What are the top Game Design BS programs in 2021?

Top 25 Game Design BS Programs in the U.S. – 2021 College Rankings
1University of Southern CaliforniaCalifornia
2Carnegie Mellon UniversityPennsylvania
3University of UtahUtah
4Rochester Institute of TechnologyNew York
5DigiPen Institute of TechnologyWashington
6University of California, Santa CruzCalifornia
7Full Sail UniversityFlorida
8Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts
9Georgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgia
10DePaul UniversityIllinois
11Southern Methodist UniversityTexas
12Drexel UniversityPennsylvania
13Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNew York
14University of California, IrvineCalifornia
15University of Texas at AustinTexas
16University of WashingtonWashington
17Texas A&M University, College StationTexas
18North Carolina State University at RaleighNorth Carolina
19Champlain CollegeVermont
20Purdue University Indiana
21Northeastern UniversityMassachusetts
22Becker CollegeMassachusetts
23Academy of Art UniversityCalifornia
24Clemson UniversitySouth Carolina
25Indiana UniversityIndiana

Below are the Top 25 game design schools and colleges offering Bachelor of Science (BS) degree programs for 2021. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California

University of Southern California (USC) houses Viterbi School of Engineering, home of the Computer Science Department, which offers a BS in Computer Science (Games). This interdisciplinary program is “designed to provide both an academic and professional orientation,” says the school. Topics covered include computer animation, game engine programming, game hardware architectures, game production, introductory and intermediate game design, serious game development, video game programming, visual design for games and interactives, and two semester-long final game projects.

Students have access to salaried or paid internship opportunities and the GamePipe Laboratory. Sponsored by Intel, Sony, and other technology companies, the Lab produces a "Demo Day," which allows students to showcase their work. The semiannual event attracts game industry reps, reporters, faculty, students, and hundreds of spectators from across the country.

Organizations that have recruited USC students for salaried or paid internships include 3Q Digital, Apple, Blackstone Gaming, CBS Interactive, Disney, Epic Games, ESPN, Heavy Iron Studios, NetEase Games, and Riot Games, to name a few.

Students graduating from the BS in Computer Science (Games) Program “will be capable of engineering next-generation games and simulations and their technologies in the entertainment and serious game fields.” Graduates will also “be able to further their education in graduate programs in game development and computer science.”

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

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU or Carnegie Mellon) offers a Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) with a Concentration in Game Design in collaboration with the School of Computer Science-Computer Science Department and the College of Fine Arts-Integrative Design, Arts and Technology (IDeATe).

This degree “provides an ideal technical, critical and conceptual foundation for students interested in pursuing fields that comprehensively meld technology and the arts, such as game design, computer animation, computer music, recording technologies, interactive stagecraft, robotic art and other emerging media,” says the school.

The program consists of three areas: general education requirements, fine arts concentration requirements, and computer science concentration requirements totaling 380 units. “Each student's course of study is structured so they can complete this rigorous program in four years.”

Students in the program have access to IDeATe Collaborative Studios, which includes 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.

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.

3. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
University of Utah

University of Utah (The U) houses the College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts, home to the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Master Games Studio (EAE:MGS). The EAE Interdisciplinary Teaching Program now offers a BS in Games (BSG) designed “specifically for students who aspire to hold careers within the professional games industry or a related field, such as simulation, edutainment, or visualization.” The new program “provides a technical grounding in mathematics and computational skills, core knowledge in the design and production of digital playable experiences, and specialization options that prepare students for technical supervision, tools development and overall game design.” A Minor in Games is also available.

A BS and a five-year BS/MS in Computer Science are also available. The BS offers an Emphasis in EAE and it is administered by the School of Computing.

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), home of the School of Interactive Games & Media (IGM), which offers BS degrees in Game Design and Development and New Media Interactive Development. An accelerated BA/MS that takes five years to complete is also available.

Toe programs offer unique advanced electives such as Board and Card Game Design and Development, Game Balance, Game Design and Development for Casual and Mobile Platforms, IGM Production Studio, Innovation & Invention, Interactive Game & Audio, Table Top Role-Playing Game Design and Development, and Theory and Design of Role Play and Interactive Narrative.

