San Diego Game Design Colleges with Degree Program Overviews

There are three schools within 70 miles of San Diego that have game design-related programs. Read an overview of two of these schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which is the right one for you.

Game Design School Options in San Diego

No schools in San Diego offer degrees specifically in game design, but a few have programs that aspiring game designers may find useful. This article looks at two schools no more than 67 miles from the city center and their relevant programs. It also includes a table of information that prospective students might need to know, such as tuition, school size, the acceptance rate and the percentage of first-year students who receive financial aid.

  • San Diego State University, 12 miles from downtown, offers two master's degree programs in studio arts with a specialty in multimedia.
  • The Laguna College of Art and Design, about 67 miles from downtown San Diego, offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art and a Master of Fine Arts in Game Design.

Comparison of Schools

The following table presents information about each of these schools that can help individuals make an informed decision about their education.

San Diego State University Laguna College of Art and Design
School Type Four-year; public Four-year; private, not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 35,158* 688*
Campus Setting Large city Rural fringe
Tuition & Fees 2017-2018 $8,894 in-state; $18,398 out-of-state (Graduate tuition)* $29,800 (Undergraduate); $34,500 (Graduate)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 59%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 35%* 33%*
Retention Rate (2017) 89% for full-time students* 85% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 74% (3% transfer-out rate)* 52%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in multimedia studies through its School of Art and Design. The university's graphic design programs participate with a large number of businesses to provide student internships.

Master of Fine Arts/Master of Arts in Studio Arts - Multimedia Specialty

Graduate students in this program learn about inter-media, multimedia, digital fabrication for art and design, advanced photographic projects, emerging technologies in multimedia and graphic communication. Art students who are interested in utilizing unfamiliar technologies in their work may want to enroll in the multimedia graduate program. The MFA and the MA programs have different specific credit requirements, though students in the MFA program must complete a thesis, while students in the MA program must complete a creative project and a written report.

Laguna College of Art and Design

Students interested in learning about game design can choose from undergraduate and graduate studies at this four-year school. The undergraduate program is partnered with major companies in the game design industry.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art

The bachelor's program is associated with industry professionals such as Riot Games, Blizzard Entertainment and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Students in this program will cover topics like drawing fundamentals, digital painting and studio drawing. Level design, visual storytelling, environmental design and 3D design are also covered.

Master of Fine Arts in Game Design

This master's degree is a two-year online program. Course topics include mechanics based game analysis, game narrative, game production and game audio. Additional areas of interest include prototyping and meaningful games. The curriculum also requires 10 units of studio coursework.


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