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28 Best Value Game Design Degrees in 2021

September 9, 2021 | Staff Writers

Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

1. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida offers a leading game design degree. Its Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy is recognized as one of the top graduate game design schools in the nation. It also offers undergraduate degrees, such as the Bachelor’s in Digital Media with a Game Design specialization.

  • Tuition per year: $6,368 in-state; $22,467 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 75%

2. Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University in Georgia offers one of the leading game design programs in the country. It offers a Bachelor’s in Computer Game Design and Development. The school also offers a Bachelor’s in Interactive Design.

  • Tuition per year: $6,456 in-state; $17,710 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 41%

3. University of Texas

The University of Texas has many leading technology degrees and certificate programs. It offers numerous certificates in game design areas like Computer Science: Game Development and College of Fine Arts: Digital Art Production. Students can combine these certificate programs with the undergraduate degree of their choosing.

  • Tuition per year: $10,824 in-state; $38,326 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 81%

4. The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University boasts one of the top game design programs in the Midwest. It offers a Bachelor’s in Art with an emphasis in Art and Technology. The school also offers a Master’s in Digital Animation and Interactive Media.

  • Tuition per year: $11,084 in-state; $32,061 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 83%

5. University of California – Los Angeles

The University of California – Los Angeles, better known simply as UCLA, offers one of the top game design programs in the country. At the undergraduate level, it offers a Bachelor’s in Design Media Arts. At the graduate level, UCLA offers a Master’s in Media Arts.

  • Tuition per year: $13,240 in-state; $42,994 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 91%

6. Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech, offers one of the leading game design programs in the South. Georgia Tech offers a Bachelor’s in Computational Media with a Game Studies specialization. The school also offers a Master’s in Digital Media.

  • Tuition per year: $12,682 in-state; $33,794 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 86%

7. George Mason University

George Mason University has a unique and innovative game design program. The Bachelor’s in Computer Game Design is a popular option for undergraduates. This degree is also offered at the master’s level.

  • Tuition per year: $12,564 in-state; $36,024 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 69%

8. University of Texas – Dallas

The University of Texas – Dallas has one of the leading game design programs in Texas. UT Dallas offers a Bachelor’s in Arts and Technology with a specialization in Game Design and Animation. The Arts and Technology degree is also offered at the master’s and doctoral levels.

  • Tuition per year: $13,442 in-state; $38,168 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 71%

9. Michigan State University

Michigan State University has a top-notch game design program. It offers a B.A. in Games and Interactive Media. Students receive a depth of knowledge and a uniform core with foundational knowledge in several areas related to games and interactivity, including knowledge of the art, design and programming fundamentals of digital game development, and the history, social impacts, and business of games. They partner with game studios to provide an authentic, real-world experience in their coursework. They also offer a university graduate certificate in serious games which can be completed either fully online or on-campus through hybrid courses.

  • Tuition per year: $14,460 in-state; $39,766 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 78%

10. New Jersey Institute of Technology

The New Jersey Institute of Technology is a public institution with a top Bachelor’s in Digital Design. This program is ideal for aspiring video game artists. Tracks are available in Entertainment and Interactive Media/Production.

  • Tuition per year: $17,674 in-state; $33,386 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 80%

11. Bradley University

Bradley University is the first private institution on our list. The relevant degrees include a Bachelor’s in Game Design, Bachelor’s in Game Art, Bachelor’s in Animation, and a Bachelor’s in User Experience Design with a focus in Games. A one-year Master’s of Game Design & Development is also available.

  • Tuition per year: $34,610
  • Graduation rate: 74%

12. Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University is a private school in San Francisco. It offers Game Development degree programs at the associate’s level up through the master’s level. Students get a well-rounded education in the field with this program.

  • Tuition per year: $23,412
  • Graduation rate: 4%

13. Abilene Christian University

Abilene Chrisitan University has one of the top game design programs in Texas. It offers a Bachelor’s in Digital Entertainment Technology. Students create a portfolio of professional-level work as part of this program.

  • Tuition per year: $36,300
  • Graduation rate: 62%

14. Savannah College of Art & Design

The Savannah College of Art & Design is known as one of the best art schools in the South. It offers multiple degree programs in the field, including a Bachelor’s in Digital Media with a concentration in Game Development. A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interactive Design and Game Development is also available.

  • Tuition per year: $38,075
  • Graduation rate: 66%

15. DePaul University

DePaul University is a prestigious private institution with a top-notch game design program. It offers a Bachelor’s in Computer Science with a Game Systems concentration and a Bachelor’s in Game Design. DePaul even offers a rare Bachelor’s in Game Programming.

  • Tuition per year: $41,202
  • Graduation rate: 73%

If you’re looking for a game design degree program, our site can help you find the right one based on your criteria.

16. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, better known as MIT, has one of the most advanced game design programs in the country. It offers a Bachelor’s in Comparative Media Studies with a Games and Interactive Media specialization. A Master’s in Games is also offered.

  • Tuition per year: $53,790
  • Graduation rate: 93%

17. Champlain College

In Champlain’s Game Design program, you’ll learn to map out, develop, and create the gameplay that defines a player’s unique experience. As a Champlain Game Design student, you will develop extensive game design skills in your area of interest and build an impressive portfolio of collaborative work as you prepare to enter the game industry. Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college overlooking Lake Champlain and Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Their career-driven approach to higher education prepares students for their professional life from their very first semester.

  • Tuition: $42,784 per year
  • Graduation rate: 66%

18. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute has one of the most unique and innovative game design programs on this list. With one of the earliest gaming programs in the nation, WPI is a pioneer in Interactive Media & Game Development (IMGD) degree programs. At the undergraduate level, the university offers a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in IMGD. Graduate students may pursue a master’s degree in IMGD and a Ph.D. degree in Interactive Media & Game Design. No matter what degree program they choose, students gain valuable expertise as they learn and apply the artistic and technical aspects of creating games and interactive environments. Their work shapes advances in the gaming industry as well as areas like education, healthcare, art, and social sciences.

  • Tuition per year: $52,320
  • Graduation rate: 86%

19. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is the only Ivy League school with a game design program. It offers a Master’s in Computer Graphics and Game Technology. Students can specialize in areas like Art and Animation and Creative Design.

  • Tuition per year: $57,770
  • Graduation rate: 95%

20. New York University

New York University offers the top game design program in New York City. NYU offers a Bachelor’s in Game Design. A master’s degree and a minor are also offered in this field.

  • Tuition per year: $53,308
  • Graduation rate: 85%

21. Rochester Institute of Technology

The Rochester Institute of Technology has one of the leading game design programs in New York state. The school offers a Bachelor’s degree in Game Design and Development. This program is also offered at the master’s level.

  • Tuition per year: $45,890
  • Graduation rate: 66%

22. Northeastern University

Northeastern University is another prestigious private institution with a leading game design program. It offers a Bachelor’s in Digital Art and Game Design. A Bachelor’s in Games is also available.

  • Tuition per year: $53,506
  • Graduation rate: 85%

23. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is best-known for its business programs, but it also offers a leading game design program. It offers a Bachelor’s in Game Design. Prospective students may also want to consider the school’s Bachelor’s in Animation and Special Effects.

  • Tuition per year: $57,119
  • Graduation rate: 90%

24. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California offers what may be the most prestigious game design program in the country, but its expensive tuition hurts its ranking on our list. Students can pursue a Bachelor’s in Interactive Media & Games. This degree is also offered at the master’s level.

  • Tuition per year: $58,195
  • Graduation rate: 92%

25. Rensselaer Institute of Technology

The Rensselaer Institute of Technology may not be the most well-known institution on our list, but it still has an excellent game design program. The undergraduate program is a unique degree in Games & Simulation Arts. The school even offers a Ph.D in Electronic Arts.

  • Tuition per year: $55,378
  • Graduation rate: 83%

26. The New School

The New School offers a leading game design program in the cultural mecca of New York City. Students can study for a Bachelor’s in Design and Technology with a Game Design focus. This program is also offered at the graduate level.

  • Tuition per year: $50,994
  • Graduation rate: 66%

27. Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University is another Texas-based institution with a strong game design program. Students can pursue a Bachelor’s in Digital Game Development. A Master’s in Digital Game Development is also available.

  • Tuition per year: $56,560
  • Graduation rate: 79%

28. Drexel University

Drexel Westphal’s Game Design & Production major, recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the top undergraduate game design programs in the country, combines a strong comprehension of animation and interactivity, along with an understanding of design and programming. The Bachelor of Science in Game Design & Production, housed in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, mirrors a sector that has seen an explosion not just in consumer gaming, but also throughout the corporate enterprise world.

  • Tuition+Fees (per year): $56,238
  • Graduation rate: 71%

Our Ranking Methodology

Our rankings are based on ratings given to each game design school by our formula. Our formula takes each school’s yearly tuition rate and graduation rate and comes up with a rating. If the school has different resident and non-resident tuition rates, we only consider the resident tuition rate. Our formula works by taking the yearly tuition rate and adding a multiplier that is equal to the percentage of students who enrolled in a degree program at the school but did not graduate. Example: ABC Tech Institute has a yearly tuition rate of $40,000 and a graduation rate of 80%. Its rating would be 48,000 (40,000 x 120%). Lower ratings are a positive indicator of educational quality.

Representatives of the schools on this list can contact us if they need to ask a question or request a correction.

Students who are looking for the best game design degree programs can find the right school on our website.

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Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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