The Best Video Game Design Schools Online for 2018

By BCR Staff
November 2017

In this article we’ll be exploring the best online video game design programs available to students and professionals at various level of experience. First, we rank the ten best online Bachelor’s degrees in Video Game Design, then we cover the four best programs at the master’s level, and finish with a look at top associate’s degree and certificate options. To understand the Video Game Design Degree. however, it is first important to draw attention to the general nature of the evolving video game design industry and how these degree programs vary widely in general approach, curriculum, coursework, degree concentrations, and more.

Similarly, professions as a video game designer can vary widely with responsibilities involving many skill sets, knowledge bases, and levels of specialization. For instance, professional game designers may specialize in developing 2D game apps for mobile devices, employ expert design skills for AAA game franchises. At another level, they may develop a particular skill set to the point of mastery in an area such as video graphics design through conceptual design or program coding (or both), game language translation, game level design, game software, game program mechanics, etc. The nuances of the industry–and the ensuing freedom that results in professional video game designers having countless career paths–is mirrored in degree programs that deliver unique curriculums with focused areas of study, clear teaching philosophies, and specialized degree options designed to provide students with a competitive edge in a particular field.

While it is true that video game design programs adhere to universal principles and skill sets, it is also true that no two programs are exactly alike. Many of the programs on this list, for example, provide more generalized degree tracks. However, specialization is almost always offered either through degree concentrations, unique program objectives, or student success outcomes. In the case of undergraduate video game design education, this pre-professional focus is crucial for the student to fully gain the expertise required by graduate programs and by the upper-level professions in the industry. In any case, predetermined career intentions are helpful if not mandatory–an ironic restriction in a field defined by creativity, games, and enjoyment. Below you will find our ranking of the Best Online Bachelor’s of Video Game Design Programs, all of which provide strong, focused teaching philosophies designed to strengthen expertise and career intentions, making them ideal starting points for successful careers in video game design.

Check out the best online bachelor’s degrees in video game design
Check out the best online masters degrees in video game design
Check out the best online associates degrees and certificates in video game design


  • Affordability (1/3): The tuition of the program and estimated cost per credit hour for out-of-state students.
  • Flexibility (1/3): The number of flexibility-enhancing elements including concentrations, degree specialties, prior learning or experience credits, accelerated courses, and competency-based credit options.
  • Academic Prestige (1/3): The academic prestige of the parent institution as determined by other prominent ranking entities such as US News & World Report.

If you are interested in more general information regarding online learning, check out our ranking of online colleges.

The Best Online Bachelors Degrees in Video Game Design

1. Southern New Hampshire University Online

Online BA in Game Arts & Development or BSc in Business Studies in Game Design and Development

12. Southern New Hampshire University BA in Game Arts and Development or BSc in Business Studies in Game Design and Development Online

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Online is at the forefront of distance learning degree programs. SNHU employs a unique focus on self-motivation throughout its online degree programs in the form of an overarching philosophy of student empowerment and freedom of choice. SNHU’s video game design programs exemplify this philosophy with many bachelor’s degree track options, accelerated learning options, and choices for professional training in various programming skills. SNHU prides itself on real-world applicability and student success outcomes, meaning students can expect their course material to be limited to what will be truly useful to their careers–a strength that many students will find both rare and encouraging.

The program offers a Bachelor of Arts in Game Art & Development as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Studies in Game Design and Development. SNHU’s two programs represent two major approaches to the video game design and development industry. The B.A. in Game Art & Development revolves around developing programming expertise in students, so that they may pursue positions concerned with game design at the micro level, that is, building games from the ground up, or from the code up in this case. The Business Studies degree track is designed to prepare students for positions at the intersection between micro-level game design and business and focuses on the skill requisites of careers in game design project management, video game branding development, or game marketing positions. In covering these two prominent career paths with such distinct career-oriented program objectives, accelerated learning options, and 3rd most affordable tuition costs in this ranking, SNHU’s video game design programs represent the best of the best.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $320
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Two degree tracks, accelerated learning options, and 3rd most affordable tuition costs.

2. Academy of Art University

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Development Concepts or Bachelor of Science in Micro Development Online


The Academy of Art University has recently dedicated enormous resources to moving its nationally acclaimed arts degrees into the arena of online learning. The Academy of Art University’s School of Game Development, for instance, is reported to be one of the top game design schools in the country. The School’s game design programs involve hands-on, interactive curriculum that prepares students for creative success across many job types. The University invests in top-notch programming systems, 3D modeling engines, and both pre-production and production tools so that students will be sufficiently trained in the industry’s most powerful tools and techniques–a valuable and marketable asset in and of itself.

