What are the top game design BFA programs for 2023?
|1||Carnegie Mellon University||Pennsylvania|
|2||New York University||New York|
|3||Savannah College of Art and Design||Georgia|
|4||Gnomon School of Visual Effects||California|
|5||Ringling College of Art and Design||Florida|
|6||The Ohio State University||Ohio|
|7||The New School's Parsons School of Design||New York|
|9||Laguna College of Art and Design||California|
|10||Academy of Art University||California|
|11||University of Wisconsin – Stout||Wisconsin|
|12||George Mason University||Virginia|
|13||Cleveland Institute of Art||Ohio|
|14||Otis College of Art and Design||California|
|15||New York Film Academy - Los Angeles||California|
|16||College for Creative Studies||Michigan|
|17||Maryland Institute College of Art||Maryland|
|18||University of Connecticut||Connecticut|
|19||Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design||Colorado|
|20||Shawnee State University||Ohio|
|21||Moore College of Art and Design||Pennsylvania|
|23||California State University, East Bay||California|
|24||University of the Incarnate Word||Texas|
|25||Lawrence Technological University||Michigan|
Below are the Top 25 Game Design schools and colleges in the US offering Bachelor of Arts (BFA) degree programs for 2023. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was established in 1998. A partnership between CMU’s College of Fine Arts and the School of Computer Science (CS), the ETC houses the Game Design Minor in collaboration with the Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology Network (IDeATe). This program is open to all majors—CMU has more than 7,000 major/minor combo options). A popular combo option for game designers is the Art BFA/Game Design Minor.
The Art BFA provides opportunities to study games through advanced studio electives. Other courses include Computing at Carnegie Mellon, Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to Interactivity, 2D Media Studio, Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to Moving Image, and 3D Media Studio.
The ETC IDeATe Game Design Minor consists of courses that cover topics such as game programming, game systems and mechanics design, Interactive narrative and character development, user testing, computing, interface design, visual and audio design, the design process, and teamwork. The ETC IDeATe Game Design Minor requires a minimum of 45 units of study to complete the program.
Carnegie Mellon University graduates are routinely hired by companies and studios such as Amazon, Epic Systems, Apple, Google, Microsoft, ESPN, IBM, Meta, 2K Games, and 31st Street Studios.
2. New York University (NYU), New York, New York
The Game Center is the Department of Game Design at New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts. Founded in 2008, The NYU Game Center hosts events and programs such as the NYU Game Center Lecture Series, No Quarter Exhibition (est. 2010), and the professional game conference known as PRACTICE: Game Design in Detail. The Center, which also hosts workshops, playtests, and tournaments, has a Game Design BFA.
The Program consists of immersive academic seminars and hands-on experiences in the Game Center’s development studios and play labs. Students may focus on programming, design, or visual design for games, game criticism, game art, or other areas.
A major component of the NYU Game Center is the internship program. Students have completed internships with Disney, Ubisoft, Arkadium, and TreSensa. NYU Game Center students will graduate with a resume and several finished games
New York University Game Center alumni are Game Artists, Game Designers and Developers, Software Publishers, AI Engineers, and Entrepreneurs. They work at companies and studios such as Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games, Amazon, Tencent, Take-Two Interactive, ESPN, Nickelodeon, and IGDA Japan.
3. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
The School of Digital Media at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has an Interactive Design and Game Development (IDGD) BFA that can be completed at the Atlanta and Savannah campuses, as well online via SCADnow.
All students in the SCAD School of Digital Media have opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships with local and national studios. Students will also work individually and in teams to complete projects at state-of-the-art customized facilities at Mongomery Hall—a 130,000 square feet space consisting of studio classrooms, more than 800 computers, stop-motion sets, a green-screen stage, motion-capture technology, and AR/VR resources. The SCAD Digital Media Center in Atlanta provides an in-house theater, green screen lab, and a real-world studio environment.
Each quarter, students have the opportunity to interview and present their portfolios to professionals in the industry. Past visitors have been affiliated with studios such as Electronic Arts (EA), Zynga, and Activision Blizzard. Graduates of the IGD Programs at Savannah College of Art and Design are routinely hired by these and other studios such as Epic Games, Firaxis Games, and Sucker Punch Productions.
4. Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Hollywood, California
Gnomon School of Visual Effects (Gnomon) emphasizes hands-on production. Learning takes place in classrooms that replicate real production studios. Consisting of a 30,000 square foot facility, Gnomon also houses nine state-of-the-art computer labs, drawing studios, lecture spaces, cycloramas, dedicated sculpture labs, a green screen stage, and the Gnomon Gallery.
Degree options include the 180-unit Digital Production BFA that focuses on the 3D production pipeline for visual effects, games, and film. Students will also master industry software and tools such as Nuke, After Effects, Maya, V-Ray, ZBrush, and Photoshop. A wide variety of elective options allows BFA students to create a specialization in any area of entertainment or production. Gnomon BFA students may also choose from three concentrations including 3D Generalist, Game Art, and Visual Effects.
The Digital Production BFA at Gnomon School of Visual Effects takes four years to complete (full-time), with or without a concentration. Students will graduate with a professional demo reel.
Gnomon School of Visual Effects alumni work at some of the world’s top studios. Examples include Blizzard Entertainment, Amazon Games, Framestore, WetaFX, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixomondo (PXO), Marvel, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Disney Imagineering, DreamWorks, Electronic Arts (EA), and Riot Games.
5. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) has a Game Art BFA Program that attracts recruiters from major studios such as Blizzard Entertainment, Epic Games, and Riot Games. The program explores topics such as environmental design, professional practices, methods and technologies, and concept and creative problem-solving. Students also work on projects in teams to develop collaboration and communication skills.
Following the studio model of teaching, which emphasizes learning by doing, the Game Art BFA at Ringling College of Art and Design also highlights visiting artists, industry internships, and other experiences that provide the opportunity to work on real projects with local businesses and studios.
The RCAD Game Art BFA requires 48 credit hours in the major. This accounts for 40% of the coursework. Course examples for the program include 3D for Games I-IV, Game Design I-II, Programming for Artists, and Visual Development for Games. BFA students will also take four courses leading to the development of a Game Thesis Project.
Graduates of the Game Art BFA Program at Ringling College of Art and Design have been hired at Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games, 343 Industries, Bungie, Bethesda Game Studios, and Naughty Dog, among others.
6. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
The College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University houses the Department of Art, home to the Art BFA with an Art & Technology. The specialization explores art games, 3D modeling and animation, emerging forms, moving images, sound, and more. Course examples include Digital Imaging, Internet Art, 3D Modeling, Moving Image Art, New Media Robotics, Computer Animation, and Art & Technology Studio Practice.
Students will also take Aspects of Art & Technology I and II, and Special Topics courses such as Art Games, Art & Science, Graphic Novels/Web Comics, and Eco Art.
Graduates of the Art/Art & Technology BFA Program at The Ohio State University are prepared to pursue positions in areas such as entertainment, technology, art, and engineering. Potential job titles include Game Designer, CG Specialist, Motion Graphic Designer, Interaction Designer, Software Programmer, Virtual Reality Designer, Design Strategist, User Interface/User Experience Designer (UI/UX), and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Designer.
7. The New School's Parsons School of Design, New York, New York
The School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT) at The New School's Parsons School of Design (Parsons) houses a Design and Technology (DT) Program with an option leading to DT BFA. Programs in the School of AMT are STEM-designated and provide networking opportunities and collaborations with external partners; studios and lab courses led by experts in the field; industry-oriented internships; and study abroad experiences in places such as London, Paris, and Florence.
The DT BFA at Parsons requires 120 credit hours taken over four years. Like all undergraduate programs at Parsons, the first year of the BFA covers the liberal arts, along with art and design concepts such as drawing, digital design, and 2D and 3D processes. All first-year students at Parsons, regardless of major, will take their required courses together.
The DT BFA has two pathway options including Game Design and Creative Technology. Students in the Game Design Pathway will work on projects that explore wearable technology, digital art, and socially conscious video games. Creative Technology students will work on projects with major companies and studios such as Nickelodeon, Apple, Atari, MTV, UNESCO, Rockwell Interaction Lab, Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, and Siemens.
AMT course examples include Time, Game Design as Play Design, Objects as History, Concept and Illustration for Games, Core Studio Systems, Design Studies, Game Craft, Communication Design Studio: Experience in Space, The New Arcade, Digital Development, Experimental Animation, Storytelling, Motion Graphics, Narrative and Dynamic Systems, and Visual Design Concepts.
