Game Design Universities and Colleges in the U.S.

Game designers create the characters, animation, graphics and storyline for video and computer games. They often work in teams with other game designers, graphic artists and computer programmers.

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How to Select a Game Design School

Each college and university offers slightly different game design programs, meaning that students should carefully consider a school's specialties and strengths. Game design programs offered through computer science and information technology departments typically emphasize development and programming languages, while those offered through graphic design departments may involve further training in graphics and animation techniques. Other specialties include character development, animation, story development, graphics, software development and 3D animation.

Students seeking an entry-level game design position should consider universities and colleges that offer a certificate, diploma or associate's degree program. A bachelor's degree program includes both game design and liberal arts instruction, preparing individuals for management careers or advanced design and programming positions.

Certificate and degree programs in game design include courses in game programming, game engines, interactive digital media, 3D animation, 2D animation and user interactivity. Most game design programs require students to complete a capstone project, which provides them a finished product for their portfolios as well as practical experience working in design teams.

Because game design is a competitive field that values practical experience, students should consider colleges and universities that offer game design internship and job placement programs. Many companies associated with game design programs offer internships that may lead to job opportunities.

The field of game design changes rapidly and it's important for students to receive training in the most current game design technology. Students may find it advantageous to enroll in game design programs that use a particular company's technology. These arrangements can include updated technology and sponsorship of student contests, which can assist students in earning honors or attracting employers.

Largest Schools by Student Enrollment

College/University Student Population Institution Type
College of Southern Nevada40,3104-year, Public
Brigham Young University34,244Private, not-for-profit
University of Southern California33,747Private, not-for-profit
Sam Houston State University16,6624-year, Public
Rochester Institute of Technology15,0554-year, Private not-for-profit
Madison Area Technical College14,6664-year, Public
East Tennessee State University13,6464-year, Public
Ferris State University13,5324-year, Public
University of Idaho11,7914-year, Public
American University11,6844-year, Private not-for-profit
Southern Methodist University10,9654-year, Private not-for-profit
Carnegie Mellon University10,8754-year, Private not-for-profit
Fashion Institute of Technology10,0654-year, Public
Savannah College of Art and Design9,1204-year, Private not-for-profit
Loyola Marymount University9,0114-year, Private not-for-profit
Texas A&M University-Commerce8,7254-year, Public
Olympic College7,1524-year, Public
Lesley University6,6904-year, Private not-for-profit
Bradley University5,8734-year, Private not-for-profit
Marist College5,8284-year, Private not-for-profit
Emerson College4,5364-year, Private not-for-profit
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Popular Schools

  • School locations:
    • Alabama (3 campuses)
    • Arkansas (1 campus)
    • Arizona (3)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (2)
    • Florida (7)
    • Georgia (1)
    • Iowa (1)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Indiana (5)
    • Kansas (1)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Louisiana (2)
    • Massachusetts (1)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (6)
    • Minnesota (2)
    • Missouri (4)
    • Mississippi (1)
    • Nevada (2)
    • New York (1)
    • Ohio (9)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Oregon (2)
    • Pennsylvania (2)
    • South Carolina (2)
    • Tennessee (5)
    • Texas (8)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (2)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor in Software Development
        • Bachelor in Software Applications Development
    • Associate

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Minnesota (2 campuses)
    • Texas (1)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Game Production
        • Bachelor of Science - Software Engineering
        • Bachelor - Software Engineering
        • Bachelor of Science - Web Design and Development
        • Bachelor - Web Development
        • Bachelor of Science - Information Technology
    • Associate
        • Associate - Web Design and Development
        • Associate - Information Technology
    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Web Design and Development

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Kansas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Computer Sciences
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
      • Computer Programming
        • Computer Games and Programming Skills
      • Software and Computer Media Applications
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Indiana Wesleyan University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Computer Sciences
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
      • Computer Programming
        • Computer Games and Programming Skills
      • Information Technology Management
      • Software and Computer Media Applications
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Computer Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Computer Sciences
      • Computer and Information Sciences, General
      • Information Technology Management
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Computer Sciences
      • Accounting and Bookkeeping
      • Business Economics
      • Business Finance
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Business Marketing
      • Business Support and Administrative Services
      • Human Resource Management
      • Information System Management
      • International Business
      • Sales and Merchandising
      • Specialized Sales

Popular Schools

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