What are the top Game Design BS programs in 2022?
|1||University of Southern California||California|
|2||Carnegie Mellon University||Pennsylvania|
|3||University of Utah||Utah|
|4||Rochester Institute of Technology||New York|
|5||University of California, Santa Cruz||California|
|6||DigiPen Institute of Technology||Washington|
|7||Full Sail University||Florida|
|8||Georgia Institute of Technology||Georgia|
|9||Southern Methodist University||Texas|
|12||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Massachusetts|
|13||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||New York|
|14||University of Texas at Austin||Texas|
|15||University of California, Irvine||California|
|16||Texas A&M University||Texas|
|17||University of Washington||Washington|
|20||North Carolina State University||North Carolina|
|22||Clemson University||South Carolina|
|24||Academy of Art University||California|
|25||University of North Carolina—Charlotte||North Carolina|
Below are the Top 25 game design schools and colleges offering Bachelor of Science (BS) degree programs for 2022. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
The University of Southern California (USC) is home to USC Games—a collection of 10 minors and four degree programs, including a BS in Computer Science (Games). Programs are housed in the School of Cinematic Arts’ (SCA) Interactive Media & Games Division or the Viterbi School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science.
The USC Games Program combines the study of art, design, engineering, and production. Classes are collaborative, immersive, and hands on, allowing students to develop team-building skills and expertise in every area of game design and development. Courses are taught by working professionals in the field.
Graduates of USC Games have developed and sold their own games, launched their own studios, or landed positions at major studios such as Riot Games, Disney, Epic Games, Apple, ESPN, and CBS interactive.
2. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU or Carnegie Mellon) houses the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), which offers a BS in Computer Science (CS), Bachelor of Computer Science (BCSA), and BS in Music and Technology. All programs allow students to add a Game Design Minor. ETC also allows students across departments to enroll in individual courses to enhance their program of study.
Courses for the Game Design Minor explore topics such as game programming, Interactive narrative and character development, user testing, computing, interface design, game systems and mechanics design, visual and audio design, teamwork, and the design process. The minor requires a minimum of 45 units of study.
Graduates of the Game Design Programs at Carnegie Mellon University are routinely hired by top companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Meta (formerly Facebook). Other employers include 2K Games, A3 by Airbus, and 31st Street Studios.
3. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Entertainment Arts & Engineering (EAE) Program at the University of Utah (The U) offers two programs for game designers. Degree pathways include BS degrees in Games and Computer Science. The BS in Computer Science has an EAE Emphasis.
The EAE Programs at The U are interdisciplinary and immersive with a focus on computational research, art, social science, and art. Course examples across EAE include Alternative Game Development, Ethics in Games, Assets Pipeline, Digital Content Creation, Traditional Game Development, Survey of Games, Programming, Scientific Computing, Machinima, Serious Game Development, Algorithms, Game Engineering and Production, and Competitive Strategies.
All EAE students will have the opportunity to work through every level of game creation. Graduates will leave the programs with one or more completed games. Depending on the program, EAE graduates will be prepared to pursue positions in game art, design, development or engineering, simulation or edutainment, business (games), and visualization, among others.
4. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) houses the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences’ (GCCIS), School of Interactive Games & Media (IGM), which offers a BS in Game Design and Development. An Accelerated BS/MS is also available. All programs explore animation, math and science, interactive media, modeling, user interaction, and of course, game design and development.
Course examples across programs include Games for Change, Physical Computing & Alternative Interfaces, Casual Game Development, Systems Concepts for Games and Media, Game Engine Design and Development, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Gameplay, Console Development, Level Design, Game Design and Development for Casual and Mobile Platforms, and Gameplay and Prototyping.
Seminars, game development and research studios, and independent study are also part of the programs. RIT IGM Game Design and Development students will also have the rare opportunity to complete two paid blocks of cooperative education, which will allow them to gain experience in the games industry through a full-time employment at a studio. Google, Cartoon Network, Electronic Arts (EA), Sony Interactive Entertainment, Epic Games, and Microsoft are just a few recent co-op companies. Students will also have the opportunity to develop and commodify their own games at RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studios.
