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Game Design and Game Development Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's degree programs in game design and development are available in various options and concentrations. Get info on some course topics you'd study in this degree program, review the prerequisites for admission, and learn what jobs you'd be prepared for this degree.

What Bachelor's Degree Programs Are Available in Game Design and Development?

You can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Game Design and Development. A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in this field is also available, which typically features heavier creative requirements. Majors in information technology and computer science could include a concentration in video game design, as well. Any of these programs can usually be completed in four years and help you develop a portfolio of work that can be shown to prospective employers. A few schools also offer online or hybrid learning, allowing you to take some or all of your courses over the Internet.

Degree Titles B.A., B.S., or BFA
Common Courses Design theory and methods, simulations in education, technical writing
Prerequisites High School diploma or GED, ACT/SAT test results, high school transcripts, letters of recommendation; an art portfolio may be required.
Possible Careers Game design associate, animator, writer, production specialist
Median Salary (2020) $77,700 (for all multimedia artists and animators
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 4% growth (for all multimedia artists and animators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Will I Learn?

Coursework in bachelor's degree programs in game design and development combines artistic instruction with technical training. You could take classes in traditional artistic media, like painting, drawing and illustration, as well as classes in computer-based art, such as animation and graphic design. You might also learn about non-artistic elements of game design, including writing, producing, programming and business. The following are examples of classes that might appear in game design and development curricula:

  • Interactive digital media
  • Design theory and methods
  • Interface design
  • Digital characters
  • Gaming narratives
  • Psychology of video games
  • Technical writing
  • Simulations in education
  • Multimedia Web design

What Are the Admissions Prerequisites?

You need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent to apply for bachelor's degree programs in game design and development. You should also expect to submit ACT or SAT scores, high school transcripts and letters of recommendation. In addition to a statement of purpose, admissions committees might ask you for an artistic portfolio, especially for BFA programs. A creative portfolio could contain work from all kinds of media, including digital animation, drawing, painting, graphic design or film. Classes in art, computer science or writing could help you prepare for this program.

What Jobs Can I Get?

With a bachelor's degree in game design and development, you could be eligible for a number of careers in video game creation, film production and other industries. For example, you might find work as a game design associate, programmer, animator, writer, visual artist or production specialist. You could create games for handheld, stationary, computer or proprietary gaming systems. You might also design and develop video simulations for training in business, academia or the military.