MouseMouse Media, Inc., SGM Games, Ganbaru Games, Funky Visions, Green Door Games, Multivarious Games, Aertherbyte Studios, Wraith Games, and Few Remain. 

Graduates of the Game Design programs at Miami University have continued on to graduate school or careers in Game Design and Development, Writing for Games, Game Art, AR/VR, 3D Modeling, UI/UX, and Multimedia Design, and many others. 

Founded on February 2, 1809, Miami University is one of the oldest public universities in the U.S. Also an original Public Ivy, the school serves approximately 18,900 students across campuses in Oxford (main), Hamilton, Middletown and West Chester, Ohio. The school has an overseas location—the John E. Dolibois European campus in Differdange, Luxembourg (Western Europe)—that welcomes 220 students each year. 

Miami University Ohio provides 200 majors and minors in more than 120 areas of study, and 70+ master’s and doctoral degree programs. Miami U’s regional campuses also provide a variety of associate degree programs. All other programs are housed across seven academic colleges and schools. Miami University Ohio is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

7. University of Wisconsin–Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin–Stout

University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) has programs for game designers in the school’s College of Arts, Communication, and Social Sciences (CACHSS), and the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and Management (CSTEMM). 

The CACHSS houses the School of Art and Design, which serves more than 1,000 students served by 60 faculty members. The largest school of its kind in the entire upper Midwest, CACHSS Art and Design is home to the Design Department, which has a Game Design and Development (GDD) BFA and a cross-disciplinary Design MFA. 

The GDD BFA is the first and only Game Design BFA in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. The program is also accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Students in the GDD BFA benefit from collaborative studios and hands-on experience gained at UW-Stout labs, studios, and other facilities. Students also gain field experience through internships in San Francisco and LA internships; industry projects with the Jim Henson Company and National Park Service; and faculty-led study abroad courses in San Francisco and LA. 

The culminating experience for the GDD BFA is the Game Design and Development Capstone and final portfolio presentation at the Stout Game Expo (SGX). 

Graduates of the Game Design and Development program at University of Wisconsin-Stout are Game Designers, 3D Artists, Animators, and Modelers. They have been hired at local studios and firms such as Big John Games, Finn Daniels Architects, and Pixel Spill Games. 

The Design MFA in the School of Art and Design is a flexible program that allows students to create their own focus area. Examples include Game Design, Video, Interactive Media & UX, Animation and Digital Media, Digital Cinema, and Photography. Graduates of the UW-Stout Design MFA program have been hired at companies and studios such as Apple, DreamWorks Animation, World Architects, and Shutterfly.   

The College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and Management at University of Wisconsin-Stout serves 2,700 students led by more than 200 faculty. The college also houses the Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Department, home to the Computer Science BS with a Game Design and Development concentration. This is the world’s first and only game design and development program accredited under the Computer Science curriculum by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. 

The CS BS features of a full computer science major, a mathematics minor, and the concentration. With a 100% job placement rate, the CS program highlights a co-op industry experience as part of the curriculum. Co-op students earn an average of $16/hour. Other program highlights participation in game competitions, exhibitions, film festivals, and game conferences; graduate research; and the opportunity to publish in peer-reviewed papers. 

A 21-credit hour CS minor that explores game design, algorithms, programming languages, systems architecture, and web programming is also available. The minor provides opportunities to participate in the co-op program as well as field experiences and independent study. 

Graduates of the UW Stout Computer Science program enjoy a 100% job placement rate. Program alumni are Game Programmers, Game Software Engineers, Mobile Software Engineers, and Software Developers, among others. They work at companies and studios such as Boeing, Big John Games (developer for Nintendo), Lockheed Martin, HB studios (develops console games for Electronic Arts), Concrete Software (mobile games), and Degica Japan (publisher of RPG Maker). 

University of Wisconsin – Stout (UW-Stout) was established in 1891 as The Stout Manual Training School. Today, the school one of just 125 polytechnic universities in the U.S. and the only one in the State Wisconsin. Serving approximately 6,940 students, University of Wisconsin-Stout provides more than 145 programs, many of which are unique to UW-Stout or are not offered anywhere else in the Midwest. Programs are organized across two colleges, five schools, and a graduate school. 

University of Wisconsin – Stout is accredited the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Graphic Design and Interactive Media program is accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

8. Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Columbia College Chicago

The School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago (Columbia College or CCC) is home to the Interactive Arts & Media (IAM) Department. Recognized for its work with Epic Game’s Unreal Engine, the department is now a member the Unreal Academic Partner Program. The partnership provides access to a library of asset management tools, and training opportunities with the engine and its technologies, including Twinmotion and MetaHuman Creator. 

