The video game design industry was a $20 billion sector in 2012. A number of colleges, art schools and technological schools offer coursework and degrees in video game design. According to the Princeton Review, an educational consulting company well known for its annual rankings of institutions of higher learning, the top five schools offering undergraduate degrees in video game design were:
- University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA: The USC Games Program is a collaborative effort between the University’s Interactive Media Division and its School of Cinematic Arts. The USC Games Program has topped the Princeton Review’s list for the past three years.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA): MIT’s position on this list reflects an institutional commitment to interdepartmental collaborations as well as a century-long tradition of hands-on research. MIT has developed business relationships with private companies that provide internship and other mentoring opportunities for students with ambitions to become video game designers.
- University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT): The University of Utah’s Entertainment Arts and Engineering Degree is a collaboration between the University’s School of Computing and its Department of Film and Media Arts.
- DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA): The DigiPen Institute of Technology was actually founded in great part to provide the video game industry with skilled professionals. The Institute offers a Bachelor of Science in Game Design that focuses on computer software programming skills as well as game design theory, level design and artificial intelligence design.
- The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, British Columbia): The Art Institute of Vancouver offers a two-year diploma in Game Art and Design. The program does not teach computer programming skills, but rather emphasizes elements artistic and digital abilities. Students will learn basic techniques in drawing and animation, before advancing to scriptwriting, storyboarding, character animation, and production.
The Princeton Review also identified these five schools as the top schools offering graduate degree programs in video game design:
- University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA): This program has topped the Princeton Review’s list of video design graduate programs since 2010.
- Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY): The School of Interactive Games & Media offers degrees in both game development and New Media development. It emphasizes computer skills.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
- University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
- Southern Methodist University (SMU) (Plano, TX)
Get information on game design degrees using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the various programs that are available to help you earn your game design degree.
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