What are the top Georgia game design programs for 2024?

Top 5 Game Design Schools and Colleges in Georgia - 2024 College Rankings
1Savannah College of Art and DesignSavannah
2Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta
3Georgia State UniversityAtlanta
4Kennesaw State UniversityKennesaw
5Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboro

Our 2024 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 Creative Technology at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has a number of pathways to study game design and development. Undergraduate options include a Digital Media BA with a Game Development track, and an Interactive Design and Game Development (IDGD) BFA. Minors include Concept Design for Animation and Games, Game UX, Visual Effects (VFX), Concept Art for Games, Character Technical Direction, Themed Entertainment Design, and IDGD. Each minor consists of 25 credit hours. 

At the graduate level, students can earn an MA or MFA in IDGD. Programs are provided at the Atlanta and Savannah campuses, and online via SCADnow. 

All School of Creative Technology programs provide opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships with local and national studios. Students also have opportunities to work individually and in teams to complete projects across state-of-the-art customized facilities within the SCAD Digital Media Center (est. 2009) and Mongomery Hall. More than 130,000 square feet of space includes studio classrooms; 800+ computers; stop-motion sets; a green-screen stage; motion-capture technology; and AR/VR labs. 

Housed in the former home of the Atlanta TV Station WXIA, the SCAD Digital Media Center provides an in-house theater, green screen lab, and a real-world studio environment. Savannah College of Art and Design also houses six galleries in Savannah, and two in Atlanta. 

Each quarter, SCAD School of Digital Media invites professionals in the industry to meet with students on campus. During these meetings, students have the opportunity to interview and present their portfolios. Past visitors have been affiliated with studios such as Electronic Arts (EA), Zynga, and Activision Blizzard. 

The Digital Media BA program consists of 45 credit hours in the concentration, 25 in free electives, 20 hours in foundation studies, and 90 in general education for a total of 180 credit hours. Based on their interests, Game Development students have the opportunity to select from nine courses, a 500-level elective, a business-focused elective, the undergraduate internship, and 15 other pre-selected electives. Course examples for the program include Applied Principles: Game Design; Core Principles: Programming; and Applied Principles: Game Art. 

The Interactive Design and Game Development BFA at SCAD requires 180 credit hours. Students may select a concentration from two options: Game Development or Interactive Design and Physical Computing. Game Development course examples include Core Principles: Game Tech; Applied Principles: Game Design; and Core Principles: Game Art. Course examples for the Interactive Design and Physical Computing concentration include Core Principles: Visual Design for Interactive Media; Applied Principles: Interactive Web Design; and Core Principles: Interactive Design. 

The Interactive Design and Game Development MA at SCAD requires 45 credit hours of study. The MFA requires 90. Both programs provide two concentration options: Game Development or Interactive Design. Game Development students will take courses such as Game Tech: Real-Time Materials and Shaders; Game Art: Art Direction and Look Development; Game Art: Virtual World Building; Game Design: Immersive Level Design; and Game Design: Professional Production Pipeline. Students also have the option to take one 700-level course from Animation, Games, VFX or other area. 

Interactive Design students will take courses such as Human-Centered Interactive Design; Physical Computing for Immersive Environments; User Interface Design for Virtual Communities; Human Experience Prototyping; and Innovative Systems for Digital Convergence. Students also have the option to complete a 700-level course in Game Design or other listed area. 

All MFA students will complete Evidence-Based Design Interactivity and Gaming, and three Thesis courses including Thesis Studio I: Research and Ideation; Thesis Studio II: Production and Prototyping; and Thesis Studio III: Validation and Documentation. This is the culminating experience for the program. 

All MA students will complete the Interactive Design and Game Development MA Final Project. This culminating experience consists of the production of an industry-level project from research and conceptualization to implementation. 

Graduates of the Game Design and Development programs at Savannah College of Art and Design are routinely hired by EA, Epic Games, Zynga, Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Gearbox Software, Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Bethesda, Firaxis Games, and Sucker Punch Productions. 

Savannah College of Art and Design has more degree programs and specializations than any other art and design college in the U.S. In 1979, the school opened in the renovated Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory with just one classroom, an administration building, and 71 students. Today, SCAD serves more than 17,500 students across campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCADNow. Programs include 100+ degrees and more than 75 minors and certificates. 

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 provide a Computational Media BS (BSCM); MS and PhD degrees in Digital Media; a dual BS Computational Media/MS Digital Media; and Computing & Media minor. 

