What are the top game design programs in Indiana for 2020?

Top Game Design Schools and Colleges in Indiana - 2020 College Rankings
1Indiana University, BloomingtonBloomington
2Purdue University West Lafayette
3Indiana University-Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolis

Our 2020 ranking of the top game design school programs in Indiana. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Indiana University, Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana
Indiana University, Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington (IU Bloomington) was founded in 1820 as “State Seminary.” The Seminary became Indiana College in 1828 and Indiana University in 1838. Today, Indiana University is the largest and oldest Indiana University campus, serving nearly 42,950 students (of the systems 91,515 students) enrolled in 577,209 credit hours. The school has more than 550 academic programs across 16 degree-granting colleges and schools, plus the Hutton Honors College.

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to The Media School. Here, students can earn a BS in Game Design with a Specialization in Game Art, Game Audio, or Game Production; a BA in Media with a Concentration in Interactive and Digital Media: Specialization Game Art, Game Audio, or Game Production, or an MS with a Concentration in Design and Production. A Certificate in New Media and Interactive Storytelling is also available.

All game students will study all aspects of programming, art, sound, design, and project management. Courses are a mix of hands-on production classes and seminars in theoretical foundations. Game theory and system strategies is highlighted as well as the production and publication of a finished game developed as part of a team. This original game will be produced through three workshops taken three semesters: Prototype, Demo, and Publish.

All students will also have the opportunity to select 15 elective credits to further refine their career path. In addition, BS students may take Human Computer Interaction courses in the School of Informatics and Computing and study abroad courses such as Game Development: Programming and Practice, Rhetoric of Gaming, and Game Development Lab in Copenhagen, Denmark.

2. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University

Established in 1869, Purdue University serves more than 43,400 students from all 50 states and nearly 130 countries. One of the 10 academic colleges of Purdue University, Purdue Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1964 as Purdue University College of Technology. Around 12% of Purdue’s students are enrolled in the Polytechnic Institute, which houses six academic departments and schools offering 70 academic options in six subject areas. The Department of Computer Graphics Technology (CGT) offers game design programs at all degree levels.

Undergraduate offerings include a BS in CGT with a Game Development and Design Major. The CGT program provides STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) and games. Studies include trigonometry, calculus, and physics, as well classes in video game design and development, animation, visualization, rendering and programming. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a unique research project.

Projects open to undergraduate students have focused on the use of games for sustainable energy, therapy and medicine, entertainment, information visualization and more.

Graduate offerings include an MS in CGT and a PhD in Technology offered through the Department of Computer and Information Technology (CIT). The MS offers several focus areas including Game Studies, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Computer Graphics Programming, and Computational Art. The PhD Program offers a CGT Specialization that covers Game Studies, Human Centered Design and Development, Virtual Product Integration, Animation, and Web Programming and Design.

Students may also earn a BS CGT/MS Technology with a Specialization in CGT, which may be completed in just five years instead of six years or more if pursued separately. Graduates of the game design programs at Purdue Polytechnic Institute have gone on to work for EA Games, Riot Games, Volition, Zynga, and many others.

3. Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, Indiana
Indiana University-Purdue University

Established in 1969, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) serves 28,710 students enrolled in more than 250 degree programs in 17 degree-granting schools and two colleges. Several programs are available for aspiring game designers through the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC). Degree options include a BS in Media Arts and Science with a Specialization in Game Design and Development and a five-year BS+MS in Media Arts and Science with a Specialization in Human-Computer Interaction. A Game Design and Development Minor is also available.

IUPUI SoIC students “design and develop projects that focus on entertainment, serious game design, mobile applications, video and audio production, animation, and innovative web design and technologies,” says the school. All students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including the Media Arts Research and Learning Arcade, the Advanced Visualization Lab, and a virtual reality theater.

Graduates of the programs work in fields such as game design, animation, web design, and interactive video in positions including game designers, motion graphics artist, mobile app designer, 3D artist, filmmaker, digital illustrator, full-stack developer, and many others. Companies that have hired IUPUI SoIC graduates include Blizzard, Digital Domain, Pixar, Owlchemy Labs (now part of Google), Sony Imageworks, and Motion Picture Company (MPC), to name a few.