Seattle Game Design Programs
Seattle, WA, is in close proximity to many of the companies that contribute to the multi-billion dollar computer gaming industry. Entering the field of game design typically requires artistic and creative knowledge combined with hands-on experience in the use of a variety of industry-standard tools. Seattle students interested in getting training in this area of study can turn to two schools that are less than 25 minutes from the city's center. This article highlights their programs' focus areas and coursework; it also includes a table of stats so you can compare the featured institutions in multiple areas.
- The University of Washington in Seattle is about three miles from downtown and offers a certificate in game design.
- For those students who prefer a 2-year degree program, Lake Washington Institute of Technology in nearby Kirkland offers an Associate of Applied Science in Digital Gaming and Media. The campus is roughly ten miles from Seattle's downtown area.
Comparison of Schools
The profiled schools have noticeably different tuition rates, student retention figures and enrollment numbers; these, along with the game design program offerings, could have an effect on your education decision. Get a number of facts and figures about the colleges in this table.
|University of Washington in Seattle||Lake Washington Institute of Technology|
|School Type||4-year; public||4-year (primarily associate's); public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||46,166*||3,697*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$10,974 in-state; $35,538 out-of-state*||$4,137 in-state; $9,486 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||57%*||53%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||46%*||N/A - Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||94% for full-time students*||N/A*|
|Graduation Rate (Students began in Fall 2011)||84%*||34%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
University of Washington in Seattle
The University of Washington in Seattle offers a variety of programs with flexible class schedules. The school's Professional & Continuing Education division administers one noncredit certificate program with a focus on game design and development.
Certificate in Game Design and Creation
This certificate program is administered at the University of Washington's Bellevue campus. The training takes approximately eight months to complete and generally starts during the first week of October. Students take fundamentals of game design, followed by game mechanics and systems design, and then finish off the program with game studio roles and development.
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Lake Washington Technical College (LWTC) features more than 49 professional degree and 91 certificate programs, including an associate's degree in digital gaming and media. The school offers many of its multimedia and game design core courses in a variety of time slots, including morning, afternoon and evening classes, to accommodate the schedules of working adults.
Associate of Applied Science in Digital Gaming and Interactive Media
LWTC offers Seattle-area residents a 105- to 106-credit associate's degree program in digital gaming and interactive media. Though the emphasis of the program is on game design, students are trained to operate in a variety of positions in the field of multimedia design. Basic multimedia courses include 3D textures, drawing and Adobe Photoshop.
Students can select electives specific to game development, including storyboard development, character animation, lighting and composition. Courses on MAYA 3D animation, high resolution sculpting and other topics provide a hands-on look into the development of games.