Graduates of the Design and Technology Program at The New School Parsons are prepared for careers in Game Design, 2D and 3D Animation, Digital Filmmaking, New Media Art, Motion Graphics, Wearable Technology, Mobile and Application Design, Software Design, Advertising, Virtual Reality and Immersion Experience Design, Hardware Engineering, Physical Computing, Graphic Arts, WEB/UI/UX Design, and Data Visualization.
8. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
The College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) at Northeastern University (Northeasters) has both Game Design and Game Art & Animation BFA Programs. Both programs are interdisciplinary and include courses such as Game Design and Analysis, Mixed Research Methods for Games, Prototyping for Experience Design, Advanced Topics in Game Design, Generative Game Design, Spatial and Temporal Design, Level Design and Game Architecture, Exploratory Concept Design, Player Experience, Business Models in the Game Industry, Building of Game Engines, Psychology of Play, Game Artificial Intelligence, Generative Game Design, Games and Society, Game Studio, Data-Driven Player Modeling, Advanced Topics in Game Science, Game Concept Development, and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).
In addition to a variety of courses, the Game Design and Game Art & Animation 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.
Northeastern University partners with more than 20,000 co-op employers nationwide and in 65+ countries around the world. Examples include Hasbro, Mass DiGi, Greenbrier Games, Splash Damage Games, Harmonix, Jamspot, Live Nation, and Demiurge Studios.
In addition to gaining work experience through the co-op program, students in all CAMD programs enjoy hands-on learning in collaborative classrooms and studios, access to state-ot-the-art production facilities, courses taught by industry professionals, and access to 3,350+ employer partners, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and global companies.
Graduates of the Game Design and Game Art & Animation Programs at Northeastern University work in Game Art, Game Design and Development, Game Programming, Sound for Games, Animation, and many other areas. Program alumni have been hired at major companies and studios such as Google, Zynga, Xbox Game Studios (a division of Microsoft), and Cognizant.
9. Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, California
Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) has a Game Art BFA that features Game workshops led by artists and designers such as Bill Perkins, Justin Thavirat, and Chris Bateman. The program also takes place in a project-based environment that encourages collaboration. Possible courses for the program include Advanced Drawing for Games, 3D Environmental Design, Pictorial Design for Illustration, Rigging and Animation for Games, 3D Design (Intro to Zbrush), Creatures and Characters, World Development, Storyboarding for Entertainment – Live Action Film, and Visual Storytelling for Entertainment.
Graduates of the Game Art and Game Design Programs at LCAD are employed at major companies and studios around the globe. Examples include Riot Games, DreamWorks, The Jim Henson Company, Insomniac Games, Disney Animation Studios, Blizzard Entertainment 20th Century Fox, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft Studios, Obsidian Entertainment, and Marvel.
10. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
Academy of Art University (Academy of Art) is home to a STEM-certified School of Game Development that operates under the direction of professionals who are active in the game design industry. Academy of Art programs, including the Game Design BFA, are multidisciplinary, so student designers will explore game, systems, and tools programming; coding; augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR); rigging; animation/animation VFX; artificial intelligence (AI); concept art; user interface/user experience (UI/UX) design; 3D modeling; technical art; and level design.
Across all Academy of Art University programs, students will take courses such as Programming for Games, AI, Mobile Game Development, Programming for Game UI and Tools, Game Engines, History of Gaming, Collaborative Game Development, 2D Tools for Game Development, Game Engines, 3D Modeling for Games, Prop & Weapon Design for Games, Level Design for Video Games, Rapid Game Development, Combat Design, and Game Freemium & Monetization.
Partnerships with studios such as Zynga, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Riot Games allow School of Game Development students to gain real-world experience through professional internships. In addition to working at a top studio prior to graduation, students will engage in hands-on learning in the Academy of Art Game Development Studio. Examples of facilities and technology include cross-departmental war rooms with students from the Schools of Animation, Illustration, and Music, among others, Xbox/PlayStation/Nintendo Game consoles, competitive esports lab, 280+ Alienware High Performance Computers with Dual Monitors, AR/VR labs, and the Game Lounge.
Graduates of the School of Game Development at Academy of Art University have been recruited by major studios such as Riot Games, Zynga, and Sony Interactive Entertainment. Students have also been hired at smaller studios such as Sledgehammer Games, Naughty Dog, and Crystal Dynamics.
11. University of Wisconsin – Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin
The College of Arts, Communication, and Social Sciences (CACHSS) at University of Wisconsin – Stout (UW-Stout) houses the School of Art and Design, home to the Design Department, which has a Game Design and Development (GDD) BFA Program.
Accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the GDD Program consists of collaborative studios and hands-on experience gained at UW-Stout labs, studios, and other facilities. Students also gain field experience through study abroad courses in LA and San Francisco, internships, and industry projects with the Jim Henson Company, among others. GDD BFA students will complete a Game Design and Development Capstone and present a final portfolio of their best work at a public exhibition presented by the School of Art and Design.
BFA graduates have been hired at local studios and firms such as Pixel Spill Games, Big John Games, and Finn Daniels Architects. They are Game Designers, 3D Artists, Animators, and Modelers.
12. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) at George Mason University (GMU) was established in 2001. Today, the CVPA provides more than 1,400 majors across four disciplines including Computer Game Design, Film and Video Studies, Art and Visual Technology: Dance, Music, and Theater, and Arts Management. Specific undergraduate degree options for game designers include the Computer Game Design BFA.
Consisting of 120 credit hours of study, the Computer Game Design BFA requires a 180-hour internship, including 135 hours on-site. Course examples for the program include Applied Coding for Game Designers, History of Computer Game Design, Three-Dimensional Game Art, Consumer Gaming Platform Analysis Lab, and Story Design for computer Games. BFA students will complete a Portfolio course, which consists of creating and refining a web portfolio to present to faculty and peers, to supplement internship applications, and for professional development.
The Computer Game Design BFA at George Mason University culminates with the Senior Game Design Capstone taken over two courses.
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 Program at George Mason University are prepared to pursue careers in the commercial, entertainment, serious games, education, and the nonprofit sectors. Some Game Design alumni have launched their own studios or freelance businesses, while others have been hired at studios such as Bethesda Softworks, Citadel Studios, Big Huge Games, Ready at Dawn Studios, and Catlilli Games.
13. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
The Game Design Department at Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) is home to the Game Design BFA Program, which combines coursework and immersive studios with opportunities to work on real-world projects with partners such as NASA and 360 Alley. The program is also collaborative, so students will have opportunities to work in teams to complete console games, AR/VR content, and mobile apps from start to finish. Team members may come from the CIA Game Design Department or the Computer Gaming Minor Program at Case Western Reserve University.
Through coursework and practice, CIA Game Design students will master game engines such as Unity and Unreal. Course examples for the program include Serious Game Design: Theory + Applications, Game Media Production I-IV, Game Testing + Level Design, Special VFX/Simulation + Virtual Reality, Sound Design Fundamentals, Advanced Digital Sculpting & Modeling, and 3D Texture, Mapping, and Digital Lighting.
Two three-credit courses are dedicated to the Game Design BFA Thesis + Exhibition. This solo project will represent the student’s best work at the CIA Game Design Show. Instead of the Engaged Practice component of the program, which provides the opportunity to work with CIA partners, students may complete an internship with a game production studio, animation studio, or other company.
Graduates of Design BFA Program at Cleveland Institute of Art Game are prepared to pursue positions such as Game Designer, Game Production Lead, Game Programmer, Senior Game Developer, Game Art Director Lead, Visual effects (VFX) Developer, Technical Artist, Animator, Storyboard Artist, Modeler, Layout Artist, and Virtual Reality (VR) Designer.
14. Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California
Otis College of Art and Design (Otis) has a Game and Entertainment Design BFA Program that combines computer technology, art sound design, animation, story development, and game design. Coursework for the program is hands-on, allowing students to develop skills in Pipeline Game Engine integration, modeling, texturing & lighting, and concept art, as well as industry software such as Maya, Blender, Adobe Suite, Unreal Engine, Houdini, and Zbrush.
The Otis Game and Entertainment Design BFA features three projects: Game Engine Explorations, Game Studio Project I & II, and Game Senior Project I & II. Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to pursue careers in the games industry and other industries that value game design and development skills. Examples of potential job titles include Game Engine Artist, Game Art Developer, Visual Effects (VFX) Artist, Character Animator, Unreal Engine Animator, CG Texture Artist, Real-Time Development Artist, Character Modeler, 2D/3D CG Artist, Concept Artist, and CG Modeler/Sculptor.
Graduates of the Game and Entertainment Design Program at Otis College of Art and Design have been hired at major companies and studios such as Apple, Nickelodeon, Mattel, Pixar, DreamWorks, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and Disney.
