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What are the top game design BFA programs for 2021?
|1||Carnegie Mellon University||Pennsylvania|
|2||New York University||New York|
|3||Savannah College of Art and Design||Georgia|
|4||Ringling College of Art and Design||Florida|
|5||Gnomon School of Visual Effects||California|
|6||The New School/Parsons||New York|
|7||The Ohio State University||Ohio|
|9||Laguna College of Art and Design||California|
|10||Academy of Art University||California|
|11||University of Wisconsin – Stout||Wisconsin|
|12||Maryland Institute College of Art||Maryland|
|13||College for Creative Studies||Michigan|
|14||George Mason University||Virginia|
|15||Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design||Colorado|
|16||Cleveland Institute of Art||Ohio|
|18||Lawrence Technological University||Michigan|
|19||University of Connecticut||Connecticut|
|20||Shawnee State University||Ohio|
|21||New York Film Academy||California|
|22||California State University East Bay||California|
|24||University of the Incarnate Word||Texas|
|25||Moore College of Art and Design||Pennsylvania|
Below are the Top 25 Game Design schools and colleges in the US offering Bachelor of Arts (BFA) degree programs for 2021. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU or Carnegie Mellon) houses the College of Fine Arts, home of the School of Art, which offers a BFA with a Concentration in Electronic and Time-Based Media.
The BFA curriculum “implicitly encourages cross-disciplinary study and as such, many students merge fine art and computer science based interests either within” the program “or through the unique BCSA degree program,” says the school. Areas of focus include animation, bioart, computational and interactive art, game arts, tactical media, tangible media, and video and performance. The BFA also offers the opportunity to pursue an additional major in a technical field.
In addition to the School of Art, the College of Fine Arts houses the Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe) network, which offers collaborative studios, undergraduate minors such as Game Design, and courses that complement the BFA program.
IDeATe Collaborative Studios include Game Engine Programming offered with the Robotics Institute, Research Issues in Game Development offered with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at CMU, and Programming for Game Designers—also offered with the ETC. Courses options include Animation & Special Effects, Design for Learning, Game Design, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Intelligent Environments, Media Design, Sonic Arts, Physical Computing, and Soft Technologies. These areas merge technology and creativity and provide learning opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Students will gain skills in collaboration and the iterative design process, game programming, game systems and mechanics design, interactive narrative and character development, interface design and user testing, and visual and audio asset creation.
2. New York University, New York, New York
New York University (NYU) houses Tisch School of the Arts (Tisch or TSOA), home to the NYU Game Center, Department of Design, which offers a BFA in Game Design.
The program is organized in three primary areas including Game Design, Game Development, and Game Studies and four production areas including Audio Design, Game Business, Programming, and Visual Design. A Capstone is also part of the program.
Classes and events for all Game Center programs take place at the Media and Games Network (MAGNET) at the NYU Brooklyn campus. MAGNET also houses the Game Center Open Library, which is "the largest collection of games held by any university in the world," says the school.
3. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) houses the School of Digital Media, which offers a BFA in Interactive Design and Game Development (IDGD).
Offered at the Atlanta and Savannah campuses, this 180 credit hour program requires 75 hours in the major including courses such as Interactive Design and Game Development Postproduction, Interactive Design and Game Development Studio I & II, and Programming. Students in the BFA program will choose between two concentrations: Game Development or Interactive Design and Physical Computing. Course highlights include Game Art, Game Tech, User-Centered Design, and Visual Design for Interactive Media.
In addition to concentration options and a variety of courses, students will have the opportunity to meet with visiting professionals during each quarter to interview for positions and present their portfolios. Recent visitors include representatives from Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, Crystal Dynamics, Electronic Arts, and Zynga. Graduates have been recruited by Epic Games, Firaxis Games, Sucker Punch Productions, and many others.
4. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) offers a BFA with a Game Art Major. This is one of the few programs available that focuses on visual art for computer games. Students in the program will study “the basics of game design mechanics, meaningful play, interactivity, and options for creating and refining game content,” says the school. The technical aspects of 3D animation software and game engines will also be explored.
Students also benefit from the school’s “rigorous curriculum” that “employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts.” Other program highlights include visiting artists from major game studios such as Blizzard Entertainment, Epic Games, and Riot Games, and internships at these studios and others such as Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games, and Sony Online Entertainment.
