What are the top ranked game design schools in the South?

Top 20 Game Design Schools and Colleges in the South – 2024 College Rankings
1University of Central FloridaFlorida
2Savannah College of Art and DesignGeorgia
3Full Sail UniversityFlorida
4Georgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgia
5Ringling College of Art and DesignFlorida
6University of FloridaFlorida
7North Carolina State UniversityNorth Carolina
8Clemson UniversitySouth Carolina
9University of North Carolina at CharlotteNorth Carolina
10Louisiana State UniversityLouisiana
11Georgia State UniversityGeorgia
12University of South CarolinaSouth Carolina
13Kennesaw State UniversityGeorgia
14University of Alabama in HuntsvilleAlabama
15East Tennessee State UniversityTennessee
16Eastern Kentucky UniversityKentucky
17The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School Florida
18Loyola University New OrleansLouisiana
19University of Louisiana at LafayetteLouisiana
20William Peace UniversityNorth Carolina

Our 2024 rankings of the top 20 game design schools in the South. We define the South as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
University of Central Florida

Visual and Performing Arts is one of the top five undergraduate disciplines at University of Central Florida (UCF). The Interactive Entertainment MS program is one of the school’s top 15 master’s degrees. Housed in the College of Sciences’ Nicholson School of Communication and Media (NSCM), and part of the Florida Interactive Academy (FIEA), the MS lists two sets of specialization options. The first consists of Art, Production, and Programming. Each requires nine credit hours. 

The second set of listed specializations includes Level Design; Tech Design; Modeling; Animation; Programming, Tech Art; and Project Management. Across specializations, students will explore Unreal Engine, Maya, AI programming, Visual Studio, Unity Game Engine, C#, history of animation, process analysis, digital sculpting in ZBrush, Python, visual effects, animation design, 3D Math, and graphics programming. 

The MS requires 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. The program has a 12-credit hour core consisting of Production for Media; Experimentation, Application, and Innovation in Games; Rapid Prototype Production; and Preproduction and Prototyping. Course examples across specializations include Digital Asset Creation; Production and Design; and Advanced Game Programming. 

All students will complete the Game Design Practicum (internship/full-time job) or Digital Venture Practicum (creating a start-up company). The MS culminates with the Capstone/Interactive Entertainment Project, where students will work in teams of 15-20 to develop their own games and interactive projects—from start to finish. Many FIEA students publish their games through avenues such as Xbox or Steam, resulting in their first published title. 

For undergraduate students, Nicholson School of Communication and Media at UCF also houses a Digital Media BA program with a Game Design track. Students in this program will complete 45 credit hours of games and digital media coursework. Examples include Evolution of Video Games; Contemporary Topics in Digital Media; Casual Game Production; Game Testing; Game Level Design; Game Optimization and Performance; Game Design Tools and Plugins; Digital Cultures and Narrative; Modeling for Realtime Systems I and II; Post-Production Game FX; and Computer as Medium. 

The Digital Media BA/Game Design culminates with the Game Design Capstone completed across two workshops. This team-based project includes the design, production, and testing of games using professional tools and iterative design techniques.

Students in all FIEA and NSCM Programs at University of Central Florida will work, learn, and collaborate in the Communication and Media Building which houses 112,000 square feet of state-of-the-art studio and classroom space. This includes Studio 500—one of the largest soundstages and motion capture studios on the east coast. Study abroad opportunities and career development resources are also available to all students. 

Graduates of the Games and Interactive Entertainment programs at University of Central Florida are prepared to pursue careers in all areas of game design and development, interactivity, visualization, entertainment, and more. 

Across programs, alumni have been hired by more than 300 companies. Examples include Epic Games, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Rockstar Games, Electronic Arts (EA), Gameloft, Blizzard Entertainment, Nintendo, Apple, Walt Disney Imagineering, Zynga, Cartoon Network, Marvel, Sony, Google, Blur Studio, Lockheed Martin, and Unity Technologies.

University of Central Florida opened in 1968 as Florida Technological University. On the first day of classes, the school had less than 2,000 students. Today, UCF serves more than 69,000 students, making it the largest university by enrollment in the state of Florida, and one of the top 10 largest universities in the U.S. The school provides 104 bachelor’s degrees, 97 master’s degrees, and 33 research doctorates, three professional doctorates, and three specialist degree programs across 13 colleges. 

University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
Savannah College of Art and Design

The School of Creative Technology at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has a number of pathways to study game design and development. Undergraduate options include a Digital Media BA with a Game Development track, and an Interactive Design and Game Development (IDGD) BFA. Minors include Concept Design for Animation and Games, Game UX, Visual Effects (VFX), Concept Art for Games, Character Technical Direction, Themed Entertainment Design, and IDGD. Each minor consists of 25 credit hours. 

At the graduate level, students can earn an MA or MFA in IDGD. Programs are provided at the Atlanta and Savannah campuses, and online via SCADnow. 

All School of Creative Technology programs provide opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships with local and national studios. Students also have opportunities to work individually and in teams to complete projects across state-of-the-art customized facilities within the SCAD Digital Media Center (est. 2009) and Mongomery Hall. More than 130,000 square feet of space includes studio classrooms; 800 computers+; stop-motion sets; a green-screen stage; motion-capture technology; and AR/VR labs. 

Housed in the former home of the Atlanta TV Station WXIA, the SCAD Digital Media Center provides an in-house theater, green screen lab, and a real-world studio environment. Savannah College of Art and Design also houses six galleries in Savannah, and two in Atlanta. 

Each quarter, SCAD School of Digital Media invites professionals in the industry to meet with students on campus. During these meetings, students have the opportunity to interview and present their portfolios. Past visitors have been affiliated with studios such as Electronic Arts (EA), Zynga, and Activision Blizzard. 

The Digital Media BA program consists of 45 credit hours in the concentration, 25 in free electives, 20 hours in foundation studies, and 90 in general education for a total of 180 credit hours. Based on their interests, Game Development students have the opportunity to select from nine courses, a 500-level elective, a business-focused elective, the undergraduate internship, and 15 other pre-selected electives. Course examples for the program include Applied Principles: Game Design; Core Principles: Programming; and Applied Principles: Game Art. 

The Interactive Design and Game Development BFA at SCAD requires 180 credit hours. Students may select a concentration from two options: Game Development or Interactive Design and Physical Computing. Game Development course examples include Core Principles: Game Tech; Applied Principles: Game Design; and Core Principles: Game Art. Course examples for the Interactive Design and Physical Computing concentration include Core Principles: Visual Design for Interactive Media; Applied Principles: Interactive Web Design; and Core Principles: Interactive Design. 

