What are the top east coast game design schools for 2024?

Top 25 Game Design Schools and Colleges on the East Coast – 2024 College Rankings
1New York University New York
2Carnegie Mellon UniversityPennsylvania
3Rochester Institute of TechnologyNew York
4Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts
5Drexel UniversityPennsylvania
6Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNew York
7Northeastern UniversityMassachusetts
8Worcester Polytechnic InstituteMassachusetts
9Champlain CollegeVermont
10The New School’s Parsons School of DesignNew York
11University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvania
12Cornell UniversityNew York
13American UniversityDC
14George Mason UniversityVirginia
15New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNew Jersey
16University of the ArtsPennsylvania
17Stony Brook UniversityNew York
18University of Maryland Baltimore CountyMaryland
19University of ConnecticutConnecticut
20University at BuffaloNew York
21Quinnipiac UniversityConnecticut
22Maine College of Art & DesignMaine
23Maryland Institute College of ArtMaryland
24Marist CollegeNew York
25Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityNew Jersey

Our 2024 rankings of the top game design programs on the East Coast. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. New York University (NYU), New York, New York
New York University

New York University (NYU) is home to Tisch School of the Arts (est. 1965), which houses the Department of Game Design. Founded in 2008 and known as NYU Game Center, the department hosts events and programs such as the No Quarter Exhibition (est. 2010); NYU Game Center Lecture Series; and the professional game conference PRACTICE: Game Design in Detail. The Center also hosts workshops, playtests, and tournaments. 

NYU Game Center programs include the Game Design BFA, MFA, and minor. Single courses are also available for students in any major at NYU. Examples include 3D Game Studio: Unity; Game Development: Team Studio; Game Design I and II; and Code Lab. 

All NYU Game Center programs consist of immersive academic seminars, and hands-on experiences in the Center’s development studios and play labs. In addition, a major component of the NYU Game Center is the internship program. Students have completed coveted internships with Disney, Ubisoft, Arkadium, and TreSensa. 

With a strong foundation in the liberal arts, the Game Design BFA consists of primary areas (game design, game studies, and game development), production areas (programming, audio design, visual design, and the business of games), and the Senior Capstone. Students in this 128 credit-hour program have the option to specialize in any of the four production areas and complete up to 34 open credits in the Game Center or any other area. 

The Senior Capstone for the Game Design BFA may consist of a group game, exhibition, or game-related research paper. 

The NYU Game Center MFA is a two-year program that consists of coursework in game history, game design, game studies, game production, studio, and play labs. Students will also take a number of electives that explore areas such as the psychology of game play and games journalism. Course examples for the program include American Computer Games of the 1980s; 3D Game Studio: Unity; Game Design I and II; Horror Games; Intermediate Programming for Games; Prototype Studio; UI/UX for Games; Mobile Game Studio; Shader Lab; Tech Art Studio; and Tackling Representation in Games. 

The Game Design MFA program culminates with a thesis, completed across two courses (12 credit hours). Thesis projects may consist of digital games, card games or a sport, smartphone games, or a series of small games, among others. Thesis programs may also be individually directed or completed in teams. Thesis projects are presented at the NYU Game Center Spring Show. 

The Game Design minor at NYU Game Center explores design, production, and the study of games. Consisting of 16 credit hours, the program requires Games 101 and any other Game Center courses. Minor graduates are prepared to work in the game industry. Some graduates go on to become critics or scholars. 

NYU Game Center BFA and MFA graduates will enter the job market with a resume, several finished games or related works, and the assistance of NYU’s extensive Wasserman Career Center. As part of Tisch School of the Arts, NYU Game Center graduates also have access to school’s own Office of Career Development, which helps students launch their creative careers. 

The Game Center Incubator is yet another resource for graduating students. Launched in 2014, the incubator provides expertise, funding, and space for projects with commercial potential. Incubator leaders help select students see projects through to a public launch. 

Graduates of the NYU Game Center are Game Artists, Game Designers, Software Publishers, Game Developers, AI Engineers, Game Programmers, and Entrepreneurs. Program alumni have gone on to work for companies and studios such as Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games, Amazon, Tencent, Take-Two Interactive, ESPN, Nickelodeon, IGDA Japan, Arkadium, and Avalanche Studios.   

New York University is the largest private university in the U.S. Founded in 1831, the school serves approximately 61,950 students across degree-granting campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai. NYU also operates 12 global academic centers and research programs in more than 25 countries. With more than 19,000 employees, New York University is one of the largest employers in New York City. These professionals manage an estimated 400+ programs. NYU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

2. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is home to the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). Established in 1998, ETC is a partnership between CMU’s School of Computer Science (CS) and the College of Fine Arts. Within the ETC is a Master of Entertainment Technology (MET) and a Game Design minor. This program is provided in collaboration with CMU’s Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology Network (IDeATe). 

The IDeATe curriculum is delivered across 15 different academic departments at CMU. IDeATe programs are housed in a collaborative making facility in Hunt Library. 

The ETC MET explores Building Virtual Worlds, Improvisational Acting, Fundamentals of Entertainment Technology, and Visual Story. Students will have the opportunity to select electives from the following areas: Game Design, Interactive Storytelling, Themed Entertainment, Leadership & Innovation, and General. Possible elective options include Game Design, Game Design, Prototyping and Production, Understanding Game Engines, Dynamic Motion and Game Experience, Advanced Pipeline Topics for Film and Game Art, IDeATe: Little Games/Big Stories: Indie Roleplaying Game, Story Development and Previsualization in AI, and Advanced Game Studio. 

The ETC IDeATe Game Design minor at Carnegie Mellon University is open to all majors. CMU has more than 7,000 major/minor combo options. Popular combo options for game designers include the CS BS/Game Design minor, Art BFA/Game Design minor, Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA)/Game Design minor, and the Music and Technology BS/Game Design minor. The CMU ETC also allows students across all departments to enroll in individual courses to enhance any program of study. 

The ETC IDeATe Game Design minor requires 45 units of study. Courses for the program cover topics such as game programming; character development; game systems and mechanics design; interactive narrative; the iterative design process; visual and audio asset creation; interface design; user testing; and collaboration. Course examples include Little Games/Big Stories: Indie Roleplaying Game Studio; Intermediate Studio: Creative Coding; Game Design, Prototyping, and Production; Experimental Game Design; Dynamic Motion and Game Experience; and Distributed Game Studio: Game Art Pipeline. 

All ETC students have access to labs and studios such as the Physical Computing Lab; Soft Technologies Studio; Media Lab; and Studios A and B. Other program features include internships; workshops; guest speakers; and study abroad experiences in places such as Hong Kong, the UK, France, New Zealand, and South Korea.  

Graduates of the creative and technology programs at Carnegie Mellon University are prepared for careers across industries. CMU graduates are routinely hired by companies and studios such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, ESPN, Google, IBM, Meta, Epic Systems, 31st Street Studios, and 2K Games. 

Founded on November 15, 1900 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon University opened its doors as Carnegie Technical Schools. Today, this private global research university provides more than 200 programs to approximately 16,780 students from 126 countries. In addition to the main campus in Pennsylvania, CMU has campuses in Silicon Valley and Doha, Qatar. 

Housed across seven colleges and schools, Carnegie’s academic programs are also provided in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Mexico, and Portugal. Carnegie Mellon University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

3. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was the first university to publish to the Xbox One platform. RIT also houses the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS)—home to the School of Interactive Games & Media (IGM). Within the school are several paths to study game design. Options include BS and MS degrees in Game Design and Development (GDD), an accelerated BS/MS that takes five years to complete, and minors in Game Design and GDD.   

The College of Art and Design at RIT houses the School of Design, which has an additional option for students interested in studying games. The 3D Digital Design BFA is a STEM designated program that provides both Game Arts and 3D Visualization specializations. Consisting of 120 credit hours, bot options allow students to study games. Course examples include Game Design & Development I and II; IGM Production Studio; Layers and Effects; Scripting; Game Development and Algorithmic Problem Solving; Modeling and Motion Strategies; Contemporary Practices: Environment Design; Character Design and Rigging; Simulating Natural Phenomena; Technology in Game Arts; and Game Arts Seminar. 

Graduates of this program are prepared to pursue titles such as Game Designer, CG Artist, AR/VR Designer, Visualization Artist, Game Developer, Level Designer, Special Effects Artist, Environment Designer, Lighting Technical Director, Rigger, Character Designer, and Digital Asset Designer. Program alumni have been hired by major studios such as Insomniac Games and Sony Interactive Entertainment. 