5. University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California
University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz or UCSC) was the first institution in the University of California System to launch an undergraduate game major. Housed in the Jack Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE), and known as Games @ UC Santa Cruz, this intensive program has expanded to include MFA, MS, and PhD degrees.
At the undergraduate level, UCSC offers a BS in Computer Science: Computer Game Design. The program is offered at the UC Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley campuses. All Games @ UC Santa Cruz have access to campus facilities and centers such as The Center for Computational Experience, Advanced Visualization and Interactive Systems, Ludo Lab, Critical Realities Studio, Software Introspection Laboratory, Expressive Intelligence Studio, ADL (Augmented Design Laboratory), Social Emotional Technology Lab, and The Other Lab.
Other program benefits include participation in the Annual Games Showcase, game design internships, and frequent studio tours. Undergraduates will complete a Capstone Project during the final year of their program and graduate students will complete a Thesis Project, Research Project, or both.
Graduates of the UC Santa Cruz Game Design Programs have gone on to establish careers in the industry at companies and studios such as Electronic Arts (EA), Tencent, Amazon, Universal, Google, TicToc Games, Method Studios, Ubisoft, TopGolf, and Hi-Rez Studios.
6. DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, Washington
DigiPen Institute of Technology (DigiPen) launched the world’s first bachelor’s degree in Video Game Technology and Development. The program has evolved and expanded to include BS degrees in Computer Science (CS) & Game Design, and Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation, among others.
BS in Computer Science & Game Design students will study artificial intelligence (AI), system, level and technical design, user interface design, and programming languages. BS in CS/Real-Time Interactive Simulation students will master software engineering, 2D and 3D simulation, engine technology, graphics rendering, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), artificial intelligence (AI), and programming languages.
For exceptional students, DigiPen offers an accelerated BS/MS Program that allows them to complete both programs in just five years. The BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Students in all programs will work in multidisciplinary teams in a studio environment to create software and a series of video games.
DigiPen Institute of Technology graduates enjoy a high job placement rate. To date, more than 600 companies have hired DigiPen graduates. A few examples include Epic Games, DreamWorks Interactive, Google, Amazon, Walt Disney Imagineering, SpaceX, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, Electronic Arts (EA), ArenaNet, Bungie, Activision, Insomniac Games, Zynga, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Booz Allen Hamilton, Intel Corporation, Ubisoft Shanghai, and Take-Two Interactive.
7. Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
The Game School at Full Sail University features production studios and classrooms that look and feel like major production studios. Undergraduate program options include BS degrees in Game Art, Game Development, Game Design, and Simulation & Visualization. With the exception of the BS in Simulation and Visualization, all programs are offered on campus and online.
In addition to gaining production experience in a real-world studio environment on campus, Full Sail students have opportunities to work off-campus at local and national studios through the internship program. Courses in The Game School are also immersive. Course examples across all programs include Motion Capture, Game Mechanics, Game Production Tools, Engine Development, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Data Visualization & Modeling. Students will master all roles in the production pipeline, video game development for computers, networks and consoles, test simulation, game effects, narrative design, and animation.
Full Sail University’s Career Development Department provides 24/7 access to job opportunities, along with workshops and presentations that cover branding, networking, research strategies, and interviewing techniques. The department also coordinates local hiring events and events in other major markets such as Los Angeles and New York.
Full Sail University graduates have worked on popular games, films, and ad campaigns. More than 150 graduates were credited on numerous nominated games at the 2021 Game Awards.
Companies and studios that have hired Full Sail graduates include Disney, Rockstar Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Nickelodeon, Bunim Murray, Pixar, MTV, ESPN, Universal Studios, Miramax, DreamWorks, and HBO.
8. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Institute of Technology (GeorgiaTech) offers programs for game designers in several colleges and schools. These academic units work together to advance the game community. In addition to the opportunity to select courses across departments, design students have access to the GVU Center Game Studio at GeorgiaTech, the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), and international campuses in the world’s largest games industry—China.
The College of Computing and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts offer a BS in Computational Media (BSCM) and a dual BS/MS in Computer Science.
The Computational Media Program at GeorgiaTech launched in 2004 with just one student. Today, the program serves more than 300 students, making it one of the school’s fastest growing programs. The BSCM Program offers focus areas such as Games, Interaction, and Narrative. Sample courses include Game Design as a Cultural Practice, Computer Animation, Principles of Interaction Design, and Constructing the Moving Image.