Graduates of RCAD enjoy a high professional placement rate at Activision, Blizzard, Cartoon Network Game Studios, Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Gameloft, Hasbro, Intel corporation, LucasArts, Microsoft Game Studios, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Riot Games, Sony Imageworks Interactive, Zynga and many others.
5. Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Hollywood, California
Gnomon School of Visual Effects offers a BFA in Digital Production. The curriculum for the program “covers all aspects of a 3D generalist skillset, providing an in-depth understanding of the 3D production pipeline, visual arts, and general education studies,” says the school. Through electives, students can enhance particular skills in specific areas of digital production.
This full-time BFA program, which culminates in the creation of a professional demo reel, prepares students to work as digital artists within the animation, games, and VFX industries. Students can expect to complete the program in three or four years.
With a 97% employment rate, Gnomon has helped graduates of both programs land positions at major studios such as Blizzard Entertainment, Digital Domain, DreamWorks, Electronic Arts, Industrial Light & Magic, Marvel Entertainment, Nickelodeon Animation, PlayStation, Reel FX, Rhythm & Hues, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
6. The New School's Parsons School of Design, New York, New York
The New School's Parsons School of Design houses the School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT), which offers a BFA in Design and Technology (DT). The program, which has both Game Design and Creative Technology Pathways, teaches students to code and “develop a sustainable process for researching, experimenting, designing, prototyping, iterating, and producing projects that keeps pace with evolving technology,” says the school.
Program highlights include access to university’s extensive libraries, galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities and visits to industry leaders such as MTV, Nickelodeon, and Curious Pictures. Other industry partners include Apple, Atari, Human Rights Watch, MTV, Siemens, and UNESCO.
Two additional programs—the BFA in Art, Media, and Technology, offered at Parsons Paris (est. 1921), and the BFA in Design and Technology (New York campus)—offer opportunities to learn game design.
These interdisciplinary programs explore art, design, media, and technology, preparing graduates to pursue careers in Animation, Computer Software and Hardware Design, Game Design, Interactive Design, Motion Design, and more.
7. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
The Ohio State University’s (OSU) Department of Art in the College of Arts and Sciences offers a BFA in Art and Technology that allows students to “focus on the creative use, misuse, and investigation of technology in an art-making practice,” says the school. Students in the program will “engage the meaning and material of science and technology through the production of interactive installations, electronic objects and interfaces, moving images, 3D modeling and animation, art games, tactical media, bio-art, performance, digital imaging, rapid prototyping, holography, Internet art, sound, and emerging forms.”
Students will utilize state of the art facilities, equipment, and interdisciplinary expertise in the school’s many special labs, including the world class Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD).
8. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Northeastern University offers programs for game designers in the College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD), which serves nearly 6,000 students, and the College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS) - Khoury College of Computer Sciences. BFA options include Game Art and Animation, and Game Design.
The 130 credit hour BFA in Game Art and Animation allows students to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams and with students in the BFA in Games program. Students will also gain practical and technical experiential training via Northeastern’s co-op program. Each student will take at least two co-ops. The BFA in Game Art and Animation culminates in a two-semester Senior Capstone.
The BFA in Games requires 128-129 credit hours of study covering Art and Design, Art History, Games, Entrepreneurship, Critical Making, Creative Making, and Game Electives. While the program does not require a co-op, the school says that students “are exposed to a wide variety of genres and contexts, as well as different ways of thinking about games content, platforms, and production.” Students will have “a minimum of four games courses in which they interact with and collaborate with students in the BS in computer science and game development major.” The program culminates in a Game Design Capstone.
9. Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, California
Laguna Beach College of Art and Design (LCAD) offers a BFA in Game Art. This project-based program highlights a collaborative environment, partnerships with USC’s graduate program (GamePipe), among others, and exclusive access to teachers and mentors that come from Blizzard Entertainment, Double Helix, Insomniac Games, Obsidian Entertainment, Riot Games, Sony Online Entertainment, and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
The school says that students may choose to further develop and perfect their skills through industry internships that apply theory to real world situations. Additionally, the Game Art program hosts workshops that have featured such inspirational giants as Nathan Fowkes and Steven Huston.
10. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
Academy of Art University houses the School of Game Development offers a BFA in Game Development. This multidisciplinary program provides a “well-rounded education in the arts with an emphasis on understanding and applying techniques including 3D modeling, animation and lighting in video game production,” says the school.