The University’s School of Game Design offers a fully online Game Development Degree Program with an encompassing curriculum designed to provide students with the necessary skills to take their video game design careers in clear directions. Students may choose between a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS), though graduate, associate, and certificate tracks are available as well. While the BFA focuses more on broad and conceptual learning principles of game development based on traditional storytelling, painting, and drawing, the B.S. focuses more on micro development skillsets such as coding, programming, and complex algorithms. With a stellar reputation, well-designed program tracks, and experiential learning objectives–which are so often the weak point of online education–the University’s Game Development programs are both highly impressive options for students with any game design career goals. The initial broader focus in these programs also means they are excellent choices for students struggling to establish clear career goals .

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $291
  • Flexibility enhancing features: B.F.A or B.S. degree tracks, self-paced learning options, and 2nd most affordable tuition.

3. Liberty University

Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Gaming Design

Liberty-University BSc in Information Technology - Gaming Design Online

Liberty University holds many impressive accolades. It’s the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world. As a figurehead in the development of online education, game design students at Liberty can expect some of the most powerful and standard-setting learning technologies, intended to offset the inherent shortcomings of distance learning. As a career-oriented University, Liberty’s degree curriculums are designed to meet the real-world demands of the growing video game industry. As such students will take part in challenging projects that directly mirror projects of various real world professions. It is this applicability of the University’s coursework that has led to its recognition by ranking institutions as a top option for student success outcomes in Gaming Design and Development.

Liberty offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology — Gaming Design where students master a wide array of technical skills needed to succeed in the programming and coding side of the industry. Students will study topics such as interactive game development, C# programming, digital imaging, and 3D graphics systems. While similar programs offer numerous degree options, Liberty focuses on delivering a complete education conducive to the Bachelor of Science degree, which focuses on the highly technical expertise associated with the field of Information Technology. For students with a prominent interest in the computer programming and coding aspects of game design, this program is among the best of its kind.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $390
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Credits for life and/or work experience.

4. Baker College Online

Bachelor of Science in Game Software Development Online

Baker-College-of-Jackson Online BSc in Game Software Development

Like many modern online colleges, Baker College’s degree programs are designed for the self-motivated students, the working professional, or the able student who is unable to attend a traditional university. Baker College Online, however, distinguishes itself from competition through its emphasis on student support and guidance. As online degree programs often lack the interpersonal relationships of residential programs, Baker employs a philosophy that if you support online students and provide guidance wherever they need it, they will flourish. This philosophy is a major component of the Game Software Development Program where students are faced with extremely challenging and technical coursework, which is made more manageable by the program’s academic advisors assigned to each student.

Specifically, Baker offers a Bachelor of Science in Game Software Development, which for the sake of comparison is essentially a combination of Information Technology and Game Design. Game Software developers work behind the scenes to iron out bugs, glitches, or problems in high-level coding. As such Baker’s Game Software Development program first educates students on the various types of game software, then on how to manage them, and then how to create systems within these different types of software. For students with a keen interest in coding and the intersection of information technology and gaming design, this program is one of a kind.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $250
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Most affordable tuition, academic guidance and personal advisers for each student.

5. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design Online


The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division employs a philosophy of innovation, imagination, and user engagement. Particularly in the Gaming & Technology Department, this philosophy drives students to separate themselves from the competition by seeking out new, innovative answers to traditional questions. Creativity and innovation are hallmarks of the gaming and technology industry, which makes The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s approach highly commendable and encouraging. Students at the Institute are encouraged to think outside the box to embody their passions and become expert visual storytellers. “I Am a Creative Warrior” is the program’s motto, and for students looking to maximize their creativity to break into the industry–this is an excellent motto and philosophy that sets itself apart from similar schools.

The Institute offers a Bachelor’s in Game Art & Design, and as mentioned above the focus is on developing innovation and creativity in its students amid traditional coursework. This focus mirrors the demands of the industry, where professionals are given standard tasks and then expected to step outside the box to deliver creative solutions and/or designs. The program is further career-oriented in that its coursework prepares students to work in a fast-paced environment to take a game idea, create concept art, and make them both marketable–a process many game designers undergo on a daily basis.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $470
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Credit for life and/or work experience.

6. Savannah College of Art and Design

Online BA or BFA in Interactive Design and Game Development

Savannah-College-of-Art-and-Design BA or BFA in Interactive Design and Game Development Online

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), also known as the University of Creative Careers, is a school nationally renowned for its programs’ stimulation of creativity and innovation across numerous fields. SCAD’s Interactive Design and Game Development program offers award-winning e-learning degree tracks where students cover an encompassing curriculum of foundational art theories, general education classes, and then move into the core content of the program that is delivered by some of our country’s leading creative minds. Students who are skeptical of online degree programs can likely rest easy knowing that their e-learning program is taught by such high-level faculty.

