What are the top New Jersey game design programs for 2023?

Top 5 New Jersey Game Design Schools - 2023 College Rankings
1New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewark
2Rutgers University Camden
3The College of New JerseyEwing
4Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityMadison
5Stevens Institute of TechnologyHoboken

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

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

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has several paths to study game design across several schools, colleges, and departments. The J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier College of Architecture & Design (CoAD or Hillier College) at NJIT comprises the School of Art and Design and Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC). Within YWCC are the Computer Science Department and the Information Technology Division. Collectively, these schools and departments manage the Game Development Program.

This multidisciplinary initiative allows students to study game design, game programming, and game production through tracks offered within several degree programs. Options include the Digital Design BA, MA, and MFA (Game Design Track), and BS degrees in Information Technology and Computer Science (Game Programming Track, Game Production Track). A Computer Science BA is also available and allows students to focus in a games through electives.

Across programs, students will take immersive courses such as Advanced Game Production, Simulated Environments, 3D Game Engine Programming, 2D Game Programming, 3D Character Development, Game Architecture and Design, 3D Game Programming, Virtual Reality Design, Game Artificial Intelligence (AI), WebGL Programming, Game Modification Programing, and Educational Game Design.

Hillier College at New Jersey Institute of Technology has two graduate options for students seeking an advanced degree. The College’s Online CS MS provides opportunities to study games through 15 required elective credits and the Game Design and Interactivity Graduate Certificate features courses that explore areas such as storytelling, design, computing, and storyboarding. Courses include Environment Design, History of Game Play and Interactivity, Physical Computing – Interaction Design, Visual Storytelling and Storyboarding, and Digital Audio.

Graduates of the Game Design and Development Programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology work in all areas of game design, development, and programming, animation, graphic design, architectural and environment visualization, web design, and storyboard art, among others. NJIT students have interned with or held positions at studios such as SUSPECT vfx + design, 1stAveMachine, Tripwire Interactive, and Miskowski Design, Ntropic San Francisco, and KWD - Kim.Wendell Design.

Established in 1881 as Newark Technical School, New Jersey Institute of Technology is a public, polytechnic university that serves more than 11,500 students. More than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available across six specialized schools. The programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), he Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the  National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

2. Rutgers University – Camden, Camden, New Jersey
Rutgers University

The School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University-Camden (Rutgers-Camden) has an Information Technology and Informatics (ITI) Program that provides the opportunity to study games through 21 credit hours of required electives. Examples include Digital Game Creation (Game Design), Game Design Methodology, and Social Impacts of Video Games.

Other course examples for the program include Information Visualization, Object-Oriented Programming, Topics in Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Advanced Web Technology, Digital Hardware Basics, and Information Technology and Learning. Senior Thesis, Independent Study, and Experiential-Learning courses are also part of the program.

Other Rutgers-Camden ITI highlights include access to internship opportunities after completing 24 credits, independent study options, participation in the ITI Showcase, and the option to enroll in the ITI/Master of Information (MI) dual degree pathway. The ITI/MI allows students to complete the BS and MI degrees in just five years of continuous study. 

Graduates of the ITI Program at Rutgers University-Camden are prepared to pursue positions such as Game Designer, Game Developer, and Game Programmer, Web Designer, Software Developer, HCI Designer, Game Production Artist, and Software Designer.

Rutgers University-Camden is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Founded in 1766, Rutgers is the 8th oldest university in the U.S. New Jersey’s land-grant university, Rutgers has locations in all 21 New Jersey counties. Camden was founded in 1926 as South Jersey Law School and the College of South Jersey. SJLS & the CSJ merged with Rutgers University in 1950, and became Rutgers University Camden.

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and serving approximately 6,075 students, Rutgers University-Camden offers nearly 70 degree programs across four colleges and schools.

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

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) houses the School of the Arts and Communication, home to the Department of Design and Creative Technology, which has an Interactive Multimedia (IMM) BA Program with six focus areas. Options include Games and Playable Media, Creative Coding, Visual Storytelling and Animation, Culture and Technology, Music Technology, and Digital Fabrications. IMM BA students select  up to two focus areas, along with a minor or second major in Computer Science, Communications, Graphic Design, Business, or Art.

The most popular focus area for game designers is Games and Playable Media. Course examples for the area include Games I: Design & Architecture, Games II: Implementation and Project Management, Intro to Interactive Computing, Special Topics: Game Studies and Design or Delightful Little Games, and Independent Study in Game Design. Students often pair Creative Coding with Games and Playable Media. Creative Coding course examples include Introduction to Interactive Computing, Interactive Music Programming, Dynamic Web Applications, Physical Computing, Design Fundamentals for the Web, and Mobile Computing.  

