What are the top Georgia game design programs for 2023?

Top 5 Georgia Game Design Schools - 2023 College Rankings
1Savannah College of Art and DesignSavannah
2Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta
3Georgia State UniversityAtlanta
4Kennesaw State UniversityKennesaw
5Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboro

Our 2023 ranking of the top game design school programs in Georgia. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
Savannah College of Art and Design

The School of Digital Media at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has a number of pathways to study game design. Undergraduate options include a Digital Media BA with Game Development and Interactive Design Tracks, an Interactive Design and Game Development (IDGD) BFA, and Minors in Concept Design for Animation and Games, Game UX, Interactive Design and Game Development, Concept Art for Games, and Mobile and Interactive Design. At the graduate level, SCAD’s School of Digital Media has MA and MFA degrees in IDGD. Programs are offered at the Atlanta and Savannah campuses, as well online via SCADnow.

The School of Digital Media at SCAD provides opportunities for game design students 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 Montgomery 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 IDGD 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.

Savannah College of Art and Design opened in the renovated Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory in September 1979. The school launched with just one classroom, an administration building, and 71 students. Today, SCAD serves more than 15,000 students across campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and Lacoste, France. With more than 100 degree programs and over 75 minors and certificate programs, Savannah College of Art and Design has more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design college in the U.S.

Savannah College of Art and Design is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), and the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB).

2. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) provides a number of pathways to study game design across several colleges and schools. The College of Computing and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts offer a Computational Media BS (BSCM), MS and PhD degrees in Digital Media and a Computing & Media Minor. A dual Computer Science BS/MS is available as well as a unique undergraduate Certificate in Scenarios, Models, and Military Games. This program explores the use of scenarios, models, and gaming in the analysis of national security issues. Course examples include Modeling, Simulation, and Military gaming, Simulation and Military Gaming, and Scenario Writing and Pathgaming.

The BSCM Program at Georgia Tech launched in 2004 with just one student. Today, the program serves more than 300 students, making it one of Georgia Tech’s fastest growing programs. The BSCM Program provides the opportunity to focus in areas such as Games, Interaction, and Narrative. Course examples include Game Studio, Game Design as a Cultural Practice, Game AI, Video Game Design and Programming, Digital Video Special Effects, Constructing the Moving Image, Computer Animation, and Principles and Applications of Computer Audio.

Georgia Tech’s Computing & Media Minor requires 19 credit hours of study, with elective course options such as Video Game Design and Programming, Digital Video Special Effects, and Information Visualization. Just a few required courses include Media Device Architectures, Objects and Design, Computer Graphics, and Computer Organization and Programming

Across all graduate level programs, courses may include Special Topics in Game Design, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Interactive Fiction, Experimental Media, Principles of Interactive Design, Pro-Seminar, and Project Studio. Graduate students will also complete an 8-10 week, full-time non-credit internship and a Thesis Project.

All students have access to the GVU Center Game Studio at Georgia Tech, the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), and international campuses in the world’s largest games industry—China.

Graduates of the Digital and Computational Media Programs at Georgia Institute of Technology have established successful careers in fields such as Game Design and Development, Interactive Design and Game Simulation, Animation, Special Effects, AI and Robotics, Visual Effects (VFX) and 3D Modeling.

Georgia Institute of Technology was established in 1885. When it opened, the school had just 129 students enrolled in one degree program—the Mechanical Engineering BS. Today, Georgia Tech serves more than 40,000 students enrolled in more than 180 degree programs and minors across six distinct colleges and 28 schools. Georgia Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

3. Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia State University (GSU) houses the College of Arts and Sciences, home to the Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII), which has several paths to study game design. Options include a Game Design BA, a Game Development BS, and a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) with a Concentration in Game Design and Development.

The BA combines the study of art with the development of software platforms for games. The BS explores coding, programming, and software design for students interested in game development or other areas such as app development, animation, and motion graphics. The BIS/Game Design and Development Program has two sequences: one designed for students who are interested in game development and the other for individuals interested in coding games.

Students in all GSU CMII programs have access to the Innovative Media Club, workshops, an advanced motion capture system, and the Georgia Game Developers Association. Students also have opportunities to collaborate with partners such as the Georgia Film Academy and they may participate in the weekly Playtest—an immersive, hourlong gathering that explores game concepts, mechanics, and experiences. Internship opportunities with potential studios such as KontrolFreek – Atlanta and Hi-Rez Studios, are also part of the program.

