Colleges for Video Game Designers

Video game designers study game planning and creation, level design, animation and quality assurance. Keep reading to find out more about available degree programs and how your classes and hands-on learning can prepare you for employment. See how to pick the right program for your goals. Schools offering Game Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Aspiring video game designers will have plenty of options with regard to earning a degree or certificate. Study at the undergraduate or graduate level. Online courses are available as well.

What Programs Are Available for Aspiring Video Game Designers?

To become a video game designer, you'll need a bachelor's or master's degree in video game design, interactive design or digital media. Many programs are offered by fine arts schools, where the focus is placed on the artistic aspects of the game design process. Other programs are offered by the media or computer science departments of traditional colleges and universities. These programs tend to be more technologically focused.

If you have an undergraduate degree and some professional experience in art or computer science, you may find a school that has a post-baccalaureate certificate program. You may also enroll in undergrad and graduate degrees, individual courses and certificates online through colleges and universities with traditional classroom courses.

Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees for Video Game Designers?

Game design and development bachelor's degree programs can be found in traditional and distance learning formats. Listed below are just a few schools offering these programs:

  • Full Sail University's Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in game design, game development and game art, some of which are available online.
  • Southern New Hampshire University offers an online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Information Technologies with a game design and development concentration as well as campus-based B.S. programs in game art and development and game programming and development.
  • DigiPen Institute of Technology offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program in game design.

Which Schools Offer Post-Baccalaureate Certificates for Video Game Designers?

These programs are open to applicants with bachelor's degrees and often allow students to transfer credits to a master's degree program. Some of the schools offering these programs include:

  • Northeastern University offers a graduate certificate in game design.
  • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers a graduate certificate in game design and development.
  • Southern Methodist University offers a professional certificate in digital game development.

Which Schools Offer Master's Degrees for Video Game Designers?

Curricula for game design master's degree programs might include lab requirements and a final thesis project. Schools with these programs include:

  • New York University offers a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) program in game design.
  • The Academy of Art offers an online Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Game Development.
  • Drexel University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) program in digital media.

What Will I Learn?

Video game design programs are interdisciplinary, so you'll learn skills that span the fields of art, business and technology. You'll also receive plenty of hands-on training. Some courses may include:

  • Visual storytelling
  • Sound design
  • 2-D and 3-D animation
  • Programming
  • Drawing
  • Interactive Web design
  • Scriptwriting
  • Character design
  • Level design
  • Industry-related software
  • Project management
  • Marketing

How Do I Choose a Top School?

The quality of a school's art studio and computer equipment is an important consideration, as well as the emphasis placed on the practical game design experience during your education. If the school is in close proximity to businesses that employ video game designers, you'll be more likely to have access to internships and industry contacts during your education.

Princeton Review's list of Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs might be helpful in narrowing your options. You may also want to consider a school that's accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, which upholds standards for art and design programs at the undergrad and graduate level.

Degree programs for prospective video game designers are available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels; some schools offer post-baccalaureate certificates as well. These programs include courses in areas like programming, visual storytelling and drawing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Kaplan University

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  • Full Sail University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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