The Interactive Design and Game Development MA at SCAD requires 45 credit hours of study. The MFA requires 90. Both programs provide two concentration options: Game Development or Interactive Design. Game Development students will take courses such as Game Tech: Real-Time Materials and Shaders; Game Art: Art Direction and Look Development; Game Art: Virtual World Building; Game Design: Immersive Level Design; and Game Design: Professional Production Pipeline. Students also have the option to take one 700-level course from Animation, Games, VFX or other area. 

Interactive Design students will take courses such as Human-Centered Interactive Design; Physical Computing for Immersive Environments; User Interface Design for Virtual Communities; Human Experience Prototyping; and Innovative Systems for Digital Convergence. Students also have the option to complete a 700-level course in Game Design or other listed area. 

All MFA students will complete Evidence-Based Design Interactivity and Gaming, and three Thesis courses including Thesis Studio I: Research and Ideation; Thesis Studio II: Production and Prototyping; and Thesis Studio III: Validation and Documentation. This is the culminating experience for the program. 

All MA students will complete the Interactive Design and Game Development MA Final Project. This culminating experience consists of the production of an industry-level project from research and conceptualization to implementation. 

Graduates of the Game Design and Development programs at Savannah College of Art and Design are routinely hired by EA, Epic Games, Zynga, Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Gearbox Software, Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Bethesda, Firaxis Games, and Sucker Punch Productions. 

Savannah College of Art and Design has more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design college in the U.S. In 1979, the school opened in the renovated Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory with just one classroom, an administration building, and 71 students. Today, SCAD serves more than 17,500 students across campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCADNow. Programs include 100+ degrees and more than 75 minors and certificates. 

Savannah College of Art and Design is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), and the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB).

3. Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Full Sail University

Full Sail University is home to The Gaming School, which houses classrooms and production studios that function just like most major production studios. The school also houses nine game design programs at all levels. Students seeking a shorter program can earn a 3D Arts undergraduate certificate; a Game Business & Esports undergraduate certificate; or an associate of applied science (AAS) in Game Art. 

Undergraduate degrees include a BS in Game Development; BS in Simulation & Visualization; Interactive Technology BS completion program with a Game Design concentration; BS in Visual Arts completion program with a Game Art concentration; and the Game Business & Esports BS.  

The Simulation & Visualization BS is available on campus only. All other programs can be completed on campus or online. 

At the graduate level, Full Sail University has a Game Design MS that focuses on production, design, and user experience research. Students may craft a track that matches their career goals and chosen area of expertise. Examples include game design, producing, research, and publishing. The MS program can be completed on campus or online. 

In addition to gaining production experience in a real-world studio environment on the Full Sail University campus, all Gaming School students have opportunities to work off campus at local and national studios through the internship program. Courses in The Gaming School are also immersive. Course examples across all programs include Motion Capture; Prototyping and the User Experience;

Game Mechanics; Data Visualization & Modeling Engine Development; Prototyping and Content Creation; Artificial Intelligence (AI); Game Production Tools. 

All students will explore all roles in the production pipeline; test simulation; video game development for computers, networks, and console; animation; game effects; and narrative design. Graduates are prepared to pursue roles across the games industry, film and animation, advertising, media, simulation for training and development, and many other industries. 

Full Sail University’s Career Development Department provides 24/7 access to job opportunities, with workshops and presentations that cover branding, networking, research strategies, and interviewing techniques. The department also coordinates local hiring events and events in other markets such as Los Angeles and New York. 

Full Sail University graduates have worked on many popular games, films, and ad campaigns. Games include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Overwatch 2, Horizon Forbidden West, Apex Legends, Destiny 2, and Fortnite. More than 350 Full Sail graduates were credited on 31 projects nominated in 22 categories at the 2023 Game Awards. 

Thirty-five graduates contributed to nine winning projects in 15 categories including Best Narrative and Best Game Direction for Alan Wake 2; Best Score and Music for Final Fantasy XVI, Best Audio Design, Hi-Fi Rush; Innovation in Accessibility, Forza Motorsport; and Best Ongoing Game and Best Community Support for Cyberpunk 2077

Full Sail University alumni have also been hired by companies and studios such as DreamWorks, Rockstar Games, Blizzard Entertainment, HBO, Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Disney, Universal Studios, Miramax, Nickelodeon, MTV, Bunim Murray, and ESPN. 

Full Sail University opened in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio. Today, the school is located just 35 minutes from downtown Orlando and Universal Studios. Serving approximately 21,000 students, Full Sail provides graduate certificates and degree programs at all levels in the Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Technology. Full Sail University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

4. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) provides a number of pathways to study game design across several colleges and schools. The College of Computing and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts provide a Computational Media BS (BSCM); MS and PhD degrees in Digital Media; a dual BS Computational Media/MS Digital Media; and Computing & Media minor. 

Georgia Tech also has an undergraduate certificate titled Scenarios, Models, and Military Games. This unique 12 credit hour program explores the use of gaming, models, and scenarios in the analysis of national security issues. Course examples include Modeling, Simulation, and Military Gaming; Scenario Writing and Path Gaming; and Technology and Military Organization. 

The BSCM program at Georgia Tech launched in 2004 with just one student. Today, the BSCM serves more than 300 students, making it one of Georgia Tech’s fastest growing programs. To enhance the degree, students have the option to focus in an area such as Media-Games; People-Games; or Intelligence-Games. Across options, course examples include Game AI; Constructing the Moving Image; Game Studio; Experimental Digital art; Video Game Design and Programming; Game Design as a Cultural Practice; Computer Animation; Science, Technology, and Performance; Principles and Applications of Computer Audio; Interactive Narrative; Digital Video Special Effects; and Graphic and Visual Design.   

Georgia Tech’s Computing & Media minor requires 19 credit hours of study, including nine credit hours at the 3000 level or higher. Examples of required courses include Computer Graphics; Objects and Design; and Data Structures and Algorithms for Applications. Elective examples include Video Game Design and Programming; Information Visualization; and Digital Video Special Effects. 

Across all graduate level programs, courses may include Principles of Interactive Design; Special Topics in Game Design; Experimental Media; Interactive Fiction; Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); Pro-Seminar; and Project Studio. Graduate students will also complete an 8 to 10-week, full-time non-credit internship, and a Thesis Project. 

All students have access to the GVU Center Game Studio at Georgia Tech; the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT); and international campuses in the world’s largest games industry—China.

Graduates of the Digital and Computational Media programs at Georgia Institute of Technology go on to successful careers in Game Design and Development, Interactive Design and Game Simulation, Animation, Special Effects, AI and Robotics, Visual Effects (VFX), and 3D Modeling, among others. Some of the top hiring companies for Georgia Tech alumni include Electronic Arts (EA), Amazon, Google Interactive, Microsoft, Cox Communications, NBC Universal, Apple, Boeing, TNT Sports, Ogilvy, and Delta Airlines. 