Graduates of the Georgia State University CMII are prepared to purse positions in Game Design and Development, Game Programming, Game Art, Game Writing, Game Animation, Multimedia, Software Design, Concept Art, Applications Development, Quality Assurance, and Level Design, and other areas fields that require game design and development skills.

Georgia State University was founded in 1913 as the Georgia Institute of Technology's "Evening School of Commerce." Today, GSU consists of six campuses, 12 colleges and schools, and more than 52,000 students from close to 130 nations and territories. GSU provides more than 250 degree programs in 100 fields of study at the school’s Downtown Atlanta Campus alone. The school offers the widest variety of academic programs in the entire state. Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

4. Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
Kennesaw State University

The College of Computing and Software Engineering (CCSE) at Kennesaw State University (KSU) is home to the Department of Software Engineering and Game Design and Development (SWEGD). Programs in the Department are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. For game designers, SWEDG has a Computer Game Design and Development BS and Minor, a Software Engineering MS, and Graduate Certificates in Software Foundations and Software Engineering.

SWEGD Department highlights include computing internship and co-op education opportunities, research assistantships, guest speakers, participation in Game Jams, and networking events featuring major companies and other entities. KSU has welcomed recent companies such as Microsoft, Infor, and Cox Communications.

The SWEGD Programs at Kennesaw State University explore emerging areas such as massively multiplayer games (MMOG), artificial intelligence (AI), online games, and human-computer interaction (HCI), as well as modeling, simulation, software engineering, 2D and 3D graphics, game theory, and digital media. Students may select a track within any concentration area. Educational-Serious, Media-Production, Simulations-Informatics, Computer Science, Creative Content, and Planning-Management. A Custom Track within the program allows students to choose nine credit hours of upper-level coursework from any area.

Course examples across majors and tracks include Educational and Serious Game Design, Mobile and Casual Game Development, 3D Modeling and Animation, Entertainment Media Production, Production Pipeline and Asset Management, Fundamentals of Game Design, Game Design Lab, Application Extension and Scripting, Audio Production and Technology, Computer Graphics and Multimedia, Digital Media and Interaction, and Professional Practices and Ethics.

For exceptional students, SWEGD offers a Double Owl Pathway that provides the opportunity to earn the BS and MS at an accelerated pace.

Graduates of the SWEGD Programs at Kennesaw State University work in areas such as entertainment, education, and research. Program alumni are Game Designers, Game Developers, Game Programmers, Software Designers, and Software Engineers.

Founded in 1963 as a junior college, Kennesaw State University (KSU) serves nearly 43,000 students, making it the third largest university in Georgia. More than 180 degree and certificate programs are offered across 11 colleges, KSU Journey Honors College, and two suburban campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia. Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

5. Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia
Georgia Southern University

The College of Engineering and Computing at Georgia Southern University (Georgia Southern) houses the Computer Science (CS) Department, home to one of the first BSCS programs in Georgia to receive accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET). Students in this program may add the Game Programming Certificate, which allows them to choose three courses from the following four: Animation, Game Programming, Computer Graphics, and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). CS requirements include courses such as Programming, Software Engineering, Operating Systems, and Distributed Web Systems Design. A Computer Science Capstone is also part of the program.

The BSCS Program at Georgia Southern University provides experiential learning opportunities such as internships and co-ops, the opportunity to enroll in the accelerated Bachelors to Masters (ABM) after completing 75-95 credit hours in the BS, and the option to complete either program at the Statesboro campus, Savannah campus, or both.

Other CS Department highlights include workshops, paid research jobs at Georgia Southern, networking events with alumni and the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing—Mohammad Davoud, field trips to computing and engineering firms, mentorship opportunities, and participation in clubs such as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Aurora Game Development Club.

Graduates of the BSCS at Georgia Southern University have been hired for positions such as Video Game Developer, Quality Assurance Analyst/Tester, Network Architect, Computer Programmer, Software Developer, and Web Developer.

Established in 1906, Georgia Southern University is a Top 10 military-friendly school that serves nearly 26,000 students, making it Georgia’s largest center of higher education south of Atlanta. GSU offers approximately 140 different degree programs across three campuses (Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville, Georgia) and 10 colleges. Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).