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Game Design Programs 電競,電玩, 電腦遊戲課程SEO default title

Choosing Major & School


Game Design Programs in USA

(Please also click here to see the rankings of Game Design Schools in USA)

Studying Game Design

A game designer takes the creative lead in imagining and bringing to life video game worlds, he/she thrives on creativity and imagination. But creating a video game is a long and complex process with many subsequent tasks and roles required to make a playable product.

Game Designer Career

Successful video game designers have a surprisingly broad skill set. They combine everything from graphic design abilities and computer programming know-how to creative writing talent and storyboarding. Not only will your video game design career require a wide range of expertise, but many game designers report working intense schedules. Twelve-hour days and weekends are often common when release dates are near and deadlines loom. But for many, working in the career field they’re passionate about makes it all worthwhile.

Three core functions in game design

“Programming” skills are for programmers.

"Video graphics" skills are for graphics programmers, unless the author meant "art" in which case it falls firmly in the art department.

"Hardware essentials" may refer to a console programmer or hardware engineer at, say, Sony or Microsoft developing the actual hardware. It may also refer to engine programmers, who help make the game run on a specific console or platform.

Typical Game Design courses include:

Game history and development, Computer Programming, Introduction to game design, Computer theory, Game technology, Principles of game design, Game production, Level design, 3D modeling, Narrative design, Game systems, Experience design, Software architecture, 3D content creation, Engine development, Game rules, Image rendering, Software engineering, Structure of game design, Physics, Calculus, Trigonometry, Linear algebra, Public speaking etc.

Duties of a Game Desinger

Game designers have duties like designing characters, levels, puzzles, art and animation. They may also write code, using various computer programming languages. Depending on their career duties, they may also be responsible for project management tasks and testing early versions of video games.

Why learn game design?

There are many reasons, here are some that not just going to turn you to be a better computer programmer.

Reason 1: Game Design makes you a more creative problem-solver.

A big part of 21st century skills is creativity and critical thinking (problem solving), also considered as modern survival skills. To be more precise, we're talking about complicated stuff, often referred to as systems - We're surrounded by complex systems, from computers and the power grid to natural systems, such as ecosystems or your digestive tract. If you change one part of a system, everything else changes too, often in surprising ways.

Games are complex systems that are made up of inter-working elements. Game Design helps you learn about how systems work and how they can be modified or changed. Often you have to come up with very creative solutions to solve problems within the design of a game so your end product works and is fun for the people playing it.

Reason 2: Game Design helps you learn to work with and for others.

The key is collaboration. When you make a game, you need other people. Even if you make the whole thing yourself, someone is going to have to play-test it and give you feedback. You know how your game is supposed to work. Your audience may not. You may get unexpected feedback even by watching someone else play your game. You will have a lot of "oh, I never thought of that!" when someone starts trial working through your game. Everything you'll ever design will be used by someone else.

If you're working with a team from story, graphics to programming, you will have to work out how to build on each other’s ideas, use your various strengths, and work out differences of opinion on how you think part x should turn out.

Reason 3: Game Design gets your thinking out of the box.

Think outside of the box has become a popular phrase - Game design often gives you problems that require you to grab stuff you learned everywhere. There's often elements of history and science in the setting and mechanics of the game. The characters are developed as well as any literary character. The soundtrack is carefully put together to affect your mood and involvement in the game. To design a good game you have to learn how to find and use information from all subjects in ways that add realism to your game and make it more fun and interesting.  

A Game Design Degree

It can be helpful to have a degree in something such as graphic design or web page design. You don't need anything specifically to start, just a lot of imagination and persistence as video game creation can be a long and at sometimes tedious job.

Choosing the right school

There are many Game Design Schools in USA, please contact us to book for a free consultation to pick the one that best suit you. ! For your references, Litz has listed the game design programs of some of the famous schools in the lower half of this page.

We are here to help you

You need know which degree in game design is right for you. You must decide what role on a development team you would like to have upon graduation. Once a desired role has been established, he/she should then fine-tune to the degree they are to receive.