Students in both the RIT School of Design and the School of Interactive Games & Media benefit from seminars, lectures, discussions, and demos by industry professionals; game development and research studios; independent study; access to the Digital Games Hub, which provides mentoring and resources for students and independent developers to create new games, launch start-ups, and enter the games industry; and Creative Industry Days.

Creative Industry Days is a series of events that allow students to network with major companies and studios, and participate in panels and portfolio reviews. Examples of past companies include Walt Disney, Epic Games, NetherRealm Studios, Adobe, Iron Galaxy Studios, Ogilvy, DraftKings, Enduring Games, CGI Digital, MahiGaming, and Zash Global Media & Entertainment. 

RIT IGM Game Design and Development students also have the opportunity to develop and commodify their own games at RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studios. In addition, students have the rare opportunity to complete two paid blocks of cooperative education. This allows them to gain valuable experience in the games industry through full-time employment at a studio. Epic Games, Electronic Arts (EA), Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, Cartoon Network, and Google are examples of recent co-op companies. 

The Game Design and GDD minors at Rochester Institute of Technology are require 15 credit hours. Students in both options will complete Game Design & Development I and II. Other course examples include New Media Interactive Design and Algorithmic Problem Solving I and II; 2D Animation and Asset Production; Data Structures for Games & Simulations I and II; and Interactive Media Development. 

The Game Design and Development degree programs at RIT GCCIS explore game design and development, animation, interactive media, modeling, user interaction, math, and science. The BS consists of 121 credit hours, the MS requires 33 credits, and the BS/MS is 145 total credit hours. 

Students in the BS have opportunities to specialize in areas such as narrative, engines, audio, or graphics through electives across the entire university. Course examples for the program include Interaction, Immersion, & the Media Interface; Game Design & Development I and II; Introduction to Web Technology for Game Developers; and Data Structures & Algorithms for Games & Simulation I and II. 

RIT GDD BS students have the opportunity to complete approximately 40 credit hours of open, advanced, and general education electives throughout the program. Examples of advanced electives include Casual Game Development; Geographic Visualization; Digital Video for the Web; Games for Change; Maps, Mapping and Geospatial Technologies; and International Game Industry. 

Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of industries such as entertainment industry, aerospace, internet and software, defense, media and publishing, computer hardware, and health care. 

The Game Design and Development MS is a cohort-based program designed for students seeking careers in the games industry, visualization, simulation, or edutainment. Course examples include Game Development Process; Gameplay and Prototyping; Colloquium in Game Design and Development; Game Design; and Game Industry Themes and Perspectives. Advanced electives allow students to develop additional skills in a variety of areas.

Elective examples include Artificial Intelligence for Gameplay; Game Graphics Programming; Game Design and Development for Casual and Mobile Platforms; Console Development; Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization; IGM Production Studio; and Board and Card Game Design and Development. 

The MS program culminates with the group Design and Development Capstone completed across two courses. Graduates are prepared to pursue titles such as Game Developer, Software Engineer, Full Stack UI Developer, Game Designer, Associate Engine/Graphics Automation Engineer, Junior C++ Developer, and Systems Design Engineer. 

Rochester Institute of Technology was founded in 1829 as the Rochester Athenaeum. With global campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai, and Kosovo, this research university serves more than 20,000 students, making it one of the largest private universities in the U.S. RIT provides 200+ academic programs across 10 colleges and institutes, and the School of Individualized Study. Rochester Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is home to the MIT Game Lab. This research and development hub helps students customize a plan of study that matches their goals. Students may study game design through programs with built-in “clusters” or through electives across MIT departments. Popular departments for game design include Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), and Comparative Media Studies (CMS).   

Part of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), the Department of Comparative Media Studies (CMS) provides programs leading to a BS or MS. The CMS Games and Interactive Media Cluster here consists of more than 20 game design course options. 

The Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department (EECS) is part of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. EECS is the largest department at MIT. Degree options include the BS and MS in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE). Programs are highly interdisciplinary and emphasize on-campus team and independent projects; lab work and research; and internships with MIT partner companies. 

MIT CSE students will explore areas such as human-computer interaction (HCI) and graphics; programming languages; artificial intelligence (AI); software engineering; algorithms and theory; machine learning; and computer systems. 

Elective requirements allow students to take additional courses that focus on games. Courses are available within and outside the department. Examples from the CMS Department include Game Design Methods; Games for Social Change; Advanced Game Design Studio; Game Design; Design and Development for Games and Learning; Fun and Games: Cross-Cultural Perspectives; Designing Interactions; Videogame Theory, Computation & Expression Studio; Games and Culture; and Interactive Narrative. 

The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has an additional pathway for designers looking to specialize in emerging areas such as psychological games and behavioral change. The Brain & Cognitive Science BS is provided in partnership with the EECS Department. 

Finally, students who would like to explore the business side of game development, or those looking to launch their own studios, can enroll in the Business BS program. This program is provided by MIT Sloan School of Management. For both the BCS BS and the Business BS, students have the opportunity to work with the MIT Game Lab to customize a focus area that aligns with their goals. 

Graduates of the Computer Science and Engineering programs (with MIT Game Lab) have been hired at studios such as Fire Hose Games (founded by MIT alumni in 2008), Blizzard Entertainment, Harmonix Music Systems, Bungie Studios, Muzzy Lane (educational game studio), Learning Games Network (LGN), and Moonshot Games. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded on April 10, 1861—just two days before the start of the Civil War. The school serves 11,920 students from all 50 states, DC, two territories, and 130 foreign countries. MIT provides more than 115 undergraduate majors and minors, with 50 departments and programs offering graduate degrees. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

5. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Drexel University

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design (The Westphal College) at Drexel University (Drexel) has undergraduate majors, minors, accelerated, and dual degree programs that are ideal choices for game designers. The College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel has several additional options for designers seeking programs that combine the full computer science curriculum with game design courses. 

All programs provide access to the state-of-the-art Animation Capture & Effects Lab (ACE-Lab); the URBN Center, which features an open floorplan, shared making spaces, and innovative labs and studios; advanced graphics workstations; the Immersive Research Lab for virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive media projects; and a theme-park quality motion simulation platform. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), options within The Westphal College include the Game Design and Production BS; Digital Media MS; Digital Media PhD; Game Design and Production BS/Digital Media MS; Digital Media BS/Virtual Production MS; and the Digital Media minor (graduate). 

All Westphal College programs are hands-on and studio-based, with small class sizes that allow for individual instruction. Students will develop skills in computer graphics; real-time visualization (virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive media); animation; scripting and storytelling; computer programming; and Motion Capture. 

Mandatory participation in the Drexel University Cooperative (co-op) Education Program enables all students to gain work and world experience prior to graduation. Co-op experiences take place at local and national companies, and overseas in places such as Greece, London, Ghana, Hong Kong, and Spain. 

In the College of Computing & Informatics, students can earn a BA or BS in Computer Science (BAC, BSCS), or a 24-credit hour CS minor. The BA/BS programs provide optional tracks in Game Development and Design; Artificial Intelligence; and Numeric and Symbolic Computation. All tracks explore games, with topics that cover 2D and 3D Games (Game Development and Design); Game Playing and Logic Programming (Artificial Intelligence); and Creating Virtual Worlds (Numeric & Symbolic Computation). 

Like all Westphal College programs, programs in the College of Computing & Informatics provide a hands-on curriculum combined with valuable co-op experiences. All programs end with a full-year capstone project. 

Across all programs, students have access to the Drexel Game Design and the RePlay Lab; the Entrepreneurial Game Studio (EGS); and the Center for Games, Artificial Intelligence, and Media Systems (GAIMS Center). Graduates of the Game Design programs at Drexel University are prepared to pursue advanced roles in PC Game Design, Serious Games, Console Game Design, Game Art, Mobile Game Design, and Simulation and Job Training. 

More than 80% of Drexel gaming graduates and nearly 90% of dual degree graduates are working in an area directly related to game development. Drexel alumni have been hired at places such as Disney Imagineering, Lockheed, Xbox Game Studios, Disney Interactive, Razorfish, Zynga, Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games, Electronic Arts (EA), Microsoft Studios, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, Digital Domain, BioWare, Gameloft, Volition Inc., NCSoft Carbine Studios, and Comcast Corporation. 

