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.

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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