14. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York,
Cornell University was established in 1865. Home to 21,904 students, Cornell offers well over 100 degree programs through 14 colleges and schools, and 100 academic departments. The School of Computing and Information Science (CIS) is home to the Game Design Initiative at Cornell University (GDIAC). According to GDIAC, the Initiative is an “interdisciplinary collaboration of students and faculty dedicated to the academic study of game design.” Program offerings include a Game Design Minor meant to “complement” traditional majors such as Computer Science, Information Science, Art, Music, or New Media Studies.
15. Becker College, Worcester, Massachusetts
Founded in 1784, Becker College is the nation’s 19th oldest campus. The school offers dozens of programs across six academic divisions including Animal Studies, Business, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, Design, Education and Psychology, and Nursing and Health Sciences. The Design Division houses the Interactive Media Design program, which has several offerings for aspiring game designers. Options include a BA in Design with a Video Game Production and Management Concentration, a BA in Interactive Media Design with a Game Design Concentration, and a BA in Interactive Media Design with a Game Development and Programming Concentration.
Besides a variety of game programs, Becker College houses the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI). Established in 2011, “MassDiGI is the result of creative collaboration among academia, industry and government, aimed at fostering the growth of the game industry and innovation economy,” according to the school. It is a statewide center, “designated by the Commonwealth, for entrepreneurship, academic cooperation and economic development across the Massachusetts digital and video games ecosystem.”
16. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
George Mason University (GMU) is Virginia’s largest public research university. Founded in 1957 as University of Virginia George Mason College, the school is home to more than 34,000 students enrolled in 208 degree programs through 12 colleges and schools. The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is home to the Computer Game Design program. Offerings include a BFA and MA in Computer Game Design. The programs offer the opportunity to intern with studios such as Catlilli Games and Little Arms Studios. Some internships are paid positions, such as a recent opportunity to work as a Game Writer.
George Mason University is also home to the Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI @Mason). It is the only U.S. Serious Game Institute (in partnership with the University of Coventry U.K.), “that concentrates on game-related applied research and new innovative game company cultivation,” according to the school. VSGI’s mission is to “support translational applied-research in the areas of Simulation, Modeling, and Game Design, rapid prototype development, high-value knowledge job creation, and regional economic development through start-up incubation, spin out company formation, licensing, and commercialization.”
17. Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore, Maryland
Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the nation’s oldest degree-granting college of art. It is home to 1,863 undergraduate and 306 graduate students from 48 states and 54 foreign countries. The school offers 80 programs of study leading to the BFA, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, as well as certificate programs and “a full slate of credit and noncredit courses for adults, college-bound students, and children.”
MICA offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include a BFA with a Game Arts Studio Concentration or Interactive Arts Studio Concentration, and a BFA in Interactive Arts + Humanistic Studies. The Interactive Arts + Humanistic Studies program features a range of games coursework including Gameplay II/Digital Games, Experimental Games, Studio Techniques and Recording, Live Sound, Robotic Arts: Motion and Motors, and Drawing. All MICA art and design students have the opportunity to study abroad in places from Australia and Germany to Japan and the UK.
18. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York
Marist College was founded in 1929. It is home to 6,365 students enrolled in 46 bachelor’s, 13 master’s and 14 certificate programs through seven schools. The School of Communication and the Arts and the School of Computer Science & Mathematics offer several programs for aspiring game designers. School of Communication and Arts offerings include a BA in Media Studies and Production with a Concentration in Interactive Media & Game Design. School of Computer Science & Mathematics programs include a BS in Computer Science with a Concentration in Game Design and Programming and an MS in Computer Science - Software Development with advanced Game Design and Programming coursework.
19. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York
Founded in 1957 as a college for the preparation of secondary school teachers of mathematics and science, Stony Brook University has an annual population of 28,000 students enrolled in 68 undergraduate majors and 82 minors and more than 100 master’s programs, 40 doctoral programs and 30 graduate certificate programs across 13 colleges and schools.
The College of Engineering & Applied Sciences is home the Department of Computer Science. Established in 1969, the Department of Computer Science is the largest unit of the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences. The Department offers several programs for aspiring game designers including BS and MS degrees, and a combined BS/MS in Computer Science (CSE) with a Specialization in Game Programming.