Courses for the BFA program are production-based and collaborative, and cover techniques in 3D modeling, animation, concept art, game design, and game programming, among others. Course highlights include 3D Character Artist, 3D Environment Modeling, Environment Concept, Game/Level Design, History of Comics: International and Alternative Comics, The Power of Signs: Semiotics & The Visual Arts, and UX/UI. The program includes collaborative projects, Games Portfolio Preparation, and internship opportunities.
Students will graduate from the BFA program with a solid grasp of the fundamental game art principles, including knowledge of game engine technology and pre-production and production environments.
Potential careers include such 3D Modeler, Concept Artist, Game Designer, UI/UX Designer, and more.
11. University of Wisconsin – Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin – Stout (UW-Stout) houses the College of Arts, Communication, Humanities and Social Sciences (CACHSS), which houses the School of Art and Design. Serving more than 1,000 students, the School offers BFAs in Game Design and Development and Entertainment Design.
The School of Art and Design says the undergraduate program is the “first and only BFA in Game Design in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.” Students in the program gain core skills in art and design such as 3D modeling, animation, and drawing. Program highlights include collaboration with computer science students, courses covering two- and three-dimensional models, animation and visual effects for video games, television, movies, and access to three labs with industry-standard hardware and software, AAA development kits, Intuos Cintiq Displays, HD and 3D projectors, and virtual reality headsets.
Graduates of the game program at UW-Stout have landed positions at companies such as Big John Games, Design Ready Controls, Find-It-Faster Online, Pixel Spill Games, and many others.
12. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) offers BFA degrees in Game Design and Interactive Arts with Concentrations in Game Arts Studio, Interactive Arts Studio, and Game Art.
BFA students in all three concentrations will work in “a team-based, open lab model,” says the school. They will “learn to make games from prototype to finished form and are able to focus on individual areas of interest-including game design, narrative, programing, art production, animation, sound, and more-as they work on collaborative projects with a variety of external partners.” The BFA curriculum “expands upon MICA's successful concentration in game arts, and “reflects the multidisciplinary nature of game development and draws upon the College's renowned faculty in interactive arts, illustration, and animation so that students gain an outstanding technical and conceptual skillset in preparation for a career in game design.”
Students will have the opportunity to create and collaborate in the Dolphin Design Center—a 25,000 square-foot state-of-the-art space with a designated game lab, serving as a nexus of creative ideas and output. Created specifically for designers in the 21st century, the center provides students “with the materials and tools they need to design and make whatever they can imagine.”
Students in the BFA Game Program at MICA can expect to take courses such as 2D Level and Narrative Design, 3D Game Design, 3D Game Studio, 3D Worlds and Level Design, Advanced 2D Game Design, Art Matters, Drawing: Tradition and Innovation, Game Collaborative Studio, Game/Play: Introduction to Design, and Form & Space. For an additional six credits, students can earn an integrated degree in Humanistic Studies, which combines in-depth coursework in academics with studio practice. Graduates will leave the program with a polished portfolio, which will help them showcase their talents at Game Design companies, technology firms, and more.
MICA designers have been hired for paid positions or internships by Abercrombie & Fitch, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Google, Kate Spade, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of Modern Art, National Public Radio, Under Armour, and many others.
13. College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan
The College for Creative Studies (CCS) houses the Entertainment Arts Department. Serving 329 students, the Department offers a BFA in Entertainment Arts with a Focus in Animation, Concept Design, Digital Film or Games.
The Games Concentration teaches students how to produce 2D and 3D images and concepts for video games. As a complement to the program, students may choose coursework from other areas or a Minor in Animation & Digital Media, Fine Arts, Illustration, or Visual Culture. All BFA students will take 126 credit hours including 84 in studio areas and 42 in general studies.
The school says that in addition to coursework in their chosen major, first-year students will take courses in the Foundation Department where they will study basic design, color theory and drawing. Students in all majors will also take courses in the Liberal Arts Department, which the school says is designed to provide them with an understanding of the larger social and cultural context in which they live.
In addition to Game Artists or Designer, graduates of the program are prepared to seek positions such as 3D Modeler, 3D Visualization Artist, AR/VR Developer, Character Artist, Compositor, Creative Director, Environment and Vehicle Designer, Level Designer, Rigger, Look Development Artist, Technical and VFX Artist, Video Game Specialist, and many others.
CCS Entertainment arts alumni have landed positions at places such as Bento Box Entertainment, Blur Studios, Disney ABC Television Group, DreamWorks, Lerner Film, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Pandemic Studios, Pixomondo, PopCap Games, Red 5 Studios, Smiley Face Productions, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Stardock Entertainment, Stargate Digital, and Tippett Studio.
14. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
George Mason University (GMU) houses the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA), home to the Computer Game Design Program, which offers a BFA in Computer Game Design.
This 120 credit hour program “enables students to focus on the artistic components of computer game design while providing them with the technical skills prerequisite to the field,” says the school. A charter member of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, the BFA program is interdisciplinary, which allows students to specialize in one area while “learning the language of many areas.”
Program highlights include portfolio courses, a pre-internship seminar + internship, and a senior project as well as the opportunity to network with employers at the Senior Expo. Course highlights include 2D Design and Color (offered by the School of Art), Advanced Game Design Animation, Applied Coding for Game Designers, Computer Game Platform Analysis, Game Design Studio, Music for Film and Video, and Online and Mobile Gaming.
All BFA students have access to the Virginia Serious Game Institute based at GMU’s Science and Technology Campus. The institute offers Virginia schools, businesses, and universities hands-on training, certification, and research and development assistance by merging game company incubation and rapid prototype development.
The Virginia Serious Game Institute is the only one of its kind on the East Coast and one of only four global affiliated facilities established primarily to support early-entry entrepreneurship into the simulation and game design industry.
Graduates of the Games Programs at GMU are prepared to seek employment in the computer game design and development fields, which include the commercial, entertainment, serious games, and even federal sectors.
15. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) offers a BFA in Game Art. The curriculum for the 123 credit hour program “is a merger of technical and artistic coursework that covers the computer, analytical, and technical skills necessary to understand the mechanics of game design,” says the school. Students will also be introduced to everything from the different aspects of graphic design to creative and technical writing.” Requirements for the 123 credit hour program include 16 Art History credits, 30 Liberal Arts credits, 24 Foundations credits, 48 Core credits, and six Studio Elective credits.
Course highlights include 3D Computer Animation Motion Studies, 3D Modeling, Business Ethics & Copyrights, Character Rigging + Animation, Digital Painting for Film + Games, Game Animation + Motion Capture, Game Creation Fundamentals, Game Particles + Effects, Level Design, Lighting & Texture, and Visual Storytelling. Other program highlights include a collaborative environment that allows students to interact with students from different programs, professors working in the field, and small class sizes.
The BFA in Game Art prepares graduates for careers such as 3D Character Modeler, Concept Artist, Game Designer, Interactive Media Designer, Motion Graphics Designer, and Rigger Animator, to name a few.
16. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) offers a BFA in Game Design that focuses on collaboration within the studio experience.
The school says Game Design students work with “innovative production processes,” including animation, audio, augmented reality (AR), game production, interactive storytelling, modeling, programming, and virtual reality (VR). Course highlights for the program include 3D Texture, Mapping and Digital Lighting, Advanced Digital Sculpting & Modeling, Game Media Production I-IV, Game Testing + Level Design, Serious Game Design: Theory + Applications, Sound Design Fundamentals, and Special VFX/Simulation + Virtual Reality. Students will also complete BFA Research + Preparation, BFA Thesis + Exhibition, and a Game Design Internship.
Graduates of the CIA Game Design Program ware prepared to seek positions such as Animator, Game Designer, Layout Artist, Storyboard Artist, Visual Effects Supervisor, VR Artist, and many others.
17. Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois
Bradley University’s Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts houses the Department of Interactive Media (IM), which offers a BFA in Animation and Game Design that explores “video games and digital storytelling,” says the school.
Students in the program will experience hands-on learning with industry-standard software packages, personal and professional growth through game jams and other competitions, and opportunities to show their digital artwork to the public at the annual FUSE exhibit. Students will also complete an internship “at a distinguished company working in game art or real-time visualization.”
Other program highlights include guest speakers and access to the Interactive Media, Animation Research, and Game Design Research Labs, and the InterMedia Center.
Bradley University graduates have landed positions at Blizzard, Double Negative MGM, NetherRealms, Oculus VR, Scientific Games, Sony Pictures Imageworks, United Renderworks, Warner Brothers Games, and many others.
18. Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan
Lawrence Technological University (LTU) houses the College of Architecture and Design (CoAD), which offers a BFA in Game Design. This project-focused, multidisciplinary program emphasizes art asset creation, game design, game mechanics, game scripting, and programming. Course highlights include 2D Animation, Game Art Methodology, Game Art: Senior Project, Game Design, Integrated Game Studio, Motion Graphics, New Media, Professional Practice, Senior Seminar, and Sophomore Portfolio. An internship is also part of the program.