The IAM Department at Columbia College also provides cross-disciplinary training in game development, animation, programming, visual effects, virtual reality (VR), user experience design, and app development. Students in all programs have opportunities to work with traditional and emerging technologies to create games, animations, and immersive experiences—beginning on the first day of class. 

All CCC IAM students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment such as The Game Lab; The Equipment Cave (assets: game consoles, equipment, digital cameras, and more); The Motion Capture Studio; The Open Lab; The Sound Studio; and Animation Production Spaces. 

Specific IAM Programs for game designers include BA degrees in Game Art and Game Design with concentrations in Game Development and Game Sound Design; BA and BS degrees in Programming with concentrations in Game Programming and Application Programming; and minors in Game Art and Game Design. Both minors are ideal complements to the Animation, Filmmaking, Illustration, and Creative Writing majors.                                           

Across degree programs, students will complete courses such as Game Programming I and II; Simulation and Serious Games; Story Development for Interactive Media; Game Level Production; Game Audio Studio; Advanced Game Scripting and Environments; Game Culture; Sound Design for Games I and II; Studio Collaboration; and Sound and Music for Interactive Games. 

Students will also complete the Games Studio Capstone, which provides opportunities to develop a game following the gaming industry production model. Across two semesters, students will work in groups in an Indie Game Studio (small) or Large Team Game Studio to produce games. 

Final games are eligible to be presented at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, California; Industry Night at Columbia College Chicago; South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas; and the Chicago Toy and Game Fair.  

Graduates of the IAM programs at Columbia College Chicago are Serious Game Designers, Sound Effects Designers, Animators, Technical Artists, Simulation Designers, Game Designers, Game Programmers and Coders, Environmental Artists, and Quality Assurance Testers. Program alumni have been hired at major companies and studios such as Pixar, Sony, Bungie, Weta Digital, Iron Galaxy, Jellyvision, High Voltage Software, NetherRealm Studios, Incredible Technologies, Inc., John Deere, and Walmart.

Columbia College Chicago was established in 1890 as the Columbia School of Oratory. The school serves nearly 6,700 students enrolled in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In addition to programs in creative areas such as communication and writing, media and digital, and music and sound, Columbia provides several business management programs. Columbia College Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

9. Indiana University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
Indiana University Indianapolis

The School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) at Indiana University Indianapolis (IU Indianapolis) provides several paths to study games. Programs include the Media Arts and Science (MAS) BS, and minors in Game Design and Development, and 3D Graphics and Animation. 

The MAS BS is a customizable program that provides the opportunity to specialize in Game Design and Development, 3D Graphics and Animation, Digital Storytelling, Web Design and Development, or Video Production and Sound Design. The curriculum for the program includes courses that explore emerging technology in games and visual effects (VFX). The Game Design and Development specialization builds on this and explores character animation, programming, storytelling, and of course, game design and development. 

Course examples include Advanced Game Design and Development; Game On! A History of Video Games; Game Design Psychology: Theory and Prototyping; Game Testing and Evaluation; and Introduction to Gameplay Scripting. Recommended courses outside of GDD specialization requirements include Game Production; Creature and Character Design for Videogames, Comics, Film, and Animation; and Virtual World Design and Development. 

Graduates of the MAS BS program at Indiana University Indianapolis have been recruited by major studios and companies around the world. Examples include Moving Picture Company (MPC), Sony Pictures Imageworks, Pixar, Blizzard Entertainment, Digital Domain, Google-owned Owlchemy Labs, Treyarch (owned by Activision), and HTC Corporation. 

In the Game Design and Development minor at IU Indianapolis, students will learn to create 2D and 3D games using Unity and Unreal 4. The 3D Graphics and Animation minor prepares students for careers in game design and development and 3D simulation through coursework in rendering, animation, and computer graphics (CG). Students in both programs will complete 15-16 credit hours of study. 

Upon completion of the IU Indianapolis Game Design and Development minor, students are prepared to pursue positions such as Video Game Designer, Level Designer, Unity 3D Game Developer, Creative Director, Unreal 4 Game Developer, World Designer, and Sound Designer for Games. 3D Graphics and Animation graduates are prepared to pursue positions such as Motion Graphics Artist, Creative Director, 2D/3D Design Artist, Medical Animator, and 3D Animator. 