If you need more information on the degree or would like to apply for a Game Design School, please call us on (+852) 23919713 to ask for our Elite Program, in the past we’ve help place students in some of these prestigious schools.

On the other hand, if you are not that ready for these category of schools, we would recommend you to start with the appropriate Community Colleges and our Private Liberal Arts Colleges with Game Design Course, students can start the first two years in these schools before transferring to the Design Schools of your choice in the third year!


Game Design Program Description


Game Design Programs of Top-Tier Schools

# University of Southern California (USC) - Los Angeles, CA

USC offers 2 Bachelor and 2 Master’s level programs dedicated to Interactive Media and Game Design. Students focusing on design and production can pursue the Interactive Media & Games degrees through the school of Cinematic Arts, while those more concerned with the technical aspects of game development should choose the Computer Science (Games) degrees through the Viterbi School of Engineering.

USC also offers several official video game design minors. Students have the unique opportunity to network with peers at any other level within these programs. This makes the hands on experience and project development more than just class work, it is also a chance for team building and developing leadership skills.

Background: The University of Southern California, (USC), has a long and illustrious connection to the entertainment industry. Its proximity to Hollywood is why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has always nominated at least one alumni every year since its creation in 1929. This, in conjunction with the fact that USC is the oldest west coast University, boasts an impressive $3.9 billion endowment, over 41,000 students, and is located in one of the world’s cultural epicenters, gives USC significant resources.

On Animation: USC’s Cinematic Arts department offers a rather unique four-year Bachelor of Arts in Animation and Digital Arts program that includes a broad arts background along with specialized training in animation. This means that USC turns out graduates that the industry is looking for: real artists with animation tools and technique training under their belt. Their program focuses on marketable skills like science visualization and experimental visualization, and classical techniques via visual effects, drawing and 3-D computer animation courses. They also offer a minor in video game design, with courses like level design, game-play control, user interface, game mechanics and storytelling. At the end of the minor students produce a working demo game.


Acceptance Rate: 16.5% | Graduation Rate: 92% | Tuition: $69,800

# Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), School of Interactive Games and Media (IGM) - Rochester, NY

IGM’s department boasts more than 150 classes given a year and several Game Design and Development degrees, making it one of the most established technical schools in USA.

Students can expect a unique approach to learning how technology, content, and systems come together to create interactive experiences. IGM is self-consciously seeking world renowned notoriety across its field. Consequently, it offers multiple degrees specifically in Game Design and Development.

It helps run programs such as the Global Game Jam, which both invites students to develop their skill set and helps them network with others in the industry, and the image cup Hack a Thon.

Background: RIT is one of the nation’s most well established technical schools and resides in one of America’s premier college towns. It was here that the nation’s first laboratory for social computing was established in 2005, and in 2008 the school opened a campus in Dubai. In addition to its various other departments, Rochester runs its Interactive Games and Multimedia (IGM) department, which is one of the largest of its kind.

On Animation: RIT’s School of Film and Animation is kickin' its old school with their Animation undergrad program - its focus is 2D. RIT's Animation, Motion Picture Science, Production and Film & Animation programs have great pedigrees - they were created jointly by the faculty, students and working alumni. No wonder their programs cater realistically to the animation and film industry. They also offer a couple neat little side certificate programs in Apple Training and Certifications and Filmmaking Abroad.


Acceptance Rate: 57% | Graduation Rate: 63.20% |Tuition: $35,768

# University of Utah, Entertainment Arts & Engineering - Salt Lake City, Utah

About:  The University of Utah’s Video Game Design program combines art orientated students and more technically minded ones in a program that simulates how actual video game design functions, they work together to learn how a good game is made.. Their students have access to a variety of valuable internship opportunities, and leave with experience similar to typical startup companies.

Since the school has a strong relationship with EA Sports in Salt Lake City, many students have access to valuable internship opportunities that give them the closest experience possible to actually working for a game company.

