What are the top game design programs in Connecticut for 2021?

Top Connecticut Game Design Schools - 2021 College Rankings
1University of ConnecticutStorrs
2Sacred Heart UniversityFairfield
3Quinnipiac UniversityHamden

Our 2021 ranking of the top game design school programs in Connecticut. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut (UConn) was established in 1881 as Storrs Agricultural School, opening with just three faculty members and 13 male students. Today, UConn is home to a coed population of more than 32,300 served by more than 18,000 faculty and staff members. The school has one main campus and four regional campuses that offer eight undergraduate degrees in 117 majors, 17 graduate degrees in 88 research and professional practice fields of study, and six professional degree programs (JD, LLM, MD, DMD, PharmD, SJD) in 14 schools & colleges.

The School of Fine Arts houses the Department of Digital Media Design (DMD), which offers four programs for aspiring game designers. Pathways include BA and BFA degrees in Digital Media and Design with a Concentration in Digital Game Design, and MA and MFA degrees in Digital Media & Design: Game Design.

Students in all programs are required to take the foundation curriculum, which consists of Animation Lab, Critical Perspectives of Digital Media, Design Lab, Digital Culture, Digital Foundation, Fundamentals of Web Design, Motion Graphics I, and Student Agency. Game Design course highlights include 3D Virtual Worlds, Game Production, Game System Design, Game Scripting, Interactive Storytelling, Intro to Digital Game Design, Multiplayer Game Development, Stories in Video Games, and Virtual Worlds & Simulations.

Advanced coursework covers Emerging Interactive Interfaces/Techniques, Game-Based Teaching and Learning, Human-Computer Interaction, Instructional Game Design, and Psychological Principles for Improved Design, Motivation, Education, and Character Design. Current research areas include Academic Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Game-Based Teaching and Learning, Interactive Exhibits, and Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Apps, to name few.

Besides a variety of course offerings and research areas, the Game Design Programs offer specialization areas such as 3D Modeling for Games, Advanced Game Scripting, Game System Design, and Multiplayer Game Development. The program also offers internship opportunities at companies such as Boston Interactive, Disney, and Rocket Software. Students may also participation in student clubs such as the Game Development Club, Gaming Club, League of Legends Club, and UConn Rocket League. 

Game graduates are prepared to seek positions such as 3D Character Artist, Cinematic Designer, Game Designer, Gameplay Programmer, Entrepreneur, Instructional Designer, Producer/Esports Manager, Serious Games Designer, Technical Artist, User Experience Designer, VFX Artist, and many others. Graduates have been hired at Blue Sky Studios, Bit Fry, Epic Games, The Game Agency, World Walker, and many others.

2. Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut
Sacred Heart University

Founded in 1963 as an independent, Catholic University, Sacred Heart University was the first Catholic University in America to be led and staffed by lay people. The school serves more than 9,150 students enrolled in more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs, including online degree programs, in six distinct colleges and two schools.

The School of Computer Science and Engineering offers several programs for aspiring game designers—a BS in Game Design & Development and Computer Game Design and Development Certificates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Undergraduate Certificate consists of 15 credit hours and “feeds” into a possible BS degree in Computer Science. The Graduate Certificate consists of 12 credits and it is designed for graduate student who has not pursued a computer gaming track or major at the undergraduate level.

Students in the BS program will “gain a foundation in programming languages, 3D object creation, story creation, virtual reality, and computer ethics,” says the school. Students will have the opportunity to “explore the game creation process, from game design document through beta testing to published game.” Courses and instruction cover 3D object creation, algorithms, gaming, game programming, operating systems, as well as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Blender, Maya, and Unity3D.

Students in the program will have the opportunity to work in the Motion Capture Laboratory where they will learn to animate 3D characters. Additionally, all SHU students have the chance to gain valuable workplace experience through real-world internships at places such as Engineering.com, IBM, Microsoft, NBC Sports, and more. 

Graduates will leave the BS program with a published game and the experience needed to pursue positions such as Computer Animator, Digital Game Artist, Game Designer, Level Designer, Programmer, and many others.

3. Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut
Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University was founded in 1929 as the Connecticut College of Commerce. The school serves 7,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate, medical, and law students across several campuses in Hamden and North Haven, Connecticut. More than 110 programs are offered in the College of Arts and Sciences and eight professional schools.

Quinnipiac has several programs for aspiring game designers offered through the College of Arts and Sciences. Options include a BA and a Minor in Game Design and Development, and a BA in Computer Science.

The Game Design and Development BA has two Tracks: Game Art and Game Design. In the Game Art Track, students create game features, such as characters, props, architecture and levels. The Game Design Track focuses on building, designing, and programming games. Besides two in-demand Tracks, students have access to the Game Lab, where designers come together in interdisciplinary teams to build game prototypes.

Students may also participate in the QU in LA program, where students spend a semester interning at California companies such as Electronic Arts, Blizzard or Facebook. The Center for Game Development (CGD) is another unique option that the school says supports the continued development of select student and faculty games by providing financial support and resources during the summer and fosters a shared and continuing culture of technological know-how and innovation.

The BA in Computer Science degree takes a more holistic, interprofessional approach to the application of computer science. Students will learn the same fundamental concepts and techniques, but also how to apply them to other subject areas, such as game design, graphic design, business, and biology. The degree is designed to be flexible, allowing students to complete a concentration or additional major or minor.

Concentration options include Art (course highlights include Drawing for Games and Game Art), Audio (Audio Narrative, Game Audio Design), Business (eSports Management, The Business of Games), Design Process (Board Game Design, Tabletop RPGs), Game Studies (Games, Learning & Society, History of Games), Programming (Applied Topics in Games, Software Development), Technology (Game Lab III: Unreal, VR/AR Development for Games), and Writing (Interactive Storytelling, Screenwriting).

Graduates of the Game Program at Quinnipiac have landed positions at Bethesda Softworks, Black Rocket Productions, Blizzard Entertainment, Hi-Rez Studios, Rockstar Games, Sesame Street, SphereGen, Vicarious Visions, and many others.