Georgia Institute of Technology was established in 1885. When it opened, the school had just 129 students enrolled in one degree program—the Mechanical Engineering BS. Today, Georgia Tech serves more than 45,000 students from all 50 states and 149 countries. The school provides 180 degree programs and minors across six distinct colleges, 28 schools, and campuses in Atlanta, at Georgia Tech-Europe in France, Georgia Tech-Shenzhen in China, and distance and online learning. 

Georgia Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

5. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
Ringling College of Art and Design

Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) is the only institution in Florida dedicated exclusively to teaching art and design. For students interested in careers in the game design industry, the school has two options: the Game Art BFA and the Virtual Reality Development BFA. Both programs attract recruiters from major studios such as Blizzard Entertainment, Epic Games, Riot Games, and Bungie. 

The Game Art BFA at RCAD follows the studio model of teaching, which emphasizes learning by doing. Students in this 120-credit hour program will work on projects in teams to develop technical, collaboration, and communication skills. Students will create works in state-of-the-art facilities equipped with the latest software used by AAA and indie studios. Game Art facilities feature Houdini, Unreal Engine, Zbrush, Maya, and Adobe Substance Suite, among others. 

Other program benefits include participation in the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco; industry critiques by successful visiting artists; and access to RCAD’s experiential learning initiative—INDEX. This program provides opportunities to gain hands-on industry experience working on real world projects with real world clients. INDEX activities take place in the classroom, the Design Center, Studio Labs, ART Network, the Maker Space, and through client competitions, immersive experiences, internships, elective courses, and volunteering. 

Of the 120 credit hours required to complete the Game Art BFA, 48 are in the major. Course examples include 2D and 3D Design; Programming for Artists; Visual Development for Games I-II; 3D for Games I-IV; Game Design I-III; Digital Painting for Game Art; and Color and Perspective Drawing. 

The Game Art BFA culminates with the Game Thesis Project completed across four courses including Game Thesis Preproduction; Game Thesis Project 1A; Game Thesis Project 1B; and Game Thesis Project II. The Thesis totals 15 credit hours.

The Virtual Reality Development BFA at Ringling College of Art and Design provides the same access and benefits as the Game Art BFA. This 120-credit hour program focuses on the design, creation, and analyzing of immersive experiences. This includes utilizing game engine technology in the creation of immersive experiences; navigating the production pipeline for 3D VR; utilizing specific software for creating 3D databases; mastering story structures; and innovating VR ideas. 

Students will also develop collaboration and communication skills, as well as advanced knowledge of professional practices. Of the 120 credit hours for the Virtual Reality Development program, 51 credits are dedicated to the major. Course examples include 2D and 3D Design; Concept Development for Virtual Worlds; Immersive Media Design I-IV; 3D Technical Art; Visual Scripting; and Programming for Immersive Media. 

General electives, Art and Design History electives, and open electives allow students to enhance the degree by specializing in an area of interest. Students may select six credit hours of general electives; 12 in Art and Design History; and 12 credit hours of open electives. 

The Virtual Reality Development program at RCAD culminates with the VR Thesis/Capstone, completed across three courses including VR Thesis Preproduction; VR Capstone Project I; and VR Capstone Project II. This culminating experience totals 15 credit hours. 

Graduates of the Game Art and Virtual Reality Development programs at Ringling College of Art and Design are prepared for careers in game art, design, development, and programming; virtual reality design, development, and programming; and user interface/user experience (UI/UX) design; architecture; military and law enforcement; education and training; advertising and marketing; art and design; healthcare and fitness; sports; tourism and travel; wellness; and automotive. 

RCAD Game Art graduates have been hired at major companies and studios such as Electronic Arts (EA), Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games, Microsoft, Riot Games, Hasbro, Epic Games, Netflix, Bethesda, Naughty Dog, and Meta. 

Virtual Reality Development graduates have the opportunity to work at places such as Epic Games, Microsoft, General Motors, Kinetic Vision, 3D Forensic, Meta, Halon Entertainment, Vu Studios, Immersive Health Group, AECOM, Boabab Studios; ILMxLAB; Mote Marine Labs; and Funomena. 

Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, not-for-profit college accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1931 by Dr. Ludd M. Spivey (then president of Southern College) and circus baron John Ringling, RCAD serves approximately 1,700 students enrolled in 11 different majors leading to a BFA degree, two majors leading to a BA, and minor options in 10 areas.

6. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
University of Florida

College of the Arts (COTA) at University of Florida (UF) has been in existence since 1925. Within COTA is the Digital Worlds Institute, which houses the Digital Arts & Sciences (DAS) program. As part of UF, the DAS program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). 

Digital Worlds Institute features include the DAS Mentorship Program; access to LUMA at Digital World Studios; guest speakers and lecturers; Portfolio Open House events; participation in the internship program; and several degree options for game designers. These include the DAS BA (BADAS); DAS Masters (MiDAS); and a DAS Minor. The BADAS is available on campus and fully online through UF Online. 

All UF Digital Worlds programs are interdisciplinary and combine arts, engineering, communications, and science. Course examples across pathways include Game Development; Game Content Creation; Creating Mobile Games; Game Design and Production; 3D Animation Techniques; Game Systems Development; Digital Storytelling; and Interaction & Usability. 

The BADAS program requires 120 credit hours of study and successful completion of the culminating DAS project. The UF MiDAS program explores game engines and development; emerging technologies such as AR/VR; software and hardware integration; design and interactivity; and proposals, project management, and production pipelines. The MiDAS program can be completed in an accelerated format in just one year. 

Graduates of the BADAS and MiDAS programs at University of Florida are Game Designers, Level Designers, Game Artists, Character Modelers, Visual Effects (VFX) Artists, Software Engineers, Technical Animators, Digital Storytellers, Motion Graphics Animators, UI/UX Designers, Production Coordinators, Entrepreneurs, and Freelance Designers. Program alumni have been hired at major companies and studios such as DreamWorks and Microsoft. 

University of Florida traces its founding to 1853, when the East Florida Seminary opened as the state’s first state-supported institution of higher learning. Today, University of Florida is a top 10 public, comprehensive, land-grant, research university with professional campuses in Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Orlando, Florida. UF serves 60,795 students enrolled in more than 300 programs across 16 colleges and schools. University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

7. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina State University

The College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (NC State) houses the Department of Computer Science (CSC). Within the department is a Computer Science BS program with a Game Development concentration. The CSC BS program begins with computing, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and humanities. Next, students will dive into coursework that explores programming languages, computer architectures, software engineering, data structures, and teaming and communication, among other areas. 