Georgia Tech also has an undergraduate certificate titled Scenarios, Models, and Military Games. This unique 12 credit hour program explores the use of gaming, models, and scenarios in the analysis of national security issues. Course examples include Modeling, Simulation, and Military Gaming; Scenario Writing and Path Gaming; and Technology and Military Organization. 

The BSCM program at Georgia Tech launched in 2004 with just one student. Today, the BSCM serves more than 300 students, making it one of Georgia Tech’s fastest growing programs. To enhance the degree, students have the option to focus in an area such as Media-Games; People-Games; or Intelligence-Games. Across options, course examples include Game AI; Constructing the Moving Image; Game Studio; Experimental Digital Art; Video Game Design and Programming; Game Design as a Cultural Practice; Computer Animation; Science, Technology, and Performance; Principles and Applications of Computer Audio; Interactive Narrative; Digital Video Special Effects; and Graphic and Visual Design.   

Georgia Tech’s Computing & Media minor requires 19 credit hours of study, including nine credit hours at the 3000 level or higher. Examples of required courses include Computer Graphics; Objects and Design; and Data Structures and Algorithms for Applications. Elective examples include Video Game Design and Programming; Information Visualization; and Digital Video Special Effects. 

Across all graduate level programs, courses may include Principles of Interactive Design; Special Topics in Game Design; Experimental Media; Interactive Fiction; Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); Pro-Seminar; and Project Studio. Graduate students will also complete an 8 to 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 go on to successful careers in Game Design and Development, Interactive Design and Game Simulation, Animation, Special Effects, AI and Robotics, Visual Effects (VFX), and 3D Modeling, among others. Some of the top hiring companies for Georgia Tech alumni include Electronic Arts (EA), Amazon, Google Interactive, Microsoft, Cox Communications, NBC Universal, Apple, Boeing, TNT Sports, Ogilvy, and Delta Airlines. 

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 45,000 students from all 50 states and 149 countries. The school provides 180 degree programs and minors across six distinct colleges, 28 schools, and campuses in Atlanta, at Georgia Tech-Europe in France, Georgia Tech-Shenzhen in China, and distance and online learning. 

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

The College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University (GSU) is home to the Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII). Within the CMII are 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 Game Design and Development concentration or minor. 

Across programs students have access to the world’s most advanced motion capture system. GSU houses one of just nine of these systems, and the first commercial installation. Other BA, BS, and BIS program benefits include opportunities to collaborate with partners such as the Georgia Film Academy (GFA); participation in Playtest—an immersive weekly, hourlong gathering that explores game concepts, mechanics, and experiences; lectures, seminars, and workshops; and participation in the Innovative Media Club and the Georgia Game Developers Association. In addition, all students have opportunities to study abroad and/or complete an internship at places such as Hi-Rez Studios, KontrolFreek, and Turner Studios. 

The Game Design 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. 

Examples of required courses for Game Design BA students include Game Design I and II; Fundamentals of Game Art; 3D Modeling and Graphics; Writing and Previsualization for Games; 3D Animation and Motion graphics; and Introduction to Games Industries. Students in this program may select 18 credit hours from electives such as Visual Effects for Games; Game Engine Pipeline; and Visual Effects for Games. 

Game Development BS students will take courses such as Programming for Games I and II; Principles of Story Design; and Game Development Fundamentals. Students may select courses from fundamentals, game development pipeline specializations, and other formal areas such as VR, AR, and Visual Effects; Advanced Animation; and Entrepreneurship, Production, and Marketing. 

The culminating experiences for the Game Design BA and the Game Development BS include Game Design Studio I and II, and Game Studies, for a total of seven credit hours. The Senior Game Design Portfolio course worth three credits is also required. 

Game Design and Development BIS students have a considerable amount of flexibility in coursework. They may select courses from several areas within the minor or concentration, and electives across the BA, BS, and other programs. Examples include Game Development I and II; Designing Story Experiences; Motion Capture Pipeline; Game Design; 3D Animation and Motion Graphics; 2D and 3D Design; Visual Effects for Games; Interactive Computer Graphics; Sound Design; 3D Modeling and Graphics; Digital Cinematography; and Interactive Design. BIS students will complete a final project to graduate. 

