What are the top New Jersey game design programs for 2024?

Top 5 Game Design Schools and Colleges in New Jersey - 2024 College Rankings
1New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewark
2Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityMadison
3The College of New JerseyEwing
4Bloomfield College of Montclair State UniversityBloomfield
5Stevens Institute of TechnologyHoboken

Our 2024 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) houses a Game Development initiative that provides several paths to study games. The initiative is a collaboration between the School of Art and Design in the J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier College of Architecture & Design (CoAD or Hillier College), and the Computer Science Department and Information Technology Division in the Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC). 

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

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

New Jersey Institute of Technology's Hillier College has two additional options for students seeking an advanced degree. The 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 computing, storyboarding, design, and storytelling. Courses include History of Game Play and Interactivity, Physical Computing – Interaction Design, Environment Design, Digital Audio, and Visual Storytelling and Storyboarding. 

Graduates of the Games programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology work in all areas of game design, development, and programming; storyboard art; architectural and environment visualization; animation; graphic design; simulations; web design; UI/UX design; human-computer interaction (HCI); and artificial intelligence, among others. 

NJIT students/graduates have completed internships with or held positions at studios such as Tripwire Interactive, KWD - Kim.Wendell Design, Ntropic San Francisco, SUSPECT vfx + design, 1stAveMachine, and Miskowski Design. Other examples of recent hiring companies for alumni include Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Meta, IBM, L3 Harris Technologies, Merck, and General Motors (GM).  

Established in 1881 as Newark Technical School, New Jersey Institute of Technology is a public, polytechnic university that serves 12,600 students. More than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available across six specialized schools. New Jersey Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). Examples of individual accreditations include the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

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

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is home to the Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences, which houses the School of Art. Within the school are several paths to study game design at all degree levels. For students seeking an undergraduate degree, the School of Art has the following options: a Film and Animation BA with a Video Game Animation concentration, and a 15 credit hour 3D Video Game Animation minor. 

The minor requires the following courses: Creative Imagery with Photoshop; 3D Computer Animation; and Low Poly 3D Modeling. Students will complete the remaining courses through electives such as Game Creation in Unity; Game Design; and Game Creation in Unity. 

At the graduate level, the School of Art has a both MA and MFA programs with a Video Game Animation concentration. Course examples across the BA, BFA, and MFA pathways include Design & Development of Video Games; Advanced After Effects; 3D Particle Animation and Effects; Vector Animation; Low Poly 3D Modeling; 3D Game Creation Using Unreal and Unity; Game Design; ZBrush Digital Sculpting; 3D Asset Creation for Video Games; and Character Animation Using CAT. 

For students interested in a shorter program, the Gildart Haase School of Computer Sciences and Engineering at FDU has an undergraduate Game Development certificate. Consisting of 18 credits, the program requires Computer Programming I and II (six total credits), and Computer Game Programming (three credits). For the remaining credits, students may choose from electives such as Basics of Computer Animation; Human Computer Interface; Computer Animation I and II; and Computer 3D Modeling.  

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

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

Established in 1942, Fairleigh Dickinson University 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 for undergraduates. With approximately 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 programs around the world. Fairleigh Dickinson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is home to the School of the Arts and Communication, which houses the Department of Design and Creative Technology. Within the department is an Interactive Multimedia (IMM) BA program with six focus areas. Options include Games and Playable Media, Visual Storytelling and Animation, Creative Coding, Culture and Technology, Music Technology, and Digital Fabrication. 

All students in all focus areas will take five common core courses including Introduction to Digital Media; Patterns of Innovation; Design Fundamentals for the Web; Introduction to Interactive Computing; and Design Perspectives in IMM. Next, IMM BA students may select up to two focus areas, as well as a minor or second major in an area such as Computer Science, Art, Communications, Graphic Design, or Business. 

The most popular focus area for students interested in pursuing a career in Game Design is the Games and Playable Media focus area. Students in this area will learn how to work with professional game development tools; work on individual and team projects; and master prototyping and play testing. 

Course examples for Games and Playable Media include Games I: Design & Architecture; Games II: Implementation and Project Management; Special Topics: Game Studies and Design; Intro to Interactive Computing; Special Topics: Delightful Little Games; Independent Study in Game Design; and Special Topics: Tiny Games Workshop. 