The GCCIS IGM Game Design and Development Program emphasizes game programming and cooperative education (co-op). The co-op is a required, full-time paid work experience that provides students with an opportunity to learn on the job in real-world industry settings. Students must complete two semesters, full-time, which amounts to a minimum 35-hour workweek over the course of an academic semester. Past co-op companies include Microsoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sapient-Razorfish, Google, EA, Epic Games, Cartoon Network, Seagate, Hi-Rez Studios, and many others.

In addition to the co-op experience, students in the BS in New Media Interactive Development program will explore casual games, physical computing, production, web, mobile, and more. All GCCIS IGM students have the opportunity to take any minor or enroll in a double major.

Graduates of the Game Design Programs at RIT are prepared for careers within the professional games industry or a related field such as edutainment, simulation, or visualization. At present, the school has a 95.2% employment rate for undergraduates and a 97.4% employment rate for graduates.

5. DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, Washington
DigiPen Institute of Technology

DigiPen Institute of Technology’s Department of Game Software Design and Production offers BS degrees in Computer Science and Game Design and Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation (BS in RTIS). A five-year BS in RTIS/MS in Computer Science is also available.

The BS in RTIS offers “extensive training in mathematics and physics,” says the school. Students will “work both individually and collaboratively to learn the fundamentals of Game Design, Production, and Programming. Additionally, they write game design documents and technical design documents, learn how to schedule tools and techniques, and participate in the full production of several games.”

DigiPen student games have won more than 50 Independent Games Festival awards (more than any other school) and DigiPen alumni have been credited on more than 1,000 commercial game titles. Additionally, more than 550 companies around the world have hired DigiPen graduates. Program alumni have gone on to land job titles such as Content Designer, Director, Game Designer, Game Scripter, Level Designer, Technical Artist, Technical Designer, UX Designer, and many others.

6. University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California
University of California, Santa Cruz

The University of California - Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz or UCSC) houses the Jack Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE), home of the Department of Computer Science (CS) and Computational Media (CMPM), which offers a BS in Computer Science: Computer Game Design.

The Computer Game Design Program focuses on the construction and design of interactive computer games. The degree “features a freshman year introduction to game design, a sophomore year game programming experience, two upper-division digital media electives, and an intensive senior-year game design studio where students work in teams to develop a substantial video game,” says the school.

Students in the program have access to The Center for Games and Playable Media (CGPM) at UCSC. Established in 2010, CGPM houses the schools five games-related research labs including the Expressive Intelligence Studio — one of the largest technical game research groups in the world. CGPM partners include EA, eBay, Google, Microsoft Studios, Sony, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the MacArthur Foundation, and many others.

7. Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Full Sail University

The Game School at Full Sail University offers BS degrees in Game Art, Game Design, Game Development, Simulation & Visualization, and Mobile Development.

In the Game Art BS, students will create 3D content and “take traditional art and animation principles and apply them to models that look, move and articulate artistically,” says the school. Course highlights for the program include Game Animation, Motion Capture, and Level Assembly & Lighting.

The Game Design BS is designed to enhance the students “ability to work in a game studio environment.” The program “is comprised of high-level game design and production courses that will take” students “deep into the game development pipeline.” The program covers key industry concepts influencing both systems and level designs that will prepare students to prototype and evaluate their game projects. Course highlights include Game Balancing, Game Mechanics, and Prototyping.

The BS in Game Development guides students through the entire game development cycle, from pre-production to finished product. Course highlights include Artificial Intelligence, Engine Development, and Data Structure and Algorithms. Graduates will have the ability to create program code for 3D graphic display, multiplayer gaming, artificially intelligent opponents, and real-time virtual environments.

The BS in Simulation & Visualization equips students with the programming and critical-thinking skills needed to study and design virtual systems. Course highlights include Virtual and Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Graphics. Through hands-on experience, students will develop their “tech savvy in order to keep pace with an ever-evolving industry.”

The Game Art and Game Design BS degrees are available on campus and online.

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

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) houses five schools including the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences (HASS), MIT Sloan School of Management, and the School of Science. MIT is also home to MIT Game Lab, MIT Education Arcade, and Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab.