Graduates of the Digital and Computational Media Programs at Georgia Institute of Technology go on to establish successful careers in interactive design and game simulation, animation, special effects, robotics, and 3D modeling, among others.
9. Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
Southern Methodist University (SMU) houses the Lyle School of Engineering, home to the Computer Science Department, which offers a BS in Computer Science. Core requirements for the program include Programming Languages, Assembly Language Programming and Machine Organization, Digital Computer Design, Graphical User Interface Design and Implementation, and Software Engineering Principles.
Students may add the 10 credit-hour Game Development Track, which consists of Programming for Commercial Game Engines, Software Development for Games, Team Game Production, Math and Physics, and the final Gaming Design Project.
10. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design (The Westphal College) at Drexel University (Drexel) has majors, minors, and accelerated programs for game designers. Options include Game Design and Production (BS), Game Design and Production/Digital Media (BS/MS), Interactive Digital Media/Digital Media (BS/MS), and Interactive Digital Media (Minor).
Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), Westphal College programs are studio-based and hands-on. Small class sizes allow for individual instruction and the cooperative (co-op) education program enables students to gain work and world experience prior to graduation. Co-op experiences are local, national, and in places such as Hong Kong, London, Spain, Ghana, and Greece.
The College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel University offers an additional BS program for designers seeking a pathway that combines game development with computer science. The BS in Computer Science (BSCS) offers a Concentration in Game Programming and Development. Like all Westphal College programs, the Computer Science program provides a hands-on curriculum combined with valuable co-op experiences. The program ends with a full-year capstone project.
Students in all programs Drexel programs have access to the Center for Games, Artificial Intelligence, and Media Systems (GAIMS Center), Drexel Game Design and RePlay Lab, and the Entrepreneurial Game Studio (EGS).
Graduates of the Game Design Programs at Drexel University are prepared to pursue positions in pc, mobile and console game design, game art, simulation, education, training, and more.
11. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
The Game Design Program at DePaul University (DePaul) offers BS degrees in Game Design, Game Programming, and Computer Science with a Game Systems Concentration. The Game Design Program is housed in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM).
Game Design at DePaul University emphasizes collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. Design students will have opportunities to work with fine art, audio, programming, and writing students. The curriculum includes coursework that helps students navigate the game production process from inception to the testing phase. Course examples include Game Development, Practical Scripting for Games, Animation, Game Sound Design, and 3-D Design and Modeling.
Students in all programs have access to the Virtual and Augmented Design Lab, a game studio known as DePaul Originals, and CDM facilities such as gameplay, playtest and usability, and game development and research labs. Other program benefits include participation in a variety of exhibitions, internship opportunities at local and national studios, and the biennial Japan Study Abroad Program. Students will graduate from the DePaul Game Design Program with a portfolio of their best work.
Some of the top careers for DePaul Game Design graduates include game development, software engineering, computer graphics, animation, commercial production, and project management. Program alumni have been hired at companies and studios such as Epic Games, Leo Burnett, iiRcade, Fast Radius, Speegs Media, and TCS.
12. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) houses the MIT Game Lab, which helps students customize a plan of study that matches their goals. The Lab is also a research and development hub that designs games for research.
Besides opportunities to customize the curriculum, individuals interested in studying game design at MIT may do so through several programs that have the option to choose electives from any department or a built-in “cluster.” Examples include the Comparative Media Studies (CMS) and Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Programs.
Housed in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), the Department of Comparative Media Studies (CMS) offers a BS with a Games and Interactive Media Cluster that consists of more than 20 game design course options.
The Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department in the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing (MIT EECS) is the largest department at MIT. EECS offers a BS in Computer Science and Engineering. EECS programs are highly interdisciplinary and emphasize lab work, research, on-campus team and independent projects, and off-campus internships with MIT partner companies. Programs explore software engineering, programming languages, human-computer interaction (HCI) and graphics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, algorithms and theory, and computer systems.
