Schools with Game Software Development Programs: How to Choose

Students in game software development programs focus on the artistic and technical creation of multimedia game projects, commonly using the C++ programming language.

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Programs are available throughout the U.S. for aspiring game developers with education options including undergraduate and graduate degree programs. A certificate program is another option and may focus on specializations in the field such as, casual or mobile games.

Schools with Game Software Development Programs

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Baker College Flint, MI 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $8,640
Full Sail University Winter Park, FL 4-year, Private, for-profit Bachelor's $23,117
Neumont University Salt Lake City, UT 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $24,000
Lawrence Technological University Southfield, MI 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $30,300
DePaul University Chicago, IL 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's and Master's Undergraduate: $36,361; Graduate: $17,904
Northwest Vista College San Antonio, TX 2-year, Public Certificate and Associate's In-district: $2,088, In-state: $5,550; Out-of-state: $10,740
Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $30,386
University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie, WI 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state: $9,203; Out-of-state: $16,949
University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Master's $39,984

Source:*National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Prospective students may want to consider the following when selecting a program:

  • Choose a program specialization that matches a desired goal, such as mobile game programming, game design or artificial intelligence.
  • Identify specific requirements, for example, an artistic design specialization may require a portfolio as part of the admissions process.
  • Look for programs that offer access to a wide variety of relevant development and design software.
  • Find out whether the program offers internships with strong industry connections.

Certificate in Game Development

Certificate programs in game development are available as undergraduate and post-baccalaureate programs and typically take one year to complete. Some programs require students to have a computer science background before enrolling. Students may gain experience with specific software such as Flash and Photoshop.

Associate Degree in Game Development

Associate degree programs in game development typically include general education and basic computer science courses. Required coursework may include game programming, graphics, modeling and production.

Bachelor's Degree in Game Design and Development

Bachelor's degree programs include general education courses and may offer more extensive computer science and game design classes. Coursework commonly included in these programs are digital multimedia, storyboarding, data structures and graphic design.

Master's Degree in Game Development

Prerequisites to this program may include C++ programming language and advanced math courses. Students may work in groups to create a complete an interactive game. Master's degree program coursework may include topics such as artificial intelligence, computer animation and algorithms.

Individuals will have no problem finding programs in game development at all degree levels all across the country. It is important to consider career goals when choosing a program and degree level.

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