15. New York Film Academy-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
The Game Design School (GDS) at New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA LA) has a Game Studio course that provides the opportunity for students to run their own game studio in collaboration their peers. This semester-long course highlights guidance and support from professional game designers, developers, and programmers. The course is repeated throughout the Game Design Programs at NYFA LA, which allows students to complete multiple games and build a substantial portfolio of their best work.
For students seeking a bachelor’s degree, NYFA LA has a Game Design BFA that takes three years to complete, full-time. While this program is offered exclusively at the NYFA Los Angeles campus, eligible students may complete coursework at NYFA New York in the one-year non-degree program, then apply the coursework to the Game Design BFA Program. Students may be accepted with advanced standing.
The NYFA LA Game Design BFA features an intensive, hands-on course of study consisting of lectures, in-class exercises, special guests, and the opportunity to pitch video games to developers and publishers. Course examples include Game Coding with Unity and C#, Game Design Studio I-IV, Multiplayer Game Design, Playcentric Design, Mobile Game Design, 3D Game Design, Publishing Video Games, Level Design, Sound Design for Games, Art Direction for Game Developers, and Business of Video Games.
During the final semester of the NYFA Los Angeles Game Design BFA Program, students will complete the Collaborative Thesis Project II, which includes a Game Design Wiki, written story materials, and polished working software.
Graduates of the Game Design School at New York Film Academy LA have worked on games and productions such as HALO, Star Wars: The Clone War, Pokemon, Lords of the Fallen, ToonTown, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Clash of Clans, Tron Evolution, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon.
16. College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan
The BFA Programs at College for Creative Studies (CCS) require 126 credit hours to graduate. Studio areas account for 84 credits, with 42 in general studies. All first-year students, regardless of major, will take courses in the Foundation Department. Areas explored include drawing, color theory, and basic design. In the Entertainment Arts Department at CCS, students can earn an Entertainment Arts BFA with a Game Design, Animation, Concept Design, or Digital Film Emphasis. All emphasis areas are STEM-designated programs.
Program benefits for all Entertainment Arts students include small class sizes, internship opportunities, courses taught by industry professionals, and access industry-standard, state-of the art labs and equipment such as the Gaming Lab, AR/VR Lab, software and hardware, and editing suites. Course examples for the Game Design Emphasis include Drawing I: Rapid Concept, 3D Computer Graphics, Modeling & Texturing, Digital Techniques, Processing & Making, Game Ideation, and 2D Design Principles.
Graduates of the College for Creative Studies Entertainment Arts Program have worked on more than 15 Marvel movies, they have created game environments for World of Warcraft at Blizzard Entertainment, and they designed one third of the six Batmobiles. Other studios where CCS alumni work include Disney Animation Studios, Nickelodeon, Paramount, Disney Television Animation, Pixomondo, ustwo Games, and Outloud Media, among others.
17. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
The Game Design Program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has BFA degrees in both Game Design and Interactive Arts. The Dolphin Design Center at MICA houses both programs along with the Game Center, where students use state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to design games, interactive art, animations, and more.
Course examples across programs include Game/Play, Level Design, Body/World/Machine, Advanced 2D and 3D Game Design, Haptics and Optics, Narrative Design, Immersive Experience Lab, Creative Coding, The Soundscape, Virtual Reality for Artists, Robotics Arts, Immersive/Interactive Studio, Sound Art, Remix as Performance, and Drawing: Tradition and Innovation.
The Game Design and Interactive Arts BFA Programs require 120 credit hours of study. In Senior Studio I-II, students will complete a professional game. Interactive Arts students will complete the Interactive Arts Thesis, several core studios, and nine hours of degree-enhancing studio electives. Students in all programs may add a Concentration in 3D Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration, or Sound Design.
Graduates of the Game Design and Interactive Arts Programs at Maryland Institute College of Art go on to pursue graduate study, positions at major game design studios, or launch their own studios and freelance businesses. MICA alumni work at places such as Google, Big Huge Games, Cooper-Hewit National Design Museum, Firaxis Games, and Sparkypants in positions such as Game Designer, Art Director, Interactive Designer, Mobile App Designer, and Exhibit Designer, among others.
18. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
The School of Fine Arts at University of Connecticut (UConn) is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD). Within the School is the Department of Digital Media Design (DMD) and the DMD BFA Program.