Together, the labs provide the opportunity to study, design, and develop games as a supplement to several degree programs, so anyone interested in games can create their own program of study. “By their nature,” says the school, “games require an interdisciplinary approach to their study.”

Degree options for undergraduate students include the BS in Comparative Media Studies (CMS) with a Games and Interactive Media “Cluster” and a BS in Computer Science and Engineering.

Other unique degree pathways include a BS in Brain & Cognitive Science for those interested in psychological games and behavioral change, and a BS in Business for those interested in studying business practices required for creating their own game company. The BS in Brain & Cognitive Science is offered through the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the BS in Business is offered through MIT Sloan School of Management.

9. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology (GeorgiaTech) houses the College of Computing. In collaboration with the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts’ School of Literature, Media, and Communication, GeorgiaTech offers a BS in Computational Media (BSCM) with a Games Studies or Interaction Focus, a BS/MS in Computational Media/Digital Media, and an Accelerated 5-Year Bachelor's/Master's.

The game programs are part of an institute-wide initiative designed to advance the game community through interdisciplinary research, funding opportunities, tech transfer and expansion of industry collaborations. Course highlights include Computer Animation, Constructing the Moving Image, Experimental Media, Game Design as a Cultural Practice, Principles of Interaction Design, and Video Game Design.

All Games students have access to resources offered by the GVU Center at GeorgiaTech and the Institute for People and Technology, as well as international campuses in China (the world's biggest games industry in terms of users and revenue) and France.

Graduates of the Game Programs at GeorgiaTech are prepared to seek careers in 3D Modeling, Animation, Interactive Game Design and Simulation, Robotics, Robotics, Special Effects Creation, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and Web Design. Many have been hired at major video game studios and interactive media firms. Others are now pursuing graduate degrees in digital media, human-computer interaction, and even film studies.

10. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
DePaul University

DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) offers BS degrees in Game Design and Game Programming and Computer Science with a Game Systems Concentration.

DePaul also offers a Game, Cinema, and Animation Summer Academy and the DePaul Game Experience (DGE). The Summer Academy is a weeklong program that features “hands-on instruction using the latest equipment and technology.” Participants may focus on Computer Game Development, 3D Computer Modeling and Animation for Games and Cinema or Digital Cinema Production.

The DePaul Game Experience (DGE) allows a select group of students to work on a game to submit to the Student IGF Competition. Past DGE teams have made entries that were finalists in the IGDA student competition.

Students in all Game Design programs have access to the Deep Games Laboratory and all CDM labs, including several that intersect with the program specifically, including game development and research, gameplay, virtual reality, and playtest and usability labs. The Deep Games Laboratory is a cross-disciplinary design, research, development, and assessment game lab housed in CDM that focuses on games exploring the human experience.

Recent DePaul Game Program graduates have gone on to work at Carbine Studios, Disney Interactive Studios, Firaxis, NeatherRealm Studios, Owlchemy Labs, Phosphor Games, Scientific Games, Wargaming, and many others. Several graduates have gone on to form their own gaming companies, including Young Horses, whose indie hit Octodad was developed at DePaul.

11. Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Lyle School of Engineering offers a BS in Computer Science with a Game Development Track. Students interested in this track must be admitted to the Professional Certificate Program in Digital Game Development at The Guildhall—SMU’s School of Video Game Development (est. 2003). The Certificate is “tailored to students who wish to become actively involved in the game development industry as designers or artists,” says the school.

Specializations for the program include Art Creation, Level Design, Production, and Software Development. Course highlights include Digital Computer Design, Graphical User Interface Design and Implementation, Programming for Commercial Game Engines, Software Development for Games, and Team Game Production.

Students will also complete a Gaming Design Project, Senior Design I&II, and six credit hours of advanced electives in the Lyle School of Engineering. An internship is also part of the program.

Graduates of the games programs at SMU will be prepared to seek positions in the game-based learning sector, multimedia and design, the video game design industry, in visual effects, and more.

12. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Drexel University

Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design houses the Digital Media Department (DMD), which offers BS degrees in Game Art & Production and Game Design & Production.