The school also runs a highly respected summer program for high school students, and takes the time to interview every promising applicant. This is why the student body comes from such a wide range of nations, with students from India, Russia, China, Mexico, and Indonesia.

On Animation: Few animation schools/programs have the distinction of offering an education that balances technology and art so smoothly. The University of Utah does it, well. They offer a BA in Film and Media Arts (more film-focused than animation), a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production, a Bachelor's in Animation and a BA and MFA in Entertainment Arts and Engineering Emphasis. Their programs in Entertainment Arts and Engineering are the real score here, producing students who are masters of not only the technical computer sciences but also the artistic side of production. All their courses focus on entertainment industry history and criticism—to give their students a critical lens on entertainment production. Graduates of the University of Utah's entertainment programs become world-class producers, entertainment artists and programmers in the US animation, TV, film and gaming industries.


Acceptance Rate: 81.4% | Graduation Rate: 61.30% | Tuition: $22,834 (Out-Of-State: $41,355)

# DigiPen Institute of Technology - Redmond, WA

With support from Nintendo, one of the world’s most recognized game developers, DigiPen is the ideal school if you want to prepare for a career in game development in just about any field.

Whether you want to make games as an artist, designer, software developer, or programmer, Digipen offers a degree that will give you the tools you need to enter the industry and quickly make an impact. This includes both graduate and undergraduate degrees.

DigiPen offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees and runs a substantial k-12 summer program. Students can specialize in subsets of the field, such as real-time interactive simulation, engineering and sound design, digital art and animation, music and sound design, as well as general degrees in general computer science and digital arts.

Background: DigiPen is more than just another game design program. This school represents just how far the still developing game design industry has come. With substantial support from Nintendo, DigiPen began accepting students in 1994. It is a for-profit degree granting school that exclusively specializes in preparing students to enter the industry as skilled software developers, artists, designers, and computer engineers. The school has branch campuses in Spain, Singapore, and a partnership with Keimyung University in South Korea, in addition to its main campus based just outside of America’s game design hub in Seattle.


Acceptance Rate: 64.9% | Graduation Rate: 54% |Tuition: $42,409

# Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) - Atlanta, Savannah GA (and Hong Kong)

Virtually all of its academic programs are built for budding artists, SCAD gives students the chance to collaborate with industry professionals and use the latest interactive design tools. This is why games from SCAD’s program have won the E3 College Game Competition several times.

The program offers both bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, and their master’s level equivalents. In addition to providing their students with first rate courses, Savannah’s Collaborative Learning Center connects students with industry leaders each year.

Background: The Savannah College of Art and Design exists somewhere in between the razor sharp focus of DigiPen, which pours all of its attention into digital creativity, and the broad, multidisciplinary approach of major research universities. On the one hand the school has numbers reminiscent of a research university, with over 11,000 students, 23% of which are international, and multiple campuses, (one of which is in Hong Kong).

On Animation: Literally, everyone in the industry knows about SCAD. And for good reason: they employ top-notch faculty members, offer animation BFA, MA, MFA and a 40-hour minor degrees on two continents and over 500 national and international companies actively recruit from SCAD. 8 out of 10 of their graduates are employed within just 6 months of graduation. Their alumni work at Disney, Pixar, Rhythm and Hues, Sony, the Cartoon Network, DreamWorks and EA. It was also voted to be in the top 3 animation schools in North America by 3D World Magazine. If you can get through their rigorous selection process, get your degree there. 


Acceptance Rate: 69% | Graduation Rate: 66.70% |Tuition: $35,190

# Drexel University, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design - Philadelphia PA

About: Drexel University is widely recognized as one of the premier schools when it comes to putting the latest technology in the hands of students. Students enrolled in their graduate and undergraduate game design programs have even won several awards, including top prize at the Adobe Achievement Awards, Microsoft Imagine Cup, and more.

The program’s strength comes from both the computer science and digital media departments working together to make sure students learn all there is to know about game development. This love of cutting edge technology translates well into a competitive video game design program.  

