|1||Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester|
|2||New York University||New York|
|3||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy|
|4||The New School/Parsons||New York|
Our 2018 rankings of the top 5 gaming programs in New York. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was founded in 1885 as Mechanics Institute. The school serves nearly 19,000 students majoring in everything from 3D Digital Design to Web and Mobile Computing. The B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS) offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include BS and MS degrees in Game Design and Development, and a BS in New Media Interactive Development. The Game Design and Development program emphasizes game programming and cooperative education (co-op). These full-time paid work experiences provide students with an opportunity to learn on the job in real-world industry settings.
Students in the BS in New Media Interactive Development program can explore casual games, physical computing, production, web, mobile, and more. All GCCIS students have the opportunity to minor in Game Design or Game Design and Development or enroll in a double major.
Tisch School of the Arts is part of New York University (NYU). Founded in 1965, the school serves more than 3,000 students enrolled in games, animation, film, interactive media, acting, dance, design, performance, writing for musical theatre, stage, screen & television, preservation, recorded music, photography, and public policy programs.
Programs for game designers are offered through the NYU Game Center, Department of Design. Options include a Game Design BFA or MFA. A Minor in Game Design is also available. The BFA program is organized in three primary areas including Game Studies, Game Design, Game Development, and four production areas including Programming, Visual Design, Audio Design, and Game Business. Students may specialize in Game Programming, Visual or Audio Design, or Game Development.
The Game Center MFA is a two-year degree that includes classes in Game Design, Game Production, Game Studies, and Game History. Students will gain hands-on experience by taking studio courses and participating in play labs, and electives will allow students to “explore everything from Game Journalism to Games and Players (a class on the psychology and emotions of game play).”
Classes and events for all Game Center programs take place at the Media and Games Network (MAGNET) at the NYU Brooklyn campus. MAGNET also houses the Game Center Open Library, which is "the largest collection of games held by any university in the world."
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is the oldest technological research university in the U.S. Home to just under 7,650 students, RPI offers more than 145 programs across five schools including Architecture, Engineering, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS), Lally School of Management, and Science. Programs for aspiring designers are offered through HASS and include a BS in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (BS GSAS) and a BS in Electronic Media, Arts, & Communication (EMAC).
BS GSAS students may choose a concentration or dual BS degree from the following options: Arts (Electronic Arts), Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Science, Management/Entrepreneurship, Cognitive Science, or Writing for Games.
Established in 1996, the BS in EMAC program is an interdisciplinary program that includes courses in communication as well as in digital art and animation, video, electronic music, and graphic design, supported by RPI’s strong technological infrastructure. The EMAC curriculum offers concentrations in Digital Storytelling (Animation, Video, Game Design), Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Marketing Communication and Design, Sound Design and Popular Culture.
RPI also offers several advanced degree programs for game designers. Graduate offerings include MFA and PhD degrees in Electronic Arts (EART). Offered through the Department of Arts, both degree programs allow students to explore everything from Gaming and Animation to Communication Technologies.
Students may enhance their education by adding a minor, dual major, study abroad, internship, or even a co-terminal graduate program.
The New School was founded in 1896. This art and design college is home to nearly 5,500 students enrolled in 130 degree and diploma programs across five schools including the School of Art and Design History and Theory, School of Art Media and Technology, School of Constructed Environments, School of Design Strategies, and the School of Fashion.
Programs for aspiring game designers are offered through the School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT) and include BFA and MFA degrees in Design and Technology. The BFA has a Game Design Pathway. The MFA program consists of major studios, collaborative studios, and the thesis studios. Students have many elective options to choose from and may create their own “coherent” study plan.
A related program, the BFA in Art, Media, and Technology, is offered at the Parsons Paris campus. This interdisciplinary program, which explores design, art, media, and technology, prepares graduates to pursue careers in Animation, Game Design, Interactive and Social Media, Motion Graphics, and more.
Founded in 1865, Cornell University serves more than 23,000 students enrolled in more than 80 formal majors, 70 minors, and dozens of graduate programs across 15 colleges and schools. The program for aspiring game designers is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering, Computing and Information Science Department (Cornell CIS). Known as the Game Design Initiative at Cornell University (GDIAC), the program was formed in 2001.
It offers a Game Design Minor, as well as informal support to graduate students and faculty interested in pursuing game-related research. Here’s how the GDIAC works: students pick a major in a core area (e.g., Computer Science, Information Science, Art, Music, Writing, etc.). They may take as many game courses as they can, and build a portfolio of games through independent studies. A few course options include Computer Game Development and Advanced Projects in Computer Game Development.
GDIAC students will work in interdisciplinary teams of four to six to create a game. Students may present their projects at the GDIAC showcase, which is open to the public. Per the school, “any undergraduate student in any college at Cornell University can pursue the Game Design Minor and have it added to their transcript.”