Game Design Certificate and Degree Programs in NY with School Info

There are roughly eight schools and universities within New York that have certificate or degree programs related to game design. Read an overview of six of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

Programs related to game design in New York include certificates, associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in game design, interactive media, digital media, graphic design or animation. While some programs aren't specifically designed for game design, they provide students with the principles and training needed for game designers. Additionally, some have concentrations or elective options that students can tailor toward game design. Programs often include portfolio development that better enable graduates to show their work. Internship opportunities may be available through some schools.

There are currently six private, not-for-profit schools in the state of New York that offer degree or certificate programs in computer graphics, game design or interactive media design. These are discussed below, including a table mapping out tuition and institution settings.


Bramson ORT College

With campuses in Forrest Hills, Queens and Brooklyn, this college offers both a certificate program and an associate degree program in game design and programming. According to the school's website, students do not need prior computer or programming experience to enroll. Core classes include computer systems, game design fundamentals, operating systems and programming logic. Elective options focus on programming, with such courses as Visual Basic .NET, C# Programming, JAVA programming, Internet programming and computer networks. For the certificate program, required courses cover such topics as C++ programming, game programming, game engine architecture and game software engineering. Students in the certificate program are required to assemble professional portfolios to showcase their work, which is beneficial for job preparation.

Long Island University - C.W. Post Campus

Located in Brookville, this university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs related to game design. Undergraduate students can enroll in a digital art and design bachelor's program. Applicants must submit a portfolio to be considered for admission. Course topics cover art history, digital imaging, motion graphics, computer layout, digital illustration, multimedia and 3-D imaging. This program has an internship requirement, and students also receive training on professional portfolio preparation for post-graduation job-hunting.

The university also offers a master's program in interactive multimedia arts. Although this program does not specifically focus on game design, graduates have found employment with design studios and entertainment companies, according to the university's website. Coursework covers topics like Web and Internet design, multimedia lab studies, legal issues in multimedia, 3-D modeling, multimedia writing and 3-D imaging.

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

The Brooklyn campus of this university has a bachelor's degree program in integrated digital media. Students complete major projects, often in a teamwork setting, which provides a real-world training scenario. Required courses include a forum in engineering and technology, visual foundation studio and audio foundation studio. Students also complete 42 units of electives, and four of the choices are game development studio classes. Some of the topics covered in these courses include 2-D and 3-D game design, storyline development, concept design, educational game design, engine coding, sprite creation, level mapping, game scripting, team member duties and interaction scripting. Students also have the opportunity to participate in digital media internships, but they may not be game design related.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Located in Troy, this college offers a bachelor's program in games and simulation arts and sciences. As of 2013, there were eight faculty members associated with the program. Applicants are more likely to get accepted into the program if they submit professional portfolios with examples of past creative projects. The program covers multiple aspects of interactive digital media, artificial intelligence and software development. Required courses include history of games, game design, experimental game design, game development, game research and interactive narrative. Students also choose a concentration from such areas as computer science, electronic arts, cognitive science, human computer interaction or management, and they must complete nine courses within this concentration area.

The College of Saint Rose

The Albany campus of this college has two bachelor's programs related to the field of game design. The bachelor's programs are in graphic design and computer science, which are majors that multimedia employers often prefer, per the BLS. Coursework in graphic design includes 2-D concepts, color photography, drawing, computer graphics and art history.

Computer science topics cover animation and rendering, programming, database management, operating systems, data structures, Internet programming and advanced networking. Neither degree program offers training directly in the field of game design, but these programs have closely related classes.

As of March 2013, the college's catalog listed a game design certificate program as pending approval by the state education department. If approved, courses in this program would include rendering and animation, Windows programming, game algorithms, artificial intelligence and programming mobile devices. Most of these courses are offered as required classes or electives in the computer science degree program.

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

Located in Flushing, this college provides an associate degree program in animation and digital technologies. Students receive training in digital animation techniques used for movies, advertising, the Internet and video games. Students receive training with up-to-date technology, and many classes require students to work in teams to complete projects. Required courses include design aesthetics, 3-D animation, Photoshop, advanced animation, interactive media, drawing and 2-D computer graphics. Available electives cover such topics as character animation, storyboarding, Maya modeling, digital sculpting and audio editing. Students participate in lecture courses and complete digital lab hours.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Game Design Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Bramson ORT College 2-year, private not-for-profit; large city Game Design and Programming Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science Degree in Game Design and Programming
$11,330*
Long Island University - C.W. Post Campus 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Design,
Master of Arts in Interactive Multimedia Arts
$35,546*
Polytechnic Institute of New York University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Integrated Digital Media $47,750*
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 4-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Science in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences $49,341*
The College of Saint Rose 4-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
$29,826*
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Associate in Applied Science in Animation and Digital Technologies $22,680*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.


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