2019 Game Design School Rankings

What are the top New Jersey game design schools?

Top 5 Game Design Schools in New Jersey - 2019 College Rankings
1Rutgers UniversityNew Brunswick
2Stevens Institute of TechnologyHoboken
3The College of New JerseyEwing Township
4New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewark
5Bloomfield CollegeBloomfield

Our 2019 ranking of the top 5 game design school programs in New Jersey. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Rutgers University

Established in 1766, Rutgers University is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the United States. The school, which serves approximately 70,876 students from all 50 states and more than 125 countries, offers more than 150 undergraduate majors and over 200 graduate programs across 30 schools and colleges. The School of Communication and Information offers several programs for aspiring game designers.

Options include a Dual BA and MI (Master of Information Degree) Pathway for Information Technology & Informatics (ITI) Majors with Game Production and Innovation Specializations and a Certificate Program. The school says that the Game Production and Innovation Specialization “benefits those who have an interest in gaming and game studies, as an addition to or instead of coding and developing games. It provides a basic understanding of game informatics and design – which includes the social dimensions of various users (e.g., designers, builders, players, managers, etc.); the technical dimensions with a focus on design; and the organizational and contextual dimensions.”

The goal of Game Production and Innovation is to provide students with the “capability to plan and design video games to address organizational and societal issues, including recreational gaming. Specific careers in gaming may include game production, game design, writing or screen writing, animation and management.”

Students in the program have the opportunity to complete an internship in the game industry, they may complete 150 hours of independent study, and they may participate in the Information Technology and Informatics Program (ITI) Showcase. ITI provides students with experiential learning focused courses such as ITI 210 - Management of Technological Organizations and the Capstone Course.

The culmination of both courses is the ITI Showcase, where student teams from the ITI 210 class compete in the Prototype and Pitch Competition while the Capstone class presents their project to a panel of judges before an audience of their peers.  

2. Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey
Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology opened in 1870. The school serves nearly 7,000 students enrolled in 35 undergraduate majors within four schools including Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering, School of Business, School of Systems and Enterprises, and College of Arts & Letters. The school also offers more than 40 master's degree programs and 20 PhD programs in the fields of Business, Computer Science, Engineering, Science, and Arts and Humanities (plus two additional interdisciplinary PhD programs).

The College of Arts & Letters offers a BA and a Minor in Visual Arts and Technology. Concentration options include Game Design, Animation, Creative Computation, Design, and Video. Per the school, “creativity, critique and collaboration define the classroom, and students are encouraged to explore the intersections of their imaginations and the latest technologies.”

Course highlights for the program include Animation, Design, Drawing, Game Design I, II & III, Foundation 2D: Color & Composition, Foundation 3D: Form & Space, Video, and Web Design.

A year-long Capstone, designed to launch students “into early career success,” is also part of the program. With a 100% job placement rate (2016), graduates of the Visual Arts and Technology Program often go on to work in a range of creative fields, including media, production, design, game design, advertising and marketing. Graduates have been hired at 72 Pixels, Vita Coco, VaynerMedia, Scholastic Inc., BuzzFeed, Comcast, and many others.

3. The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, New Jersey
The College of New Jersey

The College of New Jersey was founded in 1855. The school serves approximately 6,580 undergraduates and more than 600 graduate students enrolled in more than 50 liberal arts and professional programs through seven schools—Arts & Communication; Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Education; Engineering; Nursing, Health, & Exercise Science; and Science.

The School of Arts & Communication houses the Department of Interactive Multimedia (IMM). Here, aspiring game designers can earn a BA in Interactive Multimedia. Per the school, the program “explores user experience design, interaction design, interface design, and programming for everything from websites to video games.” Another highlight of the program is access to TCNJ’s Art and Interactive Multimedia (AIMM). Established in 2010, the building features “state-of-the-art facilities, including computer labs with a range of industry-standard software, a recording studio for hands-on experience with the latest audio production tools, and multipurpose studios for everything from video to building custom electronic hardware.”

The AIMM building also hosts exhibitions, screenings, performances, guest workshops, student organizations, community groups and more.

Other program highlights include internships at places such as Amazon, NFL Films, and DreamWorks, mock interviews set up by the Department, and resume reviews. The Department monitors job listings for students and they will write recommendation letters and make phone calls. “Students find all the support they need to get that important first gig in their field.”

The BA program ends with the IMM Senior Showcase, which allows students to present their Senior Capstone Projects to peers and technology professionals.

Graduates of the program have gone on to enroll in top graduate schools such as NYU, SVA,  and SCAD, and land positions at companies such as Blue Sky Studios, MarkerBot, Nickelodeon, TIME, Arkadium, HUGE, and many others.

4. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) was founded in 1881. The school opened its doors as The Newark Technical School on Monday, February 9, 1885, with just 88 students. Today, NJIT serves 11,400 students enrolled in 50 bachelors, 59 masters and 19 doctoral degree programs across eight colleges and schools. Programs for aspiring designers are offered through the College of Architecture & Design-School of Art and Design and Ying Wu College of Computing-Information Technology Division or Computer Science Department.

Per the school, NJIT does not offer degrees in Game Design, Game Production, or Game Programming. Instead, the school offers tracks from within its existing accredited degree programs. The BA in Digital Design is offered through the College of Architecture & Design-School of Art and Design, and it has a Game Design Track.

A BS in Game Production with a Game Production Track is offered through Ying Wu College of Computing-Information Technology Division, and the College also offers BS in Information Technology through the Information Technology Division and a BS in Computer Science through the Computer Science Department. Both programs have a Game Programming Track. 

Course highlights for the Game Design Track include 3D Character Development, Educational Game Design, History of Games, and Simulated Environments. Course highlights for the Game Production Track include Advanced Game Production, Foundations of Game Production, Game Architecture & Design, and Virtual Reality Design.

Game Programming course highlights include 2D and 3D Game Engine Programming, Modification Programming, and WebGL Programming.

NJIT graduates have landed positions in the areas of animation, game design, graphic design, architectural and environment visualization, web design, storyboard art, and more. Among the studios where NJIT students have interned or worked full-time are 1st Avenue Machine, CSALAS & Co Labs, KWD – Kim Wendell Design LLC, Miskowski Design LLC, NTropic, SUSPECT vfx+design, SWDTech Games, and Tripwire Interactive.

5. Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, New Jersey
Bloomfield College

Established in 1868 as the German Theological School, Bloomfield College serves nearly 2,000 students enrolled in more than 50 majors, minors and certificates in seven academic divisions. The Division of Creative Arts & Technology offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include BA degrees in Game Design and Interactive Multimedia, and a BS and a Minor in Game Programming.

Students in all programs benefit the Division’s strong relationship with the Northern New Jersey chapter of the International Game Developer’s Association (IGDA). Bloomfield College also hosts a Global Game Jam (GGJ) each year.

Other program highlights include practice-orientated curriculums that focus on real projects, the opportunity to work on collaborative team-based projects that mimic real-world game development, and the opportunity to create games every two semesters as part of the Game Development Club.

Graduates of the Game Programs at Bloomfield College are prepared to pursue careers such as Game Designer, Game Programmer, Web Designer, Animator, Visual Effects Artist, and many others.