Specifically SCAD offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interactive Design and Game Development. As the name of the degree implies, the degree distinguishes itself from competition through an emphasis on interactive design principles. Interactive design is a crucial component to many fields beyond that of gaming, and so SCAD incorporates universal best practices to enlighten students’ perspectives of game development. Students can further personalize their education in game development through the addition of degree concentrations or through electives, which allow students to supplement their degree with areas of study that might otherwise be viewed as separate from Interactive Design and Game Development. While the price tag for this program may be a bit higher than others on this list, students looking for a top-tier curriculum and learning experience will find their money well-invested

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $782
  • Flexibility enhancing features: B.A. and B.F.A. degree tracks, various concentrations and elective options.

7. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art Online

rocky_mountain_school_of_design Online BFA in Game Art Online

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) delivers a unique learning environment to its online students through incorporating the philosophy of small liberal arts college in a virtual learning setting. This means that RMCAD’s virtual learning experience is characterized by smaller, more personal class sizes where students interact on a regular basis to collaboratively complete projects or hold discussions with peers and instructors. Students are encouraged to work with peers from other degree programs to hone comprehensive and diverse artistic skill. RMCAD’s Game Art program is also one of only a few to guarantee one-on-one discussion sessions with program faculty to generate deeper understandings than what can be gleaned from traditional coursework. The department also works closely with students to promote a commitment to creative growth, independence, and free thinking–an excellent prospect for anyone seeking a profession in the video gaming industry.

RMCAD offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art, which delivers a unique approach to the video game design field. The program emphasizes the modern developments in video game culture, that is, games no longer simply need to work they need to provide true immersive entertainment. Much of the program coursework is meant to teach students to create just that using rich stories and complex narratives, character design, and engaging animation techniques. As the name of the degree implies, the program teaches game design through the lens of understanding art in general. So for students interested in the overlaps between art and game design this program is likely a perfect fit.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $464
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Various electives to build specialization, Interdepartmental collaboration.

8. Full Sail University

Online BSc in Game Design or Game Art

Full Sail University’s online programs are designed to prepare students for the rigorous competition of the real world job market. Programs include coursework and projects that replicate these real world demands, and then upon their completion, these projects are compiled into portfolio form to give students a marketable tool for showcasing their knowledge and skills. This is in line with Full Sail University’s broader philosophy of turning students into successful professionals. Specifically in the Game Design program students will focus on various design projects, which represent the real world tasks of game designers in various areas of the industry. While many schools devote resources to similar philosophies, only a few implement them into actionable plans like Full Sail.

Full Sail University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Game Design and a Bachelor of Science in Game Art. In either degree track, students will be provided with a personal Career Development Advisor to help guide them to make the best choices that are most conducive to their career goals. Thus students will cover core content and curriculum, and then will have the freedom to pursue specialization through career-oriented projects, which of course are then compiled into marketable formats for Game Design or Game Art portfolios. For students interested in degree programs that actively incorporate career-building projects, Full Sail is a top choice.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $593
  • Flexibility enhancing features: B.S. in Game Design and B.S. in Game Art, and numerous projects for portfolio building.

9. The Art Institute of Phoenix

BA in Game Art & Design or Visual & Game Programming Online


The Art Institute of Phoenix is a school built on a philosophy of free thinking and interdepartmental collaboration. This philosophy is designed to create an environment for students where they can supplement their degree coursework with innovation and creative collaborations. It is probably one of just handful of schools in the country where a video game designer and a culinary specialist may work together on a project on their terms. While not all projects and coursework are entirely open-ended, they do all offer students the chance to add their unique mark–whether by a creative spin on a project idea or through collaboration with another department–so that students can pursue and develop their interests within the bounds of their degree track.

The Art Institute of Phoenix offers two programs: A Bachelor of Arts in Game Art & Design, and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual & Game Programming. The first degree path is characterized by a more conceptual approach to understanding the world of game design through exploring its origins in foundational concepts of art. The second degree path is defined by a focus on the more micro components of game design such a code languages, programming systems, etc. In either track The Art Institute of Phoenix encourages creative exploration and innovation, meaning students will develop unique personal interests and skills with a freedom that’s unique to this type of program. This artistic freedom is a point of pride within both programs and is promoted as a mindset that remains with students past graduation and into their professional lives.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $481
  • Flexibility enhancing features: B.A. in Game & Art Design, and a B.A. in Visual & Game Programming, and interdepartmental collaboration.