Indiana University Indianapolis will officially begin as IU Indianapolis on July 1, 2024, ending its 52-year partnership as IUPUI. The school currently serves 27,960 students enrolled in more than 550 academic programs across 17 degree-granting schools. Indiana University Indianapolis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

10. Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois
Bradley University

Bradley University is home to Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, which houses the Interactive Media Department. Within the department is a production-focused Game Design program with degree options at all levels. For undergraduates, the program has BA/BS degrees in Game Design and Game Art. An 18-21credit hour Game Design minor is open to all students in the Department of Interactive Media and the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems. 

At the graduate level, students can earn a Game Design and Development MS. This program consists of 30 credit hours without a concentration, and 31 credit hours with a Game Programming concentration. Program features include an environment that simulates a real industry production studio; the opportunity to form a corporation inside the Bradley University Interactive Media Department, where they will spend a year developing games; and regular feedback from working AAA game development professionals. 

Students in the Game Design and Development (no concentration) option will take 30 credit hours of required courses. This includes Game Prototyping (six credit hours); Game Production (12); Game Seminar (six); Game Practicum (two); and Game Post-Production (four). Students in the Game Programming concentration will take Game Engine Programming; Game Prototyping; Game Production; Game Post-Production; and Fundamentals of Software Engineering OR Computer Systems Analysis, Design and Integration. 

Elective examples for the concentration include Advanced Mobile Programming; Algorithms; Directed Individual Studies in Computer Information Systems; and Computer Game Capstone Project.

All MS students will have the option to sell their final game to a major manufacturer and produce a professional portfolio of their best work. 

The Game Design BA/BS programs at Bradley University emphasize mentoring by faculty who have worked on game series such as League of Legends (produced by Riot Games), Red Faction (developed by Volition), and Far Cry (published by Ubisoft). BA/BS students also benefit from hands-on learning with industry software; participation in game jams; opportunities to show their work at the annual FUSE exhibit; and professional internships at major design companies. 

The Game Design BA/BS programs begin with the development of storytelling skills. Students will advance to computer science as it relates to games. During each semester, the program allows students to create videogames, tabletop games, and more. The major requires 53 credit hours. Course examples include Game Design I-II; Introduction to Game Scripting;  Critical Game Studies; Appreciating Comics; Introduction to Game Development; Game Production I-II; Survey of Games; History of Animation; Film Theory & Criticism; Fundamentals of Interactive Design; and Practicum. 

The Game Design BA/BS culminates with three courses totaling 12 credit hours: Prototyping for Capstone; Game Capstone Project I; and Game Capstone Project II. Graduates will leave the program with a publishable game and professional portfolio. 

The Game Art BA/BS programs at Bradley University explore character art, animation, asset creation, concept art, and environment art. Students in this program benefit from hands-on learning with industry-standard software; participation in game jams and other competitions; the opportunity to work in game art of real-time visualization with a major company; and the chance to show digital artwork to the public at the annual FUSE exhibit. 

The Game Art major requires 53 credit hours. Course examples include Character Art; 2D for Game Art; Drawing 1 and 2; Game Art Fundamentals; Introduction to Animation; Game Production I-II; Environment Art; Game Art Development; Critical Game Studies; and Practicum. 

The Game Art BA/BS programs culminate with the Game Capstone Project completed across two courses totaling nine credits.

Graduates of the Game Design programs at Bradley University are prepared for careers across industries such as games for entertainment, serious games, film and television, aerospace and aeronautics, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), science and medicine, user interface and user experience (UI/UX), advertising, human-computer interaction (HCI), museums, architecture, training simulations, artificial intelligence (AI), healthcare, and education. 

Program alumni have been hired at places such as Blizzard Entertainment, NetherRealm Studios, Oculus VR, and Warner Bros. Games. 

Bradley University was founded by Lydia Moss Bradley in 1897. The school serves approximately 5,900 students from the U.S. and 43 other countries. More than 130 programs are provided across eight colleges and schools. Bradley University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

11. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Western Reserve University

The School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU or Case) houses to the Department of Computer and Data Science (CDS), home to the Computer Gaming minor. This option is open to all degree-seeking students. The most common degrees for the minor include the BA, BS, BA/MS, BS/MS and PhD in Computer Science (CS). 

The Case School of Engineering CS program was established in 1987. Required courses  for the BA are part of the CDS department. However, the College of Arts and Sciences at Case awards the CS BA.

