Did you know? Whether pursuing a career as a game designer, game programmer, 3D modeler, concept artist, or UI/UX designer, at Academy of Art University’s School of Game Development you will get hands-on experience creating a professional-quality game portfolio. Learn more.
What is the top DC game design program for 2023?
Our 2023 ranking of the top game design school program in the District of Columbia. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
Students at American University (AU) have the rare opportunity to create their own individualized interdisciplinary programs leading to a bachelor’s degree. AU also provides more than 20 online master’s degree and graduate certificate programs. For game designers seeking an advanced degree, AU has a Games and Interactive Media MFA, a Game Design MA, and a Computer Science MS.
The 54 credit hour Games and Interactive Media MFA is housed in the School of Communication. First-year MFA students will attend the Film & Media Arts Boot Camp in August before their first semester. The Boot Camp focuses on the production process.
The Game Design MA is provided jointly by the School of Communication and the Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Students in the MA program have the opportunity to select courses across schools and departments. Examples include Political Communication, Web and Mobile Development, Dynamic Content, and Business. The MA requires 21 credits in game design and six in the Master’s Portfolio Capstone. Game Prototyping, Making Meaningful Games, and Game Development are just a few required courses.
Housed in the Department of Computer Science, the MS provides the opportunity to add the Game and Computational Media Track, which explores games, simulation and modeling, media, software engineering, entertainment, artificial intelligence (AI), environments, programming languages, and computer architecture. Internship and research opportunities are also part of the program.
Students in all graduate and interdisciplinary games programs at American University have access to the AU Game Center which explores the use of games in recreation, the media, health, education, the community, politics, and policy. The Game Center also hosts workshops. Students will also obtain real-world experience by working on projects with the AU Game Studio, and with clients such as local studios, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.
Game students at American University also have opportunities to network at DC-area events such as the Global Game Jam, Games+, Indie Arcade at SAAM, and MAGfest.
Founded in 1893, American University provides more than 170 programs across eight colleges and schools to approximately 14,000. AU programs lead to a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. American University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and it is recognized by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.