Elective requirements allow students to take additional courses that focus on games. Courses may be offered within and outside the department. Examples from the CMS Department include Game Design Methods, Videogame Theory, Interactive Narrative, Imagination, Computation & Expression Studio, Game Design, Advanced Game Design Studio, Designing Interactions, Design and Development for Games and Learning, Games and Culture, Games for Social Change, and Fun and Games: Cross-Cultural Perspectives.
The MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) offers an additional program for designers looking to specialize in unique areas such as psychological games and behavioral change. The Brain & Cognitive Science BS is offered in partnership with the EECS Department. And finally, students who are interested in the business side of game development or who would like to launch their own studios, can enroll in the BS in Business Program, housed in the MIT Sloan School of Management. The same rules apply. For both options, students may work with the MIT Game Lab to customize a focus area that aligns with their goals.
13. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a designated New York State Center of Excellence (NYSTAR) in Digital Game Development. Housed in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) is the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Department, which offers a BS in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences.
The GSAS Department emphasis interdisciplinary study. This allows students in all programs to explore 3D animation, music and audio for games, programming, software engineering, digital arts, and experimental game design. RPI GSAS students will also take courses in management and leadership, and they will work in teams to build games. Students will graduate from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute GSAS Programs with a professional portfolio of their best creative works.
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.
14. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
The College of Natural Sciences at University of Texas Austin (UT Austin) houses the Computer Science (CS) Department, which offers a BS in CS (BS CS) with a Game and Mobile Media Applications (GAMMA) Concentration and a Five-Year BS/MS Integrated Program in Computer Science. In both options, students will study game technology and computer graphics. An internship and project-based capstone are also part of the programs.
Students will have opportunities to complete an internship with both local and national companies. Many internships lead to job offers.
A Game Design and Development curriculum was created in 2020 by the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies (AET) in the College of Fine Arts’ School of Design and Creative Technologies in partnership with the CS Department, and Moody College of Communication-Department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF). AET offers courses focused solely on gaming, the CS Department covers visualization and coding for games, and the RTF Department offers cinematic arts, emergent media, and and narrative design coursework. Students may focus in games through minor programs and concentrations offered across all three departments.
15. University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California
University of California Irvine (UC Irvine) offers a BS in Game Design and Interactive Media (GDIM) in the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences’ Department of Informatics. In addition to traditional game design and development techniques, the GDIM Program explores new and emerging technologies such as, human-computer interaction (HCI), and artificial intelligence (AI). Students will also study programming, data science, storytelling, and visual design through hands-on coursework. The program ends with a two-quarter capstone project. Students will complete the capstone under the guidance of industry mentors.
Graduates of the UC Irvine GDIM Program work in a variety of positions in the industry or they have gone on to pursue graduate study. Some have busy freelance careers and others have launched their own studios.
16. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
The College of Architecture at Texas A&M University (TAMU) is home to the Visualization Program (VISL or Viz Lab). Established in 1988, VISL offers a BS in Visualization that provides opportunities to study game design through free electives or emphasis areas such as Gaming or Interactive Design. Students may also add the Game Development Minor.
Course options across Viz Lab degree programs include Principles of Design, 2D and 3D Visualization Techniques, Visual Studies Studio, and Computing for Visualization. The 16 credit hour Game Development Minor consists of courses such as Computer Graphics, Programming, Communication and Video Games, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and Interactive Virtual Environments.
Texas A&M University VISL graduates are often hired at major studios such as Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), DreamWorks Animation, and Pixar.
17. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
University of Washington (UW) offers a Certificate in Game Design in the College of Professional & Continuing Education (PCE). Designed for artists with at least two years of college experience who are interested in launching a career in game design or working designers and developers seeking advancement opportunities in the games industry. This three-quarter intensive program covers game design, game mechanics and systems design, and game studio roles and development.
The UW PCE Game Design Certificate was developed in partnership with the UW Bothell Digital Future Lab. The program is approved by the UW Bothell School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
For students seeking a degree, the University of Washington Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) undergraduate and graduate programs that offer access to four main labs in the Allen School: Graphics and Imaging Lab (GRAIL), Center for Game Science, Animation Research Labs, and the Reality Lab.
GRAIL provides opportunities to work with researchers from Adobe, Google, Intel, and Microsoft. The researchers at the CSE Center for Game Science create projects designed to solve problems through games. The multidisciplinary Animation Research Labs is a collaboration between CSE, the Department of Architecture, and the Schools of Art, Drama, Music, and the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS). Students have opportunities to interact with industry experts from Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Xbox Game Studios, and Bungie, among others.
