Game Design Schools in Columbus, OH with Degree Program Overviews

The Columbus area has at least five schools that offer game design courses. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, none more than 40 miles from downtown Columbus, and make an informed education decision.

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Columbus-Area Schools with Game Design Programs

No schools in the Columbus area offer degrees in game design, but students can take game design courses as part of related programs. This article looks at three schools that are within a 50-minute drive of downtown Columbus and the programs they offer. It also includes facts about each school, including tuition, enrollment, percentage of students who graduate on time and financial aid availability. This information is presented in a format that makes it easy for individuals to compare each school. At the end of the article is a listing of some other Columbus-area schools with relevant programs.

  • Ohio State University, about five miles from downtown Columbus, offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in art and technology that can include courses on game design.
  • Denison University is 36 miles from Columbus' downtown area. It offers bachelor's degree programs in computer science that include relevant courses in game design.
  • Columbus College of Art and Design, less than a mile from downtown Columbus, offers a bachelor's program in animation.

Ohio State University

Although Ohio State University doesn't offer a degree program specifically in game design, students can take courses relevant to game design as part of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree programs in art and technology. Both programs are offered through the Department of Art.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Technology

After completing foundational art classes and general education courses, students apply for a portfolio review to gain admittance into the BFA program. This four-year undergraduate program offers hands-on training in subjects such as Web art, video art, holography and computer animation. Throughout their studies, students have access to cutting-edge digital media formats and technologies, as well as opportunities to gain hands-on experience.

Master of Fine Arts in Art and Technology

This three-year interdisciplinary graduate program concentrates on computer and digital media. Faculty members have publishing credits in art and science magazines, and both faculty and students are active in conferences and exhibitions. Students must complete 90 credit hours, including at least 40 studio hours. While enrolled, students have the opportunity to create novel computer-based art and digital media projects.

Denison University

Denison offers Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) programs in computer science through its Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Both programs allow students to take courses in computer game design.

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

While enrolled in either of these degree programs, students have the opportunity to take advanced courses in game design. Both programs include core classes in computer science. The BS program requires more computer science and mathematics courses than the BA program. Students who wish to pursue a graduate degree are encouraged to complete the BS program.

Columbus College of Art and Design

Columbus College of Art and Design offers a BFA program in animation, which can prepare students for a career in game design.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation

This 120-credit-hour program includes coursework in digital fundamentals, color theory and animation. To graduate, students complete 18 credit-hours in foundation studies, 48 credit-hours in division requirements, 39 credit-hours in academic requirements and 15 credit hours in liberal arts, studio arts and art electives. They also have opportunities to learn two- and three-dimensional animation techniques.

Comparison of Schools

The following table contains information about each school that is useful to prospective students.

Ohio State University Denison University Columbus College of Art and Design
School Type Four-year, public Four-year, private not-for-profit Four-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) 56,867* 2,288* 1,459*
Campus Setting Large city Rural Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $9,735 for in-state; $24,630 for out-of-state* $40,210* $27,630*
% of First-Year, Full-Time Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2010-2011) 82%* 98%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) 63%* 48%* 69%*
Retention Rate (2011) 93% for full-time students; 61% for part-time students* 90% for full-time students* 79% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 80%* 79%* 64%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator, **USA Today, *** Columbus College of Art and Design,****Google Maps.

Other School Options

Other schools offering programs that may be of interest to aspiring game designers include Ohio Dominican University, located 4.6 miles away from downtown Columbus, Central Ohio Technical College, situated 35.1 miles away, Cedarville University, located 49.4 miles away, and Mount Vernon Nazarene University, situated 54.2 miles from downtown Columbus.

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