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 Nevada||40,310||4-year, Public|
|Brigham Young University||34,244||Private, not-for-profit|
|University of Southern California||33,747||Private, not-for-profit|
|Sam Houston State University||16,662||4-year, Public|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||15,055||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Madison Area Technical College||14,666||4-year, Public|
|East Tennessee State University||13,646||4-year, Public|
|Ferris State University||13,532||4-year, Public|
|University of Idaho||11,791||4-year, Public|
|American University||11,684||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Southern Methodist University||10,965||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Carnegie Mellon University||10,875||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Fashion Institute of Technology||10,065||4-year, Public|
|Savannah College of Art and Design||9,120||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Loyola Marymount University||9,011||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Texas A&M University-Commerce||8,725||4-year, Public|
|Olympic College||7,152||4-year, Public|
|Lesley University||6,690||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Bradley University||5,873||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Marist College||5,828||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Emerson College||4,536||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
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