In the UW Reality Lab, designers have opportunities to work on research projects in a variety of areas. Computer vision, lighting rendering, character animation, and 3D reconstruction are a few areas. Established in 2018, UW Reality Lab houses ongoing programs including The Reality Studio and The Reality Lab, courses, lectures, and the idea incubator.
Allen School undergraduate and dual CSE programs include BS degrees in CS or Computer Engineering, and the combined BS/MS in CS or Engineering.
18. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University houses Purdue Polytechnic Institute, home to the Department of Computer Graphics Technology (CGT) and the Game Design Programs. Undergraduate degree options include a BS in CGT with a Game Development and Design Major.
The CGT BS highlights immersive, collaborative projects with peers and professors, a STEM-based curriculum, and coursework that covers game design, programming, rendering, animation, and visualization. Past final projects have focused on games utilization in entertainment, for sustainable energy, medicine, and therapy, and for information visualization, to name a few. CGT BS graduates are game designers, technical artists, and animators. They work at Electronic Arts (EA), Volition, Inc., Zynga, and Riot Games, among others.
19. Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont
The Champlain College Division of Communication & Creative Media houses a game design program that offers pathways to careers in all areas of the games industry. Known as The Game Studio at Champlain College, the program offers BS degrees in Game Business and Publishing, Game Design, Game Programming, Game Art, Game Sound Design, and Game Production Management.
Students in all programs benefit from small class sizes, courses taught by game industry experts, interdisciplinary, career-focused curriculums, and collaboration in a studio-like setting that mirrors today’s game studio environment. Study abroad experiences in Montreal, Canada, with internship opportunities at the Montreal Game Summit and the Montreal International Game Developers Association, are also part of the program, and students may also have opportunities to intern at places such as Xbox Game Studios and Wired Magazine.
During the final years of The Game Studio at Champlain College, students will develop a number of games that may be presented to recruiters from Gameloft, Activision, and Warner Bros., among others. Champlain BS students also have opportunities to network with representatives from other major studios such as Sony, Insomniac, Rockstar, ArenaNet, Survios, Ubisoft, and Crystal Dynamics.
20. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
The College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (NC State) houses the Department of Computer Science, which has a Game Development Track in the Computer Science (CSC) Program. The undergraduate program leads to a BS. For designers looking to earn a CSC BS and MS in a short amount of time, an accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s (ABM) degree is available.
Students in all CSC programs have access to The Digital Games Research center (DGRc). Launched in May 2007, The DGRc engages in education and research in games and games technologies. In a collaborative environment, students can work on projects with game developers and games studio teams that focus on everything from mobile games to artificial intelligence (AI). Thanks to partnerships and licensing agreements with engine providers and game studios, NC State graduates are often hired by local game companies.
Other DGRc highlights include access to the new Games and Visual Narrative Suite, the Visual Narrative Initiative (VNI)— a research cluster established in 2015, and participation in the Game Developers Conference and Games and Visual Narratives Showcase.
21. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Students in the game design programs at Northeastern will participate in the school’s distinctive co-op program. This 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 across the globe.
In addition to gaining work experience, students in all Khoury 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 Programs at Northeastern University work in game art, design, development, and sound, art and design, animation, technology, and more. Examples of alumni employer’s include Google, Microsoft Studios, Cognizant, and Zynga.
22. Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
Clemson University’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences houses the School of Computing, home to the Digital Production Arts (DPA) Program and the Division of Visual Computing, which offer a Computer Science BS program and a fast-track Bachelor’s/Master’s (BS/MS) in Computer Science. Students can add a Minor in DPA for Animation and Game Design. Offered since 2011, the DPA Minor focuses on Games, Visual Effects, and Computer Animation.
Course examples across programs include 2D Game Engine Construction, 3D Game Programming: Algorithms and Techniques, Game Theory, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced 3D Modeling, Studio Methods for Digital Production, Physical Modeling and Animation, Audio Practicum, and Visual Foundations of Digital Production.