The College of Computing & Informatics offers a BS in Computer Science (BSCS) with a Concentration in Game Programming and Development (GMPD). The school also lists other concentrations such as Game Development and Design and Artificial Intelligence.

Students in all programs have access to Drexel Game Design (DGD) and the RePlay Lab. DGD and RePlay are collaborative efforts between the Digital Media and Computer Science Departments.

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

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS), houses the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences’ (GSAS) Department and the Department of Art.

GSAS pathways include BS degrees in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (BS GSAS) and Electronic Media, Arts, & Communication (EMAC), and a BS in Electronic Arts (EART).

BS GSAS students may choose a concentration or dual BS degree from the following options: Arts (Electronic Arts), Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Management/Entrepreneurship, or Writing for Games. Students will explore 3D Animation and Digital Arts, Artificial Intelligence in Games, Experimental Game Design, Game Audio and Music Composition, Game Programming and Software Engineering, Interactive Narrative and Game Storytelling, and Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Established in 1996, the BS in EMAC program is an interdisciplinary program that includes courses in communication as well as in digital art and animation, video, electronic music, and graphic design, supported by RPI’s strong technological infrastructure. The EMAC curriculum offers concentrations in Digital Storytelling (Animation, Game Design, Video), Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Marketing Communication and Design, Popular Culture, and Sound Design.

Students in all programs may enhance their education by adding a minor, dual major, study abroad, internship, or the co-terminal graduate program.

14. University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California
University of California, Irvine

University of California - Irvine (UC Irvine) houses the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences—the only computing-focused school in the University of California System. The School’s Department of Computer Science offers a BS in Game Design and Interactive Media (GDIM).

Formerly known as “Computer Game Science (CGS)” the BS in GDIM “explores both established and emerging platforms, including AR/VR, tabletop, and mobile,” says the school. Hands-on courses are taught by “internationally recognized faculty and industry experts,” and include titles such as Children’s Learning Media, Computer Game Development, Design and Analysis for Algorithms, Game Engine Lab, Game Systems and Design, Game Technologies and Interactive Media, Mobile and Ubiquitous Games, Modeling and World Building, and Multiplayer Game Systems. Capstone Game Project and Capstone Project and Portfolio are also part of the program.

Students in the program benefit from UCI’s location, known as “Silicon Beach,” which offers access to industry partners such as Blizzard, Cartoon Network, Disney, Electronic Arts, Obsidian Entertainment, Riot, Tencent, and more.

Graduates of the BS in GDIM Program “find employment in the industry, whether at a major publisher, smaller studio or as self-employed freelancers.” Some focus in entertainment, while “others succeed in bringing their skills to the design and development of serious games in a variety of domains, including healthcare and education.” Many students “also pursue a career or graduate school in game design, interactive media, computer science, or informatics after they complete the major.”

15. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas – Austin’s (UT Austin) Game Design and Development Program is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies (AET) in the College of Fine Arts’ School of Design and Creative Technologies, the Department of Computer Science (CS) in the College of Natural Sciences, and the Department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF) in Moody College of Communication.

“Newly offered classes focused specifically on game design are offered by AET, coursework in coding for games and visualization are offered by CS, and courses offered by RTF center on narrative design, cinematic arts, and emergent media,” says the school. Complementary minor programs and concentrations are “exclusively offered by all three departments to provide a broad and comprehensive curriculum that blends instruction in computer science, media, and design.”

The program highlights the 2D and 3D Capstone courses, where teams of 5-8 students assemble to create 2D games to show prospective employers and learn how to make 3D games (including virtual reality games), while learning the common practices and processes of game studios. Game students also have the opportunity to work “alongside organizations such as UT’s EGaDS! and IGDA Austin,” and with local game and mobile studios, and industry professionals.

UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences’ Department of Computer Sciences has several additional programs for aspiring game designers. Options include a BS in Computer Science with a Concentration in Game Development (BS CS) and a Five-Year BS/MS Integrated Program in Computer Science. Programs include elective options that allow students to study game design and because Texas has the second largest concentration of game studios in the U.S., all CS programs offer local internship opportunities that often lead to permanent employment in game development or interactive entertainment.