Drexel students have won numerous awards such as 1st Place in the Microsoft Imagine Cup, the Unity Awards, the GDC’s Narrative Review Competition, and first place in the Adobe Achievement Awards. The school has particular strengths in using games to facilitate learning and even offers a Learning in Game Based Environments Certificate.

Background: Drexel University has over 26,000 students, has been ranked among America’s top 100 universities for five straight years. Drexel has a long history of leading education’s integration of technology, it was the first university to require students to have micro-computers (1983), the first major university to have a fully wireless campus (2000), provided the first mobile web portal for students (2002), and developed the first university portal app across all five major platforms (2011).

On Animation: Drexel University's Animation & Visual Effects major is a well-regarded program thanks to its focus on story-telling as a digital art form - but, it is well overshadowed by the University's Replay gaming department. Replay is a division of Drexel that focuses entirely on game design, art, production, programming and development. The school offers three highly acclaimed programs: a BS in Game Art & Production and an MS in Digital Media (both through Drexel's Westphal College of Media Arts and Design) and a BS in Game Programming and Development (via their College of Engineering). As the different programs are offered via different departments, one through the Arts and Design college and the other via their Engineering college, they focus on very different elements of the video game design field. All three programs are highly acclaimed and have placed it within the Top 10 in the Princeton Review and the Top 10 list by Gamepro Media. The Replay Lab uses state-of-the-art technology to teach technical skills in game creation. You can see Replay alumni in the credits of many hit video games for Xbox, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft.


Acceptance Rate: 75% | Graduation Rate: 65% | Tuition: $42,164

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences - Troy , NY

Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program: Rensselaer is unique in that it allows students majoring in “Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences” to also select a second concentration. These include art, computer science, cognitive science, writing, and human computer interaction.

The department specializes in video game related activities, and is divided into two branches. The first branch leads to a Bachelor of Science in games and simulation arts. This program takes a holistic approach in order to give students the wide skill set they need in such an interdisciplinary field.

The second branch consists of several different concentrations from relevant to emerging subfields in the games and simulation/entertainment industry. Students have access to the Sage Labs, which consists of three subsets. These subsets include the games lab, (where students take many of their courses), the games projects space, (where students can develop their own games), and the VAST Studio, (where students develop advanced animations).

Also available are many advanced degree programs that train future game designers in Gaming and Animation, Communication Technologies, and more.

Background: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a respected school with a strong representation in the sciences. The school’s insatiable appetite for applied learning has produced 33 research centers.

On Animation: The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in NY could have made this list on the creative naming of their programs, but instead won on merit. Their Electronic Arts (eARTS) BS, MFA and Ph.D degrees encompass a wide range of media, perfect for today's animation landscape given the burgeoning online and app-building opportunities. They also offer a trendy little course in Games & Simulation—once again not pigeonholing their students into one narrow job set. This multidisciplinary approach to learning and mediums seems to be working quite well as their graduates are landing a wide range of jobs at studios across the country--although in today's animation economy just landing any job is impressive enough. The courses in the Design, Innovation, and Society (DIS) program are popular with eARTS and Gaming students because of the scope of their artistic training.


Acceptance Rate: 42% | Graduation Rate: 83.50% |Tuition: $64,198

New York University, Tisch School of the Arts - New York, NY

Game Design Program: Tisch makes available several programs at different levels for future game designers. This includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degree in Game Design, as well as a Minor in game Design. Students are also given access to valuable resources such as the Media and Games Network at the NYU Brooklyn campus, Game Center Open Library, and NYU Game Center.

NYU’s approach to the fine arts has always been interdisciplinary and included cutting edge technology. Also, its computer science credentials remain unquestioned as the program operates under the world-famous Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and has considerably expanded its faculty in 2014-15. In many ways this growing interest and collaboration of resources makes this young program continue excel.

Background: NYU has become a world renowned institution. It has become arguably the leading school in arguably the world’s most influential city. Its Tisch School of the Arts has fully capitalized on its proximity to Broadway and is now one of the most respected creative centers in the world. In 2015, it opened a video game design degree, so it is relatively a . a young program, yet it is ranked highly.