The Computer Gaming minor explores game design and Unity 3D game engine development. Course examples across the minor and CS programs include Introduction to Video Game Design; Advanced Algorithms; Modeling and Simulation; Computer Game Design and Implementation; Play Anything: Theorizing Videogames; Computer Vision; Machine learning; Programming, Human Cognition in Evolution and Development; and Advanced Game Development Project. 

The Game Department at Cleveland Institute of Art co-teaches advanced courses for the Computer Game minor. Students from both schools will work in teams to develop and publish an original game. 

All Computer Gaming students at Case have access the Kevin Kranzusch Gaming, Simulation, and Visualization Lab, which houses 20 Alienware PCs with Nvidia 1080GTX GPUs; conference and iOS and Android mobile App development rooms; and an Oculus Rift and HoloLens development room. The Visualization Lab is also a gathering place for the Case Esports Club. 

Graduates of the Computer Science and Computer Gaming minor programs at Case Western Reserve University are prepared to pursue roles across the games, technology, and other related industries. Program alumni have been recruited by major companies and studios such as Epic Games, Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. 

Established in 1826, Case Western Reserve University is an independent research university that holds membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU). The school serves approximately 12,265 students from all 50 states and 96 countries. Case provides more than 95  undergraduate degree programs, 135 graduate and professional options, and nearly 140 dual-degree programs across nine colleges and schools. Case Western Reserve University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

12. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Institute of Art

Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) is home to a Game Design BFA program that combines coursework and immersive studios with opportunities to work on real-world projects with partners such as NASA and 360 Alley. Housed in the CIA Game Design Department, the BFA program is also collaborative, so students will have opportunities to work in teams to complete console games, mobile apps, and AR/VR content--from idea to implementation to finished product. Team members may come from the CIA Game Design Department or Computer Gaming at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). 

Students in the Game Design BFA program will explore areas such as animation, 3D modeling, interactive storytelling, programming, visual design, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), audio and, of course, game production. All students will master game engines such as Unreal and Unity through coursework and projects. Course examples for the program include Game Media Production I-IV; Game Testing + Level Design; Serious Game Design: Theory + Applications; Special VFX/Simulation + Virtual Reality; 3D Texture, Mapping, and Digital Lighting; Sound Design Fundamentals; and Advanced Digital Sculpting & Modeling. 

The BFA program dedicates two three-credit courses to the Game Design BFA Thesis + Exhibition. This solo project will represent the student’s best work at the CIA Game Design Show. Instead of the Engaged Practice component of the program, which provides the opportunity to work with CIA partners, students may complete an internship with a game production studio, animation studio, or other company. 

Several courses help students prepare for careers in the games industry or to launch their own studios or freelance businesses. Examples include Professional Practices: Industry; Professional Practices: Studio to Gallery; and Professional Practices: Entrepreneurial Ventures. 

Graduates of Game Design BFA program at Cleveland Institute of Art Game are prepared to pursue positions such as Game Designer, Visual Effects (VFX) Developer, Game Programmer, 

Animator; Senior Game Developer; Storyboard Artist; Game Art Lead; Modeler; Art Director; Game Production Lead, Layout Artist, and Virtual Reality (VR) Designer.  

Cleveland Institute of Art was chartered as the Western Reserve School of Design for Women in 1882. This independent, not-for-profit college employs 50 full-time and 60 adjunct faculty, who are all professional artists and designers. These active members of the creative community serve 600 students across 13 majors. Cleveland Institute of Art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

13. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
Kent State University

Kent State University (Kent State or KSU) houses the College of Arts and Sciences-Department of Computer Science (CS), and the College of Applied and Technical Studies (CATS). Both provide paths to study game design. The CS Department has a Computer Science BS with a concentration in Game Programming designed for students seeking a computer science-based, game design program. 

The concentration requires 19 credit hours, with four required courses and two upper-division elective courses. Required courses include Introduction to Game Programming; Game Engine Concepts; Computer Graphics; and Game Development Practicum. Examples of upper division electives include Human-Robot Interaction; Internet of Things; Human Computer Interaction (HCI); Artificial Intelligence (AI); Software Engineering; Computer Science: Programming Patterns; and Design and Analysis of Algorithms. 

The culminating experience for the KSU CS BS/Game Programming program is the Computer Science Capstone. Graduates of the Kent State University Computer Science BS program with are prepared to pursue careers in areas such as game programming, software development, game development, game design and production, software engineering, and serious game design. 

The College of Applied and Technical Studies at Kent State provides more than 35 undergraduate programs, seven minors, and nearly 20 certificate programs. Among these programs are an Animation Game Design BS (AGD BS), and minors in Game Design and Game Programming. The Game Design minor requires a minimum 21 credits, and the Game Programming minor requires no less than 20 credits.

