Game Design Schools in Austin, TX with Degree Program Summaries

Jan 15, 2019

There are four schools within ten miles of Austin that have game design programs. Read an overview of three schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Austin, Texas Schools with Game Design Programs

Students who are interested in game design have a few options within the immediate vicinity of Austin, Texas. This article looks at three schools, none more than 15 minutes from downtown Austin, and the relevant programs they offer. There is also a table of information about each school that can help prospective students. Facts on school size, tuition, acceptance rate and the percentage of students who graduate on time are included here.

  • The University of Texas at Austin, around one mile from Austin's downtown, offers an undergraduate certificate in game development.
  • Saint Edward's University, about two miles from the city center, offers a bachelor's degree program in video game development and digital media management.
  • About five miles from downtown, Austin Community College District has various options, including associate's degrees in motion graphics, game art and game design.

Comparison of Schools

The following table offers facts about each school that could be useful to individuals who are deciding on their best option for education.

The University of Texas at Austin Saint Edward's University Austin Community College District
School Type Four-year; public Four-year; private not-for-profit Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 51,525* 4,447* 40,803*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $10,398 in-state; $36,744 out-of-state* $43,300* $2,550 in-district; $10,890 in-state; $13,080 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2017) 64%* 95%* 60%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 36%* 84%* N/A - open admissions
Retention Rate (2017) 95% for full-time students, 87% for part-time students* 80% for full-time students * 58% for full-time students, 50% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate 83%* (Students who began in 2011) 64% (27% transfer-out rate) (Students who began in 2011)* 11% (42% transfer-out rate) (Students who began in 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

The University of Texas at Austin

At The University of Texas at Austin, students can enroll in an interdisciplinary game development program. Student organizations, such as the Electronic Game Developers Society, help game design students hone their technical and business networking skills outside the classroom. In addition, faculty and staff in the game development program work with the IGDA-Austin group, a professional advocacy group of game development companies in the greater Austin area. This program is offered in collaboration with the College of Fine Arts' Department of Computer Science and the Department of Radio-TV-Film.

Game Development Certificate

The game development certificate consists of five computer science courses, including computer graphics, game technology, performance programming and a game development capstone. Two of the classes can come from specific elective courses, such as computer networks, artificial intelligence, mobile computing or software engineering. Students complete the program with a capstone course that includes a 2D or 3D game development project. All students who want to enroll in the program need to meet a C++ requirement by passing a previous computer science class.

Saint Edward's University

Saint Edward's University is a private liberal arts school in Austin. Prospective game designers can enroll in a bachelor's program in video game development or digital media management.

Bachelor of Arts in Video Game Development

This program requires 56 credits in major courses. Students will also complete 40 hours of general education courses and at least 24 credit hours of electives. Topics for the degree include game design, game audio, interactive storytelling, visual studies and digital media. Students must also complete a final game development project for this program.

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Digital Media Management

This program teaches students how to manage the ins and outs of digital media, including gaming. Students in this program will need to finish 66-67 credit hours of coursework within the major. Students will also need to complete 44 credit hours of general education courses and at least 10-11 credit hours of electives. Topics for the major include creating digital media, digital media principles, social media marketing, digital analytics, transaction systems, technology associated with servers and publishing software for websites.

Austin Community College District

Austin Community College District is the main community college in the Austin metropolitan area. Students interested in game design can enroll in several associate or certificate programs in motion graphics, game art and game design.

Associate of Applied Science in Motion Graphics

The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) program with a specialization in motion graphics requires the completion of 60 credits. Students will study topics like 3D for motion graphics, technical writing, digital media post production procedures, visual effects, motion design fundamentals and digital imaging.

Associate of Applied Science in Game Art

This A.A.S. program focuses on animation and graphic design. Classes examine lighting and surfacing, three-dimensional modeling, video game art and game design and development. In addition to a group project, students complete a portfolio class in game art.

Associate of Applied Science in Game Design

In this game design program, students delve into level design, game testing, design and creation of games, three-dimensional modeling and rendering, scripting and video game production. Liberal arts classes are included as well. In the final semester, students complete a group project and a portfolio for game development.

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