Drexel University was established in 1891 as Drexel Institute of Art, Science, & Industry. The school serves approximately 22,345 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across 15 colleges and schools. Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The Animation & Visual Effects (VFX) and Digital Media Programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Arts & Design (NASAD).

6. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is home to the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS). Within the school is the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Department and Program. The GSAS leads the Center of Excellence in Digital Game Development, which is funded by the Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR) within New York’s department of economic development known as Empire State Development. 

The RPI Center of Excellence provides lectures and technical workshops; participation in trade shows and conferences such as the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco; and it houses ongoing programs such as GameFest, an annual student games showcase and research symposium; Ripcord, a joint blog-and-podcast series that focuses on games; and an intensive, yearlong games incubator known as the Level Upstate Mentorship Program. 

The Center also hosts game jams and hackathons; STEAM educational programs; research in games-related fields such as game AI, wargaming, historical simulations, and virtual reality; and training activities for gaming startups. 

Students in all RPI GSAS programs have access to everything the RPI Center of Excellence in Digital Game Development has to offer. GSAS programs are available at all degree levels. Options include a BS in GSAS; an MS Critical Game Design; and a PhD in Critical Game Design. 

The GSAS Department at RPI emphasizes interdisciplinary study, allowing students in all degree programs to explore experimental game design, 3D animation, music and audio for games, digital arts, software engineering, and programming. RPI GSAS students will also take courses in leadership and management. 

A major component of the program is the opportunity to build a number of professional games in teams. Students will also complete an internship, and they have the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs such as the semester abroad in Singapore at Nanyang Technological University. 

Graduates of the GSAS program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will enter the job market with a professional portfolio of their best work. RPI GSAS alumni go on to establish careers in a variety of fields such as Game Design and Development, Animation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Visualization, Interactive Simulation, Computer Science, and Fine Arts. 

Some of the top hiring companies for RPI graduates include Walt Disney, Hasbro, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Pratt & Whitney, Boeing, IBM, Dell, Facebook, LG, Cruise, and Boston Scientific. 

Established in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the nation’s first technological research university. Serving approximately 7,065 students, RPI houses 32 research centers; 746 labs, studios, and technology spaces; five schools; and more than 145 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MCSHE) and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and technology (ABET).

7. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Northeastern University

The College of Arts, Media, and Design (CAMD) and Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University (Northeastern) provide several pathways to study game design. CAMD undergraduate options include a Game Design BFA; Game Art & Animation BFA; Game Design and Music BS with a Concentration in Music Technology; and minors in Game Art and Game Design. 

Graduate programs include a Game Science and Design MS, jointly provided through CAMD and the Khoury College, and Certificates in Game Experience Design and Game Science. Khoury College also has a Computer Science & Game Development BS that focuses on developing and building games and playable media experiences. 

All programs are interdisciplinary, with courses led by industry professionals. Across options, course examples include Building of Game Engines; Game Design and Analysis; Level Design and Game Architecture; Prototyping for Experience Design; Mixed Research Methods for Games Generative Game Design; Advanced Topics in Game Design; Business Models in the Game Industry; Game Studio; Spatial and Temporal Design; Game Concept Design; Psychology of Play; Human-Computer Interaction; Game Artificial Intelligence; Player Experience; Games and Society; and Data-Driven Player Modeling. 

In addition to a wide range of in-demand courses taught by faculty experts, the Game Design programs at Northeastern University provide the opportunity to participate in the school’s distinctive co-op program. This paid experiential learning program allows undergraduate students to gain up to 18 months of hands-on, professional experience in game design. 

A graduate co-op program is also available for full-time graduate students. Northeastern University partners with more than 20,000 co-op employers nationwide and in 65+ countries around the world. Examples include Hasbro, Mass DiGi, Live Nation, Harmonix, Jamspot, Greenbrier Games, Splash Damage Games, and Demiurge Studios. 

In addition to gaining work experience through Northeastern University's co-op program, students in all programs enjoy hands-on learning in collaborative classrooms and studios; access to state-ot-the-art production facilities; and access to more than 3,350 employer partners, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and global companies.  

Graduates of the Game Design programs at Northeastern University are prepared to pursue positions in Game Design, Development, and Programming. Program alumni have been hired at major companies and studios such as Xbox Game Studios (a division of Microsoft), Zynga, Google, and Cognizant.  

Northeastern University began as the Evening Institute of the Boston Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in 1898. The school serves approximately 36,630 full-time students enrolled in more than 500 programs across nine colleges and schools. Northeastern has campuses in Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; the Massachusetts communities of Nahant and Burlington; Charlotte, North Carolina; Silicon Valley; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Toronto, Ontario Canada; Vancouver, BC Canada; and London, UK. Northeastern University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

8. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) houses the School of Arts and Sciences, home to the Interactive Media & Game Development (IMGD) program. One of the earliest gaming programs in the U.S. IMGD provides BA, BS, MFA, MS, and BS/MS degrees in IMGD. In addition, the program recently launched an interdisciplinary Computational Media PhD that focuses on play and art. While the program requires 15 credit hours in the computational media core, the PhD allows students to create an individual path such as Games and Game Engines; Visual and Sonic Media; Human-Computer Interfaces; or Narratives. 

The dual IMGD BS/MS at Worcester polytechnic Institute allows students to complete two degrees at an accelerated pace. This means students can complete two degrees in four to five years instead of six or more. 

The IMGD BA has concentrations in Visual Art, Design, Technical Art, and Writing. In the Visual Art concentration, students will explore games, concept art, 2D and 3D animation, environmental modeling, and 3D character design. 

The IMGD BS has a Technology major with a strong emphasis on software engineering and programming. Students in this program will complete projects and specialized courses in game engine programming, creative coding, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, procedural content generation, networking, and live coding performance. 

The WPI IMGD MFA is an interdisciplinary, art- and studio-based program that has three focus areas: Serious Games; Production and Management; and Technical. Students will leave the IMGD MFA program with a group or solo thesis project, and a professional portfolio. 

The interdisciplinary IMGD MS is a two-year program designed for students interested in careers in game design, game development, and interactive media. Like MFA students, MS students may specialize in Serious Game; Production and Management; or Technical. The IMGD MS culminates with a thesis or group project. 

For students who would like to major in a different area, WPI has an IMGD minor that provides the opportunity to design a focus. This 18-credit hour option allows students to select from courses that explore game design, animation, game studies, audio arts, social impact of games, visual art, technical development, and creative writing. 

All IMGD programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute provide access to state-of-the-art labs and studios such the dedicated IMGD Lab equipped with industry-standard software and hardware tools; an Artificial Intelligence & Intelligent Tutoring Lab; a Sound Recording Studio; and a Digital Art Studio. In addition, all programs blend art, technology, and real-world experience through a co-op or professional internship. 

As part of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, IMGD graduates enjoy frequent on-campus recruiting events and a 92.7% employment success rate. Examples of companies that have hired WPI IMGD graduates include NextGen Interactions, Centre Technology, Kaon Interactive, and Zudy. 

Worcester Polytechnic Institute was established in 1865. A Top 25 STEM college, WPI has more than 50 global project centers on six continents. The school provides 70+ degree programs to approximately 7,230 students across the schools of Arts & Sciences; Engineering; and Business, and The Global School. Worcester Polytechnic Institute is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

9. Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont
Champlain College

Champlain College is home to the Game Studio. Led by industry-expert professors, this collection of seven majors features an interdisciplinary, career-focused curriculums; small class sizes; collaborative projects; and an environment that functions like today’s professional game design studios. Game Studio majors include Game Design; Game Programming; Interactive Narrative for Games & Digital Media; Game Art; Game Production Management; Game Business & Publishing; and Game Sound Design. The Game Art major leads to a BFA. All other Game Studio majors lead to a BS. 

For students seeking a minor, the Game Studio has two options: Game Programming and Interactive Narrative. The Game Programming minor requires 18 credit hours. Course examples include Advanced Programming, Game Architecture, and Introduction to Modern Graphics Programming. The Interactive Narrative minor consists of 15 credit hours. With courses such as Transmedia Storytelling; Introduction to Game Writing; and Screenwriting, this program is ideal for Game Design majors looking to gain experience in digital storytelling for games. 

Students in all Champlain Game Studio majors will develop a number of games that can be presented to recruiters from major studios such as Gameloft, Activision, and Warner Bros. BS students also have opportunities to network with representatives from other major studios such as Rockstar Games, Sony, Ubisoft, Insomniac, ArenaNet, Survios, and Crystal Dynamics.