Serving more than 375 students across seven concentrations, the DMD emphasizes a collaborative learning environment, hands-on projects, and visiting experts who present workshops and mentor students. The Department also provides access to state-of-the-art production studios, gaming clubs, and more than 100 internships annually at companies in Connecticut and across the U.S. DMD students have interned at major studios and companies such as HBO, Pixar Animation Studios, Disney, Adobe, and ESPN.
Students in all DMD Programs may take the Generalist Path or Specialize in Game Design. Led by full-time instructors who are professionals in the industry, courses for the programs may include 3D Virtual World & Simulations, Digital Game Design, Game Scripting, History of Computer Graphics, Critical Perspectives on Digital Media, and Fundamentals of Programming for Game & Web. Undergraduates will also complete a Portfolio course, Professional Development course, and a Senior Project.
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 careers such as Game Designer, Video Game Artist, Producer, Serious Games Designer, Gameplay Programmer, and Esports Manager. UConn DMD alumni have been hired at companies and studios such as Blur Studio, Epic Games, Disney, Adobe, The Game Agency, ESPN, HBO, Viacom, NBC Universal, Owlchemy Labs, NBC Sports, Deck Nine Games, and World Walker Games.
19. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado
The Game Art BFA Program at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) features learning that takes place in a collaborative environment, allowing students to interact with artists from different programs. The program requires 124 credit hours of study, including 15 Art History credits, 30 in Liberal Arts, 24 in Foundations, 48 Core credits, and six Studio Elective credits.
Courses for the Game Art BFA are led by working professionals in the industry. Course examples include Level Design, Character Rigging and Animation, 3D Modeling, Lighting & Texture, Visual Storytelling, and Business Ethics and Copyrights.
Graduates of the Game Art BFA Program at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design hold positions such as Game Designer, 3D Character Modeler, Concept Artist, Rigger, Interactive Media Designer, and Motion Graphics Designer.
20. Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, Ohio
The College of Arts and Sciences at Arts Shawnee State University (SSU or Shawnee State) houses the Department of Fine, Digital, and Performing Arts, which has a Game & Simulation Arts BFA Program that explores game design, art asset development, animation, and the gaming pipeline. Course examples include Game Studio, World Design and Creation, Game Programming, Animation Studio, Game Design, Organic 3D, Acting, Game Documentation, Digital 3D Foundation Studio, UI Design for Games, Hard Surface 3D, and Game Audio.
Other Game & Simulation Arts BFA highlights include immersive course assignments; access to Shawnee State’s state-of-the-art Motion Capture Studio and the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Lab; and participation in Game Jams and varsity Esports.
During the final year of the program, BFA students will collaborate on a joint senior project that will become the centerpiece of their professional portfolio.
Graduates of the Game & Simulation Arts Program at Shawnee State University have established careers in the entertainment industry and serious games, as well as other emerging industries for game design and development such as technology, government, and health care. Job titles include Game Designer, Game/Simulation Programmer, Game Animator, Software Engineer, Art Director, Game/Simulation Engine Developer, Game Artist, and Technical Director, among others.
21. Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Moore College of Art and Design (Moore) has an Animation & Game Arts (AGA) Program that features a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio, a $1,000 paid internship, and a 97% employment rate within one year after graduating. Moore AGA students and graduates have worked at Titmouse Animation Studio, QuadraTron Games, Digital Effix, PETAL et al., and Neon Ave. Studios.
Leading to a BFA, the AGA Program takes place in a collaborative environment where students have access to state-of-the-art equipment and production spaces, workshops led by professionals in the field, and the Annual Game Changers Symposium. Course examples for the program include Game Strategies Studio, Animation & Storyboarding, 3D Environments, Time-Based Media Projects, 2D Character Design & Environment Design, Mobile Media Projects, and Game Projects.
Through studios and open electives, students may focus in a specific area of AGA. In the final year of the program, students will complete Senior Studio and the Senior Thesis.
Graduates of the AGA BFA Program at Moore College of Art & Design have interned with or been hired after graduation for positions at Titmouse Animation Studio, Grover Gaming, Digital Effix, Viasat, Deux Wave, QuadraTron Games, Scoppechio, and Duolingo.
22. Woodbury University, Burbank, California
The School of Media, Culture & Design at Woodbury University has a Game Art & Design BFA that combines game design studies with computer technology, animation, sound design, storytelling, and art. Students in this program can focus in either Game Design or Game Art, and they will take many of the same major courses as students in the Applied Computer Science BS and Animation BFA Programs.