Once core requirements are complete, students may advance to the Game Development concentration, where they will complete 21 credit hours of games-focused courses and electives. Examples include Game Engine Foundations; Computer Models of Interactive Narrative; Game Studies; Foundations of Interactive Game Design; Computational Visual Narrative; Building Game AI; Special Topics in Film Styles and Genres; and Computer Graphics. 

All CSC BS students must complete the team project in Senior Design. Projects are supported by the Senior Design Center and industrial sponsors, so student teams will gain experience working with industry representatives. 

Students in all NC State CSC programs have access to The Digital Games Research center (DGRc). Launched in May 2007, The DGRc engages in education and research in games and games technologies. In this collaborative environment, students can work on projects with game developers and games studio teams that focus on everything from mobile games to artificial intelligence (AI). Thanks to partnerships and licensing agreements with game studios and engine providers, NC State graduates are often hired by local game companies. 

Other DGRc features include access to the new Games and Visual Narrative Suite; the Visual Narrative Initiative (VNI)— a research cluster established in 2015; and participation in the Games and Visual Narratives Showcase, and the Game Developers Conference.   

Graduates of the CSC Programs at North Carolina State University are prepared to pursue positions at game design studios, technology firms, and entertainment companies.  

North Carolina State University employs 9,000 faculty and staff members that serve more than 36,000 students. This makes NC State the largest university in the University of North Carolina System and one of the largest employers in the state. Established in 1887 as a land-grant institution focusing in agriculture and engineering, NC State provides more than 250 degree programs across 11 colleges, 68 departments, and The Graduate School. North Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

8. Clemson University, Clemson and Charleston, South Carolina
Clemson University

The College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences at Clemson University houses the School of Computing, home to the Division of Visual Computing. Within the Division is the Digital Production Arts (DPA) program. This interdisciplinary program collaborates with the Department of Art and the Department of Performing Art, with a significant focus on advanced studios and visualization as a problem-solving tool. 

Specific DPA options for game designers include the DPA MFA, MS, and 15 credit hour minor. Course examples across degree programs include Game Theory; 2D Game Engine Construction; Algorithms and Techniques; Physical Modeling and Animation; 3D Game Programming; Advanced 3D Modeling; Visual Foundations of Digital Production; Artificial Intelligence (AI); and Audio Practicum. 

The School of Computing also provides several other options that are suitable for game designers. Programs are ABET-accredited and include the Computer Science BA and BS (CS-BS, BA-CS); the Computer Information Systems BS (BS-CIS); and a fast-track Computer Science Bachelor’s/Master’s (BS/MS). 

All undergraduate students will complete a common core which explores programming languages such as Java, C, and C++ and fundamental concepts. Electives allow all students to study games. Course examples include 2D Game Engine Construction; Human and Computer Interaction; Virtual Reality; Eye-Tracking Methodology; Cloud Computing; and Distributed and Cluster Computing.

MS students will select a concentration area from six options. Human Centered Computing, Visual Computing, and Software Engineering are ideal options for game designers. Students may select additional games courses from electives. 

All Computer Science students also have the option to add the DPA minor, which provides access to courses such as Advanced 3D Modeling; Computer Graphics Images; Film; 2D Dimensional Animation; Visual Foundations of Digital Production I and II; and Special Topics in Digital Production Arts. 

Other Computer Science and DPA highlights include four dedicated instructional computer labs with 24/7 access; visits from representatives of major studios such as DreamWorks; access to state-of-the-art production studios and facilities with specialize equipment; high-tech classrooms and collaboration spaces; participation in the SIGGRAPH Conference; and internship opportunities and study abroad experiences in places such as Japan, England, Germany, and Spain. 

In addition, DPA MFA students have the option to study at the main campus in Clemson or the Zucker Family Graduate Education Center (ZFGEC) in Charleston, South Carolina. MFA students may attend traditional face-to-face classes or via real-time streaming to and from the main campus. DPA MFA students are not required to travel between campuses. 

Graduates of the DPA and Computer Science programs at Clemson University are prepared to pursue roles across industries. Alumni are Game Designers, Game Programmers, Technical Directors, Software Engineers, 3D Graphics Programmers, Art Directors, Animators, and AR/VR designers. Examples of companies that have hired Clemson DPA and CS graduates include Electronic Arts (EA), Apple, Google, Microsoft, Blur Studio, IBM, VMware, Sledgehammer Games, Boeing, IBM, CrowdStrike, Facebook, BMW, Delta Air Lines, Michelin, General Electris, and Savannah River National Lab. 

Clemson University was established in 1889 as Clemson Agricultural College. On the first day of classes in 1893, the school welcomed 446 students. Today, Clemson serves approximately 28,465 students enrolled in more than 80 majors, 90+ minors, and over 130 graduate degree programs. Clemson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

9. University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) has several paths to study game design across two colleges including the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) and the College of Arts and Architecture. The CCI houses the Department of Computer Science (CS)—the college’s largest department. Within the department is a Computer Science BS with an AI, Robotics, and Gaming Concentration, a Computer Science MS, and Game Design and Development (GDD) certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Coursework for the certificate programs may be used towards the Computer Science BS or MS programs. 

Course examples across programs include Game Engine Construction; Game Design and Development Studio; Advanced Game Design and Development; Advanced Algorithms; Individual Study in AI, Robotics, and Gaming; Advanced Game Design and Development; AI for Computer Games; Virtual and Augmented Reality; Computer Graphics; Real-Time Rendering Engines; and Game Design and Development Studio. 

The College of Arts and Architecture at UNC Charlotte houses the Department of Art and Art History and the Art BFA with a Digital Media concentration. This program features advanced studio coursework, allowing students to craft a focus from electives such as Game Design and Graphics; 3D Modeling and Animation; Interactive Art and Design; and Advanced 3D Modeling. 

The Art BFA also requires successful completion of the Senior Experience. Consisting of nine credit hours, the Experience includes Senior Seminar; Senior Thesis I: Creative Research; and Senior Thesis II: Advanced Creative Practice. 

Graduates of the Computer Science, Game Design, and Digital Media programs at University of North Carolina at Charlotte are prepared to pursue positions in fields such as games and entertainment, animation, multimedia, computer science, art and design, programming, advertising, software development, advertising, and education. 

University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a public research university and the third largest school in the 16-campus University of North Carolina system. Founded in 1946, the school serves approximately 30,300 students enrolled in more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs across nine colleges. University of North Carolina at Charlotte is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

10. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University (LSU) has several paths to study game design. At the undergraduate level, the school has minors in Digital Media Arts & Engineering (DMART) and Digital Media Arts & Engineering Technology (DMAET). At the graduate level, students can earn a MS in Digital Media Arts & Engineering (MS DMAE). 