Champlain College graduates have enjoyed a 91% employment (or graduate school) rate within six months of graduation for the past six years. Game Studio alumni are often hired by AAA companies and independent studios. Examples include Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games, Sega, Ubisoft, and Bend Studio. 

The Division of Communication & Creative Media (CCM) at Champlain College has an additional program option for game designers—the Creative Media BFA. The program features a Game Media concentration and “Upside-Down Curriculum” that allows students to begin taking Creative Media courses in their first semester. Game Media students will explore game engine creation, game industry software, and the entire game production pipeline. 

Course examples for the program include Game Systems & Experience: Design; Game Technology; Interactive Storytelling; Level Design; Introduction to Computer Theory; and Advanced Seminar. All students are encouraged to participate in the Champlain Study Abroad Program, which highlights experiences in Montreal, Canada, with internship opportunities at the Montreal Game Summit and the Montreal International Game Developers Association. Game Studio students also have opportunities to intern at places such as Xbox Game Studios, Wired Magazine, and the Digital Media Academy. 

Champlain College also provides access to faculty-led travel courses lasting one to two weeks, and study abroad experiences in Italy, Scotland, Argentina, New Zealand, and China. Through approved third-party programs, CCM students have also studied abroad in Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Portugal, France, and England. 

Graduates of the CCM program at Champlain College enjoy a 92% employment (or graduate school) rate within six months of graduation. Recent graduates have been hired at places such as Micropup Games, the Louisiana Children’s Museum, and Gabb Global. 

Established in 1878, Champlain College serves more than 2,000 full-time students from 41 states and 10 countries. Students have access to 117 subject areas as undergraduate majors, minors, and concentrations. Students also have the option to design their own major. In addition to Champlain’s main campus in Burlington, Vermont, the school has campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

10. The New School’s Parsons School of Design, New York, New York
The New School’s Parsons School of Design

The New School’s Parsons School of Design (Parsons) is home to the School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT). Within the AMT is a Design and Technology (DT) program with BFA and MFA options. These STEM-designated, interdisciplinary programs feature collaborations between artists and designers across The New School; studios and lab courses led by experts in the field; networking opportunities and sponsored projects with external partners; industry internships; and study abroad experiences in places such as Florence, Paris, and London. 

The Parsons DT BFA explores interaction technologies, emerging art and design practices, and media storytelling. The first year of this 120-credit hour program explores the liberal arts, as well as art and design concepts such as 2D and 3D processes, digital design, and drawing. All first-year students at Parsons, regardless of major, will complete their required courses as a cohort.  

The DT BFA has two paths: Game Design and Creative Technology. Game Design students will work on original projects that explore socially conscious video games, digital art, and wearable technology. Creative Technology students will visit and+ work on projects with major companies and studios such as Apple, Nickelodeon, Atari, Siemens, MTV, UNESCO, Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, and Rockwell Interaction Lab. 

Examples of available courses within the AMT include Game Design as Play Design; Creative Coding; Digital Asset Creation 2D and 3D; Core Studio: Environments; Anatomy and Perspective for Visual Storytellers; CG 1 and 2; Interaction Studio; Communication Design Studio: Motion Graphics; Introduction to Animation; Experimental Animation; Drawing/Imaging; Communication Design Studio: JavaScript; Physical Computing; Communication Design Foundations: Interaction; Data Visualization and Information Aesthetics; Web Design; Light and Image; and Critical Computation Lab. 

In the fourth year of the DT BFA at The New School’s Parsons School of Design, students will complete a thesis project. A new course called Pro Launch Studio, prepares students for careers in the industry.   

The DT MFA at Parsons School of Design is a studio-based program consisting of Collaboration Studio and Thesis Studio courses. In Collaboration Studio courses, students will work with partner companies on real-world projects. Examples of past partners include Apple, Samsung, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), NASA, Intel, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Ralph Lauren, Mozilla, One Plus, and Red Bull. Projects explore areas such as game design, web and mobile apps, film and video, and audiovisual performance.  

Other program features include access to state-of-the-art facilities and labs; elective options across Parsons and The New School; and the Cloud Salon Series—a webinar series consisting of designers, artists, technologists, and industry professionals. Past speakers have included New Red Order, Zach Lieberman, Yuri Suzuki, Audrey Bennett, and Lauren Lee McCarthy. 

Graduates of the Design and Technology programs at The New School’s Parsons School of Design are prepared to pursue leadership roles and others in areas such as Game Design, 2D and 3D Animation, Digital Filmmaking, New Media Art, Motion Graphics, Graphic Arts, Wearable Technology, Mobile and Application Design, Software Design, UI/UX Design, and Virtual Reality and Immersion Experience Design, Hardware Engineering, Advertising, Physical Computing, Data Visualization, and Web Desigin.

The New School was founded in 1919. Parsons School of Design was established as The Chase School in 1896 by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase. In 1904 Frank Alvah Parsons joined the school, eventually becoming its sole director. The Chase School became Parsons in 1941, and joined The New School in 1970. Today, The New School serves 10,000 students, with 5,000+ enrolled in Parsons School of Design. 

The New School provides more than 120 degree and diploma programs across six colleges and schools, including Parsons Paris. The New School is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), with Parsons School of Design included within the scope of MSCHE accreditation.

11. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) houses a multidisciplinary program that is considered one of the few programs of its kind offered at a four-year research university. Launched in 2004 by the UPenn Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS), the program—a Master of Engineering (MSE) in Computer Graphics and Game Technology (CGGT)—is designed for recent graduates and industry professionals seeking career advancement. 

Established in 1975, the Center for HMS is housed in the Computer and Information Science Department (CIS), which is part the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This means, CGGT MSE students will take at least four computer science and engineering courses. Other requirements include two creative art and design courses; one product design, development, and production course; one core area course; and one business and entrepreneurship. Course examples for the program include Game Design and Development; GPU Programming and Architecture; Computer Animation; Applied Machine Learning; Machine Perception; and Engineering Entrepreneurship. 

UPenn CGGT MSE students may also specialize in areas such as Animation and Simulation Technology; Human/Computer Interfaces and Production Management; Art and Animation; or Creative Design. Other program features include an accelerated one-year curriculum for students with a computer science or engineering degree; collaboration with students from other creative departments; and access the SIG Center for Computer Graphics, which features a state-of-the-art motion capture studio, high-performance NVidia GPU processors, ViDi Center for Digital Visualization Center, and AR/VR systems (Vive, Oculus, and HoloLens). 

Graduates of the University of Pennsylvania CGGT MSE Program are prepared for a variety of roles in the game design, entertainment, technology, design, and advertising industries, among others. Program alumni have been hired at major companies and studios such as Electronic Arts (EA), DreamWorks Animation, Zynga, Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Microsoft, Activision, and Crystal Dynamics. 

Also housed in the School of Engineering and Applied Science is the Digital Media Design (DMD) program. Launched in 1998, this interdisciplinary program combines coursework from the UPenn School of Design and the CIS Department. Leading to a Bachelor’s in Engineering and Science (BSE) with a DMD major, the program explores games, animation, computer graphics, interactive technologies, and virtual reality design. A programming-intensive Digital Media Design (DMD) minor is also available. 

Graduates of the UPenn DMD BSE are frequently hired at major companies and studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, EA, Microsoft, Disney Animation, and Google. 

Established in 1740, University of Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s oldest universities. The school serves approximately 28,710 students making it one of the largest universities in Pennsylvania. UPenn houses more than 170 research centers and institutes and 400 programs across 12 schools. UPenn’s Wharton School (est. 1881) was the world’s first collegiate business school. 

The University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

12. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Cornell University

The Cornell Bowers College of Computing and Information Science (CIS) at Cornell University is home to the Game Design Initiative at Cornell (GDIAC). Launched in 2001, the GDIAC was one of the first official computer game programs of its kind, and the first established at an Ivy League School. The Game Design Initiative features a Game Design minor that highlights project-based learning and a curriculum that emphasizes gameplay design, software development, game analytics, and project management. 

Consisting of a minimum of 18 credit hours, the minor requires Introduction to Computer Game Architecture/Design; and Advanced Topics in Computer Game Architecture/Design or Analytics-Driven Game Design. Students will choose four courses from Art, Computer Science, Information Science, Performing and Media Arts, Music, and Psychology. 

Across areas, ideal courses for game designers include Psychology of Gaming; Interactive Computer Graphics; Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures; Machine Learning for Intelligent Systems; Graphics and Art; Natural Language Processing; Advanced Human-Computer Interaction Design; Creative Character Design; Screenwriting; Novel Interaction Techniques; Introduction to Rapid Prototyping and Physical Computing; and Communication and Technology. 