Graduates of LTU’s BFA in Game Design Programs are prepared to seek positions in 3D modeling, animation, app development, art direction, concept art, game design, game development, game writing, illustration, motion graphics, project management, storyboarding, user experience/user interface design (UX/UI), and more.
Current students and graduates work for local and national companies, including 3DExcite, Chimera Labs, Dead Art Games, Dreaming Door Studios, FanLabel, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Flyover Games, Ford, Jackbox Games, Mackevision, Quicken Loans, Pixo, Pluto, Seventy 7, and many others.
19. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
University of Connecticut (UConn) houses the School of Fine Arts, home to the Department of Digital Media Design (DMD), which offers a BFA degree in Digital Media and Design with a Concentration in Digital Game Design.
Students in the program are required to take the foundation curriculum, which consists of Animation Lab, Critical Perspectives of Digital Media, Design Lab, Digital Culture, Digital Foundation, Fundamentals of Web Design, Motion Graphics I, and Student Agency. Game Design course highlights include 3D Virtual Worlds, Game Production, Game System Design, Game Scripting, Interactive Storytelling, Intro to Digital Game Design, Multiplayer Game Development, Stories in Video Games, and Virtual Worlds & Simulations.
Besides a variety of course offerings, the Game Design Program offers specialization areas such as 3D Modeling for Games, Advanced Game Scripting, Game System Design, and Multiplayer Game Development. The program also offers internship opportunities at companies such as Boston Interactive, Disney, and Rocket Software. Students may also participate in campus clubs such as the Game Development Club, Gaming Club, League of Legends Club, and UConn Rocket League.
UConn Game graduates are prepared to seek positions such as 3D Character Artist, Cinematic Designer, Game Designer, Gameplay Programmer, Entrepreneur, Instructional Designer, Producer/Esports Manager, Serious Games Designer, Technical Artist, User Experience Designer, VFX Artist, and many others. Graduates have been hired at Blue Sky Studios, Bit Fry, Epic Games, The Game Agency, World Walker, and many others.
20. Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, Ohio
Shawnee State University houses the College of Arts and Sciences, home to the Fine, Digital and Performing Arts Department, which offers a BFA in Game & Simulation Arts that focuses on 3D animation, character design, and interface design.
“The curriculum enhances the classroom theory behind video game design with two unique value-added resources: a state-of-the-art Motion Capture Studio Lab and the Annual Art & Technology Game Conference,” says the school. Hosted by Shawnee State, this interactive digital technology conference attracts game developers, students, and industry leaders from all over the country.
BFA Students will also “acquire practical experience through participation in a joint senior project in the Game Engineering program,” which the school says will build up their skills in animation, art asset development, game design, and motion capture.
To enhance the degree, students will have the opportunity to choose a Minor in Gaming Arts, Sound Design, Studio Arts, or Art History. Upon completion of the 122 credit hour BFA, graduates will be prepared to seek positions in all areas of game development and design and simulation, or corporate training, design engineering, environmental science, healthcare, and even urban planning.
21. New York Film Academy, Los Angeles, California
New York Film Academy (NYFA) houses the Game Design School at NYFA, which offers a BFA in Game Design. The BFA is offered in an accelerated three-year format, so students can “explode into the industry with a portfolio of original work and an enormous amount of practical experience,” says the school.
The BFA program provides hands-on experience with students leading their own game studio with classmates each semester, engaging with game industry leaders including faculty, mentors, and guest speakers, and building portfolio pieces including games, artwork, and stories.
Along the way, students will master art and animation tools such as Adobe Creative Suite and Maya 3D, programming tools, and Agile Tools (industry-standard collaboration tools) such as JIRA, BitBucket, and Confluence. Students will also study the business of games. They will gain exposure to principles of publishing and marketing, as well as how to break into the game industry as an individual. New sessions start each semester and the program is offered exclusively at the Academy’s Los Angeles campus.
22. California State University East Bay, Hayward, California
California State University East Bay (CSUEB) houses the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Science, home of the Department of Art, which offers an Art BFA with eight concentration options. Each option consists of 33 units. The most popular concentration for aspirin game designers is Interaction & Game Design.
This 127-unit program “focuses on the creation of meaningful experiences expressed as interactive applications and objects,” says the school. “Game Design applies this to entertainment, both experimental and commercial. Students analyze interactivity in art, design, and everyday life, acquire skills and develop prototypes, and work in collaborative teams to produce successful games and creatively solve real world problems.”