Across all programs, students have access to the DMAE LAB 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Examples of available software, hardware, and resources include state-of-the-art Alienware workstations; Adobe, Epic Unreal, and SideFX Houdini; Oculus Rift and Ocular Quest; Audio Recording Studios; Microsoft Visual Studio; Autodesk Maya; and YoYoGames GameMaker. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the LSU Global Game Jam. 

Minors are provided in collaboration with several LSU schools and departments. These include the School of Art; Manship School of Mass Communication; the School of Music; the Department of Computer Science; the English Department; and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Both minor options complement any art, engineering, or computer science program. 

Students in both interdisciplinary, 21 credit hour programs can choose from a variety of electives to support their goals. Examples include Creative Coding; Video Game Design; 3D Modeling; Virtual Space and Motion; Applied Interactive Graphics; Video Game Prototyping; Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); Interactive Computer Graphics; 3D Animation; Digital Arts I-IV; Interface Design and Technology; Scientific Information Visualization; Digital Media Programming; Moving Image; and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

The culminating experience for the LSU DMART and DMAET minors is the capstone. Students will work in interdisciplinary teams to complete a game prototype or digital media application, from idea to finished product. The capstone class totals three credit hours. 

Housed in the Division of Computer Science & Engineering, the MS DMAE is a twelve course, 45 credit hour program that can be completed in 22 months. Students in this program will complete a series of team-based projects using professional tools and pipelines. Industry software tools include Maya, Nuke, Unity, and Houdini. Course examples for the program include Advanced Programming & Digital Art; Rapid Prototyping & Innovation; Interactive Design; and Digital Media Production & Project Management. 

Halfway through the LSU MS DMAE program, students will complete a Digital Media Internship. During the final two semesters, students will work in teams to complete a final project. 

Graduates of the Digital Media Arts & Engineering programs at Louisiana State University are prepared to pursue roles in video game design, video game software engineering, visual effects (VFX), interactive sound design, 3D animation, digital illustration, 3D modeling, and web development, among others.  

Louisiana State University was founded on January 2, 1860 as the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy. The flagship institution of the Louisiana State University System, LSU serves approximately 32,490 students enrolled in more than 330 programs across 18 colleges, schools, and centers, and LSU Online. Louisiana State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

11. Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia State University

The College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University (GSU) is home to the Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII). Within the CMII are several paths to study game design. Options include a Game Design BA, a Game Development BS, and a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) with a Game Design and Development concentration or minor.

Across programs students have access to the world’s most advanced motion capture system. GSU houses one of just nine of these systems, and the fist commercial installation. Other BA, BS, and BIS program benefits include opportunities to collaborate with partners such as the Georgia Film Academy (GFA); participation in Playtest—an immersive weekly, hourlong gathering that explores game concepts, mechanics, and experiences; lectures, seminars, and workshops; and participation in the Innovative Media Club and the Georgia Game Developers Association. In addition, all students have opportunities to study abroad and/or complete an internship at places such as Hi-Rez Studios, KontrolFreek, and Turner Studios. 

The Game Design BA combines the study of art with the development of software platforms for games. The BS explores coding, programming, and software design for students interested in game development or other areas such as app development, animation, and motion graphics. The BIS/Game Design and Development program has two sequences: one designed for students who are interested in game development and the other for individuals interested in coding games. 

Examples of required courses for Game Design BA students include Game Design I and II; Fundamentals of Game Art; 3D Modeling and Graphics; Writing and Previsualization for Games; 3D Animation and Motion graphics; and Introduction to Games Industries. Students in this program may select 18 credit hours from electives such as Visual Effects for Games; Game Engine Pipeline; and Visual Effects for Games. 

Game Development BS students will take courses such as Programming for Games I and II; Principles of Story Design; and Game Development Fundamentals. Students may select courses from fundamentals, game development pipeline specializations, and other formal areas such as VR, AR, and Visual Effects; Advanced Animation; and Entrepreneurship, Production, and Marketing.

The culminating experiences for the Game Design BA and the Game Development BS include Game Design Studio I and II, and Game Studies, for a total of seven credit hours. The Senior Game Design Portfolio course worth three credits is also required. 

Game Design and Development BIS students have a considerable amount of flexibility in coursework. They may select courses from several areas within the minor or concentration, and electives across the BA, BS, and other programs. Examples include Game Development I and II; Designing Story Experiences; Motion Capture Pipeline; Game Design; 3D Animation and Motion Graphics; 2D and 3D Design; Visual Effects for Games; Interactive Computer Graphics; Sound Design; 3D Modeling and Graphics; Digital Cinematography; and Interactive Design. BIS students will complete a final project to graduate. 

Graduates of the Creative Media Industries Institute at Georgia State are prepared to purse positions at more than 110 game development studios with headquarters in Georgia, and others across the U.S. and abroad. Program alumni can work in Game Design and Development, Game Programming, Game Art, Game Writing, Game Animation, Multimedia, Software Design, Concept Art, Applications Development, Quality Assurance, and Level Design, and other fields seeking applicants with game design and development skills. 

Georgia State University was founded in 1913 as the Georgia Institute of Technology's Evening School of Commerce. Today, GSU consists of six campuses, 12 colleges and schools, and 50,000 students from nearly 130 nations and territories. GSU provides more than 250 degree programs across 100 fields of study at the Downtown Atlanta Campus alone. Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

12. University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina (UofSC) provides multiple paths to study games across several colleges, schools, and departments. The College of Arts and Sciences houses the School of Visual Art and Design (SVAD). Within SVAD is a Media Arts BA program and a minor that allows students to complete 18 credit hours or more to reach their goals. Students in the minor can explore specific areas of interest such as video game design, sound production, or screenwriting. 

The College of Engineering and Computing at UofSC is houses the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, home to the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Computer Science (CS) and Computer Engineering. Minor options in Computer Science (CS) and Applied Computing are also available. The departments collection of programs explores the algorithms, techniques, and theories for building software, including sub-specialties such as video games, scientific computing, artificial intelligence (AI), computer forensics, networks, web applications, and enterprise computing. 

All students may complete an internship, co-op, externship, and/or study abroad experience. Degree-seeking students may add the Media Arts minor, select several courses from CS electives, and several from another major to study games. Requirements across CS programs include Software Engineering; Programming Languages Structures; Digital Logic Design; Computer Architecture; and UNIX/Linux Fundamentals. 

To graduate, CS and Computer Engineering students will complete the Capstone Computing Project, and a professional portfolio of their best work. Program alumni work in areas such as game design and development, software engineering, game programming, mobile app development, and UI/UX design. 