Course examples for the Game Design minor include Environmental Game Design; Modeling and Texturing I-II; Competitive Gaming; Multimedia and Game Design; and Games for Education. Game Programming students will take courses such as Game Engine Concepts; Computer Science I: Programming and Problem Solving; Computer Graphics; Introduction to Game Programming; Game Development Practicum; Competitive Gaming; and Esport Management.  

The Animation Game Design BS at Kent State University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The program allows students to concentrate in either Animation or Game Design. The Game Design concentration consists of 18 focused credits. Students will learn to create games for entertainment, education, simulation, and training using industry software and technologies for digital sculpting, 2D graphics, traditional animation, and 3D models. Students will also learn to create digital media works such as cartoons and virtual reality environments. 

In addition to game design courses, AGD BS students may take courses in art, design, and film/video. Specific course examples for the program include Game Prototyping; Character Animation; Environmental Game Design; Interactive Game Design; Multimedia and Game Design; Technical Computing; Two Dimension Graphics; Fundamentals of Mixed Reality; Gaming and Culture; Digital Sculpting; and Solid Modeling. 

AGD BS students have the option to complete the Internship in Animation and Game Design (three credits) or Individual Investigation in Animation and Game Design (three credits). The culminating experience for the program is the Senior Capstone Project or the Technical and Applied Studies Capstone--students choice. 

Graduates of the Animation Game Design BS program at Kent State will enter the job market with a professional portfolio of their best work. Graduates go on to establish careers at top studios, companies, and organizations across the U.S. and abroad. Some program alumni go on to launch their own studios or freelance businesses. 

Kent State University was established in 1910 as a teacher-training school. Today, Kent consists of an eight-campus system that serves approximately 33,000 students from across the U.S. and more than 89 countries. KSU provides more than 300 programs with 280+ majors and minors. Kent State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

14. Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio
Columbus College of Art & Design

Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) has two paths to study game design: the Game Art & Design BFA and an Animation/Game concentration that can be added to any major. CCAD concentrations require nine credit hours of coursework. The BFA consists of 120 credit hours including 60 hours of program requirements, 21 in CORE Studio, and 39 in CORE Liberal Arts. 

All students have access to the Cloyd Family Animation Center's Stop Motion Lab, editing suites, play-testing areas, Mac and PC compute labs outfitted with industry-standard software, sound rooms, and more. All CCAD degree-seeking students may also participate in the internship program, which provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the industry before graduation. 

During the first three years of the CCAD Game Art & Design BFA program, students will take courses such as Game Theory and Design; Programming for Play; Game Art Production 3D; New Realities AR and VR Production; Advanced Drawing Entertainment Design; 3D Animation Models & Surfacing; Digital Sculpture Illustration; Acting for Animators; and SODA Professional Practice. In the senior year of the program, students will have access to courses such as Table Top Prototype Play and Level Design for Games. 

The culminating courses/experiences for the program include: Game Pipeline Capstone, Game Projects Capstone, and the Game Collaboration Practicum. 

Graduates of the Game Design programs at Columbus College of Art & Design can pursue positions with regional employers such as Pixel Park, Game-U, and Multivarious Games. Graduates may also compete for positions at major studios such as Riot Games, BioWare, and Insomniac Games. 

Established in 1879 by five women, Columbus College of Art & Design is one of the nation’s oldest private, nonprofit art and design schools. Serving approximately 1,010 students, CCAD provides 11 BFA programs, 18 Minors, an MFA in Visual Arts, and a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Retail Design. 

Columbus College of Art & Design is accredited by Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). CCAD is also affiliated with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).

15. Ferris State University, Big Rapids & Grand Rapids, Michigan
Ferris State University

Ferris State University (Ferris State) provides multiple paths to study game design across several colleges and schools. The School of Digital Media in the College of Business has a Digital Animation and Game Design (DAGD) BAS and a Digital Media Software Engineering (DMSE) BS. Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) houses a Digital Art and Design BFA. 

The Digital Animation and Game Design BAS explores games, animation, programming, digital effects, and emerging technologies. Students in this program may specialize in Game Development or 3D Animation. Course examples include Game Programming 1-2; Multiplayer Game Program; Interaction Design; Digital FX; Multimedia 1-2; Animation Techniques; Level Design; and Special Topics in DAGD. All students will complete a professional internship, project, and portfolio to graduate. 

