Game Design School Options in Charlotte
Aspiring game designers in Charlotte, NC, have the resources to turn their dreams into reality through certificate and degree programs at three schools within a 55-minute drive of the city center. This article also includes a table that allows prospective students to compare various facts about the schools.
- Central Piedmont Community College is about a mile from downtown Charlotte. It offers certificate, diploma and associate degree programs in simulation and game development.
- The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers undergraduate and graduate certificate programs as well as a bachelor's degree program in game design and development. The university's campus is about nine miles from downtown.
- About 39 miles from the heart of Charlotte is Stanly Community College's campus in Albemarle. This school offers two certificate programs as well as an associate's degree in simulation and game development.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Computer Games and Programming Skills
- Computer Programming for Applications
- Computer Programming for Certifications
Comparison of Schools
Students want to look at various factors such as school type, size and costs when choosing a school. The following table offers a way to compare these facts.
|Central Piedmont Community College||University of North Carolina at Charlotte||Stanly Community College|
|School Type||2-year; public||4-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||19,957*||27,238*||2,745*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Distant town|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees 2015-2016||$2,664 in-state; $8,808 out-of-state*||$6,532 in-state; $19,703 out-of-state*||$2,523 in-state; $8,667 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)||72%*||74%*||70%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2014)||N/A - Open admissions||64%*||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2013-2014)||55% for full-time students; 42% for part-time students*||82% for full-time students; 60% for part-time students*||58% for full-time students; 43% for part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (2014)||11%*||55%*||18%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Central Piedmont Community College
Serving more than 19,000 students, Central Piedmont Community College is a 2-year, public school conveniently located about one mile from downtown Charlotte. The college offers aspiring game designers a variety of training programs in simulation and game development that includes a certificate, a diploma and an associate's degree.
Simulation and Game Development Certificate Programs
This certificate program offers training in simulation and game development at basic and more advanced levels. Prospective students can choose from programs in simulation and game development, as well as mobile game development.
Each certificate program incorporates a variety of coursework that focuses on providing instruction in simulation and game development design as well as programming and modeling at varying levels. Coursework in mobile game programming, mobile simulation and game programming are included in the certificate program for mobile game development.
Diploma in Simulation and Game Development
The diploma program consists of 36 credits of coursework that includes six credits of general education classes in expository writing and communication. Students will develop skills in game development, design, programming and modeling in addition to learning about game engines, wireless programming and mobile game simulation programming.
Associate in Applied Science in Simulation and Game Development
Admission to this 2-year program in simulation and game development requires prospective students to have a high school diploma or GED as well as meeting placement test guidelines in English and math. Candidates for the associate's degree receive guided instruction in using industry-standard programs, such as Flash, Adobe Photoshop, 3ds Max Studio, Game Maker and Unreal Engine. Course topics include 3D modeling, database administration and programming, software engineering and computer design. All courses in the program can be taken online.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
As part of a research-intensive learning institution, the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina (UNC) is focused on becoming a top innovator in the field. With a state-of-the-art game design and development lab, commonly referred to as 'the Playground,' UNC has the facilities and faculty to offer students in-depth, hands-on training.
Undergraduate Certificate in Game Design and Development
This game design and development certificate is available to students who already have a bachelor's degree or are in the process of obtaining one at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The program consists of five undergraduate game design courses on topics such as artificial intelligence, computer graphics and audio processing for computing. For admission, students must know two higher-level computer languages and fulfill specific math requirements.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with Focus Area on Game Design and Development
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program that provides prospective students with the option to explore a focused concentration in game design and development. The area of emphasis includes coursework in computer graphics, basic and advanced courses in game design and development, game engine construction, artificial intelligence for computer games and audio processing for entertainment computing.
Graduate Certificate in Game Design and Development
To qualify for this program, candidates must have completed an undergraduate degree in a scientific, business or engineering major and have fulfilled several mathematics requirements. Prospective students seeking admission to this program must also have acquired skills in computer application languages. Coursework covers topics such as computer graphics, game engine construction and artificial intelligence for computer games. All credits earned may be used toward a master's degree in computer science at UNC.
Stanly Community College
Stanly Community College is a 2-year, public school that takes an innovative approach to learning by being a member of the network that supports the 'Achieving the Dream Model'. The college strives toward assisting students that aspire to go to college, and offers prospective game designers several programs in simulation and game development.
Design Certificate in Simulation and Game Development
This certificate program consists of six courses and 16 credits that focus on teaching students skills in simulation and game development. Instruction is provided in 3D modeling at basic and advanced levels, simulation, game animation and video editing techniques. Components include a combination of classroom lecture in addition to lab work.
Programming Certificate in Simulation and Game Development
Students enrolled in this certificate program will learn about computer programming languages and concepts in artificial intelligence and software engineering that are used in the design and development of game simulations. Coursework includes an introductory course in computers as well as basic and advanced courses in simulation and game development programming.
Associate of Applied Science in Simulation and Game Development
The 2-year, associate's degree program provides students with career industry skills in simulation and game development. During the first semester, coursework introduces students to 3D modeling techniques used in game development. Instruction and training is provided in subject areas that include storytelling and character design, game play and core mechanics, narrative and interface design.
Subsequent semesters focus on advanced methods and techniques used in simulation and game design. Students learn about the process of animation and how it is used in creating character sketches and storyboards. A course in programming and logic focuses on language syntax, data types, algorithm design and problem-solving techniques. General education requirements include courses in mathematics, expository writing, professional research and reporting, plus electives in the humanities and the social sciences.