According to the school, the Game Programming Specialization “prepares students for a career as either a professional game developer or researcher. Game graphics and multiplayer network programming techniques are stressed. The specialization also emphasizes original game development, game design methodology, and team projects and presentations.” A CSE Minor is also on the menu.
20. Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Edinboro University is home to 6,550 students from 42 countries, 49 states, and 66 Pennsylvania counties. Founded in 1857, the school offers 139 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, 10 associate degree programs, and 10 certificate programs across four colleges and schools. With a population of 2,228 students, the College of Science and Health Professions is the largest college at Edinboro. It houses the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, which offers a BS in Computer Science with a Game and Virtual World Development Track.
According to the school, the Track is “designed around national curriculum models and national employment trends. Within the framework of general education courses and courses in computer science, mathematics, physics and art, this degree will prepare the students for a variety of positions in the game development field, including game programmers, game developers and engineers, modeling and simulation development. Additionally, the program is designed to provide the appropriate background for further study in the computer science field and to develop the skills and attitudes necessary to become responsible employees and citizens.” A Computer Science Minor is also available.
21. Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, New Jersey
Established in 1868 as the German Theological School, Bloomfield College is home to more than 2,100 students enrolled in 60-plus majors and concentrations in seven academic divisions. The Division of Creative Arts & Technology offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include a BA in Game Design, and a BS and a Minor in Game Programming. Students in both programs benefit from the school’s Game Development Club and the Division’s strong relationship with the Northern New Jersey chapter of the International Game Developer’s Association (IGDA).
22. Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut
Quinnipiac University was founded in 1929. It is home to 6,500 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students enrolled in more 70 majors and graduate programs through eight schools and colleges, including schools of law and medicine. Quinnipiac University has three campuses – Mount Carmel (Main, Hamden), York Hill (Hamden), and North Haven. The main campus is home to the College of Arts and Sciences, which houses the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. The Department has several offerings for aspiring game designers including a BA and a Minor in Game Design and Development.
According to the school, the BA is an “applied, interdisciplinary major, which focuses on the meaningful application of game technologies beyond commercial entertainment by addressing serious topics regarding the environment, health care and education including STEM and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) initiatives”
23. Adelphi University, Garden City, New York
Adelphi University was founded as Adelphi Academy, a private preparatory school in Brooklyn, New York, back 1863. The school is home to 7,610 students enrolled in more than 300 academic programs, certificates and minors across eight colleges and schools. The College of Arts and Science, Adelphi’s largest college, offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include a BS in Computer Science or Computer and Management Information Systems. Both programs offer a Concentration in Game Development
According to the school, both programs focus on “the development of computer games and the relevant skills needed to create interactive software in a graphical, multi-player environment.”
24. University of Maryland – Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
Established in 1963, the University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) is the doctoral research institution for the greater Baltimore region. The school is home to 13,839 students enrolled in 55 majors, 35 minors, and 24 certificate programs through seven colleges and schools. UMBC’s Graduate School offers 41 master’s degree programs, 24 doctoral degree programs and 24 graduate certificate programs.
The College of Engineering and Information Technology at UMBC houses the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department (CSEE). The Department offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include a BS in Computer Science with a Game Development Track, a combined BS/MS in Computer Science, and a Minor in Computer Science.
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences-Visual Arts Department also offers a program for aspiring game designers. The UMBC Games, Animation and Interactive Media (GAIM) site lists a Concentration in Animation and Interactive Media. The program leads a BA or BFA in Visual Arts. In addition to offering a variety of game design programs, UMBC is the Baltimore host site for the Global Game Jam and it has an active Game Development Club. Students in the club build several games each year, and organize the UMBC GAIM annual Digital Entertainment Conference.
25. Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey
Stevens Institute of Technology was founded in 1870. The school educates more than 6,800 undergraduate and graduate students annually and it offers dozens of majors and minors through four colleges and schools. The Charles V. Schaeffer, Jr. School of Engineering & Science (SES) has eight departments and offers 50 academic programs. The Computer Science Department here offers several unique programs for aspiring game designers.
Offerings include a BS in Computer Science with a Concentration in Design and Implementation of Games, an MS in Game Design & Simulation Programming, and a PhD in Computer Science in a chosen research area. Minors in Game Development and Game Design and Science Writing are also on the menu, as well as Graduate Certificate Programs in Artificial intelligence (AI) for Gaming and Graphics for Gaming.