BFA in Game Design & Development: Degree Overview

A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Game Design and Development can educate students in the technological, conceptual and artistic aspects of the gaming industry.

Essential Information

Sometimes referred to as a degree in game art and design, interactive design & game development or computer game design, students can learn about different aspects of the gaming industry including game music, visual technology and 2-D design techniques. In some programs, they may also be able to choose from elective courses in business or engineering.

A high school diploma or equivalent is required to enter a BFA program. Some institutions also require students to submit a portfolio with their application.


Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Design and Development

This program provides students with hands on training in game design as well as experience with the latest computer technology. Some programs require students to participate in internships within the industry and create a final project showcasing their work. Fulfilling these requirements means students graduate with a portfolio to aid their job search. Program courses may include:

  • Game development basics
  • Principles of game design
  • History of game design
  • Scripting for games
  • 3-D animation and design
  • 3-D modeling

Popular Careers

Students who complete a BFA program in game design and development can find entry-level careers at small or large game studios or entertainment software companies. Some common jobs for these graduates include:

  • Graphic artist
  • Animator
  • Game tester
  • Interface designer
  • Programmer
  • Writer
  • Game designer

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of multimedia artists and animators is anticipated to increase by 6% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). Computer programmers could experience decline of 8% during that same decade. As reported by the BLS in May of 2015, multimedia artist and animators earned a median salary of $63,970 per year. The annual wage of programmers was $79,530.

Continuing Education Info

Students interested in pursuing advanced education can find Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) programs in game design or interactive media. These programs generally require a thesis and include courses in visual expression, media applications and visual interface. Some graduate programs could offer internship opportunities.

Students who are passionate about game design and development can earn one of several BFA degrees in this subject. After graduation, they have the artistic and technological skills needed for entry-level work in the field or can choose to advance their education through an MFA program.

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