Through interdisciplinary, hands-on courses, the required BFA Internship, and production work in the Game Art & Design Studio, BFA students will develop skills in game conceptualization, play mechanics, game rules, story, program flow, prototyping, and scoring systems.
Game Art & Design students have interned at Insomniac Games, Activision Blizzard, Disney, Nickelodeon, Skydance Interactive, Microsoft, Ripple Effects Studios (an EA studio formerly known as DICE LA), IMAX, Nexon (South Korea), and the alumni-developed Code Headquarters.
Graduates of the Game Art & Design BFA at Woodbury University are often hired by the companies they have interned with. Possible job titles for graduates titles include Game Level Designer, Combat Designer, R&D Prototype Developer, Rigger, 3D Character Animator, Environmental Designer, Modeler, Story Developer for Interactive Media, and User Interface Designer.
23. California State University, East Bay, Hayward, California
The College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences (CLASS) at California State University, East Bay (Cal Sate East Bay) houses the School of Arts & Media, home to the Department of Art. Within the Art Department is an ART BFA Program with a 70-unit Interaction & Game Design Concentration that explores both commercial and experimental approaches to game design. Course examples include 2D, 3D, and 4D Processes, Interaction Design Studio, History of Play, Games, and Interactivity, Game Design I, Usability Theory & Experience Design, Interaction Design Studio I-II, Game Design II, and Game Development Team Project. Students will also complete Senior Project and an Internship.
ART BFA/Interaction & Game Design students will graduate from the program with a professional game and portfolio of their best work.
Graduates of the Art BFA Program at Cal State East Bay go on to pursue positions such as Game Designer, Interaction Designer, 3D Character Rigger, Stop Motion Animator, Matte Painter (Film and Game Industry), Effects Animator, Art Director, User Experience/User Interface Designer (UX/UI), and Storyboard Artist.
24. University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas
The School of Media and Design at University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) houses the Department of 3D Animation and Game Design (ANGD), which has an ANGD BFA that features immersive coursework, workshops, and production studios. Students in this program have four concentration options including, Programming, Animation, Production Management, and Modeling.
Students in all concentrations will complete ANGD Orientation and courses such as Game Engines, Organic Modeling, Business of Animation and Game Design, Visual Narrative Conventions, and Animation Industry Seminar.
Course examples across all concentrations include Game Programming, Hard Surface Modeling, History of Games, Rigging, Environment Production, Motion Capture for Animation, Animation Pipeline, Character Modeling, Production Management, and Modeling and Production Pipeline.
During the final year of the ANGD BFA Program at UIW, all students will complete the Senior Thesis Workshop and Senior Portfolio. Programming, Animation, and Modeling students will complete Senior Thesis Production I-II and Production Management students will complete Senior Thesis Production Management I-II.
Graduates of the ANGD Program at University of the Incarnate Word have held positions at Sony, Weta FX, BioWare Games, Naughty Dog Games, Infinity Ward Games, the Los Alamos National Lab, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Potential job titles include Game Developer, Effects Director, Character Rigger, Art Director, Visual Effects (VFX) Technician, Concept Artist, VFX Artist, and Forensic Animator.
25. Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan
The College of Architecture and Design (CoAD) at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) houses the Department of Design, which has a Game Design BFA with three concentration options: Digital Environments, Digital Objects, and Digital Interface. The program is multidisciplinary, so students in all concentration areas will explore game assembly, level design, and system design.
Course examples for the program include Game Systems, Scripting for Game Design, Level Design, Game Audio & Sound Design, Multi-disciplinary Design, Integrated game Studio, User Interface and User Experience Design (UI/UX), Design Leadership, and Professional Practice. Students will also take several Integrated Game Studios.
During the summer before the senior year of the Game Design BFA Program, student will complete e CoAD Internship. In the final year of the program, students will complete the Game Systems Senior Project 1-2, which will result in a playable prototype, and finally, an industry-standard game.
Graduates of the Game Design Program at Lawrence Technological University are prepared to pursue positions in game design, game development, game writing, 3D modeling, animation motion graphics, concept art, app development, art direction, storyboarding, illustration, and UI/UX, among others.
LTU Games alumni have been recruited by companies and studios such as Jackbox Games, Dreaming Door Studios, Ford, Dead Art Games, Flyover Games, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Chimera Labs, Pluto, Ford, Mackevision, Pixo, Flyover Games, FanLabel, and Seventy 7.