List of Top Video Gaming Schools

Students interested in studying video gaming can pursue undergraduate and graduate degree programs at several top institutions in the country. Explore a few of these schools and their unique programs in the field.

School Overviews

Video gaming programs prepare students to design games for entertainment, as well as what's referred to as 'serious gaming' for use in education, medicine and military training. Under subjects such as game and art production, interactive media and digital media, these programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level. Students take such courses as 2-D and 3-D animation, level design and storyboarding. Graduates can work as video game designers and animators, among other options. The following schools offer programs in video gaming and are nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA

School Highlight: The University of Southern California is home to the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts, the Marcia Lucas Post-Production Center and the Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Center for Animation.

The University of Southern California (USC) is located in one of the world's major hubs for entertainment. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school 23rd among national universities in 2016. USC's School of Cinematic Arts is home to the Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Entertainment program. The liberal arts curriculum includes coursework in character development, cinematic techniques and interactivity programming for games.

Also available is a 3-year Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media program which allows students to focus on video gaming after fulfilling initial course requirements. Related class electives cover game business and management, as well as interface and sound design.

Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA

School Highlight: Drexel students have taken top prizes in the Microsoft Imagine Cup, the Unity Awards and the Adobe Achievement Awards.

Drexel University was ranked amongst the top 100 national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. The university's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers programs at the undergraduate and graduate level.

The Princeton Review ranked the Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Production program 9th for undergraduate game design programs. The program highlights animation and interactivity as well as design and programming of games used for entertainment and educational purposes. In addition to classroom studies, students also undertake a 6-month co-op experience.

Drexel's Master of Science in Digital Media program includes courses in gaming, 3-D interactive environments and computer-generated imagery. Another option for professionals with a bachelor's degree and experience in traditional media is a post-baccalaureate certificate program in digital media.

Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL

School Highlight: A computer game and entertainment technology undergraduate degree is offered at this private liberal arts college outside of Chicago.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Elmhurst College as the 4th best value school for 2017. Founded in 1871, this private institution offers a bachelor's degree in computer game and entertainment technology. The program requires several courses in graphics and design, in addition to computer science courses, to prepare students for various careers in areas such as game design or digital multimedia development.

Top Colleges and Universities to Learn Video Gaming

Several other top colleges and universities offer video gaming programs, including the following:

  • Emerson College in Boston, MA, covers game design as part of its Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in visual and media arts.
  • Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, allows pre-college students to participate in the 2-week, 3-credit Summer Game Institute. Fully enrolled college students can earn an interactive media and game design undergraduate degree.
  • Michigan State University in East Lansing has an interdisciplinary game design and development degree that melds telecommunications, art, information studies, and media and computer science courses.
  • Northeastern University in Boston, MA, offers majors in digital art and game design and in computer science and game design, along with a game design minor. The school also offers a co-op program that allows for up to three 6-month internships.
  • Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia has interactive design and game development degree options that include a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) as well as a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts.
  • The University of Wisconsin - Stout is located in Menomonie, WI. UW-Stout's game design and development program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering Teaching (ABET).

Video game design programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels at many top institutions, such as the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. These programs vary in the degrees that are offered, and several offer internships or learning experiences.

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