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 are the top Connecticut game design programs for 2023?
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Our 2023 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
The School of Fine Arts at University of Connecticut (UConn) is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD). Within the School is the Department of Digital Media Design (DMD). Serving more than 375 students across seven concentrations, the DMD emphasizes a collaborative learning environment, hands-on projects, and visiting experts who present workshops and mentor students. The Department also provides access to state-of-the-art production studios, gaming clubs, and more than 100 internships annually at companies in Connecticut and across the U.S. DMD students have interned at major studios and companies such as HBO, Pixar Animation Studios, Disney, Adobe, and ESPN.
UConn DMD degree options include the Digital Media and Design BA, BFA, and MFA. An Online DMD Graduate Certificate is also available. Students in all programs may take the Generalist Path or Specialize in Game Design. Courses for the programs are led by full-time instructors who are professionals in the industry and may include 3D Virtual World & Simulations, Digital Game Design, Game Scripting, History of Computer Graphics, Critical Perspectives on Digital Media, and Fundamentals of Programming for Game & Web.
Undergraduates will complete the Portfolio and Professional Development courses and a Senior Project. Graduate students will complete the MFA Thesis Project consisting of six credits, and they will participate in the MFA Degree Exhibition, worth three credits.
Approximately 90% of University of Connecticut DMD alumni are employed in the industry within one year of graduation. UConn DMD graduates are prepared to pursue careers such as Game Designer, Video Game Artist, Producer, Serious Games Designer, Gameplay Programmer, and Esports Manager. UConn DMD alumni have been hired at companies and studios such as Blur Studio, Epic Games, Disney, Adobe, The Game Agency, ESPN, HBO, Viacom, NBC Universal, Owlchemy Labs, NBC Sports, Deck Nine Games, and World Walker Games.
Founded in 1881, University of Connecticut began as Storrs Agricultural School with just three faculty members and 13 male students. Today, UConn’s more than 18,000 faculty and staff members serve approximately 32,150 students across the main campus at Storrs, and four regional campuses. Programs at UConn are provided across 14 colleges and schools. Offerings include eight undergraduate degrees with 120 majors, 17 graduate degrees in 92 fields of study, and six professional degree programs.
University of Connecticut is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).).
2. Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut
Quinnipiac University (QU) houses the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), home to the Game Design and Development (GDD) Program. Options include an GDD BA and a Minor. The GDD BA is a hands-on, 120-126 credit program that allows students to take courses in a related areas such as Graphic Interactive Design or Computer Science. Featuring Game Labs and research projects, the GDD Program also encourages students to pursue a minor or double major. Experiential learning opportunities allow students to complete an internship, study abroad, or participate in an academic/professional product collaboration. An additional option is the QU in LA Program, where students have the opportunity to live, learn, and work in Los Angeles. This immersive program is provided in partnership with the School of Communications.
Quinnipiac University GDD BA students will also have the opportunity to add a concentration in areas such as Programming, Game Studies, Design Process, Art, Technology, Audio, Business, and Writing. Concentrations are nine credit hours and include courses such as Board Game Design, Acting and Directing for Game Design, Advanced Topics in Game Development, Object-Oriented Design and Programming, Digital Music Composition for Games, Interactive Storytelling and Narrative, eSports Management, The Business of Games, Games, Learning & Society, Game Art I-III, and VR/AR Development for Games.
The 33 credit hour GDD Development Core consists of Game Design, Creativity and Computation, Visual Design for Games, Game Development, Professionalism Practice for Game Design, Game Lab I-VI: Team Projects, and Senior Project ad Seminar.
The GDD Minor requires 18 credit hours of study. Students will take Introduction to Game Design, Creativity and Computation, and Introduction to Game Development. The remaining courses are the student’s choice. They can take Game Art, Game Lab (Team Projects), Game Seminar courses, and more.
Graduates of the GDD Program at Quinnipiac University have gone on to establish careers at a variety of major and other successful studios such as Riot Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games, Bethesda Softworks, Black Rocket Productions, Sesame Street Workshop, Hi-Rez Studios, F84 Studios (Los Angeles), Hellosaurus, Cool Math Games, Grover Gaming, and SphereGen Technologies, among others.
Founded in 1929 as the Connecticut College of Commerce, Quinnipiac University serves approximately 8,790 students enrolled in nearly 200 programs across eight professional schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. With three campuses including Mount Carmel, York Hill, and North Haven, Quinnipiac University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).