Degrees in Computer Game Design and Development

Read about the breadth of online and on-campus degree programs in computer game design, and the aspects of gaming that each focuses on. Check out career options in game development for consoles, PCs and online gaming. Schools offering Game Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Computer Game Design Courses Are Available?

While game design is a popular program, a computer game design program narrows your focus in one gaming console. Associate and master's degrees are available, but uncommon; on the other hand, certificate and bachelor's degree programs are offered by a number of colleges. The goal of these programs is to give you the skills to be able to design personal computer (PC) and web-based games. Such programs are offered online, but only through limited opportunities. Be sure to check an online school's accreditation, since this degree is frequently offered online by for-profit colleges and diploma mills. Also, certificate programs are offered over the Internet by many community and technical colleges.

Degree TypesCertificates and bachelor's degree programs are commonly available, associate's and master's are less common
Common Course Topics3D design, animation, programming languages, storytelling, character development
Possible CareersJunior game design, game tester, programmer, game designer, animator, computer software engineer

What Will I Study?

Whether online or on-campus, a certificate program will train you to work with console gaming devices and computer gaming. Some certificate programs are single non-credit bearing courses while others are a series of credit-bearing courses. Either way you'll learn the basics to developing computer games, including study in C++ programming language and 3D design.

You'll begin an associate's degree education with game development theory, computer graphics and simulation development. At this level you'll focus primarily on skill building with animation, world building, lighting, web design, programming languages, modeling and Flash software.

The bachelor's degrees that you can receive vary depending on the college and track you want to focus on. Colleges offer computer game design as a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.). At this level you'll look at computer design from an interdisciplinary view with courses in computer science, animation, computer design, web design, visual arts and literature. You'll learn about story-boarding, storytelling, character development, action sequences, project development and virtual worlds.

In the rare master's degree programs for this field, you'll study the computer science and programming languages side of computer game development. Along with story-boarding and creating a game, you'll also study how to improve graphics with architecture, shading, textiles and multiplayer usage. You'll learn about consumer purchasing and testing for quality.

What Is The Career Outlook?

Some of the career choices you can consider depend greatly on the level of education you decide to pursue. Some of the jobs where a certificate or associate degree is needed are junior game designer, game tester and programmer. Bachelor's and master's degrees tend to lead to game designer, animator and possibly computer software engineer.

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:

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