Acceptance Rate: 33% |Graduation Rate: 83.20% | Tuition: $46,170 | Degrees Available: Minor in Game Design, Bachelors of Fine Arts |                 Master of Fine Arts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Game Lab - Cambridge, MA

Game Design Program: Although MIT does not offer a formal game design or game development degree program, the MIT Game Lab allows students who are interested in creating games to make their own program of study.

MIT Game Lab serves as the interdisciplinary hub for students interested in game design throughout the university. Whereas other schools are increasingly choosing video game specific tracts, MIT draws on its broad resources as arguably the most respected international science research center.

This gives students the ability to choose different courses based on if they’re interested in game design, game programming, psychological games, or the business side of the industry. Plenty of narrative-focused courses are available as well for those who want to learn more about storytelling in games.

Background: MIT opened new doors to exploring the video game world when it created the Singapore-MIT Gambit Game Lab. This think tank was designed to develop video games as more than toys. Instead, it envisioned a world where video games served as a compliment to books as teaching tools. Today the newly rebuilt MIT Game Lab continues the pioneering work of its forefather. Instead of creating a new department to compete with its world class representations in computer science, mathematics, logic, and visual media, MIT has created an organizing think tank that weaves these many departments and all their interdisciplinary background together, all while unifying their endeavors under a humanitarian goal.

On Animation: MIT has an animation program, it is part of its Comparative Media Studies program (formerly Film and Media Studies), and features courses designed for an interdisciplinary study of a broad range of mediums, including film, TV, game design, virtual worlds, digital artworks, civic media, interactive writing and media communications. They also have a tangent in Singapore, with their highly regarded MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. MIT media grads, like almost all MIT grads are in demand - especially in video game design jobs. Before catching this program, you have to get accepted to MIT first.


Acceptance Rate: 7.90% | Graduation Rate: 92.20% | Tuition: $45,016 | Degrees Available: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science.

# Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) - Pittsburg , PA

Game Design Program: The program is renowned for its focus on making sure their students learn all the key components that go toward game creation. This includes programming, story and character development, visual and sound design, game engine development, and more.

Students are also required to actually develop fun, polished and engaging games while working in teams. This alone offers the best experience possible to prepare students for life in a major game development studio.

Students here have the opportunity to study under industry leaders such as Jess Schell, the first individual to receive the “Game Changer Award”. He is also famous for researching and building games that advance society through everything from helping people discover how proteins fold to teaching kids about HIV. The Entertainment Technology Center also runs a successful summer program for high school students, requires an industry internship, and uses a variety of team based projects to simulate the real world job market.

Background: Carnegie Mellon has long been known as one of America’s leading science schools. It has in recent years developed the Entertainment Technology Center. This program provides a two year master’s degree in Entertainment Technology offered jointly with the College of Fine Arts and the School of Computer Science.

On Animation: CMU’s Graphic Lab offers a unique graphics program with an animation focus - with a twist. Their list of incredibly fine-tuned training courses offer their students specific training that will make them experts in niche fields. Courses include oddballs like Physically Based Character Animation, Pixels to Percepts: Visual Perception for Computer Vision and Games, Physically Based Modeling and Interactive Simulation, Generating Natural Human Motion and Data-Driven Character Animation. CMU is a solid choice for aspiring video game designers looking for a well-rounded education, with courses like Digital Narratives, Building Virtual Worlds and Dramatic Structures of Interactive Games. Note that Disney’s Research Lab is on the CMU campus, as such the school has a rich working relationship, and Disney evens holds a few spots open in their internship program every year for CMU students. 


Acceptance Rate: 13.70% | Graduation Rate: 88.10% |Tuition: $70,094+ | Degrees Available: Bachelor of Computer Science, Bachelor of Arts

# Michigan State University (MSU) - East Lansing , MI

Game Design Program - Media and Information program:  the department of Computer Science, Fine Arts, and Media and Information combined their resources to create the Game Design and Development Specialization.  This school is one of the few to offer a PhD related to game design. Students also gain access to the GEL Lab where they learn what it takes to make a game from start to finish, including design, prototyping, and more.

