Top 5 Ohio Game Design Schools – 2017 Rankings
1The Ohio State UniversityColumbus
2Ohio UniversityAthens
3Shawnee State UniversityPortsmouth
4Miami UniversityOxford
5Cleveland Institute of ArtCleveland

Our 2017 rankings of the top 5 gaming programs in Ohio. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 

Established in 1870 and home to more than 66,000 students, The Ohio State University (OSU) houses the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art. The Department offers an interdisciplinary three-year MFA in Art, a four-year BFA program in Art with an Emphasis in Art and Technology, and an MFA in Digital Animation and Interactive Media. The Art and Technology program focuses on Game Art, Video Art, Participatory Design, Art History, and Art Criticism. 

The Digital Animation and Interactive Media program concentrates on Videogame Prototyping and Production, Digital Cinematography, 3D Virtual Environments, Experimental and Independent Animation and Interactive Arts Media. All programs highlight project-based learning. Students will create interactive installations, invent electronic objects and interfaces, produce moving image and 3D animations, 3D modeling/rapid prototyping, art games, virtual reality, hacking, bio-art, tactical media, digital imaging, holography, internet art, sound, and emerging experimental forms. 

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2. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 

Established in 1804 and home to more than 23,000 students, Ohio University houses the School of Media Arts & Studies. The School has a population of more than 650 undergraduate students and it houses the game program. Degree options include a BSC in Media Arts & Studies with an Emphasis in Games & Animation (G&A). Highlighted courses include Digital Game Design, 3D Modeling & Animation, Visual Storytelling, Game Development, Narrative Animation, Sound for Moving Images, Compositing, and Motion Graphics. 

Another program highlight is the Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab. “An initiative of Ohio University's Scripps College of Communication, GRID was developed by the School of Media Arts and Studies faculty and staff to provide the Appalachian Ohio region with training, education, and an opportunity to develop technical and creative skills with digital game technology. The GRID Lab serves as an innovative and creative center for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff research and project development.” 

3. Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, Ohio 

Established in 1986 and home to more than 4,400 students, Shawnee State University houses the Fine, Digital and Performing Arts Department, which offers several for aspiring game designers. Options include a BS in Digital Simulation and Gaming Engineering Technology, a BFA in Game and Simulation, an AA in Art with a Game Design Concentration and a BFA in Visualist Design and Interactive Media with a 3D Design or Interactive Media Track. Minor options include Gaming Arts and Digital Simulation and Gaming Engineering Technology. 

Students in all programs have access to the Motion Capture Studio Lab and they may participate in the Annual Art & Technology Game Conference. Hosted by Shawnee State, this interactive digital technology conference attracts game developers, students, and industry leaders from all over the country. 

4. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 

Founded in 1809, Miami University has a population of around 24,500 students. The school is home to the College of Creative Arts, which houses the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies (AIMS). This cross-disciplinary institute “works with students and faculty from across Miami University offering undergraduate, graduate certificate and graduate programs exploring the intersection of technology, design business and how digital technology is transforming traditional areas of inquiry.” Program options include a BA in Interactive Media and an Experience Design MFA with a Concentration in Studio Art (xdMFA). The xdMFA is offered jointly by Graphic Design and AIMS. 

5. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio 

Established in 1882 and home to 550 students, Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) CIA offers 15 majors in art, design, craft, and interactive media. Options for aspiring game designers include a BFA in Game Design. Program highlights include a collaborative environment where students immerse in 3D modeling, animation, programming, visual design, audio, interactive storytelling, and game production, as well as theory, criticism, and context of video game culture and digital media. All students have the opportunity to design and complete a game design internship. They will work with the Career Center office and department chair to create a program that fits their goals.