Game Design Schools

The Nation's Best Game Design Schools 2017

Today’s video games have come a long way since the early days of Space Invaders and Pong. Advancements in design technology over the past few decades has facilitated exponential growth within the industry and brought an experience to the consumer that could hardly be imagined in the days of one-dimensional gaming. Competitive gamers and novices alike seem to have an insatiable thirst for gaming features and content that push the limits of the creative mind. The introduction of mobile devices and consoles, along with improvements in the quality of visual display, have also fueled explosive growth and consumption across the world.

Because of competition and growth within the video game industry, consumers expect innovation from the games they play. Not surprisingly, the video games produced today are more dynamic and feature more robust design than ever before. As a result, rising video game designers must not only harness their creative ability but also master the increasingly demanding technical requirements of game design. On this page, we provide a list of the nation’s best video game design schools, who are consistently recognized for their high-quality curriculum and rate of graduate success.

  • School Name

    27 schools ranked

  • USC Games is one of the world’s most respected educational gaming programs. They successfully combine design, engineering, art and production; often in collaboration with other schools within the university.

    • imgAccredited
    • imgSchool Type : Private
    • imgEnrollment : 43,401
  • Focusing on teaching students how to create a life in the arts, the Art Department values the development of critical thinking skills, exploration, innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration.

    • imgAccredited
    • imgSchool Type : Public
    • imgEnrollment : 31,592
  • DigiPen is a committed leader in education & research in the field of computer interactive technologies. They offer undergraduate and graduate degrees; as well as high school programs, continuing education & international opportunities.

    • imgAccredited
    • imgSchool Type : Private, For Profit
    • imgEnrollment : 1,076
  • RIT is a private college whose fine arts programs are consistently ranked in the “Top 10” by US News. Conferring associates, undergraduate and graduate degrees, it has 4 galleries and a Center for Design.

    • imgAccredited
    • imgSchool Type : Private
    • imgEnrollment : 16,639
  • Embracing a forward-looking approach to artistic academia, SCAD is a student-centered institution determined to provide educational excellence within the context of a positive learning environment. Students learn to create art, as well as live creatively artistic lives.

    • imgAccredited
    • imgSchool Type : Private
    • imgEnrollment : 11,861

How to Choose a Game Design School

The vast field of game design intersects with the disciplines of computer science, computer programming, graphic design, and even creative writing. Game designers bring those worlds together to create video games using their imagination, creativity, and technical talents. But, not everyone who enjoys playing video games will enjoy a career in game design. After all, it is a long and often arduous process that entails contributing to the programming, image rendering, digital editing, level design, and other aspects of game construction.

If you’ve decided that creating video games is in line with your career goals, then choosing a school – college, university, of private art institute – to match your goals is important. But, it’s also important to set some personal priorities to make the choice easier.


For most students enrolling in a college or university, things like tuition, housing, food, transportation, books, and other costs can really add up. Unfortunately, it costs money to attend college… sometimes a lot of money. If the overall cost of attending college is at the top of your list of factors for selecting a school, then researching scholarships, in-state programs, and technical or online programs may be the best place to start. Finding a game design degree program that’s inexpensive, but accredited, can be difficult, but not impossible.

One of the biggest advantages of earning a game design degree online is that the costs of attending an online program can be substantially lower than a traditional school when you consider the overall costs of attendance, which include commuting costs, housing, food, and some class materials. Online programs also offer a student the flexibility to balance their coursework with a part-time work schedule if they need a source of income while earning their degree. There are several high quality, accredited online programs that allow students to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in game design without attending classes on-campus. Online classes offer students the chance to study when they can, whether it’s early morning or late at night. Course materials are also always available online, so students have more flexibility to work around other commitments.

What to Expect from a Game Design Program

School Resources

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