Students often pair Creative Coding or Visual Storytelling and Animation with Games and Playable Media. Creative Coding course examples include Physical Computing; Introduction to Interactive Computing; Interactive Music Programming, Dynamic Web Applications; Design Fundamentals for the Web; and Mobile Computing. 

Visual Storytelling and Animation course examples include 2D Animation; Computer Animation I-II; Interactive Storytelling; Time Media: Video Effects and Compositing; and Special Topics: Digital Characters. 

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 completed internships at companies and studios such as DreamWorks, Amazon, and NFL Films. 

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 New York University (NYU), Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and School of Visual Arts (SVA). 

Established in 1855 as the New Jersey State Normal School, The College of New Jersey serves approximately 7,000 students enrolled in more than 50 liberal arts and professional programs across seven schools. The College of New Jersey is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

4. Bloomfield College of Montclair State University, Bloomfield, New Jersey
Bloomfield College of Montclair State University

Bloomfield College of Montclair State University (Bloomfield College of Montclair State) provides many benefits for students seeking careers in Game Design and Game Programming. The school has a brand new state-of-the-art Center for Technology & Creativity; opportunities to gain hands-on experience at small studios and media companies through the internship program; and access to a green screen film studio and black box studio for performances. 

Game Design and Game Programming students also have the opportunity to participate in the annual Global Game Jam. Hosted by Bloomfield, the Jam features contestant students who will produce a stand-alone game in just 48 hours. Other benefits across programs include collaborative team-based projects based on real-world game development; and participation in the Game Development Club, where students will work in groups to create two games every semester. 

Course examples for the Game Design program at Bloomfield College of Montclair State include Introduction to Game Design; Digital Game Design; Drawing; 3D Design; Computer Imaging; Group Game Project I-II; and Technological & Digital Literacy. The Game Design program culminates with the Game Development Capstone, completed across two courses. 

Game Programming at Bloomfield College of Montclair State University consists of courses such as Programming I-II; Introduction to Game Programming; Data Structures; Digital Game Design; Systems Analysis and Design; Game Programming Studio; Group Game Project I-II; and Operating Systems. The program culminates with the Game Development Capstone completed across two courses. 

The Game Design and Game Programming options at Bloomfield College of Montclair State University lead to a bachelor's degree. Across programs, graduates are prepared to pursue careers such as Game Designer or Game Programmer for video games, smartphones, or computers; Visual Effects Artist; Software Developer; Computer Programmer; and Information Systems Manager. 

Bloomfield College of Montclair State University (formerly Bloomfield College) officially became part of Montclair State University on July 1, 2023. Bloomfield College was established in 1868 as an independent Presbyterian institution. Serving approximately 1,150 student, the school provides more than 60 majors and concentrations across seven academic divisions. As part of Montclair State University, Bloomfield College of Montclair State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). 

Founded in 1908 as New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair, Montclair State University is a Carnegie Research Doctoral University that serves approximately 21,005 students enrolled in more than 300 doctoral, master’s and baccalaureate level programs across 13 degree-granting colleges and schools.

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

The School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology is home to the Visual Arts & Technology BS (VAT BA) program. With an emphasis on interdisciplinary and hands-on learning, the program features four concentrations: Game Design, Creative Computation, Design, and Moving Image. While students in all areas can study games, the Game Design concentration is the most popular option for students seeking a VAT BA. 

The Game Design concentration at Stevens Institute of Technology focuses on building 2D and 3D games from students own code, stories, and artwork. Students will also take coursework that examines the game design industry and other fields where games are utilized. In addition, the concentration highlights immersive projects in the Visual Arts Lab, FabLab, and the Visual Arts and Technology Studio; professional workshops; an optional internship; and participation in the Stevens Game Development Club. 

Examples of in-demand courses for the VAT BA include Game Design; Moving Image: On Screen & In Space; Creative Programming; Color & Composition; 3D Modeling; Form & Space; History of Art; Design; Motion Graphics; Modern Art: History & Theory; and Photography. 

The VAT BA at Stevens Institute of Technology culminates with a year-long Capstone Project. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers across a number of industries. Program alumni are Game Developers, Software Engineers, Visual Designers, Creative Directors, Production Assistants, UI/UX Designers, and Digital Technicians. They work at places such as CNBC, IBM, Comcast, BuzzFeed, ABC, Live Nation, Live Nation, Nokia Bell Labs, and Guinness World Records. 

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 8,840 students. More than 300 degree and graduate certificate programs are provided 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.