Course highlights include 4D Project Development and Preproduction, Game Design, History of Play, Games, and Interactivity, Interaction and Experience Design Foundations, Interaction Design Studio I & II: Tools for Designers and Prototyping the Internet of Things, User Experience Theory and Design, and Web Design I & II: Foundations and Screen Interactions.
Elective options dive deeper into games (and animation) and include options such as Audio Production for Video and Animation, Game Design II, Game Development Team Project, and Interaction Design Studio III: Interactive Immersive Experiences. An Interaction and Game Design Senior Project and optional internship are also part of the program.
Graduates of the BFA in Interaction and Game Design Program go on to pursue careers such as Design Director, Game Developer, Information Designer/Information Architect, Interaction Designer, Level Designer, Product Designer, User Experience (UX) Researcher, User Interface (UI) Designer, Web Designer, and many others.
23. Woodbury University, Burbank, California
Woodbury University houses the School of Media, Culture & Design, which offers a BFA in Game Art & Design. The program “teaches students how to conceptualize and develop video games from scratch,” says the school. It “combines art, animation, computer technology, sound design, story development and game design. Students can develop also their own art or design specialties, while taking game courses that focus on two-dimensional and three-dimensional character, environmental design, and animation.
The BFA in Game Art & Design also focuses on elements such as play mechanics, game rules, story, program flow, scoring systems and prototyping. Not only will students “work together in a cross-disciplinary team environment of artists and designers that mirrors the professional world, they will also complete a mandatory internship that allows them to gain experience in the real world.”
Internship opportunities include Activision Blizzard, Code Headquarters, DICE LA, Disney, Insomniac Games, Nexon, Nickelodeon, Skydance Interactive, and many others.
Graduates of Woodbury’s BFA in Game Art & Design Program have a variety of career options. Just a few include Animator, Character Designer and Modeler, Combat Designer, Environmental Designer and Modeler, Game Design Documentation Specialist, Game Designer, Game Level Designer, R&D Prototype Developer, Rigger, Scenario Designer, Story Developer for Interactive Media, and User Interface Designer.
24. University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas
University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) houses the School of Media and Design’s Department of 3D Animation and Game Design, which offers a BFA in 3D Animation and Game Design with Concentrations in Animation, Modeling, Programming for Games and Production Management.
Incoming Freshmen take a core of four courses: Game Engines, Hard Surface Modeling, Organic Modeling, and Principles of Animation to find where their interests and skills lie. The next three years are focused on “getting each student the best demo reel possible in their specialization area,” says the school.
Games course highlights include Business of Animation and Game Design, Elements of Game Design, Game Programming, Previsualization and Storytelling, Rigging, Stage Movement, and Visual Narrative Conventions. Students will complete several Animation Industry Seminar courses, Senior Thesis Production, and Senior Portfolio. Study abroad experiences and internship opportunities are available.
Graduates of the BFA program “have gone on to work in film and television and at such major companies as Sony and their subsidiaries. 3D Animation and Game Design graduates have also found success in media, consulting, information technology, and video game production companies, as well as with government agencies.”
25. Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Moore College of Art and Design offers an Animation & Game Arts BFA that “teaches a variety of industry-relevant knowledge,” says the school. This includes gaming strategies, animation and storyboarding, development of 2D character design and 3D environments, hand and digital drawing history, theory, proficiency in the use of art-making software, and critical analysis of interactive culture.
Designed for “women artists who want careers in animation and game arts,” the AGA BFA program allows students to work collaboratively in teams with other artists to create animations, games and interactive media. Students will utilize Moore’s state-of-the-art technology such as Wacom Tablets, and participate in the Annual "Game Changers: Women Making Games" symposium.
Course highlights include 2D Character Design & Environment, 3D Animation, 3D Environments, Digital Painting, Game Projects, Game Strategies Studio, History of Animation & Game Arts, Mobile Media Projects, and Time-Based Media Projects.
Students will also take Marketing & Business Development and Professional Practice. During the final year of the program, they will complete Senior Studio, Senior Thesis, and a Professional Development Internship. Some internships are paid and students may enroll in Moore’s exclusive Study Abroad Program, which offers experiences in places such as Athens, Morocco, and Rome.
Moore Animation & Game Arts graduates have interned or worked at Digital Effix, Jostens, Neon Ave. Studios, PETAL et al., QuadraTron Games, Titmouse Animation Studio, and Viasat.