Graduates of the Game Programs at UT Austin are “ready to design, develop, and provide leadership for the exploding growth in AR/VR, game, mobile app, and creative media agencies and studios in Texas and around the world.”

16. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
University of Washington

The University of Washington (UW) houses the Paul G. Allen School Computer Science & Engineering (CSE), which offers a Computer Science Program that allows students to tailor their course of study to their specific interests. The program is also highly interdisciplinary and collaborative, and it allows students to get hands-on experience building software and hardware and choose advanced courses such as Artificial Intelligence, Computational Biology, Computer Graphics and Animation, Computer Networking, Computer Security and Privacy, Data Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Robotics, and much more.

Allen School degree options include BS degrees in Computer Science and Computer Engineering and a Combined BS/MS. Programs offer the opportunity to focus in Graphics, Vision, Games, and Animation or add a Certificate in Game Design offered through UW’s Professional & Continuing Education Division.

Students in the BS programs work with faculty and graduate students on research; collaborate with industry partners; tackle complex design and implementation projects in capstone courses; and tailor their degree to meet their interests and goals. Course highlights include Advanced Digital Design, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Animation, Computer Graphics, Data Visualization, and Digital Sound.

Students in all programs have access to three main labs at UW CSE. All are engaged in research spanning the areas of animation, computer game science, graphics, vision, and visualization. Labs include the Graphics and Imaging Lab (GRAIL), the Center for Game Science, and the Animation Research Labs. The GRAIL group is known for “groundbreaking” research in computational photography, says the school, as well as games for science and education, 3-D reconstruction, Internet photo collections, object recognition, human shape and motion analysis, information visualization, and animation.

Researchers at the Center for Game Science use gaming to solve grand challenges, crowdsource human problem-solving to aid scientific discovery, and improve student interest and achievement in mathematics.

The Animation Research Labs is a multi-disciplinary effort that brings together faculty and students from UW CSE, the Department of Architecture, and the Schools of Art, DXARTS, Drama, and Music. The ARL is focused on advancing the state-of-the-art in animation through teaching, research, and computer-animated production in collaboration with experts from Disney Animation Studios, Bungie, Industrial Light & Magic, Microsoft Game Studios, Pixar, and many others.

17. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University (TAMU) houses the College of Architecture, home of the Visualization Program, which offers enhanced game design curricula at the undergraduate level.

The BS in Visualization is a 120 credit hour studio-based program that integrates aspects of fine arts, 3D design, and digital technology into the studio experience. The program focuses on “the processes of creation, design and development of the visual experiences” says the school.

Another highlight of the program is the required semester away during the Junior year followed by a capstone proposal and studio during the Senior year. “A broad range of directed electives allows the student to gain an in-depth understanding in an area of specialization.” Graduates of the program are prepared for employment in such fields as user interface and web design, the entertainment industry (game design and development, animation and visual effects), and fields such as modeling and simulation, data analytics, and other areas where visualization contributes to understanding. Graduates may also “enter graduate programs that emphasize digital media in either computer science or art/design.”

All Visualization students have access to the Department of Visualization’s Learning Interactive Visualization Experience Lab. Established in 2014, the Lab “provides space for graduate and undergraduate students to create game prototypes while learning about game theory, the art and science of the visual image and game history. In the lab, through research and rigorous scientific process, students collaborate with specialists from visualization, educational psychology, computer science and engineering to create innovative, interactive software.”

Visualization program alumni can be found working as creative talent for Hollywood’s leading animation and special effects studios including Pixar, Blue Sky, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Industrial Light and Magic, DreamWorks Animation, Rhythm & Hues Studios and Reel FX.

18. North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina State University at Raleigh

North Carolina State University (NC State) houses the College of Engineering, Department of Computer Science—home to the game program. Degree options include a BS in Computer Science (CSC) with a Game Development Concentration and an Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s (ABM) degree.

The BS program “allows the student to develop an understanding of the scientific and technological principles associated with the design and development of computer and console games for both entertainment and serious applications,” says the school. Students will take all of the courses required for the computer science degree, as well as courses such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Building Game AI, Computer Graphics, Computer Models of Interactive Narrative, Game Design and Development, and Human-Computer Interaction.

