Why This Matters

  • 55% OF VIDEO GAME DESIGNERS HAVE A BACHELOR’S DEGREE

    Video game design managers report that the majority of workers in the field have a bachelor’s degree.

  • VIDEO GAME DESIGN JOBS EXPECTED TO GROW QUICKLY

    It is projected that there will be 10,800 more video game design jobs in 2031 than there were in 2021.

  • AVERAGE YEARLY SALARY OF $79,890

    Your salary may be significantly higher or lower than this average depending on where your job is located. For example, in California the average salary for video game designers is $100,290.

Our Research

This list features some of the best schools for video game design across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of schools for video game design to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 21 Best Schools for Video Game Design

Best Schools for Video Game Design 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Michigan State University
01
Best Public Institution
Indiana University Bloomington
01
Most Affordable
California State University at Chico
01
Best Private Institution
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
01
Best Alumni Network
St. Edward's University
01
Most Innovative Curriculum
Drexel University
01
Best in the Northeast
Northeastern University
01
Best in the Midwest
Columbia College Chicago
01
Most Flexible Admissions
DePaul University
01
Best Hybrid Program
Southern New Hampshire University
01

University of Wisconsin at Stout
01

Cleveland Institute of Art
01

Hampshire College
01

Sacred Heart University
01

Liberty University
01

New England Institute of Technology
01

Quinnipiac University
01

Bradley University
01

North Carolina State University
01

Webster University
01

Woodbury University

What You Should Know About This Degree

There are programs similar to video game design such as digital media, graphic design, and computer science. Before you commit to a particular program, you should make sure that it is the best fit for your career goals.

Many programs allow you to focus your studies on a specific aspect of video game design. Concentrations that may be available to you include game engines, graphics, audio, and narrative.

Video game design programs tend to be project-based. Not only does this format replicate the challenges you will face on the job, but it also provides you with a portfolio of finished work you can use to demonstrate your skillset to prospective employers.

Some schools even partner with game studios, allowing you to gain real-world experience in the industry before you graduate.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching schools for video game design:

  • Am I eligible for this program? As most video game design programs are bachelor’s degree programs, they will generally require you to have passed some prerequisite courses such as algebra, media sketching, and graphics in order to be eligible.
  • How long does it take to complete this degree? A bachelor’s degree program for video game design can take four years to complete, though it will take longer if you complete your courses on a part-time schedule.

Remember to keep track of application deadlines and application materials you need to submit when researching these programs. You will be able to find this information by reviewing the school’s website or contacting their admissions department.

Finance is another factor you need to consider. Consult with the admissions department about the financial aid options available to you. Also, you may be able to access funding sources that are not associated with the school, like third-party scholarships, tuition benefits from your employer, etc.