Accredited Online Video Game Design Schools and Degree Programs

Choosing the right accredited online video game degree design isn’t all fun and games. Online programs, though convenient and cost effective, can end up lacking in areas enrolled students care about if they are not properly evaluated. To help you make the best decision, we’ve assembled a list of programs and resources to use as you begin your journey toward a professional career in game design.

  • Accreditation Agencies
  • Career Options
  • Notable Schools

Accreditation Agencies

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Career Options

Below is a list of several career options that graduates with a degree in video game design can consider. Each job profile has been pulled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are largely general in nature. That said, the profiles should give budding game designers a strong idea of their career prospects following graduation.

Job Title National Employment Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage
Artists and Animators 29,270 $33.44 $69,560
Producers and Directors 87,010 $44.42 $92,390
Writers and Authors 41,990 $32.90 $68,420
Music Directors and Composers 24,940 $33.44 $69,560
Art Directors 31,570 $45.32 $94,260

Figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Notable Schools

Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of accredited colleges there are across the nation. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for your specific program. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable online and campus-based schools offering degrees in this subject to help you begin your school search.

Online

As more and more students look to earn their degree online, colleges and universities throughout the country are hoping to meet this demand by offering robust online programs of their own. While few colleges and universities offer entirely online degreed in game design, our list of the best online programs should be taken seriously by any prospective game designer.

Rasmussen College

Nationwide / Online

Rasmussen College currently offers an excellent online program for Game and Simulation Programming that can have significant career value outside of the game design field. Learning key concepts in mathematics and physics will be an essential part of the program, which should equip students with skills that will enhance their understanding of game and simulation design at its very core.

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / Online

The robust Game Art and Design online degree program at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh declares it is “designed to provide students with every challenge, course and assistance that will help them prepare for a career in the exciting game design programming industry.” Upon completion of the program, students should be able to master gameplay and background design, character and environment creation, programming and evaluation, and much more.

International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT)

Chicago, Illinois / Online

The Game Design and Production online degree program at IADT gives students the opportunity to take a stab at video game design from a business perspective. In addition to learning how to craft and design games, students will also develop their collaborative skills, written and verbal communication, and business operations. The primary goal will be to build and showcase an awesome digital portfolio of work that students can use to impress potential employers and land the game design career of their dreams.

Campus Only

For students concerned with national prestige and having an on-campus experience, below is a list of some of the nation’s best physical game design programs. The list comes directly from the top spots on The Princeton Review‘s most recent ranking of the Top Undergraduate Schools for Video Game Design.

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

As the holder of The Princeton Review‘s number one undergraduate program (and number two for graduate schools), students can count on receiving a quality education in video game design at the University of Utah. Students have the option of selecting one of two pathways: a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Arts with an emphasis on Entertainment Arts and Engineering or a Bachelor of Science in the Computer Science School of Computing, also with an emphasis on the Entertainment Arts and Engineering. Both pathways promise to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to rise to the top of the video game industry upon graduation.

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

USC takes second on The Princeton Review‘s undergraduate rankings, and number one for graduate schools. Located right in the heart of LA, students who enroll in USC’s Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Entertainment will be surrounded by the global giants in the video game and interactive entertainment industries. In addition, students can expect an education that will provide them with relevant knowledge and hands-on experience relayed by the most renowned professors and instructors in the field.

DigiPen Institute of Technology (DIT)

Redmond, Washington

Known the world over for offering top-quality educational opportunities in all aspects of interactive media, programming, and design, DigiPen’s Bachelor of Arts in Game Design program is an intensive degree pathway that only the most serious budding video game designers and producers should consider. Located in Redmond, Washington — home of software and gaming paragons such as Microsoft, Nintendo and Valve—many DigiPen graduates have a smooth transition into a career with local software/gaming companies or branch out to begin lucrative gaming companies of their own.