Students are also required to take Advanced Graphics Projects and Advanced Game Development Projects. Internships and study abroad opportunities are also available, and electives run the gamut from Game Studies and Fiction Writing to Fantasy, Film and Science Fiction.

The ABM program allows students to complete the requirements for a Bachelor’s degree and a non-thesis Master’s in the same field within 18 months of completing the Bachelor’s degree.

Students in all programs will benefit from The Digital Games Research center (DGRc). Created in May of 2007, the center was designed to “undertake an ambitious agenda of research, education and outreach activities in the area of games and games technologies.”

“Housed in the Department of Computer Science, the center’s faculty include colleagues from the colleges of Education, Engineering, Design, Management and Humanities and Social Sciences that collaborate on a wide range of research and educational initiatives which focus on new modes of entertainment and interaction in digital worlds.”

19. Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont
Champlain College

Champlain College houses the Division of Communication & Creative Media, which offers BS degrees in Game Art, Game Design (with an optional Specialization in Sonic Arts), Game Production Management, Game Programming, and Game Sound Design.

Through the game programs’ “Upside-Down Curriculum,” students will take relevant courses, including Game History & Development and Introduction to Game Design, in their first year at Champlain. This gives them the advantage of gaining hands-on knowledge about the major from the start. Students will have the opportunity to build their portfolios using state-of-the-art technology resources at the school’s new cutting-edge multimedia, 3D art and game production labs.

Another important aspect of the Game program is the collaborative environment of the school’s Game Studio. Here, Game Programming majors work with their counterparts in Game Art and Game Design as well as Game Production Management to build games from start to finish. The Game Studio replicates a professional game development setting to give students a firsthand understanding of how creative teams collaborate to develop individual game assets and coordinate them into a functional product.

All students have the opportunity to study abroad in Montreal, Canada, with internship opportunities at the Montreal Game Summit and the Montreal International Game Developers Association. Recent internship opportunities (outside of the Canada options) include Microsoft Game Studios and Wired Magazine.

Students may also participate in the Game Development Senior Show where they will present games they create with their Game Studio team to recruiters from all over the East and Canada, including Activision/Vicarious Visions, Behaviour, Gameloft, Square Enix/Eidos, and Warner Bros./Turbine. Facilitated by the Game Studio Career Coach, students have additional opportunities to network with top recruiters from companies such as Activision, ArenaNet, Crystal Dynamics, Insomniac, Rockstar, Sony, Survios, Ubisoft, and many others.

20. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University

Purdue Polytechnic Institute is one of the 10 academic colleges at Purdue University. The Institute, which began as the university’s School of Technology, enrolls around 12% of Purdue’s students (nearly 5,000) at the West Lafayette campus. Seventy academic options are available in six subject areas in seven departments. The Department of Computer Graphics Technology (CGT) houses the Computer Graphics Technology Program, which offers game design programs at all degree levels.

At the undergraduate level, a BS in CGT with a Game Development and Design Major is available. Students may also earn a BS CGT/MS Technology with a Specialization in CGT, which may be completed in just five years instead of six or more years if pursued separately.

The CGT program provides STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and games. Studies include trigonometry, calculus, and physics, as well classes in video game design and development, animation, visualization, rendering and programming. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a unique research project.

Projects open to undergraduate students have focused on the use of games for sustainable energy, therapy and medicine, entertainment, information visualization and more.

Graduates of the game design programs at Purdue Polytechnic Institute have gone on to work for EA Games, Riot Games, Volition, Zynga, and many others.

21. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Northeastern University

Northeastern University offers game design programs 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. Undergraduate programs include a BS in Computer Science and Game Development, and a Game Design and Music BS with a Concentration in Music Technology.

The BS in Computer Science and Game Development is a combined major, which focuses on “building and developing games and playable media experiences” says the school, along with “courses in computer science and specialized game technology and design.” Interdisciplinary courses “enable students to develop their creative and entrepreneurial abilities, as well as create a strong portfolio of game pieces.”

BS students will gain practical and technical experiential training via Northeastern’s co-op program. Each student will take at least two co-ops. The program requires 133 credit hours to graduate.