Students may select courses from other departments on a petition basis. Examples include Game Studies and Japan; History and Theory of Digital Art; and Human Factors and Inclusive Design. 

While the Game Designer minor is an ideal complement to the CS BS, it is open to all Cornell students, regardless of major. The CS BS is housed in the Cornell Bowers CIS Department of Computer Science. 

The curriculum for CS BS explores algorithms, programming languages, systems, logic, data structures, and theory. Electives allow students to develop skills in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer graphics, computer vision, scientific computing, cryptography, networks, and databases. Sample courses related to games include Algorithmic Game Theory; Advanced Topics in Computer Game Architecture; Machine Learning; and Cloud Computing. 

All CS students have the opportunity to complete a professional internship and participate in any one of Cornell’s study abroad programs. The school’s portfolio includes Cornell Global Hubs with locations such as China, Ghana, India, and Denmark; short-term study (winter, spring, or summer break) in places such as Paris, Madrid, or the UK; and semester- or year-long study in one of dozens of locations. 

Graduates of the CS/Game Minor program are prepared to pursue careers across the gaming, technology, advertising, science and medicine, architecture, aerospace, legal, education, and business  industries, among others. Ninety-nine percent of Cornell University CS alumni are either employed (66%) or attending graduate school (33%) shortly after graduating. 

Examples of top employers for CS graduates include Epic Systems, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Amazon, Google, Tencent, Meta, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Morrill Hall was the first building constructed on the Cornell University campus. The school was founded in 1865, with Morrill welcoming its first class in 1868. Today, the Cornell University Campus sits on 2,300 acres housing 608 buildings. In addition to the main campus in Ithaca, New York, Cornell has campuses in Geneva, New York; New York, New York; Washington, D.C.; Rome, Italy; and Doha, Qatar. 

Roughly 11,325 faculty and staff members serve approximately 26,285 students enrolled in 300+ majors, minors, and graduate fields of stud. Programs at Cornell are housed across 16 colleges and schools. Cornell University has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1921.

13. American University, Washington, DC
American University

Students at American University (AU) have the rare opportunity to create their own individualized interdisciplinary programs leading to a bachelor’s degree. AU also provides more than 20 online master’s degree and graduate certificate programs. For game designers seeking an advanced degree, AU has a Games and Interactive Media MFA, a Game Design MA, and a Computer Science MS. 

For students seeking a non-degree program, American University has a Game Design Certificate. Housed in the School of Communication, this 15-credit hour program combines game design and game development studies. Required courses include Game Prototyping; Games, History, and Society; Game Development I; and Game Research Methods. Students will select the remaining three credits from 10 carefully curated elective courses. Examples include Game Development II; Making Meaningful Games; 3D Modeling for Games; Training Program Design; 3D Animation; and Digital Art Tools and Techniques. 

The Games and Interactive Media MFA is also housed in the School of Communication. First-year MFA students will attend the Film & Media Arts Boot Camp in August before their first semester. The Boot Camp focuses on the production process. Course examples for this 54-credit hour program include Game Research Methods; Game Prototyping; Writing for Interactivity; and Game Development I and II. MFA students will also compete a six-credit hour Internship in Game Design and a six credit Master’s Portfolio Capstone. 

The Game Design MA is provided jointly by the School of Communication and the Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Students in the MA program have the opportunity to select courses across schools and departments. Examples include Political Communication, Web and Mobile Development, Dynamic Content, and Business. The MA requires 21 credits in game design and six in the Master’s Portfolio Capstone. Game Prototyping, Making Meaningful Games, and Game Development are just a few required courses. 

Housed in the Department of Computer Science, the MS provides has a specialization in Game and Computational Media. In the specialization, students will explore games, simulation and modeling, media, software engineering, entertainment, artificial intelligence (AI), environments, programming languages, and computer architecture. Course examples include Game Programming; Game Prototyping; User Interface Analysis and Design; Game Development II; and Computer Vision. 

All students in the Computer Science MS program at American University have the opportunity to complete an internship and participate in collaborative research projects. 

Across all programs, students have access to the AU Game Center, which explores the use of games in recreation, the media, health, education, the community, politics, and policy. The Game Center also hosts workshops, and all participating students will obtain real-world experience by working on projects with the AU Game Studio, and clients including local studios, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Game students at American University also have opportunities to network at DC-area events such as the Global Game Jam, Games+, Indie Arcade at SAAM, and MAGfest. 

As part of AU, graduates of the Computer Science and Games programs enjoy a 90% success rate (working, graduate school, or both). American University graduates have been hired at places such as Amazon Studios, Disney, Google, NBC Universal, EPIC, Ogilvy, CNN, Zenith Media, BlueShark Digital, ESPN, Foursquare, FOX, IBM, Meta, 4media Group, A+G Digital, SBD Digital, and Acronym Media. 

American University was established on February 24, 1893. Serving approximately 14,000 students, AU provides more than 170 programs across eight colleges and schools. Programs lead to a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. American University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and it is recognized by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.

14. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
George Mason University

George Mason University has several paths to study game design. Programs are housed in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) and the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) Established in 2001 and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the CVPA has BFA, MA, and minor options in Computer Game Design. A Sport and Computer Game Design minor is also available. The CEC School of Computing-Department of Computer Science has an Applied Computer Science BS program with a Computer Game Design concentration. 

The Computer Game Design BFA at George Mason University consists of 120 credit hours of study including 10 in the Mason Core, and 51-52 in the major. Non-specific core requirements, along with digital media, visual arts, and general electives make up the remaining credits. The Mason core consists of courses such as New Media in the Creative Arts and Physics and Everyday Phenomena. 

Major course examples include Digital Game Design; Applied Coding for Game Designers; RS: Story Design for Computer Games; Gameplay Scripting Implementation; Computer Game Platform Analysis and Lab; and Advanced Game Design Studio. Elective examples include Digital Painting for Games; Advanced Game Animation; Drawing I and II; Video Art; and 2D and 3D Experimental Animation. 

All Computer Game Design BFA students will complete an internship totaling 180 hours, including 135 on-site. A Portfolio course is also required. This one credit course consists of creating and refining a web portfolio for class projects and presentations, and to aid in internship applications and professional development. 

The Computer Game Design BFA at George Mason University culminates with the Senior Game Design Capstone, which consists of a case study and public lecture.

The Computer Game Design minor provides courses in game design and development, game animation, and game sound and music. Students in this 15-credit hour program may also select from four emphasis areas including Game Art, Game Audio, Game Scripting, and General Design. 

Provided jointly by the CVPA and the George Mason University School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism, the Sport and Computer Game Design minor provides foundation in sport management, the sports industry, and computer game design. Required courses for this 18-credit hour program include Basic Game Design and Introduction to Sport Management. 

Students can select the remaining four courses from electives. Examples include Digital Game Design; Computer Game Platform Analysis; History of Computer Game Design; Online and Mobile Gaming; Psychology of Sport; Three-Dimensional Game Art; and Sport, Culture, and Society. Students in both minor programs have access to the same facilities, labs, and resources provided through the GMU CVPA. 

The Computer Game Design MA program at George Mason University is designed for students who have earned an undergraduate degree in game design or related areas such as technology, arts, or humanities. Students in this program will take courses such as Research Methodologies in Game Design, Game Production, Game Business, Entrepreneurship and Practice, and the Game Design Graduate Seminar. 

An internship is part of this 36-credit hour program, as well as the opportunity to enhance the degree through electives. Just a few elective options include Game Studio Management, Advanced Music and Sound for Games, Advanced Game Animation, and Interactive Game Systems Design. 

All Computer Game Design students at George Mason University have access to the Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI). Housed at GMU’s Science and Technology Campus, VSGI focuses on job creation, start-ups, and research. In collaboration with companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, VSGI develops research projects in areas such as Cyber-Game education, mobile and wearable game technologies, EdTech Game platform development, AR/VR diagnostic and training solutions, and MedSim. 

Also part of GSU’s VSGI, is the Mason Game and Technology Academy (MGTA). Founded in 2013, MGTA provides the opportunity to develop skills in game design and programming, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). 

Graduates of the Computer Game Design programs at George Mason University are prepared to pursue careers in the technology sector, and in the commercial, entertainment, serious games, education, and nonprofit arenas. Some program alumni have launched their own studios or freelance businesses, while others have been hired at studios such as Bethesda Softworks, Big Huge Games, CatHill Games, Ready at Dawn Studios, and Citadel Studios. 