The SVAD BA program is multidisciplinary, so it attracts students who are interested in areas such as game design, animation, and filmmaking. Course examples include New Media Advanced: Video Game Design; Moving Image Advanced: Animation; The Art and Business of Manga and Anime; Narrative Production; Hong Kong Action Cinema; Sound Design; Media Writing; Digital Imaging; and Media Management and Distribution. 

SVAD classes are held in an 85,000-square-foot facility known as McMaster College. The facility was designed specifically for learning and production in the visual arts. Other SVAD features include a mandatory School of Visual Art and Design Internship; the creation of a marketable final project; and a final professional portfolio. 

Graduates of the SVAD Media Arts program are prepared to pursue roles across industries such as games for entertainment, animation and film, advertising and marketing, and television production. Program alumni have been hired at companies and studios such as Blizzard Entertainment, Marvel, Nickelodeon, IBM, Netflix, HBO Films, CBS Television, Kodansha USA, and lD Software. 

Established in 1801 as South Carolina College, University of South Carolina is one of the nation’s oldest public universities. Part of the eight-campus University of South Carolina System, UofSC provides more than 350 degree programs to 35,590 students. Programs are organized across 16 colleges and schools. University of South Carolina is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

13. Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
Kennesaw State University

The College of Computing and Software Engineering (CCSE) at Kennesaw State University (KSU) houses the Department of Software Engineering and Game Design and Development (SWEGD). Programs within the department are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). 

For game designers, the SWEDG Department has a Computer Game Design and Development BS and a minor; a Software Engineering MS (MSSWE); and Graduate certificates in Software Engineering and Software Foundations. For exceptional students, the SWEGD Department also has a Double Owl Pathway that provides the opportunity to earn the BS and MS at an accelerated pace. 

CCSE and SWEGD Department highlights include computing internships and co-op education opportunities; guest speakers; research assistantships; participation in events such as Game Jams, the Raspberry Pi Workshop, and the computing showcase C-Day; and networking events featuring major companies and studios. Recent participants include Microsoft, Cox Communications, and Infor. 

The SWEGD programs at Kennesaw State University explore emerging areas such as massively multiplayer games (MMOG), artificial intelligence (AI), online games, and human-computer interaction (HCI). Modeling, simulation, software engineering, 2D and 3D graphics, game theory, and digital media are also part of the programs. 

Students may select a track within any concentration area. Examples include Educational-Serious, Computer Science, Media-Production, Creative Content, Simulations-Informatics, and Planning-Management. A custom track within the undergraduate programs allows students to choose nine credit hours of upper-level coursework from any area. 

Course examples across CCSE KSU majors and tracks include 3D Modeling and Animation; Fundamentals of Game Design; Digital Media and Interaction; Mobile and Casual Game Development; 3D Modeling and Animation; Educational and Serious Game Design; Computer Graphics and Multimedia; Game Design Lab; Entertainment Media Production; Application Extension and Scripting; Production Pipeline and Asset Management; Audio Production and Technology; and Professional Practices and Ethics. Students will also complete a final project and portfolio to graduate. 

In any given year, more than 7,100 companies recruit from Kennesaw State University. Across SWEGD programs, graduates are prepared to pursue careers across the technology, engineering, entertainment, education, and research fields, among others. Examples of potential careers include Video Game Designer, Game Developer, Digital Media Artist, Multimedia Programmer, Software Designer, Game Programmer, Simulation Designer, Software Engineer, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Designer, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Developer, Solution Architect, UI/UX Designer, Web Developer, 2D and 3D Graphics Designer, and Program Analyst. 

Serving nearly 45,000 students, Kennesaw State University is the third largest university in Georgia. Founded in 1963 as a junior college, today, KSU provides more than 180 degree and certificate programs across 11 colleges, KSU Journey Honors College, and two suburban campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia. Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

14. University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama
University of Alabama in Huntsville

University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is home to the College of Science, which houses the Department of Computer Science. Within the department are several paths to study game design. Options include the Computer Science (CS) BS with an Entertainment Computing concentration; a 24 credit hour Entertainment Computing minor; and a Game Design and Development minor that can be added to just about any program. 

Computer Science is the largest department in the College of Science and programs are fully accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Students in all programs have access to state-of-the-art teaching, production, and research labs in the areas of gaming and entertainment computing, digital forensics, machine learning and AI, cybersecurity, and data science. 

The CS BS with an Entertainment Computing concentration consists of 120 credit hours with core courses such as Principles of Programming Languages; Design/Analysis of Algorithms; and Senior Project: Team Software Design. The concentration requires 21 credit hours. Course examples include Introduction to Video Game Design and Programming; Animation: Introduction; Artificial Intelligence and Game Development; Advanced Computer Graphics; and Animation: 3D Modeling. CS students may choose a number of technical electives and others, which provides opportunities to develop skills in additional areas.   

Game Design and Development minor at University of Alabama in Huntsville is a  multidisciplinary program that exposes students to the full game production pipeline. Consisting of 30 credit hours of study, coursework falls under the following categories: Game Design, Game Animation, Game Computing, and Game Sound. Course examples include Computer Science; Video Game Scripting and Design; Hard Surface Modeling; 2D Animation; Usability Studies; and Music Technology. 

Students in the Game Design and Development minor are encouraged to compete Team Game Design I and II. This allows students to work in multidisciplinary teams on a collaborative project (video game) to be completed in one semester. During this time, students will have the opportunity to take on the roles of a professional game development team from Concept Artist to Game Designer to Art Director.   

The Entertainment Computing minor at UAH explores storytelling, animation, modeling tech for games, and mobile entertainment. Students in this program will take courses such as Introduction to Video Game Design and Programming; Artificial Intelligence & Game Development; Introduction to Computer Graphics; Computer Science; and Introduction to Technologies for Multimedia Gaming. Students may enhance the minor through elective courses from the Dramatic Media Elements category. Examples include Animation: Organic Modeling; Graphic Design: Web User Experience; Elements of Theatre Production; Animation; Technical Arts; Music Technology; and Multimedia. 

Across programs, graduates are prepared to pursue positions in fields such as Game Design and Development, Serious Games, Game Animation, Software Design and Development, Virtual Reality, Animation and Film, Game Programming, Level Design, Modeling and Simulation, Project Management, and Systems Design.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville became an autonomous university in 1969. Serving approximately 8,745 students, UAH provides 94 degrees in more than 100 areas of study and across eight colleges. University of Alabama in Huntsville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

15. East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee
East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is home to the College of Business and Technology. Within the college is the Digital Media Department, which houses a major and minor for students interested in studying games. At the graduate level, the department has a Digital Media MFA.  

