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Schools with Video Game Development Programs: How to Choose

Dec 11, 2019

Video game creators use complex programming languages to construct animation, object interactions and artificial intelligence. Those interested in learning how to apply computer programming in the digital arts to create video games can enroll in degree programs at undergraduate and graduate levels offered through many colleges and universities.

Schools for Video Game Developers

Here's a list of schools with relevant programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $55,465
Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $14,460
Out-of-state $39,766
National University La Jolla, California 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $13,320
University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 4-year, Public Master's In-state $9,222
Out-of-state $29,215
University of Denver Denver, Colorado 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $50,556
Saint Edward's University Austin, Texas 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $45,428
The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, Texas 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate:
In-state $13,034
Out-of-state $13,034
Graduate:
In-state tuition $13,458
Out-of-state $26,852
University of California-Irvine Irvine, California 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $13,700
Out-of-state $42,692
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New York 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $53,880
Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, Georgia 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate:
$37,130
Graduate:
$38,030

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in video game development may want to take the following into account:

  • Students may want to consider whether they want to focus on the programming aspect of game development, or if they would prefer to include courses in story development, art and artificial intelligence.
  • Students may want to look at programs that will offer them experience in development and help them build a portfolio of work.
  • Online classes are available through several universities for working students, giving them the opportunity to earn the degree from home.

Associate Degree in Video Game Design

Graduates of these programs can pursue careers as entry-level programmers or continue their education.

Bachelor's Degree in Video Game Development

Some bachelor's degree programs in computer science offer a concentration in video game development. Additionally, students could find schools that offer a specific Bachelor of Science in Video Game Development.

Master's Degree in Video Game Development

Some programs require students to have bachelor's degrees in computer science or engineering. Prospective students can choose concentrations or electives that focus on game production, artificial intelligence or advanced programming.

Master's-level programs might require students to complete a thesis project that consists of a fully developed video game. Graduates could qualify for upper-level positions, such as video game publishers, production managers or marketing specialists.

Video game development programs - or related majors - can be found at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels at many public and private universities. Students should verify the concentration options, flexibility and experiential learning components of game development programs before enrolling.

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