Founded in 1949 as a branch of the University of Virginia, George Mason University serves more than 40,000 students, making it the largest public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. More than 200 degree programs are provided across 11 colleges and schools. George Mason University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

15. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) houses a Game Development initiative that provides several paths to study games. The initiative is a collaboration between the School of Art and Design in the J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier College of Architecture & Design (CoAD or Hillier College), and the Computer Science Department and Information Technology Division in the Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC). 

This multidisciplinary initiative allows students to study game design, game programming, and game production through tracks provided within several degree programs. Options include the Digital Design BA, MA, and MFA (Game Design track); BS degrees in Information Technology and Computer Science (Game Programming Track, Game Production track); and the Computer Science BA with a games focus through electives. 

Across programs, students will take courses such 3D Game Programming; Advanced Game Production; 3D Character Development; Game Architecture and Design; Simulated Environments; Game Modification Programing; 3D Game Engine Programming; Game Artificial Intelligence (AI); 2D Game Programming; Virtual Reality Design; Educational Game Design; and WebGL Programming. 

New Jersey Institute of Technology's Hillier College has two additional options for students seeking an advanced degree. The Online CS MS provides opportunities to study games through 15 required elective credits and the Game Design and Interactivity Graduate certificate features courses that explore areas such as computing, storyboarding, design, and storytelling. Courses include History of Game Play and Interactivity, Physical Computing – Interaction Design, Environment Design, Digital Audio, and Visual Storytelling and Storyboarding. 

Graduates of the Games programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology work in all areas of game design, development, and programming; storyboard art; architectural and environment visualization; animation; graphic design; simulations; web design; UI/UX design; human-computer interaction (HCI); and artificial intelligence, among others. 

NJIT students/graduates have completed internships with or held positions at studios such as Tripwire Interactive, KWD - Kim.Wendell Design, Ntropic San Francisco, SUSPECT vfx + design, 1stAveMachine, and Miskowski Design. Other examples of recent hiring companies for alumni include Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Meta, IBM, L3 Harris Technologies, Merck, and General Motors (GM).  

Established in 1881 as Newark Technical School, New Jersey Institute of Technology is a public, polytechnic university that serves 12,600 students. More than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available across six specialized schools. New Jersey Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). Examples of individual accreditations include the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

16. University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
University of the Arts

The School of Film at University of the Arts (UArts) has two paths to study games: the Game Art BFA and the 15 credit hour Game Design minor. Both options provide access to the Center for Immersive Media (CIM). Launched in 2019, the CIM consists of a 5,600 square feet space dedicated to emerging technologies such as human-computer interaction (HCI), performance motion capture, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR).  

Across programs, course examples include Game Concepts; Advanced 3D Animation; Game Play; 3D Simulation & Effects; Writing for Games; Virtual Environments; Computer Art Studio; Interface Design; Sound Design; Digital Studio; and Professional Practice. Free electives allow students to take additional courses in an area of interest, pursue other areas in the arts, or select a minor from more than 20 options. Examples include Animation; Film; Screenwriting; Music Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology; Figurative Illustration; Music Technology; Graphic Design; Film and Media Studies; and  Creative Writing. 

Other features for the Game Art BFA include guest artists; the opportunity to work on real-world projects through the Digital Studio and Professional Practice courses; workshops and studios; frequent visits by recruiters from studios such as Bethesda Softworks and Sony; participation in the Global Game Jam; and internships with local or regional companies. Examples include Comcast, Perfect Prototype, PHL Collective, and Analytical Graphics Inc. 

The culminating experience for the Game Art BFA program at University of the Arts is the final project, which will be presented at the Game Art Senior Thesis Exhibition.

UArts BFA graduates have worked on major games such as the World of Warcraft and the God of War series. Program alumni have also been hired at major studios such as Blizzard Entertainment and Sony, and many other studios across the U.S. and around world. 

Founded in 1876 as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, University of the Arts serves approximately 1,315 students enrolled in more than 40 degree programs in fine arts, design, media arts, dance, music, theater, and crafts. More than 20 minors are available and open to all students. UArts programs are provided across the Schools of Art, Dance, Design, Film, Music, Theater Arts, and Graduate and Professional Studies. University of the Arts is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

17. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York
Stony Brook University

The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University (SBU) houses the Department of Computer Science (CS). Within the department is a Game Programming specialization that prepares students for careers in game development or games research. The specialization can be added to the BS, MS or BS/MS programs in Computer Science. Across programs, students will explore game development, game graphics, original game development, multiplayer network programming techniques, and game design methodology. 

Course examples across both programs include Advanced Programming in UNIX/C; Advanced Game Programming; 2D Game Programming; 3D Game Programming; Fundamentals of Computer Vision; Artificial Intelligence (AI); Operating Systems; Advanced Multimedia Techniques; Machine Learning; and Computational Geometry. 

Students in the specialization will work in teams to create several original games, with opportunities to compete in the Stony Brook University Game Programming Competition. Each year, the Competition attracts alumni judges from places such as Nickelodeon Games, Hi-Rez Studios, Riot Games, Microsoft, Apple, Rockstar Games, Amazon, and Twitch. Students in the SBU Game Competition have been hired to work on industry games such as The Sims, Skylanders, Neverwinter Nights, and Geometry Wars. 

The BS and BS/MS programs at Stony Brook University allow students to choose between three options for the culminating experience. Options include Research in Computer Science, Internship in Computer Science, or Senior Honors Project/Topics in Game Programming. Including this final project, the CS BS can be completed in four years, the CS MS can be completed in two years, and BS/MS can be completed in an accelerated format in just five years, full-time.

Graduates of the Computer Science programs at Stony Brook University are prepared to pursue an advanced degree or careers across the entertainment, technology, and other industries. Some students have gone on to start their own game development companies, such as BitOGenius Inc., while others have been accepted into PhD programs at top institutions such as Stanford University. SBU alumni have been hired at place such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, General Electric, and Facebook. 

Stony Brook University was founded on September 16, 1957. New York's flagship university, SBU employs nearly 14,000 people, making it the largest single-site employer on Long Island. The school provides more than 350 programs to 25,865 students across 12 colleges and schools. Stony Brook University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

18. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is home to the ABET-accredited College of Engineering and Information Technology. Within the college is the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) Department, which houses the Computer Science (CMSC) program. Leading to a BS, the CMSC program has a Game Development track that prepares students for careers in technical positions in the games industry. 

The CMSC BS requires 120 credit hours, with 78 in the major, and multiple group games projects. Course examples for the program include Game User Interface Programming; Software Engineering; Computer Graphics for Games; Parallel Processing; Animation; Graphical User Interface Programming; Introduction to Robotics; Advanced Computer Graphics; and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Graduates of UMBC's CMSC/Game Development program are prepared to pursue careers in the game design and development industry; animation, film, and television;  advertising and marketing; simulations, education, and healthcare; and visualization and architecture, among others. 

Program alumni have gone on to work at companies and studios such as Epic Games, Zynga, Bethesda Softworks, Firaxis Games, Zynga, AMD, ZeniMax, Organic Motion, Breakaway Games, Emergent, and Stardock. 

University of Maryland, Baltimore County was established as member of the University System of Maryland in 1966. The school serves 14,000 students enrolled in more than 200 degree, minor, and certificate programs across seven colleges and schools. The University of Maryland Baltimore County is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

19. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut (UConn) is home to the School of Fine Arts. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), the SFA houses the Department of Digital Media Design (DMD). Serving more than 375 students, the DMD features a collaborative learning environment; hands-on projects; and workshops and mentoring by visiting artists. 

The department also provides access to state-of-the-art production facilities and studios such as the Cintiq Lab, Motion Capture Studio, and the VR/Gaming Studio; participation in clubs such as League of Legends Club, the Gaming Club, and the Game Development Club; and 100+ internship opportunities each year at companies in Connecticut and across the U.S. DMD students have interned at major studios and companies such as Pixar, Disney, HBO, ESPN, and Adobe. 

UConn DMD degree options include the BA, BFA, and MFA, and an online DMD graduate certificate. Students in all programs may take the generalist path or select a concentration from one of seven areas. Examples include Game Design, 3D Animation, Motion Design & Animation, Web/Interactive Media Design, and Digital Film/Video Production.  