The 138 credit hour Game Design and Music BS with a Concentration in Music Technology is a unique program that “focuses on the creative application of digital sound technologies to a broad range of artistic, social, and industrial purposes, including experimental composition, film, video, theatre, game design, mobile applications, sound design for urban environments, and beyond.”

In addition to plenty of co-op opportunities, the program offers a diverse set of courses ranging from Programming Basics and Game Interface Design to Hip Hop in the Music Industry and Interactive Music Programming. Students in this program will complete a Music Technology Capstone/Senior Recital or a Game Design Capstone.

22. Becker College, Worcester, Massachusetts
Becker College

Becker College houses the School of Design & Technology, home to the Interactive Media Design Program, which offers a BS in Applied Computer Science with a Game Programming Specialization.

Established in 2006, Becker’s Interactive Media Program began with just 12 students. Today, the program has around 600 students, which led to expanded academic offerings and resources, such as the MFA in Interactive Media and the $7.3 million Colleen C. Barrett Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which provides student’s access to Game Studio and an Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality lab.

BS students have access to the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI). Established in 2011, “MassDiGI is the result of creative collaboration among academia, industry and government, aimed at fostering the growth of the game industry and innovation economy.” It is a statewide center, “designated by the Commonwealth, for entrepreneurship, academic cooperation and economic development across the Massachusetts digital and video games ecosystem.”

Students work on real game properties, government simulation projects, and educational and serious games that the school says, “are making a difference in people’s lives.” Students participate in internships and externships, and are exposed to networking opportunities with industry professionals at conferences such as the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and Boston’s PAX East, where they debut the games they created.

Becker students have produced digital technology applications for the Internal Revenue Service, John Hancock, Meditech, Oracle, UMass Medical School, and the U.S. Army, to name a few.

23. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
Academy of Art University

The School of Game Development at Academy of Art University offers a BS in Game Programming. 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 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 programs include collaborative projects, Games Portfolio Preparation, and internship opportunities. The MFA program requires a thesis, as well as Directed Study.

The BS teaches “specialized aspects of design such as monetization, unique control types, rapid development via iteration, and production methods working in teams.” Course highlights include AAA Game Engine Architecture, Vector, Matrices, & Transformations, Artificial Intelligence, Data Structures & Algorithms, Indie Game Programming, Network Programming, Programming for Games, Scripting for Mobile Games, and Systems Design.

Students will graduate from the program with a solid grasp of the fundamental game art principles, including knowledge of game engine technology and pre-production and production environments.

The Game Development programs at Academy of Art prepare students for positions such as 3D Modeler, Concept Artist, Game Designer, UI/UX Designer, and many others.

24. Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
Clemson University

Clemson University’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences houses the School of Computing, which offers a BS in Computer Science and a fast-track Bachelor’s/Master’s (BS/MS) in Computer Science.

In addition to Game Design, students in the Computer Science programs will take courses such as Algorithms and Data Structures, Computer Graphics, Computer Security, Network Programming, and Software Engineering. All students have the opportunity to Minor in Digital Production Arts (DPA), which emphasizes Computer Animation, Games, and Visual Effects.

Graduates of the Computer Science and DPA Programs at Clemson can pursue employment in 3D graphics programming, animation, commercial virtual reality, game design, software engineering, technical direction in the digital production entertainment industry, tool building, visualization, and more.

25. Indiana University, Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana
Indiana University, Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington (IU Bloomington) is home to the College of Arts + Sciences. The Media School here offers a BS in Game Design with a Specialization in Game Art, Game Audio, or Game Production.

Students in all specializations will study all aspects of art, design, programming, project management, and sound. Courses are a mix of hands-on production and professional learning classes, practicums, internships, and seminars in theoretical foundations. Game theory and system strategies is highlighted as well as the production and publication of a finished game developed as part of a team. This original game will be produced through three workshops taken three semesters: Prototype, Demo, and Publish.

All students will have the opportunity to select up to 15 elective credits to enhance their major. Courses may come from the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, Jacobs School of Music, and Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. In addition, BS students may take Human Computer Interaction courses in the Luddy School along with study abroad courses such as Game Development Lab, Game Development: Programming and Practice, and Rhetoric of Gaming in Copenhagen, Denmark.