Colleges That Offer Game Design Major – Did you know? Whether you’re pursuing a career as a game designer, game programmer, 3D modeler, concept artist or UI/UX designer at the Academy of Art University’s School of Game Development, you’ll gain experience building a portfolio of professional-quality games. Learn more.
Our ranking of the top 20 game design schools and colleges in the Midwest for 2022. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
Colleges That Offer Game Design Major
The Game Design program at DePaul University (DePaul) offers many options that allow students to study game design at all levels. Undergraduate studies include a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a game design, game programming, and game systems concentration. Graduate programs include an MFA in Game Design and an MS in Game Programming. The game design program is located in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM).
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Game Design at DePaul University emphasizes collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. Design students will have the opportunity to work with visual arts, audio, programming and writing students. The curriculum includes a course that helps students navigate the game production process from inception to the testing phase. Examples of courses include game development, hands-on scripting for games, animation, game sound design, and 3-D design and modeling.
Students in all programs have access to CDM facilities such as virtual and extended design labs, the DePaul Original game studio and game labs, game test and usability, and game development and research labs. Other benefits of the program include participation in various exhibitions, internship opportunities in local and national studios, and a two-year study abroad program in Japan. Students leave the DePaul Game Design program with a portfolio of their best work.
Some of the top careers for DePaul Game Design graduates include game development, software engineering, computer graphics, animation, commercial production, and project management. Graduates of the program have been hired by companies and studios such as Epic Games, Leo Burnett, IRCAD, Fast Radius, Speegs Media and TCS.
DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The school serves 21,670 students, making it the largest Catholic university in the U.S. Founded in 1898, DePaul University offers more than 300 programs across two campuses and 10 academic colleges.
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Michigan State University (MSU) is home to the College of Communication Arts and Sciences (ComArtSci) and the College of Engineering. Both offer opportunities to study game design.
Serving more than 3,500 students, the College of ComArtSci is home to the Department of Media and Information (MI) – Game Design program. Founded in 2005, the program offers a BA in Games and Interactive Media and 18 credit hours in Game Design and Development that can be added to the BA program or any other major at MSU. An MA is also available in MI with a focus on Game Studies and Design.
The BA program is project-based and explores topics such as the game design process, emerging interactive media and production. Areas of focus include game design, game graphics and animation, and game development.
Sample program courses include compositing and special effects, creating virtual worlds, serious game design, game writing, and media sketching and graphics. Students leave the BA program with a portfolio of professional projects.
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Michigan State University’s MA in Game Studies includes courses such as Game and Film Design Studio I-II, Interaction Design, Fundamentals of Serious Games, Interactive Usability and Accessibility: Design and Evaluation, and Principles of Game and Interaction Design. In order to graduate, MA students at MI must complete a research thesis (4-6 credits) and a master’s project (4-6 credits). Graduates of the MA in MI program are prepared for careers in 3D game design, UI/UX and 3D technologies.
Michigan State University Games and MI graduates work for major studios such as Rockstar Games, Activision Blizzard and Blizzard Entertainment, Bungie, Insomniac Games, Electronic Arts (EA) and Ubisoft.
The College of Engineering at MSU is home to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, which offers BS, MS, and PhD degrees in computer science. All programs offer a specialization in Media and Information Studies with the option to take game-related courses offered in other departments. Students in all programs also take courses in systems design and analysis, data analysis and applications, and theory and algorithms.
Michigan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The school was founded in 1855 and began as Michigan State’s Agricultural College. Today, MSU is a grant-making research university serving 49,695 students enrolled in more than 200 programs in 17 colleges and schools.
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The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences offer several programs that provide opportunities to study sports.
At OSU’s College of Engineering, options include BS, MS, and PhD degrees in computer science (CS). Computer graphics and game design concentrations are available. In the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Art has Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts programs with a specialization in Art and Technology. Specialists explore art games, moving images, 3D modeling and animation, sound, emergent forms and more.
The College of Arts and Sciences also has a Department of Design, which offers a Digital Animation and Interactive Media (DAIM) major in the MFA program. The track requires 12 elective credits and six credits of interdisciplinary electives, offering plenty of opportunities to build a focus on sports. The Design Research and Development (DRD) track, also in the OSU Department of Design’s MFA program, is an interdisciplinary, collaborative program that promotes study across departments, research areas, and topics. Open electives provide additional opportunities to explore the sport.
Examples of possible electives in programs and departments include Computer Game Art and Design, Video Games and Society, Computational Thinking in Context: Game Development or Graphics, Animation and Virtual Game Modeling, Game Design I-II, Video Game Music, Esports and Games Studies, Philosophy and video games, computer vision for human computer interaction (HCI), art and technology, screenwriting, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Game Design & Development, Aas
Graduates of Ohio State University’s art, design, and CS programs are prepared to pursue positions in everything from art and entertainment to technology and engineering. Possible job positions include game designer, software programmer, virtual reality designer, design strategist, CG specialist, motion graphics designer, interaction designer, user interface/user experience (UI/UX) designer, and human-computer interaction (HCI) designer. other
The Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Founded in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, the school serves more than 61,000 students enrolled in 200+ majors, minors and majors in 18 colleges and schools.
Purdue University is housed in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, which is home to the Department of Computer Graphics Technology (CGT) and the Game Design program. Study options include BS in CGT, MS in CGT, and PhD in Technology with Game Development and Design.
CGT emphasizes immersive collaborative projects with BS peers and professors, STEM-based curriculum and courses that include game design, programming, rendering, animation, and visualization. Past capstone projects have focused on the use of games in entertainment, sustainable energy, medicine and therapy, and information visualization, to name a few. CGT BS graduates are game designers, technical artists and animators. He has worked at Electronic Arts (EA), Volition, Inc., Zynga and Riot Games.
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The Purdue Polytechnic MS in CGT has four areas of specialization: Games, Animation, Information Visualization, and UX Design. Graduate students can also customize their study plan to meet their professional goals. The program offers small classes, research opportunities, and the opportunity to work on real-world projects. Graduates are game developers, UX designers, and CTOs at places like DreamWorks, Google, Deloitte, and Salesforce.
The PhD in Technology program allows for a minimum of 30 credit hours in one’s major and 27 credit hours from any Purdue college or school other than Purdue Polytechnic. Courses can come from art and design, computer science, engineering, instructional technology, quality, and other fields. Doctoral students must complete a thesis. Graduates of the program are teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, artists and designers.
Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Founded in 1869, the school serves nearly 50,000 students enrolled in more than 400 programs in 10 colleges and schools – including Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Founded in 1964 as the School of Engineering at Purdue University, the institution serves nearly 6,000 people enrolled in technology-focused programs in seven departments and schools.
The School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago (CCC) houses the Interactive Arts and Media (IAM) department, which specializes in game development, animation, virtual reality (VR), programming, visual effects, user experience design, and application development. Students in all programs will work with traditional and emerging technologies to create games, animations, and immersive experiences.
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IAM facilities include a game lab, motion capture studio, gear cave (property: game consoles, gear, digital cameras, and more), sound studio, open lab, and animation production space.
IAM programs at Columbia College Chicago, School of Media Arts, include BA degrees in Game Art and Game Design.
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