Game Design Career Training in Albany, NY with Course Overviews

The Albany, NY, area has two schools that offer game design career training programs within ten miles of the city's center. Learn about the programs and admission requirements for these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Albany Game Design Schools

Albany-area students interested in pursuing a career in game design have a couple of options to consider. This article focuses on the coursework and areas of study available through undergraduate programs at two colleges. It also includes a table of statistics that includes several facts for comparison of the institutions.

  • Those who wish to attain some quick, basic knowledge in the field may be interested in the programs at Excelsior College. Located around seven miles from central Albany, the school offers a certificate in multimedia arts with a concentration in flash design or game art.
  • Students seeking a robust game design curriculum can consider the program offered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, located about nine miles from downtown Albany in Troy, N.Y. It has a bachelor's degree program in games and simulation arts and sciences available.

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School Statistics

Check out the table below to learn more about the schools. It contains several facts and figures on tuition, student enrollment, graduation rates and more that could held you figure out which game design college is the best fit for your goals.

Excelsior College Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2014) 41,527* 6,835*
Campus Setting Small city Small city
Tuition & Fees $3,249 for multimedia arts program (2014)** $49,341 per year (2015-2016) *
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2014) 8%* 92%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) N/A - Open admissions 38%*
Retention Rate (2014) N/A - Not reported 93% for full-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students began in 2008) N/A - Not reported 82%*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Excelsior College

Excelsior College

Founded in 1971, Excelsior College specializes in providing online and distance learning opportunities to adult students. Through its Center for Professional Development (CPD), the college offers over 100 non-credit certificate programs, including two that focus on game design. All CPD programs are delivered entirely online.

Professional Certificate in Multimedia Arts

This certificate focuses on visual design, motion theory, and the foundations of software and scripting. The program contains seven modules which are required for completion. These modules include Photoshop basics, HTML and CSS essentials, typography, digital video production, and digital video editing. Advanced students can choose to specialize in either animation or digital media concentrations (like game art) and complete additional project to add to a portfolio of work.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

As the oldest technical university in the country, RPI has been educating scientists and engineers for nearly two hundred years. Modern-day students interested in a career in game design can take advantage of that heritage by enrolling in a bachelor's degree program offered by RPI's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS).

Bachelor of Science in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences

Students interested in this program should apply directly to HASS, and the school recommends that they include a portfolio with their application. This program allows students to gain the fundamental knowledge and technical skills necessary to start a career in game development. Topics covered include game design, game history, and game mechanics. Computer science, calculus, physics, and biology are also part of the curriculum. A research project is required during junior year, and a game development project is part of the senior year curriculum. Students also are required to select a concentration and potentially earn a concurrent bachelor's degree. Some of the many areas in which a student can choose a concentration in include electronic arts, human computer interaction, computer science, management/entrepreneurship, or cognitive science. Courses specific to the student's concentration are then integrated into the student's individual curriculum.

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