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 (2015-2016)*|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$50,665|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, Michigan||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state $13,560
|National University||La Jolla, California||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$12,744|
|University of Utah||Salt Lake City, Utah||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $7,222
|University of Denver||Denver, Colorado||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$44,178|
|Saint Edward's University||Austin, Texas||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$38,720|
|The University of Texas at Dallas||Richardson, Texas||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate:
In-state tuition $11,940
|University of California-Irvine||Irvine, California||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state $13,252
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy, New York||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$49,341|
|Savannah College of Art and Design||Savannah, Georgia||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate:
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.