The U.S. is home to some of the world’s best colleges. Many of these schools can be found in the State of California (home to 454 schools), New York (304), Pennsylvania (262), Texas (252), and Florida (223) to name a few. Although the State of Virginia has fewer schools than the state’s listed, it is one of only 16 states with more than 100 schools. According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Virginia is home to an impressive 129 Title IV degree-granting institutions.
Many of the state’s Title IV schools rank among the best. Schools such as the University of Virginia, Washington and Lee University, College of William and Mary, University of Richmond, and Virginia Tech are just a few. Although some of Virginia’s best schools can be a little pricey, they have Title IV status which means they are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This makes them more accessible to students with financial need.
To become a Title IV school, the institution must (1) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length (2) grant an associate's degree or higher, (3) have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (4) be in business for at least two years, and (5) sign a participation agreement with the Department.
Continue reading to find out which Virginia Title IVs offer the best programs for aspiring game designers and developers and what you can expect to pay.
Most Expensive Virginia Game Design & Development Schools
Marymount University, Arlington – Tuition Information: Undergraduate $27,900 for the 2015-2016 school year.
Least Expensive Virginia Game Design & Development Schools
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg - Tuition Information: Undergraduate residents $10,496, nonresidents $26,536; Graduate residents $12,127, nonresidents $24,388 for the 2015-2016 school year.
George Mason University, Fairfax – Tuition Information: Undergraduate residents $10,182, nonresidents $29,760; Graduate residents $9,310 (9 credit hours per semester), nonresidents $22,198 (9 credit hours per semester) for the 2015-2016 school year.
More Virginia Game Design & Development related programs to consider:
- Winter Park, FL & Online
- Computer Animation - Bachelor's - Online & Campus
- Game Programs - Bachelor's & Master's - Online & Campus
- Graphic Design & Digital Arts - Bachelor's - Online & Campus
- Film & Digital Cinematography - Bachelor's & Master's - Online & Campus
- Mobile Development - Bachelor's - Online & Campus
- Simulation & Visualization - Bachelor's - Campus
Virginia Game Design & Development Scene
Virginia is home to 47,510 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media occupations. A staggering 195,470 professionals work in Computer and Mathematical occupations. While game designers and developers are certainly artists, they are programmers, coders, and developers as well. These valuable technical skills place them in a much higher income bracket than other artists. Virginia-based software programmers average between $104,170 and $109,240 per year, while artists and designers in the state average $56,240 per year.
Virginia’s game designers and developers work at game design studios, software firms, creative agencies, animation studios, and even at colleges and learning centers. Just a few employment options include:
- Modea, Blacksburg
- Stimulus Advertising and Web Design, Lynchburg
- Studio Kinate, Fairfax
- The Art Institute of Washington, Arlington
- The Martin Agency, Richmond
- The Virginia Community College System
While employment opportunities can be found in many cities across the state, principal cities such as Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Arlington, Richmond, Newport News, Alexandria, Hampton, Roanoke, and Portsmouth may offer a larger number of opportunities.
Awesome Animation Fact: According to HowStuffWorks, the Nintendo N64 marked the first time that computer graphics workstation manufacturer Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) developed game hardware technology.