InternationalStudent.com InternationalStudent.com
Sign in to Your Account Done
Forgot account info?

Don't have an Account?

Register Now!

Done USA School Search

Top Schools for Game Design


Study Game Design

Game design programs in the United States are among the best in the world. With such a high number of esteemed programs in the US, international students will need to take into account more than a school’s ranking in order to effectively perform their search. This article will help international students to identify the top schools for game design in the US, as well as to distinguish between the relative strengths of some of these programs.

Video games are an increasingly common household item, found in most homes across the entire United States and, increasingly, the world. The exponential growth of the video game industry in the United States has allowed for an explosion of game development studios, bringing with them an unprecedented number of available jobs in game design and development. That's why it is no surprise to learn that so many international students are turning their passion for gaming into lucrative careers by making the decision to study game design in the US. This article will help international students to identify the top schools for game design in the US and distinguish between the specific strengths of some of these esteemed programs.

The top schools for game design in the US are also among the best schools for game design in the world. This international and domestic renown of game design programs in the US is due to a number of factors, such as: 1) the quality and rigor of curriculum, 2) job placement rate of graduates, and 3) industry connections. The Princeton Review annually ranks the top game design departments, and their rankings of the best schools for game design have become the standard measure of such programs. According to their study, the highest-ranking top schools for game design in the United States are:

Best Undergraduate Game Design Programs in the United States

  1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  2. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  3. DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA
  4. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  5. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, , Worcester, MA
  6. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  7. Champlain College, Burlington, VT
  8. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
  9. Becker College, Worcester, MA

Best Graduate Game Design Programs in the United States

  1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  2. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  4. University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
  5. Southern Methodist University, Philadelphia, PA
  6. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  7. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA
  8. DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA
  9. University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
  10. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

There are also a number of institutions (many of which have made the above list in previous years) that were praised in the form of an “honorable mention”. Many extremely popular and well-regarded institutions were given an honorable mention, such as the reputable programs at: Full Sail University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, University of California, Santa Cruz, and the undergraduate program at Drexel University.

International students who decide to study game design in the US will need to investigate the particular strengths of the programs offered by these top schools for game design so as to familiarize themselves with the particular focus of a prospective department. A good example of the important differences between game design programs can be found in the varying focuses at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida and Digipen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington. For instance, an education from Full Sail provides a foundation in programming and software engineering, with an overall focus on the production aspects of guiding a project through the phases of bringing a video game to life. Alternatively, the program at Digipen Institute of Technology, while still providing a foundation in programming and level design, focuses less on the production overview and team leadership aspects of production and more on art and design skills.

The different focus between these programs translates to a difference in what role a graduate of these programs is equipped to fill on a design team. Remember, game design is a broad field and knowing whether you’d like to work as a producer, writer, level designer, or graphic artist will narrow down the list of schools where you might study game design in the US. More important than studying at one of the top schools for game design is studying at a program that will equip its graduates for their desired roles on a design team.

The US is home to many of the best schools for game design. International students from all over the world come to receive the finest educations in game design from schools in the United States. With so many top-notch programs from which to choose, it is no surprise international students are increasingly making the decision to study game design in the US!


Get the International Student Newsletter!