What are the top Maryland game design programs for 2023?

Top Maryland Game Design Schools - 2023 College Rankings
1Maryland Institute College of ArtBaltimore
2University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyBaltimore
3University of BaltimoreBaltimore

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

1. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Institute College of Art

The Game Design Program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has several paths to study game design including a BFA degree and Studio Minor in both Game Design and Interactive Arts. The Dolphin Design Center at MICA houses all programs along with the Game Center, where students use state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to design games, interactive art, animations, and more.

Course examples across programs include Game/Play, Level Design, Body/World/Machine, Advanced 2D and 3D Game Design, Haptics and Optics, Narrative Design, Immersive Experience Lab, Creative Coding, The Soundscape, Virtual Reality for Artists, Robotics Arts, Immersive/Interactive Studio, Sound Art, Remix as Performance, and Drawing: Tradition and Innovation. 

The Game Design and Interactive Arts BFA Programs require 120 credit hours of study. The MICA Minors require 15 credit hours. The Game Design Program includes 21 credit hours of studio electives, and the option to complete an internship or undergraduate teaching assistantship. In Senior Studio I-II, students will complete a professional game. Interactive Arts students will complete the Interactive Arts Thesis, several core studios, and nine hours of degree-enhancing studio electives. Students in all programs may add a Concentration in 3D Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration, or Sound Design.

Graduates of the Art and Design Programs at Maryland Institute College of Art go on to pursue graduate study, positions at major game design studios, or launch their own studios and freelance businesses. MICA alumni work at places such as Google, Big Huge Games, Cooper-Hewit National Design Museum, Firaxis Games, and Sparkypants in positions such as Game Designer, Art Director, Interactive Designer, Mobile App Designer, and Exhibit Designer, among others.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art is the nation’s oldest independent, continuously degree-granting college of art and design. The school serves nearly 3,500 students from 49 states and 52 countries. Programs at MICA lead to a BFA, MA, MFA, MBA, MPS degree, or post-baccalaureate certificate.

Maryland Institute College of Art is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

2. University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
University of Maryland Baltimore County

The College of Engineering and Information Technology at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) houses the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) Department, home to the Computer Science (CMSC) Program. Within this BS Program is a Game Development Track that prepares students for careers in technical positions in the games industry.

Consisting of 120 credit hours, with 78 in the major the CMSC BS consists of courses such as Game User Interface Programming, Animation, Advanced Computer Graphics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Graphical User Interface Programming, Software Engineering, Numerical Computation, Computer Graphics for Games, Parallel and Distributed Processing, Introduction to Robotics, Animation, and Games Group Project.

Graduates of the BS CMSC/Game Development Track at University of Maryland Baltimore County have gone on to work at major companies and studios such as Epic Games, Bethesda Softworks, Zynga, Firaxis Games, ZeniMax, and AMD. Program alumni also work for other studios and companies such as Breakaway Games, Stardock, Emergent, and Organic Motion.

University of Maryland Baltimore County is part of the University System of Maryland. The school was established as a member in 1966. UMBC serves approximately 13,990 students enrolled in more than 200 degree, minor, and certificate programs across seven colleges and schools. The University of Maryland Baltimore County is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

3. University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
University of Baltimore

University of Baltimore (UBalt) houses the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences—home to the GameLab. Founded in 2014 and Funded by The University of Baltimore Foundation, the GameLab is an educational research facility that explores the relationships between games, media, and society. The GameLab, which hosts workshops, art exhibitions, and visiting artists, is a complement to the Simulation and Game Design BS, and other programs.

Established in 2003 and serving more than 120 students across two campuses, the Simulation and Game Design BS is the oldest and largest game design program in Maryland. The program has two specializations: Technical Art and Coding & Development. Across concentrations, students will study 3D modeling and animation, applied game design theory, design of multiplayer games, computer programming, usability design, and games in education and other fields.

UBalt Game Design BS students may add an additional minor or enroll in the accelerated option, which provides the opportunity to take up to nine graduate credits to apply towards the Interaction Design and Information Architecture MS. The 36 credit hour MS prepares students for leadership positions such as Senior Interaction Designer, Creative Director, Senior Multimedia Developer, User-Experience Manager, and User Research Manager.

Minor examples include Mobile Application and Development, Business Management, Web Development, and Entrepreneurship. The Simulation and Game Design BS Program at University of Baltimore concludes with an immersive Capstone Project that allows students to create a professional game or other project.

Graduates of the BS and MS Programs at University of Baltimore have bene hired at Amazon, Google, Instagram, Meta, idfive Agency, Mindgrub Technologies, and Fastspot Creative Agency, among others.

Founded in 1937 as a law and business night school, University of Baltimore opened as a law and business night school. Today, UBalt provides more than 70 programs to 3,325 students from Maryland and across the U.S. Degree offerings at UBalt are housed in Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Affairs, Merrick School of Business, and the School of Law. University of Baltimore is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).