Oftentimes specializations are just toned down minors or slight variations in a pre-existing major, but not so with MSU’s Game Design Specialization. This is a two year program that requires 9 to 11 credits just to be considered for inclusion. Its alumni now work for companies like Red Storm Entertainment, Microsoft Xbox Team, Rockstar San Diego, Microsoft Casual Games, and Sony Computer Entertainment.

Summer Program: Many schools in the top 52 routinely provide some kind of program for promising high school students interested in game design. MSU, however, goes one step further by providing one week programs for high school students with no previous experience in game design. Unlike other schools which largely use their summer programs as ways to advertise and attract the best talent, MSU has the resources to actively generate new talent by drawing a wider range of potential students. This contribution to the field at large allows the university to build an ever expanding network of interested talent.

Background: MSU currently boasts alumni working for renowned companies like ROckstar San Diego, Microsoft Xbox Team, and Sony Computer Entertainment.

On Animation: MSU had a stroke of genius when they combined their Media Arts & Technology and Media and Communication Technology programs to create their Media and Information program. This is another gem for entrepreneurial types as it offers courses on game development, new media AND management. The sky is the limit when it comes to how well educated you want to be as they offer the program in bachelor's, master's AND PhD degree formats.


Acceptance Rate: 65.70% | Graduation Rate: 78.10% | Tuition: $28,160 (Out of State: $52,518) | Degrees Available:

Certificate, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, PhD

# Becker College (MassDiGI) - Worcester, Leicester, MA

This statewide institute is a productive think tank at the cross section between industry, academy, and government that fully taps into Massachusetts’s favorable location as the 4th largest video game cluster in the U.S. Internship opportunities abound, which is part of the reason why alumni are found in everyone from industry to the Danforth Museum. These resources also give students access to a high performance computer lab, a six camera video motion capture system, 3D design software, and a growing number of additional, advanced technologies. Students leave Becker fully equipped to hunt for careers in the exponentially growing game design field.

Game Design Program - Interactive Media Design: Becker College is a four-year institution that offers Certificate, Associate, and Bachelor programs across nearly a dozen fields of study.

The degree in Interactive Media Design has two distinct concentrations; Game Development and Programming and Game Design. A BA in Game Production and Management Concentration is also available.

Background: In April 2011, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts designated Becker as the home of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI).  The school has highly-regarded classes like Literary Development of Virtual Worlds, Computer Illustration for Game Design, Game Production and Prototyping and Techniques of Vector and Raster Imaging. They have an internship and students complete two full games in their senior year. Their location in Massachusetts is a good choice for an aspiring game designer because the state has 76 video game design companies—many for which the faculty have worked or currently are working.


Acceptance Rate: 62.50% | Graduation Rate: 30.80% | Tuition: $49,030

# Shawnee State University - Portsmouth, OH

Game Design Program - Digital Simulation and Gaming Engineering Technology: A Game and Simulation Development Arts degree is also available for students you prefer the aesthetic application of game creation.

This pragmatic approach translates well into a research driven field like game design that also requires substantial interpersonal team based projects. The approach of their BS in Digital Simulation and Game Design is decidedly technical and heavily emphasizes computer science and programing as its core. Nevertheless, they still incorporate artistic elements into their math, physics, and programing curriculum. Shawnee also offers the closely affiliated Game and Simulation Development Arts degree for those more interested in aesthetic, instead of technical, applications.

Background: Shawnee State University has the small feel of an elite private school, (its total student population is a mere 4,400), and all the research benefits of being an up and coming public university in one of America’s most rapidly developing states. Perhaps this is why 83 percent of graduates from Shawnee find employment in their chosen field within six months of graduation.


Acceptance Rate: 75% | Graduation Rate: 29.30% | Tuition: 21,858 (Out of State: $27,111) | Degrees Available: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts