Just a few short years ago, there weren’t as many options available for getting a degree in game design and the resources available were slim. Now there a hundreds of options available to inspired people who wish to learn about video game design. In the following article, we’ll list the top places aspiring game designers can go to take classes about game design, whether it’s a facility or via the internet.
Where to go for a Video Game Design Degree?
Whether you physically go to a college or do your classes online is determined by a number of factors. The most common is typically cost. Can you afford to attend a university for this reason, and can you get financial aid if not? Many find online options to be cheaper, though this depends on the school itself.
Another factor is location. Is there an accredited school near me? If not, the online game design options comes into play, as there are certain risks and costs in moving, on top of school work.
Something else to consider is what does that school actually cover? What aspects of game design do they cover, which ones do they emphasize, and what are you mostly looking to do? Will your goals lie up with their curriculum?
While there may be other factors to consider, these are the biggest. It might be best to make a list of things you’re looking for when getting your game design degree and try to match up the school that hits the most marks.
Top 10 Undergraduate Video Game Schools
Below, we’ve listed the top ten colleges for an undergraduate degree in game design. This list is actually based off of the Princeton Review of undergraduate game design programs which ranked its top schools based on “criteria that broadly covered the quality of the curriculum, faculty, facilities and infrastructure…” along with “…data it collected from the schools on their scholarships, financial aid and career opportunities.”
- University of Utah (Salt Lake City UT)
- University of Southern California (Los Angeles CA)
- DigiPen Institute of Technology (DIT) (Redmond WA)
- Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester NY)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge MA)
- Drexel University (Philadelphia PA)
- Shawnee State University (Portsmouth OH)
- Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah GA)
- The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver British Columbia)
- Michigan State University (East Lansing MI)
Top 10 Graduate Video Game Schools
If you already have a BS in game design, then what you’re looking for is a college that offers a graduate degree for game design. Many of the schools listed above also have graduate programs available. The top ten graduate schools are ranked in the following order by both Kotaku and USA Today:
- University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
- University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
- Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
- University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
- DigiPen Institute of Technology (DIT) (Redmond, WA)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
- University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
- Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA)
- Southern Methodist University (Plano, TX)
Top 10 Online Video Game Schools
While the idea of going to school and interacting with other students is great for some, others like having the flexibility of taking courses online. Whether this is due to location or an active lifestyle, we’ve listed the top ten online options, according to ThebestColleges.org. These schools have also been mentioned as honorable mentions via the Princeton Review, and it’s also a good idea to determine whether the colleges listed above have online courses available, if you’re looking to go that route.
This is how TBC ranked their choices: “To assist those looking for quality, accredited online video game design programs we’ve put together this ranking of what we consider to be the very best online schools offering video game design degrees online in 2013. Our rankings of the top online schools offering online video game design degrees are based on publicly available data evaluated according to several different criteria, including market reputation, accreditation, student satisfaction, ratio of students to instructors, and tuition. Most of the schools in our rankings are regionally accredited, the highest form of accreditation a school can achieve.”
- Full Sail University
- International Academy of Design and Technology
- DeVry University
- Post University
- University of Advancing Technology
- Westwood College
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Academy of Art University
- Rasmussen College
- The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
If want more in-depth information about some of these schools, you can read the Princeton Review articles or check out our best game design colleges post.
Are you ready to pursue a degree in Game Design? Get information about game design schools in your area and online using our game design degree finder at the top of this page. ↑
 For more information, please visit: http://www.princetonreview.com/top-undergraduate-schools-for-video-game-design.aspx
 For more information, please visit: http://kotaku.com/5890023/top-colleges-for-game-design-in-north-america
 For more information, please visit: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2012/02/usc-still-tops-as-video-game-design-plays-on-more-campuses/1#.UpzK1cSkrp7
 For more information, please visit: http://www.thebestcolleges.org/best-online-video-game-design-programs/