What are the top Colorado game design programs for 2023?

Top Colorado Game Design Schools - 2023 College Rankings
1University of DenverDenver
2University of Colorado, Colorado SpringsColorado Springs
3Rocky Mountain College of Art and DesignDenver

Our 2023 ranking of the top game design school programs in Colorado. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
University of Denver

The Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science at University of Denver (DU) houses the Computer Science Department, which allows students to specialize in just about any area. Other department highlights include small class sizes, coursework in modern software engineering with classes taught by faculty members who are active in research, and access to student-run, synergetic clubs such as the DU Game Developers Society, DU Esports, Women in Technology, and DU Computer Science.

In addition to custom specializations, DU’s Department of Computer Science provides several specific pathways top study game design including BA degrees in Applied Computing and Game Development, BS degrees in Computer Science and Game Development, and both MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science. Course examples across programs include Game Programming, Multimedia Systems, Game Design, Machine Learning, Programming Languages, 3D Modeling, and Operating Systems.

Undergraduate CS programs include a Game Capstone where students work in teams to conceptualize, design, test, and debug an industry-ready game. In addition to learning about the game design process from start to finish, University of Denver CS students will develop group collaboration and researching skills.

Both graduate and undergraduate CS students will have opportunities to participate in experiential learning opportunities, DU’s study abroad and internship programs, and cooperative education. Recent University of Denver internship employers include The Walt Disney Company, Oracle, NBC Universal, Charter Communications, and Ball Aerospace.

Graduates of the Computer Science and Games Programs at University of Denver work in all 50 states and across 145 countries. Program alumni are Game Designers, Game Developers, and Game Programmers, Software Engineers, Multimedia Artists, and Entrepreneurs.

University of Denver was established in 1864 as the Colorado Seminary. Today, the school serves approximately 12,000 graduates and undergraduates enrolled in more than 200 different degree programs across 10 colleges and schools. University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

2. University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, Colorado
University of Colorado Colorado Springs

The College of Engineering and Applied Science at University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) is home to the Department of Computer Science, which has several path to study game design. Options include a Computer Science BA (BACS) with a Game Design (GD) Track, a Bachelor of Innovation (BI) in Game Design and Development (GDD), and Minors in Game Programming + 3D and Game Design (GD). An interdisciplinary MS in Computer Science-Media Convergence, Games and Media Integration (MSCS-GMI) is available as well.

Both Minor Programs consist of 21 credit hours of study. Students in the BACS Program have the option to complete the Game Programming + 3D or Game Design Minor, one of the following Tracks: Game Design, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, or Cybersecurity, OR a second major such as GDD. In addition to Game Design, the BACS/GD Track covers game development, game testing and distribution, user interfaces, game theory, and graphics.

The BACS Program also focuses on computer applications, and software design and development. Course examples include Programming with C, Python Programming, Design & Analysis of Algorithms, Advanced Software Engineering, and Programming with UNIX.

The Bachelor of Innovation Program at UCCS prepares students for careers in traditional games for entertainment, casual games, and serious games. The curriculum focuses on game design and development, programming, and technical design. The program also explores other areas such as music and art. Course examples include Game Design for Diverse Populations, Team-Based Game Testing and Deployment, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Games, and Commercial Game Design Practicum. 

The UCCS MSCS-GMI Program allows students to pursue a specialization through electives and develop an industrial portfolio with an interdisciplinary focus. However, the program includes required courses such as Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Advanced 3D Games and Digital Content Creation, and Computer Graphics. The program has a substantial number of elective options, including titles such as Wearable Computing and Complex Systems, Virtual Reality and Computer-Human Interaction, Computer Communication, Computability, Automata, and Formal Languages, and Computer Graphics Animation & Scientific Visualization Techniques.

MSCS students will complete a final project to be submitted to virtual reality and HCI interaction conferences, the International Symposium on Wearable Computing (ISWC), the Game Developers Conference (GDC), SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival, and other related events worldwide.

Graduates of the Computer Science and Games Programs at University of Colorado Colorado Springs have been recruited for salaried positions by major game design studios. Program alumni have also launched their own studios and freelance businesses where they have created their own games and commercial games for clients.

Founded in 1965, University of Colorado Colorado Springs serves more than 12,000 students from across the U.S. and more than 80 nations. The school offers more than 50 undergraduate degree options, dozens of master’s degrees, and eight doctoral programs across six colleges and schools. University of Colorado Colorado Springs is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

The Game Art BFA Program at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) features learning that takes place in a collaborative environment, allowing students to interact with artists from different programs. The program requires 124 credit hours of study, including 15 Art History credits, 30 in Liberal Arts, 24 in Foundations, 48 Core credits, and six Studio Elective credits.

Courses for the Game Art BFA are led by working professionals in the industry. Course examples include Level Design, Character Rigging and Animation, 3D Modeling, Lighting & Texture, Visual Storytelling, and Business Ethics and Copyrights.

Graduates of the Game Art BFA Program at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design hold positions such as Game Designer, 3D Character Modeler, Concept Artist, Rigger, Interactive Media Designer, and Motion Graphics Designer.

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design began in 1963 as Rocky Mountain School of Art. Serving more than 1,000 students, RMCAD offers 16 degree and certificate programs offered in campus/hybrid and online formats. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and it is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).