The Game Design concentration at UConn explores game development for entertainment, science, education, and other areas. This may include digital games, geocaching, card games, amusement park experiences, casino games, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), or board games. 

Courses for the program are led by full-time instructors who are professionals in the industry. Course examples include Fundamentals of Programming for Game & Web; 3D Virtual World & Simulations; Game Scripting; Digital Game Design; Critical Perspectives on Digital Media; and History of Computer Graphics. 

Undergraduates will complete the Portfolio and Professional Development courses and a Senior Project. Graduate students will complete the MFA Thesis Project consisting of six credits, and they will participate in the MFA Degree Exhibition, worth three credits. 

Approximately 90% of University of Connecticut DMD alumni are employed in the industry within one year of graduation. UConn DMD graduates are prepared to pursue titles such as Game Designer, Video Game Artist, Serious Games Designer, Gameplay Programmer, Producer, and Esports Manager. UConn DMD alumni have been hired at companies and studios such as Epic Games, Disney, Viacom, ESPN, Adobe, HBO, The Game Agency, NBC Universal, Blur Studio, NBC Sports, Deck Nine Games, Owlchemy Labs, Preview Labs, and World Walker Games. 

Founded in 1881, University of Connecticut opened as Storrs Agricultural School with just three faculty members and 13 male students. Today, UConn employs more than 18,000 faculty and staff members that serve 32,150 students. The school consists of a main campus at Storrs, and four regional campuses including Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury. 

UConn provides eight undergraduate degrees with 123 majors; 17 graduate degrees including 95 research and professional practice fields of study; and six professional degree programs across 14 colleges and schools. University of Connecticut is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

20. University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
University at Buffalo

The College of Arts and Sciences at University at Buffalo (UB) is home to the Department of Media Study (DMS). Within the department are a number of programs that provide the opportunity to explore various types of media such as games, experimental film production, and sound. Paths to study game design include a Media Study BA with a Production concentration, a Media Study minor, and an undergraduate Game Studies certificate. 

The Media Studies BA: Production allows students to focus in one or more areas through coursework at the intermediate and advanced levels. Course examples include Game Design; Game Programming; Game and Animation Workshop; Physical Computing; Virtual Worlds; Advanced Virtual Reality; Games, Gender, and Culture; Computational Media; Scriptwriting All Media; and Programming for Digital Art. 

The Media Study minor consists of 24 credit hours of study. Students may focus in games through production courses and a required 16 elective credits. 

The Game Studies certificate requites 31-36 credits, and it can be added to the Media Study BA or other program at University at Buffalo. This is not a standalone certificate. Examples of course requirements include Programming for Digital Art; Designed Play; Game Design; and Games, Gender, and Culture. Electives (13-16 credits) allow students to focus in an area of interest. Elective examples include Game and Animation Workshop; Game Programming; Machines, Codes and Cultures; Designed Play; Science, Culture, and Emerging Media; Virtual Worlds; Advanced Virtual Reality; and Computational Media. 

The Game Studies Capstone Project allows students to create an original game or research paper. Certificate students have the option to complete the Independent Study course, which is a capstone project consisting of completed game or research paper. 

All Game Studies students benefit from the program’s partnership with Buffalo Game Space (BGS). This non-profit organization provides training workshops, co-working spaces, and game jams. On-campus, Game Studies students may join the Strategists and Role Players Association, which hosts UBCon--the school's annual gaming and anime convention. 

All UB DMS programs are interdisciplinary and connect students with the Departments of Computer Science, Architecture, Theatre, and English. Across programs students also benefit from directed and independent study opportunities; courses taught by industry professionals; participation in the UB DMS Student Showcase; and summer and semester-long internships with media companies, networks, or galleries--both locally and overseas. The DMS has partnerships with many local companies and studios. DMS students have interned at places such as MTV, NYC-TV, TriCoast Studios, and Fireant Studio. 

Other DMS benefits include access to state-of-the-art computer labs, smart classrooms, a large production studio, and a 200-seat venue with hi-def projection and sound; and more than 700 study abroad options across seven continents. 

Graduates of the Media Studies and Game Studies programs at University at Buffalo are prepared to pursue roles across the games industry, animation and film, advertising, television production, and many others. Program alumni are Game Designers and Developers, Game Artists, Animators, Game Programmers, QA Testers, Gaming Writers, Directors, Independent Game Developers, Software Engineers, and Production Managers. 

Recent employers include Industrial Rockstar Games, Light & Magic (ILM), Zynga, NetherRealm Studios, and Pure Imagination (Pi) Studios.

Founded in 1846 as a private medical college, University at Buffalo is SUNY's flagship. Serving approximately 32,100 students, UB is the largest campus in the SUNY system. The school was the first of the two public universities in New York to earn membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU). Just 59 research-intensive universities in the U.S. hold that distinction. With more than 500 programs across 13 colleges and schools, UB is also accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

21. Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut
Quinnipiac University

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Quinnipiac University (QU) provides two paths to study games: the Game Design and Development (GDD) BA and the GDD minor. The GDD BA is a 120-126 credit program that consists of six team projects (Game Lab I-VI: Team Projects). Upon completion of this six-course sequence, student teams will present a working game and provide documentation of their design and development process. 

Other program benefits include the option to take courses in a related area such as computer science or graphic interactive design. The program also encourages students to pursue a minor or double major, as well as experiential learning opportunities. This allows students to complete an internship, study abroad, or participate in an academic/professional product collaboration. 

In addition, Quinnipiac University GDD BA students add a concentration in an area such as Game Studies, Technology, Programming, Art, Game Studies, Audio or Design Process. All consist of game courses in relation to the concentration area. For example, the Art concentration consists of Game Art I-III, while the Technology concentration includes courses such as Game Lab III: (Unreal) and Game Design Tools and Processes. BA core course examples include Introduction to Game Design; Introduction to Game Development; Creativity and Computation; Introduction to Visual Design for Games; and Professionalism Practice for Game Design. 

Other course examples include Drawing for Games and Animation; Board Game Design; Acting and Directing for Game Design; Game Art I-III; VR/AR Development for Games; Advanced Topics in Game Development; Object-Oriented Design and Programming; Digital Music Composition for Games; Interactive Storytelling and Narrative; Games, Learning & Society; The Business of Games; and eSports Management. 

The GDD minor consists of 18 credit hours. Required courses include Introduction to Game Design; Creativity and Computation; and Introduction to Game Development. To reach 18 credits, students can select courses from a predetermined list. Examples include Game Art I-III; VR/AR Development for Games; Game Design Tools and Processes; and Game Lab: Team Projects (I-IV). 

Graduates of the Game Design and Development program at Quinnipiac University are prepared to pursue advance roles across the games industry. Program alumni have gone on to establish careers at places such as Riot Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games, Sesame Street Workshop, Bethesda Softworks, Hi-Rez Studios, Grover Gaming, F84 Studios, Hellosaurus, Black Rocket Productions, Cool Math Games, and SphereGen Technologies.   

Founded in 1929 as the Connecticut College of Commerce, Quinnipiac University serves approximately 8,700 students across three campuses in Hamden and North Haven, Connecticut. QU provides nearly 200 programs across eight professional schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Quinnipiac University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

22. Maine College of Art & Design, Portland, Maine
Maine College of Art & Design

Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) has one path to study games--the Animation and Game Art (AG) program. Leading to a BFA, the program provides 24/7 access to private studios and state-of-the-art production facilities and equipment such VR workstations; audio production and mastering studios; stop-motion animation workspaces; and the FabLab collaborative studio space.

The computer labs are MECA&D are outfitted with workstations and industry-level programs such as Unity Real-Time Development Platform, Adobe CC Premium Suite (Illustrator, Animate, Photoshop, After Effects, Muse, Audition), ToonBoom Harmony, MAYA and Mudbox, Dragon Stop Motion, and Stencyl. 

The four-year AG BFA program begins with two years of preparation coursework. Course examples include Intermediate Advanced 3D Game Art; Game & Concept Art; 2D Game Design; 3D Modeling & Animation; Character Design; Stop Motion and FX; 3D Rigging & Animation; and Cinematic Storytelling. 

During the third year of the program, students will spend most of their time in the Major Production Studio and the Collaborative Productions courses. The final year of the MECA&D AG program consists of elective coursework and the Professional Studio and Capstone Production courses. Students will leave the Maine College of Art & Design AG BFA program with a professional portfolio of their best work. 

