San Diego Game Design Colleges with Degree Program Overviews

There are two schools within 15 miles of San Diego that have game design programs. Read an overview of these schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which is the right one for you.

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Game Design School Options in San Diego

No schools in San Diego offer degrees specifically in game design, but a few have programs that aspiring game designers may find useful. This article looks at two schools no more than 20 minutes from the city center and their relevant programs. It also includes a table of information that prospective students might need to know, such as tuition, school size, the acceptance rate and the percentage of first-year students who receive financial aid.

  • San Diego State University, 12 miles from downtown, offers two master's degree programs in studio arts with a specialty in multimedia.
  • The University of California at San Diego, also 12 miles from downtown San Diego, has a certificate program in casual gaming that teaches game design.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Computer Games and Programming Skills
  • Computer Programming for Applications
  • Computer Programming for Certifications

Comparison of Schools

The following table presents information about each of these schools that can help individuals make an informed decision about their education.

San Diego State University University of California at San Diego
School Type Four-year; public Four-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 33,483* 30,709*
Campus Setting Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees 2015-2016 $6,976 in-state; $18,136 out-of-state* $13,530 in-state; $38,238 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2014) 60%* 64%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 34%* 33%*
Retention Rate (2014) 88% for full-time students* 95% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (2014) 66% (3% transfer-out rate)* 86%*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in multimedia studies through its School of Art, Design and Art History. The university's graphic design programs participate with a large number of businesses to provide student internships.

Master of Fine Arts/Master of Arts in Studio Arts - Multimedia Specialty

Graduate students in this program learn about web design, gaming, motion graphics, interactive media and DVD navigation. Art students who are interested in utilizing unfamiliar technologies in their work may want to enroll in the multimedia graduate program. The MFA and the MA programs have different specific credit requirements, though students in the MFA program must complete a thesis, while students in the MA program must complete a creative project and a written report.

University of California at San Diego

The university offers a variety of career-focused, professional training degrees in casual gaming, graphic design and mobile apps. Students can earn their certificate in a year, can take classes during the day or evening and can put together interactive portfolios.

Casual Game Development Professional Certificate

Through this program, students will learn about interface design, programming technology and game design. The program's applications development is rooted in the Unity Game Development Tool, a game engine that can create standalone builds and publish them to multiple formats, such as smartphones, the Internet and tablet computers. Program courses include principles of casual game design, art technologies, business of casual game design, scripting technologies and portfolio development.

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