The Digital Media Software Engineering BS at Ferris State University requires 125-126 credit hours of study. Twelve hours are dedicated to Application Domain Electives provided in four-course sequences. The Game Design and Development sequence consists of Game Programming 1-2; 3D Modeling and Animation OR Introduction to Game Design and Development; and Level Design. The DMSE BS also consists of coursework in engineering fundamentals, mathematics, business and management, and professional development. 

During the final year of the program, Ferris DMSE BS students will complete the mandatory Software Development Industry Certification, Capstone in Software Engineering, and Software Engineering Applied Internship. These required courses are part of the professional development component of the program. 

The KCAD Digital Art and Design BFA is a flexible 120 credit hour degree program that allows students to specialize in a number of areas. This allows students to develop portfolios in media markets such as 3D Game Art; Visual Development; Interaction Design; 2D Animation or Motion Design. 

All students will complete supportive studio courses (24 credit hours); major studio courses (42 credit hours); art history (12 credit hours); and general education (30 credit hours). Students will complete the remaining credits in one of three pathways including Narrative Studies, Cultural Studies, or Philosophical Studies. 

Course examples for the Digital Art and Design BFA include Digital Imaging; Digital Character Drawing; Animation Processes; Concept and Production Art; 2D Character Design; 3D Motion Design; Storyboard Art; 3D Game Art I-II; Interaction Design; Professional Studio I-II; 2D Character Animation; and Video. The program culminates with a professional portfolio of the students best work in their focus area. 

Graduates of the games-related programs at Ferris State University may pursue careers in many traditional and growing industries. Examples include Video Game Development, Medical Applications, Software Product Design, 2D and 3D Animation, Advertising Design, User Experience Design, Aerospace, Mobile Application Development, Sound Design, Educational Application Developer, Storyboard Art, Motion Design, 3D Game Art, Visual Development for Games and Animation, and Background Design. 

Ferris State alumni work at companies such as Epic Games, Disney Television Animation, R/GA, YouTube, and Idol Minds Game Development. 

Ferris State University was established in 1884. Located in Big Rapids, Michigan, the school serves more than 10,000 students enrolled in more than 190 programs across seven degree-granting colleges. Ferris State university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

Founded in 1928, Kendall College of Art and Design is one of the seven colleges within Ferris State University. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, KCAD serves 565 students enrolled in dozens of specialized undergraduate degree programs and several graduate and certificate programs. As part of Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design is accredited by the HLC. KCAD is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

16. University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

The College of Arts and Communication at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UW-Whitewater) houses the Department of Art and Design. Within the department is the Media Arts and Game Development (MAGD) program with BA and minor options. 

The MAGD minor at UW-Whitewater can be added to other programs such as Computer Science, Film Studies, Electronic Media, or Graphic Design. The BA has three emphasis areas including Gaming Technology, Communication/Gaming, and Media Arts. The Gaming Technology emphasis within the BA program explores programming and software development as it relates to game design and development. 

Communication/Gaming explores games,  emerging technology roles in society, audio and video, and writing for digital media. Students in the Media Arts emphasis will learn to create digital content for computer games, special effects, motion graphics, animation, and 3D. Across options, students will take core courses and electives such as Introduction to Media Arts and Game Development; Video Games and Learning; Game Studies and Design; Drawing for Digital Media; Game Development; Interactive Communication; Electronic Music and Sound Design; Motion Graphics Studio; Data Structures; and Screenwriting. 

Other MAGD features include access to facilities such as the Motion Capture Studio and a gaming room that hosts the departments weekend-long game jams; participation in student organizations such as GAMED (Game and Media Entertainment Developers), Gaming Group of Whitewater, Anime, and Smash Bros.; and participation in regional game design expos and competitions such as M-Dev, and the MAGD Expo held annually at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

In the past, the Expo has welcomed leaders in the industry who have developed games such as Assassin’s Creed, Baby Driver, God of War, Transformers, and Madden NFL. 

All MAGD students will participate in two team-based projects (The Senior Capstone), and complete a professional internship, which provides the opportunity to gain work experience in the UW-Whitewater Digital Media Lab or off campus at a game studio, animation studio, film and video production company, or media production firm. 

Students may also participate in an optional study abroad experience at HAN University in Holland. During the experience, students will collaborate with HAN students on a team game project  from the UW-Whitewater campus, then travel to Holland during the spring semester to complete the game with them. 

Graduates of the MAGD program at University of Wisconsin – Whitewater are prepared to pursue positions in areas such as game design and development, animation production, 3D art, interface design, usability engineering, motion graphics, multimedia production, and mobile app development. 