Graduates of the AG BFA program at Maine College of Art and Design are prepared to pursue roles across the games and entertainment industries, among others. Some alumni have also launched their own studios or freelance businesses. Program alumni have been hired at places such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, Hasbro, Laika, Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Chickadee Games, Lone Wolf Media, Fort House Studios, Shoestring Theater, P3 Studios, White Dog Arts: Film and Media Production, Big Room Studios, Calypso Communications, and Digital Mill Production Studio. 

Founded in 1882 as part of the Portland Society of Art, Maine College of Art & Design serves approximately 500 degree-seeking students and 1,500 continuing studies students. Degree programs at MECA&D lead to a BFA, MFA, or MAT. A Graduate Certificate program is also available. Maine College of Art & Design has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) since 1973 and the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) since 1978.

23. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Institute College of Art

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is home to the Game Lab, which hosts events and assists students with making games. The MICA Game Lab also houses the Game Design program. For students seeking a degree, the Lab runs the Game Design BFA. For students in other majors, the Lab has a Game Design minor that requires 15 credit hours. 

Students in the minor will take Game/Play and Introduction to Unity Engine: 2D Game Design. To reach 15 credits, students will select three courses from a list of eight. Examples include Advanced 3D Game Design; Level & Player Experience Design; Sound for Games; Narrative Design; and Installation Games. 

The Game Design BFA at MICA requires 120 credit hours of study, including 21 credit hours of studio electives, and the option to complete an internship or undergraduate teaching assistantship. In Senior Studio I-II, students will complete a professional game. Other course examples for the program include New Media 4D; Game Design Special Topics; Unity Engine 2: Advanced 2D Game Design; Ways of Seeing; Level & Player Experience Design; Game/Play; Fabrication (3D); and Narrative Design. 

Across programs, students benefit from potential partners such as regional game companies, including Big Huge Games and Firaxis; the Computer Science Department at Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering; Come Out and Play, an annual international festival for big and experimental games; the Institute of Play, a New York City-based organization for the research and development of games as teaching tools; and MICA's Center for Design Practice. 

Other program benefits include access to state-of-the-art labs, studios, and equipment; visiting artists and lecturers; and participation in semester and summer study abroad programs. Graduates are prepared to pursue positions in all fields such as digital and traditional game design, science and medicine, museums, education, healthcare, architecture, and advertising. 

Maryland Institute College of Art alumni also go on to pursue graduate study or launch their own studios and freelance businesses. MICA alumni work at places such as Google, Big Huge Games, Firaxis Games, Sparkypants, and Cooper-Hewit National Design Museum. 

Maryland Institute College of Art has an additional program for students interested in a degree that will allow them to work on creations that integrate art with technology. The BFA in Interactive Arts (IA) explores games, building robots, working with VR/AR, and experience design. Examples of games-related courses for the program include Creative Coding; Experience Design: Concepts and Tools; Network Art; Unity3D For Artists; Interactive Spaces; Immersive Experience Lab; Interactive Fiction; and Immersive/Interactive Studio. Students will also gain professional experience through an internship. Some majors have completed internships at Discovery Communications; The Smithsonian; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Digital Harbor Foundation; and CODE2040 

The culminating experience for MICA Interactive Arts BFA program is Senior Thesis: Visual Development. In this three-credit course, students will prepare a final body of work to be produced through the Game Design, Animation, or Illustration departments. Throughout the course, students will work individually and with peers to create projects; they will interact with visiting artists, critics, and lecturers; and take field trips to places of interest. Final projects will be reviewed in individual and group critiques. 

Graduates of the Interactive Arts BFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art are prepared to pursue careers in the games industry, interactive design, and fine art. Some graduates go on to start their own businesses such as Brinkbit and Friends of the Web. Others go on to establish careers with a  wide range of firms, agencies, and studios.  

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art is the nation’s oldest independent, continuously degree-granting college of art and design. The school serves approximately 2,100 students from 45 states and 53 foreign countries. Programs at MICA lead to a BFA, MA, MFA, MBA, MPS degree, or post-baccalaureate certificate. Around 40% of students are Fine Arts majors, and 60% are Design and Media Arts majors. Maryland Institute College of Art is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

24. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York
Marist College

Marist College is home to the School of Communication & the Arts and the School of Computer Science & Mathematics. Collaboratively, the schools manage a Games and Emerging Media (GEM) BS program that allows students to customize the curriculum or combine programs to focus in many specialized areas of games. Examples include Game Designer (GEM major + Psychology minor); Game Animation (GEM + Graphic Design); Game Production/Studio Management (GEM + Business or Advertising); and Game Writer (GEM + Creative Writing). 

The GEM program also provides a 22 credit hour Games and Emerging Media minor. Course requirements include Introduction to Games; Digital Toolbox; and Introduction to Programming. Students will then select 12 credits from course options such as Game Design & Programming; Ethics and Gaming; 3D Animation; and Human Computer Interaction (HCI). 

The Games and Emerging Media BS at Marist College is an interdisciplinary program that explores game design, game writing and storytelling, art, programming, UI/UX, and business of games. Students may also take courses that explore ethics of games, artificial intelligence (AI), storytelling across media, and online culture.  developed include Games and Media Production; Communication; Design and Art; Programming and Technical; Teamwork; and Game Business Practices. 

Other program features include optional concentrations including Technical Development and Programming or Design, Writing, & Culture; hands-on-technology; access to state-of-the-art computer and game prototyping labs; Cloud Computing initiatives; the Play Innovation Lab; and a partnership with IBM. Lectures, workshops, Internship opportunities, and Q&As presented by industry professionals. 

All Games and Emerging Media students at Marist College will complete The Game Studio course, which provides the opportunity to produce games in an environment that functions like a real game design studio. Students will graduate with a professional portfolio of their best work. 

As part of Marist College, graduates of the Games and Emerging Media Programs enjoy a 95% employment (or graduate school) rate within six months of graduation. Program alumni are prepared to pursue leadership roles in areas such as game design, development, and programming; game art and animation; game writing; UI/UX; game and media production; AI; software development; and HCI. 

Marist College provided its first college-level courses in 1929. Today, Marist provides more than 130 programs across seven schools. With campuses in New York and Florence, Italy, Marist serves 5,475 traditional undergraduate students, and approximately 990 full- and part-time graduate students. Marist College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

25. Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is home to the Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences, which houses the School of Art. Within the school are several paths to study game design at all degree levels. For students seeking an undergraduate degree, the School of Art has the following options: a Film and Animation BA with a Video Game Animation concentration, and a 15 credit hour 3D Video Game Animation minor. 

The minor requires the following courses: Creative Imagery with Photoshop; 3D Computer Animation; and Low Poly 3D Modeling. Students will complete the remaining courses through electives such as Game Creation in Unity; Game Design; and Game Creation in Unity. 

At the graduate level, the School of Art has a both MA and MFA programs with a Video Game Animation concentration. Course examples across the BA, BFA, and MFA pathways include Design & Development of Video Games; Advanced After Effects; 3D Particle Animation and Effects; Vector Animation; Low Poly 3D Modeling; 3D Game Creation Using Unreal and Unity; Game Design; ZBrush Digital Sculpting; 3D Asset Creation for Video Games; and Character Animation Using CAT. 

For students interested in a shorter program, the Gildart Haase School of Computer Sciences and Engineering at FDU has an undergraduate Game Development certificate. Consisting of 18 credits, the program requires Computer Programming I and II (six total credits), and Computer Game Programming (three credits). For the remaining credits, students may choose from electives such as Basics of Computer Animation; Human Computer Interface; Computer Animation I and II; and Computer 3D Modeling.  

Across all Games programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University, students may participate in the school’s internship program, which provides opportunities to work at major studios and networks such as DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, ABC, Viacom, NBC Universal, and MTV. Graduates are often hired by many of these studios and networks. 

FDU graduates have also been hired at places such as Sony Pictures Imageworks, Marvel Comics, Verizon, Skyline Entertainment, High 5 Games, Pixel Light Digital Media, Whisper Productions, and Tribe Pictures.  

Established in 1942, Fairleigh Dickinson University was the first American university to own and operate an overseas campus (Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, UK), and the first comprehensive university in the world to require distance learning for undergraduates. With approximately 12,000 students, FDU is also the largest private university in New Jersey. 

Fairleigh Dickinson University provides more than 100 degrees and disciplines across two New Jersey campuses (Madison and Teaneck), the UK campus, and a campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. FDU also has extension sites throughout New Jersey, along with partner institutions and study abroad programs around the world. Fairleigh Dickinson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).