Game Designing Major: Where You Should Apply Abroad

Do you nurture a dream of landing an innovative game designing job with a studio? Maybe your burning ambition is to develop your own video games? If your passion for gaming is coupled with creativity & imagination, good visualization and drawing skills then you are in the right place.  Read on!

With the popularity of video games steadily climbing it is very natural that you are considering turning your passion for gaming into a career in video game development.  To address the growing demand for game designers many top colleges offer degrees at all levels of education including Certificate, Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, specializing in  Game Software Development, Video Game Design and Development, and so on. While there are some common elements, in a few instances, there are specific expectations stated by these institutions as prerequisites for video game designer degree requirements.

Video game designer degree requirements

For enrollment to Bachelor’s programs, these universities typically require that applicants  should have completed their 10+2 or equivalent education from a recognized board/ college/ university. In most cases, students from any stream i.e. Arts, Commerce or Science are eligible to pursue Game Design courses at this level. In addition scores from standardized tests like SAT and TOEFL are required.

For master’s programs, a four-year bachelor’s degree in a relevant stated area is a pre-requisite along with scores from standardized tests like GRE and TOEFL.

The pre-qualifications required for pursuing minors are usually very limited, but vary widely between the universities and more information can be obtained from the specific university.

Video Game Design Degrees and Programs

A degree in video game design teaches students about all the aspects of the gaming business. The course will include tools and technologies used for gaming, game theory, animation, game design, and programming.

Based on gamedesigning.org and Alphr global rankings and our own students going abroad, here is the list of top game design colleges from around the world

1. University of Southern California

This institute founded in 1929.  has many affiliated colleges that offer programs for game designers. These include the USC Warner Bros. Archives and the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive, the GamePipe Laboratory, sponsored by Sony, Intel, and other technology companies. This industry-connect results in these colleges being ranked amongst the top game design colleges.

The programs offered by the institute teaches different aspects like artistry, design, engineering, and production with rigorous, hands-on instruction. The institute offers:

  • Bachelor of Arts(B.A) in Interactive Entertainment – Combining a broad grounding in liberal arts with a specialization in the design of interactive entertainment and games.
  • Bachelor of Science(B.S) in Computer Science with specialization in Games – The curriculum covers topics such as video game programming, computer animation, visual design for games and interactive media, game engine programming, and game design. Students complete two semester-long final game projects.
  • Master of Fine Arts(MFA) in Interactive Media – This intensive 3-year program develops skills in Game Design, Critical Studies, Screenwriting, Sound Production, Animation, and Critical Studies.
  • Master of Science(MS) in Computer Science with specialization in Game Design – Develops skills in computer science and game development with a focus on game development infrastructure, cognition and games, immersion, and serious games.
  • Minors – are offered in Game Entrepreneurism, Game Audio, Game User Research. Some other areas in which minors are offered include Themed Entertainment, Video Game Programming, Game Design, Game Animation, and 3D Computer Modeling and Graphics

 2. University of Utah, USA

Founded in 1850, this institute offers many courses for students who aspire to pursue careers in the professional gaming industry. The following programs are offered by the University of Utah

  • BS in Games – This program develops students’ skills in design and production of digital playable experiences, development of entertainment software, games-based learning environments for K-12 students, professional task-training tools, serious games for health, and scientific
  • Minor in Games –Irrespective of their discipline, any student interested in the study of game development can pursue this course. This minor requires a total of 24 credit hours, with a minimum of 12 upper-division hours.
  • S in C.S with EAE Emphasis – This course is offered in conjunction with the School of Computing. This Entertainment Arts and Engineering(EAE) specialization offers cutting edge courses in video game design and development, 3D animation, and computer-generated special effects, in addition to the full Computer Science curriculum.
  • Master of Entertainment Arts and Engineering degree program– Students who wish to pursue careers in interactive entertainment can pursue their masters after a bachelor’s degree. Specializations are offered in Game Arts, Game Design, Game Engineering, Game Production, and Technical Art.
  • Dual MBA/MEAE Program – Students acquire management and necessary business skills to start or run game-centric businesses through this three-year, 84-credit-hour program

3. DigiPen Institute of Technology, USA

DigiPen Institute of Technology, located in Redmond, WA, USA, is supported by Nintendo, one of the world’s most recognized game developers. DigiPen offers its students real-time experience working in the game development center. The programs offered are –