MAGD alumni have been hired at companies and studios such as Bethesda Game Studios, Obsidian Entertainment, Filament Games, Image 360, PerBlue, Concurrency, Raven Software, iCombat Equipment, and Bird. Some MAGD graduates go on to enroll in a graduate program such as UW-Whitewater's Computer Science MS program. Others go on to launch their own studios or freelance businesses. 

University of Wisconsin – Whitewater opened in 1968 as Whitewater Normal School. The school serves approximately 11,520 students, making it the third largest campus by enrollment in the University of Wisconsin System. UW - Whitewater is also the system’s second oldest member. University of Wisconsin – Whitewater is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

17. Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Eastern Michigan University

The College of Arts & Sciences at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is home to the School of Art & Design. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the school provides more than a dozen programs, including a STEM-designated BS in Simulation, Animation and Gaming (SAG) and a SAG minor. Course examples for the 21 credit hour minor include Introduction to Game Design; Graphics for Simulation I-II; Environment Design; and Web Publishing Technology. 

With approximately 138 students enrolled, the multidisciplinary SAG BS combines traditional art, story development, and creative writing, with coursework in animation, rigging, lighting, camera work in 3D, and modeling. The program requires  a minimum of 120 credits, with 81 credits in the major. 

Course examples include Introduction to Game Design; Texturing and Mapping; Introduction to Unity I-II; Story Development; Simulation and Animation Dynamics; SAG Movement; Advanced Principles of Animation; Vector Illustration for SAG; Organic Rigging, Introduction to Simulation, Animation and Gaming; and Animation Studio. 

The culminating experience for the BS program is the Senior Projects in SAG course. Students will apply the simulation, animation, and gaming techniques they have learned to complete a team based final project. This three-credit course also covers the necessary skills for career success. Guest speakers and site visitations are also part of the course. 

Graduates of the SAG programs at Eastern Michigan University are prepared to pursue a variety of roles in the industry such as Game Designer, Game Artist, Game Developer, Game Programmer, Special Effects Artist, Character Designer, Game Animator, Concept Artist, Modeler, Graphic Designer, and Storyboard Artist. 

Founded in 1849, Eastern Michigan University is the state’s second oldest public university. The school serves approximately 13,350 students enrolled in around 200 undergraduate majors and 150 graduate programs across five colleges, the Graduate School, and the Honors College. Eastern Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

18. College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan
College for Creative Studies

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) houses the Entertainment Arts (EA) Department, which provides a STEM-designated BFA with a Game Design major. All first-year students, regardless of major, will take courses in the Foundation Department. Areas explored include drawing, color theory, and basic design. 

EA Game Design students will complete a total of 126-127 credits that explore environment design for game, animation, and film; traditional drawing and CGI tools; immersive gameplay; 2D and 3D; augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR); and mobile platforms. All students benefit from sponsored projects with major companies and studios such as Epic Games, GM, and Unity 3D.   

Other program benefits include access to state-of the art labs and equipment such as the Gaming Lab, AR/VR Lab, software and hardware, and editing suites; small class sizes; internship opportunities; and courses taught by industry professionals. Course examples for the program include Advanced Computer Generated Environments;  History of Video Games; Game Projects I-II; Game Ideation; Modeling and Texturing; Digital Techniques; Process and Making; Game Trend; and Game Professional Futures. 

The culminating experience for the EA Game Design program is Game Senior Studio, completed across two courses totaling six credit hours. Graduates are prepared to pursue roles such as Character Artist, Game Designer, VFX Artist, AR/VR Developer, Environment Designer, Technical Artist, and Vehicle Designer. EA Game Design alumni have created game environments for World of Warcraft at Blizzard Entertainment; they have worked on more than 15 Marvel movies; and they designed one third of the six Batmobiles. 

CCS Game Design graduates have also landed positions at Nickelodeon, Epic Games, Disney Animation Studios, Paramount, Disney Television Animation, Pixomondo, Turn 10 Studios, Outloud Media, Wedoo, Certain Affinity, General Motors, Funcom, ustwo Games, and Monomi Park. 

College for Creative Studies was founded in 1906 as the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. This private, nonprofit college serves more than 1,400 students enrolled 12 majors leading to a BFA, four programs leading to an MFA, and one program leading to an MA. College for Creative Studies is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

19. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Ohio University

Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University is home to the J. Warren McClure School of Emerging Communication Technologies. Within the school is a Virtual Reality and Game Development (VRGD) BSC program. Launched in 2022, VRGD replaces the Games and Animation (G&A) program that was part of the Scripps School of Media Arts & Studies. 

