New York City Game Design Colleges with Course Overviews

Research game design colleges in New York City, which currently has several schools offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three schools within five miles of downtown New York City and decide which program is right for you.

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Schools with Game Design Programs in New York City

Individuals who want to earn a game design degree in New York City have several options within 15 minutes of the city's center. This article looks at three of those schools and the relevant programs they offer. There is also a table of facts about each school, such as tuition, size, school type and the acceptance rate. Following the program summaries is a brief paragraph about some other nearby schools with game design courses.

  • Located in the city's center, the Fashion Institute of Technology offers a bachelor's degree in computer animation and interactive media that includes game design.
  • At The New School, about a half-mile from the center of NYC, students can study game design through bachelor's and master's degree programs in design and technology.
  • New York University students can earn a master's degree in game design. This school, less than two miles from downtown, also offers a minor program in game design.

Comparison of Schools

Individuals who are deciding on a college should consider many factors. The following table presents information they should know about each of these schools in a format that makes comparison easy.

Fashion Institute of Technology The New School New York University
School Type 4-year, primarily associate's; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 8,846* 10,389* 51,123*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019) $5,740 in-state; $15,520 out-of-state* $49,064* $51,828*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 73%* 86%* 54%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017) 47%* 62%* 28%*
Undergraduate Retention Rate (2016-2017) 89% for full-time students* 81% for full-time students* 93% for full-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (students began Fall 2011) 77% (12% transfer-out rate)* 67% (13% transfer-out rate)* 84% (10% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Fashion Institute of Technology

The Fashion Institute of Technology was founded in 1944 as a trade school for workers in the apparel industry. It began offering college degrees in 1951. As of 2013, it is divided into five different schools. The School of Art and Design, which offers a degree in computer animation, enrolls more than 3,500 students per year in 17 different subject areas.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Computer Animation and Interactive Media

An applicant pursuing this 2-year degree program must first earn at least an associate's degree or 60 hours towards a bachelor's degree in a different program. Prerequisite courses include computer-assisted design, 3D modeling, 2D animation and interactive media design; students must submit an admissions portfolio as well.

Once admitted to the BFA program, students complete 65.5 additional credits through classes in programming, the history of animation, storyboarding and interactive media design. In the final year, seniors take several classes devoted to music and animation production as they work towards completion of a senior project. Students must also complete 30 general education credits.

The New School

Students interested in game design at The New School will be enrolled in Parsons: The New School for Design. Parsons was founded in 1896 as an institution for art and design education. It became part of The New School in 1970, and is comprised of five smaller schools dedicated to different design mediums. Game design students study in the School of Art, Media and Technology, which also offers majors in four other areas.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Technology - Game Design

Students seeking admission to this program must submit a portfolio and complete The Parsons Challenge, an assignment that calls for the creation of three essays and three images on a subject assigned by the school. Once admitted to the school, students complete 120 credits, including classes in drawing/imaging, the history of design and technology, core studio skills and various electives. This degree program culminates in a senior thesis.

Master of Fine Arts in Design and Technology

This 2-year program offers areas of focus in narrative, computation and interactivity. All students in this degree program complete 60 credits, taking coursework in creative computing and design, as well as several studio courses. The program culminates in a master's thesis.

New York University

In 2008, New York University developed the Game Center, an institution dedicated to exploring the potential of video games as a cultural and creative medium. The Game Center is housed within the Tisch School of the Arts, and many courses are offered in collaboration with other departments at NYU. The Game Center began offering the minor in game design in 2011, and the MFA was introduced in the fall of 2012.

Minor in Game Design

Students wishing to study game design at the undergraduate level may do so by enrolling in this 16-credit minor, which can be completed as part of a bachelor's degree program in any discipline. All students enrolled in this minor complete a minimum of 12 core Game Center classes, including one mandatory introductory class.

Master of Fine Arts in Game Design

This 2-year program gives students hands-on experience in video game creation and explores the history and theoretical foundations of the medium. All first-semester students in this program complete four introductory classes. In the second year, students take electives and complete a collaborative thesis project in game development.

Other School Options

Long Island University (LIU) is another option for students seeking a game design degree in NYC. It offers degree programs on two different campuses. Students at LIU - Post may pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Game Design and Development, while students at LIU - Brooklyn may earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Arts or a Master of Fine Arts in Game and Application Design and Development.

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