What are the top game design programs in Ohio for 2022?

Top 5 Ohio Game Design Schools - 2022 College Rankings
1The Ohio State UniversityColumbus
2Miami UniversityOxford
3Cleveland Institute of ArtCleveland
4Columbus College of Art & DesignColumbus
5Kent State UniversityKent
1. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
The Ohio State University

The College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University (OSU) offer several programs that provide opportunities to study games.

In the OSU College of Engineering, options include BS, MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science (CS). A Computer Graphics and Game Design Concentration is available. In the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Art has BA and BFA Programs in Art with a Specialization in Art & Technology. The specialization explores art games, moving images, 3D modeling and animation, sound, emerging forms, and more.

Also housed in the College of Arts and Sciences is the Department of Design, which offers a Digital Animation and Interactive Media (DAIM) Track within the MFA Program. The Track requires 12 studio elective credits and six credits of interdisciplinary electives, allowing plenty of opportunities to create a focus in games. A Design Research and Development (DRD) Track, also within OSU’s Department of Design MFA Program, is a collaborative, interdisciplinary program that encourages study across departments, research areas, and themes. Open electives provide additional opportunities to explore games.

Examples of possible elective courses across programs and departments include Computer Game Art and Design, Video Games and Society, Computational Thinking in Context: Game Development or Images, Animation, and Games Virtual Modeling, Game Design I-II, Video Game Music, Esports and Game Studies, Philosophy and Videogames, Computer Vision for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Art and Technology, Screenwriting, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Graduates of The Ohio State University Art, Design, and CS Programs are prepared to pursue positions in everything from art and entertainment to technology and engineering. Possible job titles include Game Designer, Software Programmer, Virtual Reality Designer, Design Strategist, CG Specialist, Motion Graphic Designer, Interaction Designer, User Interface/User Experience Designer (UI/UX), and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Designer, among others.

The Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Established in 1870 as Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, the school serves more than 61,000 students enrolled 200+ majors, minors, and specializations in 18 colleges and schools.

2. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Miami University

The College of Creative Arts at Miami University (Miami Oh or Miami) houses the College of Creative Arts, home to the Department of Emerging Technology in Business + Design (ETBD)—formerly AIMS. Program options for game designers include a BA in Interactive Media Studies (IMS), and a BS and a Minor in Games + Simulation. Focus areas for the BS include Game Studies, Game Art, and Game Development.

The BA in IMS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary program that explores game design and development, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), user experience design (UX), and web app and development. Students may choose the between the Digital and Applied Concentrations. Both options require 64 credit hours in the IMS Major. Course examples include Introduction to Game Studies, Game Design, and Game Programming, Software Engineering for User Interface and User Experience Design, Advanced Interaction Design and Development, Highwire Brand Studio, Software Construction, and Art and Digital Tools.

IMS BA students will also complete three Collaborative Laboratory courses, the Interactive Media Studies Practicum, and the Senior Degree Project.

The Minor in Games + Simulation consists of 19 total credit hours, with collaborative courses between ETBD and the Computer Science and Art Departments. Electives within the program allow students to focus in a specific area such as Indie Game Development, Games and Learning, or Game programming.

Concentrations for the BS in Games + Simulation require 21 credit hours of study. The major consists of 76 credit hours. Course examples include Design Thinking & Principles, Game Studies, Game Usability & Human Factors, Advanced Game Design, Game Engine Scripting, and 3D Design. The program ends with the 12 credit-hour Capstone Studio, consisting of Game Pipeline and Production (three credits), Game Pre-production (three credits) and Game Production (six credit hours). In the Studio, game designers will produce an industry-ready game.

To gain valuable work experience in the industry, all students at Miami University may complete an internship at a local or national company. More than 20 local options are available for ETBD students. Examples include Wraith Games, Max Gaming Technologies, Funky Visions, Ganbaru Games, Multivarious Games, Green Door Games, and SGM Games.

Program graduates have continued on to graduate study or careers in game art, design or development, 3D modeling, writing for games, multimedia design, AR/VR, and UI/UX, among others.

Miami University Ohio is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Established in 1809, Miami Oh is an original Public Ivy that serves more than 23,000 students across campuses in Oxford (main), Hamilton, Middletown and West Chester, Ohio, and Luxembourg (Western Europe). The main campus offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 120 areas of study and over 70 master’s and doctoral degree programs. Regional campuses also offer associate degree programs.

3. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Institute of Art

The Game Design BFA Program at Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) combines coursework and immersive studios with opportunities to work on real-world projects with partners such as 360 Alley and NASA. Housed in the Game Design Department, the program is collaborative, so students will work in teams to complete console games, mobile apps, and AR/VR content from start to finish. Team members may come from the CIA Game Design Department or the Computer Gaming Minor Program at Case Western Reserve University.

Through coursework and practice, CIA Game Design Majors will master game engines such as Unreal and Unity. Course examples for the program include Game Media Production, Game Testing + Level Design, 3D Texture, Mapping, Digital Lighting, Serious Game Design: Theory + Applications, Advanced Digital Sculpting & Modeling, Special VFX/Simulation + Virtual Reality, and Sound Design Fundamentals.

Two three-credit courses are dedicated to the BFA Thesis + Exhibition. This solo project will represent the student’s best work. Instead of the Engaged Practice component of the program, which provides the opportunity to work with CIA partners, students may complete an internship with a game production studio, animation studio, or other company.

Graduates of the Cleveland Institute of Art Game Design Program are prepared to compete for positions such as Game Designer, Senior Game Developer, Game Art Director Lead, Animator, Visual effects (VFX) Developer, Technical, Storyboard, or Layout Artist, Modeler, Game Production Lead, Programmer, and Virtual Reality (VR) Artist, among others.

Cleveland Institute of Art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), and the Ohio Department of Education. The school was founded in 1882 as the Western Reserve School of Design for Women. Today, CIA serves a coed population of 600 students from across the country and around the world. Cleveland Institute of Art offers 13 majors in art, design, craft, and entertainment arts.

4. Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio
Columbus College of Art & Design

Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) offers a Game Art & Design BFA. The school also offers a Concentration in Animation/Game that can be added to any major. Concentrations at CCAD require nine credit hours of coursework. The BFA consists of 120 credit hours including 60 hours of program requirements, 21 in CORE Studio, and 39 in CORE Liberal Arts.

During years the freshman, sophomore, and junior years of the CCAD Game Art & Design Program, students will take courses such as Drawing for Entertainment Design, Game Theory and Design, New Realities AR and VR Production, Programming for Play, Game Art Production 3D, 3D Animation Models & Surfacing, and Acting for Animators. Students will spend the senior year in the Game Pipeline Capstone, Game Projects Capstone, and the Game Collaboration Practicum. An internship is available as well as courses such as Level Design for Games and Table Top Prototype Play.

Game Art & Design students will have access to CCAD facilities and equipment such as editing suites, Mac and PC labs, a sound room, and play-testing area.

Graduates of the Columbus College of Art & Design Game Program will have the skills and experience needed to compete for positions at regional employers such as Game-U, Multivarious Games, and Pixel Park, as well as national studios such as RIOT Games, Insomniac Games, and BioWare.

Columbus College of Art & Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Founded in 1879, CCAD serves just over 1,000 students enrolled in 11 undergraduate majors leading to a BFA, 18 minors, and two graduate programs leading to the MFA or Master of Professional Studies.

5. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
Kent State University

Kent State University (Kent State or KSU) houses the College of Arts and Sciences-Department of Computer Science, and the College of Applied and Technical Studies. Both offer programs for game designers. A BS in Computer and Science with a Concentration in Game Programming is available in the Department of Computer Science and a BS in Animation Game Design and a Game Deign Minor are offered in the College of Applied and Technical Studies. The Minor consists of 21 credit hours. Course examples include Competitive Gaming, Games for Education, Multimedia and Game Design, and Environmental Game Design.

The BS in Animation Game Design allows students to concentrate in either Animation or Game Design. Students in the Game Design Concentration will develop the skills needed to create games for entertainment, education, simulation, and training. In addition to game design courses, students may take courses in design, film/video, and art. Kent State Animation Game Design graduates will leave the program with a professional portfolio of their best work. The BS in Animation Game Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

The Kent State BS in Computer Science (CS) with a Concentration in Game Programming is designed for students seeking a computer science-based, game design program. Courses for the program include Introduction to Game Programming, Computer Graphics, Game Engine Concepts, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Human Interface Computing, and the Game Development Practicum. A Computer Science Capstone is also part of the program.

Graduates of the Kent State University BS CS with Game Programming will be prepared to seek careers in game programming, software development, game development, game design and production, software engineering, and serious game design, among others.

Kent State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Founded as a teacher-training school in 1910, Kent State serves more than 25,000 students across eight Ohio campuses, six locations across the U.S., and four worldwide centers. More than 300 majors, minors, certificate, and graduate programs are offered at KSU. Programs are housed in more than 20 colleges, schools, and divisions.