Consisting of 120 total credit hours, the VRGD includes a required minor in Business or Communication Studies. The minors are designed to help students develop leadership, problem-solving, and entrepreneurial skills, while the curriculum for the program explores emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), and digital games. 

Required courses for the program include Understanding Virtual Reality Technology; Digital Game Design: Concepts; Digital Tools for Virtual Reality and Game Development; New Media Storytelling; Introduction to VR Productions; and Foundations of Virtual Reality and Game Design. Students will complete additional courses from three VR and Game Development Subgroups, and electives. Examples of Subgroup courses include Game Development I-II; Scripting Projects; Virtual Reality Production: cineVR; Storytelling, Technology and Digital Media in Theme Parks; and  Virtual Reality Production: Interactive. 

Students may select no less than nine credits from electives. These courses allow students to develop additional skills related to games, technology, and animation, among others. Elective examples include Animation I-II; Data Networking; Special Topics in VR and Game Development; Internet Applications and Network Systems; Digital Game Design: World Creation; and Communication and New Technology. 

All Ohio University VRGD students have access to The Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab. Developed by faculty and staff in the School of Media Arts & Studies, GRID is an initiative of Ohio University's Scripps College of Communication that provides the opportunity to develop creative and technical skills in digital game technology. GRID is also a research lab that explores serious and educational games, computer animation, virtual reality, and simulations. 

In addition, the GRID Lab also collaborates with the Virtual Immersive Technologies and Arts for Learning Laboratory (VITAL Lab), CREATE_space, Adena Ventures, and Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service. 

The VRGD BSC program at Ohio University culminates with the Capstone for Emerging Communication Technologies. In this course, students will develop professional quality immersive experiences for their portfolio. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers across the games, animation and film, technology, VR/AR, advertising, and other industries. 

Scripps College of Communications graduates have been hired at major companies and studios such as  Electronic Arts (EA), Activision Blizzard, Walt Disney Imagineering, Ubisoft Corporation, Apple, Unity, Sony, Google, and Bungie. 

Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest college in the state. The school opened with one building, three students, and a professor. Today Ohio University’s more than 1,700 faculty members serve approximately 28,325 students across more than 10 campuses and centers in Ohio, and OHIO Online. Students have access to more than 250 academic programs across 11 colleges, 16 schools, and dozens of departments. Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

20. University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho
University of Idaho

The College of Engineering at University of Idaho (U of I) houses the Polymorphic Games Studio (PGS), which functions like a co-op program or research studio. Made up of students from the departments of Art, Computer Science, Music, business, English, and Biology, the PGS hires undergraduate students for summer positions to assist in game development. Any student interested in games may participate in the Polymorphic Games Studio. 

For students seeking a degree in game design, the College of Art and Architecture has a Virtual Technology & Design (VTD) BS program that covers all aspects of virtual design. For students seeking a shorter program, the college has a Virtual Technologies certificate consisting of 12 credit hours. Course examples for this program include Virtual World Building 1-4 and Lab: Virtual World Building 1-4. 

During the first year of the U of I VTD BS program, students will take courses such as Introduction to Virtual Reality and World Building. In the second year, students will take Virtual Design; Lighting and Materials Modeling; Cross-Reality Technology; and History and Theory of Virtual Reality. 

In the junior year of the VTD program, students will take upper division virtual design course, as well as advanced courses such as Visual Effects, Cross-Reality Technology 2; Advanced Character Design; and Theory and Applications of Virtual Reality. In addition to the PGS, students will also have opportunities to work with clients on real projects, and in campus facilities such as the CAA Technical Design Studio, Virtual Reality Lab, and Student Design Center. 

VTD BS students will spend the final year of the program in the Capstone Studio 1 and 2 courses; the Virtual Universe Senior Seminar course; and as Teaching Assistants under faculty supervision. In the Senior Studio courses, students will research, design, and implement a virtual design product. 

Graduates of the VTD BS program at University of Idaho will leave the program with solid experience in the industry, teaching experience, and a professional portfolio of their final design product and other creations. 

University of Idaho was founded on January 30, 1889. When the school opened in 1892, it welcomed just 40 students. Today, this public, land-grant research institution serves approximately 11,510 students across campuses in Moscow (main), Boise, Coeur d'Alene, and Idaho Falls. Students at U of I have access to more than 200 academic programs across 10 colleges and schools. University of Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).