Other Computer Science and DPA highlights include visits from representatives of major studios such as DreamWorks, participation in the SIGGRAPH Conference, access to state-of-the art production studios and facilities, internship opportunities, and study abroad experiences.
Graduates of the Computer Science and DPA Programs at Clemson have gone on to become game designers, animators, technical directors, art directors, 3D graphics programmers, AR/VR designers, and software engineers, among others.
Program alumni have secured positions with companies such as Google, Disney Animation, Electronic Arts (EA), Blur Studio, Sledgehammer Games, IBM, and CrowdStrike.
23. Indiana University, Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana
Indiana University Bloomington’s (IU Bloomington) Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering offers a BS in Computer Science (CSCIBS) with a Game Development Specialization. The school also offers a distinctive Minor in Animal-Computer Interaction, which includes course options such as Game Development, Game Programming, and Game Art and Sound.
The Media School at IU Bloomington is a multidisciplinary division that appeals to students seeking careers in game programming, animation, sound production, music composition, or graphic design for multimedia. The school allows students to select elective courses from the Luddy School, Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture and Design, and the Jacobs School of Music. The Media School offers a BS in Game Design. Elective areas are available for BS students who would like to form an area of expertise. Areas include Art, Games and Mind, Game Design Theory, Programming, Sound, Management, and Advertising and Public Relations.
During the last two years of study, game design students will work their way through the Game Workshop Sequence, which includes three workshops: Prototype, Demo, and Publish. Modeled after game studios, the sequence ends with an industry-ready published game.
Students in all degree programs, minors, and specializations have access to [email protected]. This student-run organization provides hands-on experience for student game designers. Highlights include the opportunity to collaborate on game design projects, workshops, and participation in game jams. Game design students can also gain valuable hands-on experience through the Indiana University Bloomington Internship Program. Students have interned everywhere from Google to General Motors.
Graduates of the Game Design and Media Programs at IU Bloomington are prepared to pursue positions such as game designer, game artist, world designer, game developer, creative director, software developer, and animator, among others. Potential employer’s include Electronic Arts (EA), Blizzard, Zynga, and Ubisoft.
24. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
The School of Game Development at Academy of Art University (Academy of Art) offers a BS in Game Programming. STEM-certified, the School of Game Development operates under the direction of game design professionals. Programs at the school are all-encompassing, so student designers will explore animation/animation VFX, game, systems, and tools programming, coding, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), user interface/user experience (UI/UX) design, artificial intelligence (AI), coding, programming, rigging, concept art, 3D modeling, technical art, level design, and more.
Thanks to partnerships with studios such as Zynga, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Riot Games, School of Game Development students have opportunities to gain real-world experience through an internship. 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. Facilities include cross-departmental war rooms, esports and AR/VR labs, and more.
Academy of Art, School of Game Development alumni have been recruited by Sledgehammer Games, Naughty Dog, Crystal Dynamics, Riot Games, Zynga, and Sony Interactive Entertainment, among others.
25. University of North Carolina—Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina
The University of North Carolina—Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) houses the College of Computing and Informatics, home to the Department of Computer Science (CS), which offers a BS in CS, AI, Robotics, and Gaming.
Course examples in the Department of CS include Computer Science, AI for Computer Games, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Applied Machine Learning, Game Engine Construction, Game Design and Development Studio, Advanced Game Design and Development, Audio Processing for Entertainment Computing, Real-Time Rendering Engines, Individual Study in AI, Robotics, and Gaming, Computer Graphics, and Advanced Algorithms.
The College of Arts and Architecture has another option for designers seeking a digital media-based game design program. Offered in the college’s Department of Art and Art History, the BFA in Art with a Digital Media Concentration requires advanced studio coursework, which allows students to craft a focus from electives such as Game Design and Graphics, 3D Modeling and Animation, Interactive Art and Design, and Advanced 3D Modeling and Digital Fabrication. The BFA also requires successful completion of the Senior Experience. Totaling nine credit hours, the Experience includes Senior Seminar, Senior Thesis I: Creative Research, and Senior Thesis II: Advanced Creative Practice.
Graduates of the design programs at University of North Carolina—Charlotte are prepared to pursue position in art and design, games and entertainment, animation, computer science, programming, software development, advertising, education, multimedia, and many other areas.