Students in all Department of Design Programs at The College of New Jersey have opportunities to gain experience through the TCNJ Internship Program. Students have had the opportunity to intern at companies and studios such as DreamWorks, NFL Films, and Amazon.

Graduates of IMM BA Program at The College of New Jersey have been hired at places such as Nickelodeon, TIME, and MakerBot. Some program alumni have gone on to pursue graduate study at top schools such as Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), School of Visual Arts (SVA), and New York University (NYU).

Established in 1855 as the New Jersey State Normal School, The College of New Jersey serves approximately 7,400 students enrolled in more than 50 liberal arts and professional programs across seven schools including Arts & Communication; Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Education; Science; Nursing, Health, & Exercise Science; and Engineering. The College of New Jersey is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

4. Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) houses the School of Art, which has several paths to study game design. At the undergraduate level, the School has a Video Game Animation Concentration within the Film and Animation BA Program, and a 15 credit hour 3D Video Game Animation Minor. At the graduate level, the School of Art has a Video Game Animation Concentration within the Animation MA and MFA Programs.  

For students seeking a fast track program, the School of Art has a combined Film and Animation BA/ /Animation MA or MFA. Students in both programs will begin taking graduate level courses in the senior year of the BA Program to complete the BA/MA or BA/MFA in five years instead of six.

Course examples across all pathways include Game Design, ZBrush Digital Sculpting, 3D Asset Creation for Video Games, Design & Development of Video Games, Advanced After Effects, 3D Particle Animation and Effects, Low Poly 3D Modeling, 3D Game Creation Using Unreal and Unity, Character Animation Using CAT, and Vector Animation.

All Games students at Fairleigh Dickinson University may participate in the school’s internship program, which provides opportunities to work at major studios and networks such as ABC, Viacom, Nickelodeon, NBC Universal, DreamWorks, and MTV. Graduates of the Games Programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University are often hired by many of these studios and networks.

FDU graduates have also been hired at Sony Pictures Imageworks, Marvel Comics, Verizon, High 5 Games, Tribe Pictures, Pixel Light Digital Media, Skyline Entertainment, and Whisper Productions, among others.

Established in 1942, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) was the first American university to own and operate an overseas campus (Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, UK) and the first comprehensive university in the world to require distance learning of its undergraduates. Serving more than 12,000 students, FDU is also the largest private university in New Jersey

Fairleigh Dickinson University provides more than 100 degrees and disciplines across two New Jersey campuses (Madison and Teaneck), the UK campus, and a campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. FDU also has extension sites throughout New Jersey, along with partner institutions and study abroad opportunities around the world. Fairleigh Dickinson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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

The College of Arts and Letters at Stevens Institute of Technology houses the Visual Arts & Technology  Program, which provides the opportunity to select a concentration from four options: Game Design, Creative Computation, Moving Image, and Design. While students in all areas can study games, the Game Design Concentration is the most popular for students seeking a BA in this area.  

The Game Design Concentration at Stevens Institute of Technology focuses on building 2D and 3D games from students own code, artwork, and story. Students will also take coursework that examines the game design industry and other industries where games can have an impact. In addition, the Concentration highlights hands-on learning, an immersive, interdisciplinary curriculum, projects in the Visual Arts Lab, Scene Lab, and Visual Arts and Tech Studio, and participation in the Stevens Game Development Club.

Course examples for the Visual Arts & Technology Program include  Creative Programming, Moving Image: On Screen & In Space, Motion Graphics, 3D Modeling, Computer Science, Creative Studio, Observational Drawing, Foundations in Creative Software, and Game Design. A Professional Workshop and year-long Capstone are also part of the program.

Graduates of the Visual Arts & Technology BA at Stevens Institute of Technology are Game Developers, Software Engineers, Visual Designers, Creative Directors, Production Assistants, UI/UX Designers, Digital Technicians. Program alumni have been hired at places such as IBM, BuzzFeed, ABC, Live Nation, CNBC, Guinness World Records, Nokia Bell Labs, Comcast, and Live Nation.

Stevens Institute of Technology was established in 1870, making it one of the oldest technology universities in the U.S. The school employs 335 full-time faculty and 600+ staff members that serve approximately 8,290 students. More than 300 degree and graduate certificate programs are offered across three schools and the College of Arts and Letters. Stevens Institute of Technology has been continually accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1927.