Graduates of the Creative Media Industries Institute at Georgia State are prepared to purse positions at more than 110 game development studios with headquarters in Georgia, and others across the U.S. and abroad. Program alumni can work 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 fields seeking applicants with 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 50,000 students from nearly 130 nations and territories. GSU provides more than 250 degree programs across 100 fields of study at the Downtown Atlanta Campus alone. 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) houses the Department of Software Engineering and Game Design and Development (SWEGD). Programs within the department are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). 

For game designers, the SWEDG Department has a Computer Game Design and Development BS and a minor; a Software Engineering MS (MSSWE); and Graduate certificates in Software Engineering and Software Foundations. For exceptional students, the SWEGD Department also has a Double Owl Pathway that provides the opportunity to earn the BS and MS at an accelerated pace. 

CCSE and SWEGD Department highlights include computing internships and co-op education opportunities; guest speakers; research assistantships; participation in events such as Game Jams, the Raspberry Pi Workshop, and the computing showcase C-Day; and networking events featuring major companies and studios. Recent participants include Microsoft, Cox Communications, and Infor. 

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). Modeling, simulation, software engineering, 2D and 3D graphics, game theory, and digital media are also part of the programs. 

Students may select a track within any concentration area. Examples include Educational-Serious, Computer Science, Media-Production, Creative Content, Simulations-Informatics, and Planning-Management. A custom track within the undergraduate programs allows students to choose nine credit hours of upper-level coursework from any area. 

Course examples across CCSE KSU majors and tracks include 3D Modeling and Animation; Fundamentals of Game Design; Digital Media and Interaction; Mobile and Casual Game Development; 3D Modeling and Animation; Educational and Serious Game Design; Computer Graphics and Multimedia; Game Design Lab; Entertainment Media Production; Application Extension and Scripting; Production Pipeline and Asset Management; Audio Production and Technology; and Professional Practices and Ethics. Students will also complete a final project and portfolio to graduate. 

In any given year, more than 7,100 companies recruit from Kennesaw State University. Across SWEGD programs, graduates are prepared to pursue careers across the technology, engineering, entertainment, education, and research fields, among others. Examples of potential careers include Video Game Designer, Game Developer, Digital Media Artist, Multimedia Programmer, Software Designer, Game Programmer, Simulation Designer, Software Engineer, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Designer, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Developer, Solution Architect, UI/UX Designer, Web Developer, 2D and 3D Graphics Designer, and Program Analyst. 

Serving nearly 45,000 students, Kennesaw State University is the third largest university in Georgia. Founded in 1963 as a junior college, today, KSU provides more than 180 degree and certificate programs 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. Within the department is one of the first BSCS programs in Georgia to receive accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET).

With five focus areas, BSCS students have options to study everything from Game Programming (creating, coding, and animation computer and video games) to Software Engineering (human-computer interaction (HCI), software quality assurance, and usable software). All Georgia Southern BSCS students will take major courses such as Programming Principles I-II; Algorithm Design & Analysis; and Computer Architecture. Across focus areas students also have access to courses such as Game Programming; Animation; Discrete Simulation; Machine Learning; HCI; Computer Graphics; Artificial Intelligence (AI); Software Testing & Quality Assurance; Network Management Systems; and Selected Topics. 

Other Georgia Southern BSCS features include 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 BSS; 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. 

Students may complete the Georgia Southern BSCS program at the Statesboro campus, the Armstrong campus in Savannah, or both. Graduates are prepared for leadership roles across industries. Program alumni have been hired for positions such as Video Game Developer, Computer Programmer, Software Developer, Quality Assurance Analyst/Tester, Web Developer, and Network Architect. 

Georgia Southern University has two additional programs for students seeking an accelerated option. Provided by Continuing and Professional Education (in partnership with ed2go), the programs prepare students for immediate entry into the game design and development field, as well as animation/film, simulation training, and advertising, among others. 

The Online Video Game Design and Development Certificate consists of 500 course hours completed over 12 months. This open enrollment program is self-paced and includes C# Programming Primer for Unity Game Development; Mathematics for Game Development; General Game Modeling and Texturing; Unity Game Engine Foundation; and Advanced Unity Game Development I-II. 

The open-enrollment, Digital Game Artist Certificate at Georgia Southern requires 600 course hours completed over 18 months. The program covers 3D Art, Animating Game Assets, Character Design, Game Software, Modeling Game Props and Characters, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5+, Environmental Art Design, Concept Art, and Digital Art. 

Established in 1906, Georgia Southern University is a Top 10 military-friendly school that serves more than 26,100 students, making it Georgia’s largest center of higher education south of Atlanta. GSU provides 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).