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Digital Media Department at ETSU features immersive, hands-on studios; courses taught by industry professionals; and access to state-of-the-art labs, production facilities, and equipment. The department has around 300 students working together through four years of study to create games, productions, and other works. 

Leading to a BS, the Digital Media major has concentrations in Digital Game Design, Asset Development, and Design. The Digital Media minor provides the opportunity to develop skills in all of these areas. All degree-seeking students will take courses such as Principles of Digital Game Design; Principles of Visual Effects and Motion Graphics; Technical Communications; Principles of Digital Animation; Art History; and Topics in Digital Media History. 

Students in the Digital Game Design concentration will take Game Play and Testing. Asset Development students will take courses such as 3D Model Design; High-Fidelity Modeling for Entertainment; Reality Capture for Modeling, and 3D Lighting and Rendering. Course examples for design students include Game Design; Technical Direction; Procedural Modeling and Effects Simulation; and  Interaction for Game Design. All students will also complete 20 credit hours of Game Design Guided Electives. 

The culminating experience for the BS program is the Portfolio Development for Digital Media course, consisting of group projects, lectures and labs, and portfolio development and refinement. 

The Digital Media MFA is a terminal degree program designed for students with bachelor’s degrees in Game Design, Visual Effects (VFX), Animation, and other related areas. The program dedicates 12 credit hours to the student’s chosen specialization; 12 credit hours towards team projects for external and internal clients; and six credit hours in experimenting with new and emerging technologies. Twelve credit hours are dedicated to the Culminating Experience, where students will work solo to further develop and finalize a professional body of work for peer and faculty review. 

Graduates of the Digital Media program at East Tennessee University are Game Developers, Game Level Designers, Entertainment Modelers, Visual Effects (VFX) Artists, Game Animators, Visualization Artists, Cinematographers. They work at places such as Red Storm Entertainment (a Ubisoft studio), Luma Pictures, Deep Silver Volition, CBS, Idol Minds, Vicious Cycle, and RTT Detroit. 

Digital Media Program alumni have also been credited on films and games such as Lord of the Rings, Halo 5, The Walking Dead, Avatar, Thor, World of Warcraft, The Last Jedi, Guitar Hero, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Kung Fu Panda 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, The Peanuts Movie, The Avengers, and The Incredible Hulk. 

East Tennessee State University was established in 1911 as East Tennessee State Normal School. With campuses in Johnson City, and centers in Kingsport, Elizabethton, and Bristol, ETSU serves approximately 14,000 students enrolled in more than 160 programs across ten colleges and schools. East Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

16. Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) houses its own Gaming Institute, which focuses on the design, development, and publication of games. EKU is also home to Kentucky’s first bachelor’s degree focusing on game design. The Computer Science BS has an Interactive Multimedia concentration. A Game Content Design minor and Game Design Certificate are also available. Programs are housed in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics-Department of Computer Science and Information Technology. 

Launched in 2017, the Game Content Design minor requires 20 credit hours of study. The program explores 2D animation, game design, visual storytelling, screenwriting, and music for film. The 12 credit hour, accelerated certificate program is offered 100% online. Course include Principles of Game Design and Game Theory; Online Game and Application Design; Game Production and Publication; and Special Topics in Gaming. 

Accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the EKU Computer Science BS requires core and supporting courses such as Ethics & Software Engineering; Digital Electronics; Software Testing; Object-Oriented Programming I and II; and Mobile App Development for iOS. The Interactive Multimedia concentration requires 47 credit hours. This option explores game design, 3D modeling and animation, graphics programming, and multimedia systems. 

Course examples include Game Level Design; Exploring Virtual Worlds; 3D Game engine Design; Multimedia System and Forensics; Graphics Programming; Film Scoring; Drawing; 3D Modeling; Art Appreciation; and University Physics. A Computer Science Career Preparation course is part of the program as well as the option to complete one of the following: Game Design Capstone; Applied Learning Computer Science; Computer Forensics Capstone; Applied Software Engineering; and Independent Work 

Students in all EKU Games programs may participate in the Global Game Jam, and the internship program, which matches designers with Kentucky-based game developers.  

Graduates of the Game programs at Eastern Kentucky University have been recruited by many local studios as well as major studios across the U.S. and abroad. 

Eastern Kentucky University has roots dating back to 1874, and 1906 when it was established as a normal school a normal school to train teachers. Today, EKU serves approximately 16,890 students enrolled in more than 100 degree programs across six academic colleges. Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

17. The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School (The DAVE School), Orlando, Florida
The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School

The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School (DAVE School) has several award options: the 12-month Diploma, 18-month Diploma, the 32-month Bachelor’s, and the 36-month Bachelor’s. For game designer’s The DAVE School has a 12-month Diploma and a 32-month Bachelor’s degree in Game Production. DAVE students can earn the Diploma separately or as part of the 120 credit hour Bachelor’s degree program. Students in the Bachelor’s program will receive the Diploma credential after completing 60 credits. 

The DAVE School also has a Virtual Production (VP) Diploma program, which combines the curriculums of the Game Production and Visual Effects Production Diplomas. The flagship VP program takes 18 months to complete. Students in the Game Production Diploma programs have the option to extend their initial 12 months into the Virtual Production program.

Across all options, students will explore areas such as concepts and terminology of game production, game physics and FX, worldbuilding, light and software techniques, asset creation, emerging technologies, and Unreal for AR/VR. Across programs, course and topic examples include Advanced Asset Creation & Look Development; Emerging Real-Time Tech Pipelines; 3D Animation; Character, Prop, and Environment Modeling; 2D/3D Tracking; Digital Modeling and Sculpting; Level Design; Lighting and Texturing; Visual Effects; Real-Time Rendering & Emerging Technologies. 

The programs at The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School emphasize collaboration, so students will complete a three-month residency in Orlando, Florida where they will work in teams to create games across the entire production pipeline. For the final project, DAVE students will complete an in-house game that will become a major component of their professional demo reel and portfolio.    

DAVE school graduates are prepared to pursue positions across the games and entertainment industries. Alumni are Gameplay Animators, Art Coordinators, Pipeline Supervisors, Cinematic Animators, Lighting Artists, Compositors, and Environment Artists. 

In addition, DAVE School graduates (and instructors) have worked on productions and games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold, Game of Thrones, Terminator Genisys, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool, Green Lantern, Captain America, Dumbo, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Mandalorian, Conan Exiles, Anthem, The Hunger Games, Jurassic World, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, and The Hobbit

The Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE) School was founded in 2000. Located on the backlot of Universal Studios, Florida, DAVEl is an academic unit of NUC University, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MCSHE). DAVE serves around 1,000 students enrolled in six programs leading to a Bachelor’s degree or Diploma.

18. Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana
Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans (Loyno) houses the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Music and Media. Both provide paths to study game design. Within the College of Arts and Sciences is the Math and Computer Department, home to the Computer Science (CS) BS with a Game Programming concentration. Program features include the opportunity to work with game companies to gain valuable skills and experience; study abroad experiences; access to state-of-the-art production facilities and labs; and participation in one or more of 85+ student organizations. 

Course examples for the program include Game as Art; Videogames and Literature; Making Games; Doing Things with Videogames; Media Play; Artificial Intelligence (AI); and Physics. CS BS students will also take courses such as Data Structures & Algorithms; Programming Languages; and Computer Graphics. The culminating experience for the program it the project and portfolio. 

In addition to careers in the games and entertainment industries, the CS BS program at Loyola University New Orleans prepares student for careers in healthcare, education, architecture, aerospace, simulation training, research, and the Military.   

The Department of Design in the College of Music and Media has an Interactive Design BDes that explores video game design, printing, 3D environmental design, object design, and app and web design. In the first two years of the program, all students will complete the same courses. Examples include Critical Reading and Writing; Natural Science in Context; and Investigating Nature. 

After the sophomore year, students can tailor part of the curriculum towards Interactive Studies by choosing courses (in the form of electives) from programs across Loyno. Examples of required courses include Interactive Design + Narrative; Design History; Ethics and Contracts; Illustration Design; Design Product Development; Design Topics; Motion Design + Narrative; and Design Practicum. 

Loyno Interactive Design BDes students will also complete a Design Internship. Students in this program have access to state-of-the-art production facilities and labs; the opportunity to study abroad; and  the chance to participate in one or more of 85+ student organizations. The culminating experience for the BDes is the Design Capstone. 

Graduates of the Game Programming and Interactive Design Programs at Loyola University New Orleans work in game design, development, and programming, game testing, software programming and design, multimedia and animation, web design, education and machine learning, among others. 

Established in 1904, Loyola University New Orleans is a private, Jesuit university that serves around 4,550 students enrolled in nearly 150 programs across five colleges and through Loyola Online. Loyno is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

19. University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette or UL) is home to the Ray P. Authement College of Arts and Sciences. Within the Ray College is the School of Computing & Informatics, which houses an ABET-accredited Computer Science program. Leading to a BS, the program has an optional Video Game Design and Development concentration. 

The Computer Science BS with a concentration in Video Game Design and Development explores topics such as storytelling, game design, artificial intelligence (AI), programming languages, visual arts and design, and interface design. Course examples for the program include Game Engine Algorithms and Architecture; Computer Graphics; Video Game Design and Development; Programming in .NET/C#; Human-Scientific Computing; Programming in Java; AI; and Computer Interface Design. 

Student in the UL Lafayette Computer Science BS program will have the opportunity to complete an industry internship for practical experience, and work on independent projects under faculty supervision in areas such as AI, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction (HCI). 

The culminating experience for the program is the Senior Project, which includes the design, development, and presentation of an original game. 

Graduates of the Computer Science program at University of Louisiana at Lafayette are prepared to pursue titles such as Game Designer, Game Programmer, me Artist, Game Developer, Software Developer, Software Engineer, HCI Designer, AI Developer, and Software Engineer.

UL Lafayette has an additional option for students seeking a shorter program. Developed by a Unity Authorized Academic Training Partner, the 12 month Video Game Design and Development course consists of 500 self-paced course hours that explore programming languages, video game design for PCs, creating 3D scenes, texturing, and game engines. By the end of the course, students will have built three complete games including a first-person adventure, a 3D arcade game, and a custom game of their own creation. No prior training or experience is required to enroll, and the course can be completed entirely online. 

University of Louisiana at Lafayette was established in 1898 as the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute. The school serves approximately 18,865 students, making UL Lafayette the second largest university in Louisiana. A member of the University of Louisiana System, University of Louisiana at Lafayette provides more than 300 programs across 14 colleges and schools. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

20. William Peace University, Raleigh, North Carolina
William Peace University

William Peace University (WPU) recently launched a new esports and gaming lab equipped with Alienware Aurora R12 gaming desktops; Secretlab TITAN Evo 2022 Series gaming chairs; and two large monitors. In addition to being home to WPU’s two esports teams (Rocket League and Valorant), the lab is utilized by students in the Simulation and Game Design BA (SGD BA) and the Esports and Gaming Administration BA (E&GA). 

Across programs, students benefit from built-in internships for all curriculums, with a 65% success rate for permanent employment upon completion of the experience; study abroad opportunities such as short-term faculty-led trips, semester-abroad programs, and summer programs; and the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges Consortium, which provides access to library facilities and classes at five local colleges and universities. 

The SGD BA explores 3D modeling, programming languages, and design as they related to game development, simulation training (military), industrial applications, education, and healthcare. Students will work on collaborative projects peers in other majors such as Interactive Design in the state-of-the-art SGD Lab. 

Course examples for the program include Introduction to Simulation and Game Design; Computer Programming; Simulation and Game Technology I and II; Interactive Design; Storytelling in Gaming; 3D Modeling and Animation; and Creating Multimedia Content. 

The E&GA BA program at William Peace University explores the business and administrative sides of esports. Students in this program will also learn about IT integration, server connectivity, and bandwidth, while mastering the skills needed to manage and launch a large-scale esports competition, conference, or convention. In addition, E&GA students will take a number of SGD courses.

Course examples for the program include Introduction to Esports Management; Interactive Design; Introduction to Simulation and Game Design; Computer Programming; Storytelling in Gaming; Sport Management; Distribution of Games; and Conventions, Events and Trade Show Planning. 

Students in both the SGD and E&GA programs at William Peace University will complete a Senior Project or Senior Capstone as the culminating experience. Graduates are prepared to pursue roles such as Game Designer, Content Creator, Multimedia Artist or Animator, Software Developer, Visual Programmer, UX Designer, Art Director, Social Media Manager, Analyst, Tech Support Specialist, Event Manager, and Venue Operator. 

Approximately 96% of WPU graduates are employed or entering graduate studies programs within a year of graduating. SGD and E&GA alumni have many opportunities to work for a variety companies, studios, and organizations in Raleigh North Carolina’s Triangle Area and across the U.S. Examples include Epic Games, Ubisoft, Insomniac Games, Imangi Studios, RTI, Horizon Productions, Red Storm Entertainment, and Virtual Heroes. 

Founded in 1857 as Peace Institute, William Peace University serves more than 800 students enrolled in more than 30 undergraduate majors, dozens of minors and concentrations, and several graduate programs in partnership with Campbell Law School and Meredith College. Programs at numerous academic departments. William Peace University has been continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) since 1947.