  • BFA in Digital Art and Animation:- Starts with fundamentals of artistry, provides a deep understanding of production pipelines and is rounded off with cutting edge projects creating high-quality games or animation movies.
  • BA in Game Design:- Imparts skills necessary for the creation of meaningful and engaging experiences for all types of games and interactive media applications. The interdisciplinary degree combines social sciences, humanities and game theory as part of the coursework.
  • BA in Music and Sound design:– Combines foundational coursework in music history, theory, composition, and performance with practical training in studio recording and sound design for games, VR, film and other digital media.
  • MFA in Digital Arts:- Building on individuals’ artistic foundation as a professional artist, this program helps them sharpen their digital media skills, specialize in new areas and produce exceptional work culminating in an individual thesis project.
  • BS in Computer Science and Real-Time interactive simulation:- With its emphasis on games and graphical simulations, this is ideal for aspiring game developers.
  • BS in Computer Science and Game Design:- Offers a combination of computer programming and game design
  • BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio:- Students learn about computer engineering and development of digital audio systems for video games and interactive media, studio recording techniques, sound design, and music theory.

Digipen also offers courses in two international locations – Singapore and Spain.

Singapore campus offers a BA in Game design covering subjects like Drawing, Animation Techniques, Game Mechanics, Design Documentation and more

Spain Campus offers the following degrees

  • BFA in Digital Art and Animation:- teaches students to become skilled animators and production artists having the skills necessary to create path-breaking artwork for animated films, modern video games, and other digital media
  • BS in computer science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation:- With a foundation of mathematics and computer science, the coursework builds students’ skills in advanced topics like Computer Graphics, 3D Simulation, and software engineering.

4. Staffordshire University, UK

Alphr has ranked Staffordshire University as the top University in the UK for studying Game Design. With its collaboration with industry leaders like Epic Games, the university ensures that students have access to state-of-the-art equipment like Vicon Motion Capture Stage.  Epic Games has sponsored the Epic Games Center, which has the award-winning Unreal Engine Technology from the company. The courses offered by Staffordshire University are –

  • Sc(Hons) in Computer Games Design and Programming:- A course accredited by TIGA (which represents the gaming industry) and teaching students to create game designs, 3D models and animations, manipulation and creation of game engines
  • Sc(Hons) in Computer Games Programming:- developing skills to create exciting games with professional software and hardware tools.
  • Sc(Hons), B.Eng(Hons) in Computer Games Design:- teaching skills to make 3D animators and artists, Game Designers.
  • Sc(Hons) in Computer Games Development:- Teaching students to set up their own game studio or work as a programmer in a leading studio
  • A(Hons) in Games Art:- developing a range of skills from environment and character creation to props, vehicle, and weaponry design.
  • A(Games Culture):- for studies, discussions, and research on games, the gaming industry, and the players
  • A(Hons) Games Art and Film:- for those with strong drawing and painting skills and interested in concept creation and game arts
  • Sc(3D Computer Games Design):- for artists and designers to make an impact in contemporary video game creation by specializing and nurturing a body of work
  • A(Hons) Games PR and Community Management:- to create game community managers of the future. This is also separately offered by the Digital Institute of London
  • Sc(Hons) in Computer Games Design(Digital Institute of London):- to develop level designers and game designers
  • Sc(Hons) in Computer Gameplay, Design and Production:- for creating game designers who develop exciting and experimental games
  • Sc(Hons) in Sound Design:- An interdisciplinary and collaborative program on the creation of sound and music for Games, TV, Films.
  • Sc(Hons) in CGI and visual effects:- to develop skills for creating mind-blowing effects for games, advertising, and films.

5. Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

This University is located in Groningen, Netherlands and is renowned for applied research and innovation in its integrated programs.

The degree offered is B.S in Communication and Multimedia Design with Major in Game Design. Students’ skills are developed in Game Development, Game production, 2D and 3D artwork.

How to identify the best Video Game Design Colleges?

There has been a steady rise in the demand for developing games for gaming consoles, computers, and mobile phones. This has resulted in numerous opportunities for video game design experts.  Hence your dream to carve a creative career just needs the choice of the best Video Game Design Colleges.

This is where the extensive research knowledge and years of experience that Education experts at IEC Abroad have become useful. Consultants will also follow up with partner universities to know the status of applications.