10. Franklin University

Online Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media Design

Franklin-University BSc in Interactive Media Design Online

Franklin University’s online college and degree programs pride themselves on convenience, affordability, and professional-level curriculums. Students in the online degree programs have access to one-on-one academic advisement so that they can make informed choices that best suit their career goals. These personal advisers also facilitate easy transfer of credits, assist financial aid requests, and help determine most suitable course schedules that accommodate even the most demanding schedules. At Franklin University, students are cared for and supported from the day of their application and through their graduation. This level of personalized support helps to balance some of the inherent shortcomings of the online college and makes Franklin University stand out from the competition.

Franklin offers a fully online, fully accredited Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media Design. This degree program approaches curriculum from a broader standpoint, educating students in the technical, artistic, and management aspects of interactive media design. The program emphasizes the focus on both the technological and non-technical aspects of front-end development and back-end development. The focus on interactive media design allows the program to cover one area more thoroughly rather than lesser coverage across more areas. The dynamic skill set and knowledge base students develop in this program will prepare them to move into countless positions of video game design, and also offer the opportunity to pursue interactive design careers in other industries. For students with broad interests or non-specific career goals, this program provides the dynamic education necessary to grant such professional freedom.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $511
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Curriculum of Interactive Media Design designed to provide dynamic expertise applicable to numerous positions.

Best Online Masters in Video Game Design

As illustrated by the various designs and philosophies of undergraduate video game design programs, the field is composed of enormous options in job types, responsibilities, and overall career paths. To truly thrive in such an area and reach the upper tiers of the profession. However, professionals need advanced levels of expertise in one or multiple areas of game design and development. The types of expertise an individual can pursue are as varied and diverse as the field of game design itself with many graduate programs reserving large portions of the curriculum to cater to students’ unique specialties and career goals. Thus graduate level game design degree programs are crucial to honing students’ professional expertise and marketability, and this makes these graduate programs excellent choices for both the freshly graduated college student and the experienced video game design professional looking to gain a competitive edge in an existing career.

While many game design and development companies are structured so that talented individuals can advance through promotions over time, others are not. And in any case, a graduate degree can propel one’s career forward when such progress would have otherwise come much later or maybe not at all. An online graduate degree is all the more helpful in this regard as it allows individuals to earn a career-advancing degree without abandoning current job opportunities. Specifically, the graduate degree programs in this ranking offer the flexibility required to accommodate even the busiest work lives and schedules, so students who might otherwise be unable to earn their degree will be able to progress through the program at a comfortable pace. In the case of video game design education, there is also the added benefit of scarcity: there are very few graduate level programs, so earning your master’s degree is a sure-fire way of gaining professional marketability and a competitive edge. Below are the Top 4 Online Masters in Video Game Design ranked according to the metrics explained at the head of the page.

1. Academy of Art University

Online MA in Game Development and MFA in Game Development

academy_of_art MA or MFA in Game Development Online

The Academy of Art University’s Online Graduate programs deliver a career-oriented curriculum that focuses on training students to become polished professionals. Particularly the University’s Game Development Graduate Degree Programs emphasize hands-on experience in creating professional-quality art, game design systems, and code work that is then assembled into a marketable professional portfolio. This means that there is a very fine line (if any at all) between the degree program coursework and professional development or career advancement. For many working professionals, a graduate program must deliver fast, actionable results that will directly impact their careers–and that is exactly what The Academy of Art University’s Online Graduate Programs seek to provide.

The University offers two specific graduate Game Development degrees: A Master of Arts (MA) in Game Development, and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Game Development. The difference in degree names is subtle, but the difference in learning outcomes and teaching philosophy is major. In the Master of Arts program, which can be completed in 36 credits, faculty place more importance on the mastery of game development through gaining expertise in groundbreaking game technology and implementing traditional concepts of art, efficiency, and creativity. The Master of Fine Arts track, however, is a much more in-depth program and takes 63 credits to complete. The extra time commitment is due to various areas of required mastery. Students must demonstrate mastery in critically evaluating aesthetics, meaning, and effect of imagery both in traditional art forms and in game design. There is also a greater emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, and creative presentation skills. In the former degree track (MA) mastery of the arts is conducive yet peripheral to the mastery of game development, however, in the latter degree option (MFA) complete mastery of the arts is considered fundamental to the objective of mastering game development.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $327
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Fast-paced and more in-depth degree tracks: Master of Arts in Game Development, and Master of Fine Arts in Game Development. Coursework assembled into a professional portfolio.

2. Southern New Hampshire University Online Graduate School

Master of Science in Information Technology in Game Design and Development Online

12. Southern New Hampshire University Online MSc in Information Technology in Game Design and Development

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Online Graduate Programs are characterized by a commitment to student success and career-oriented outcomes. For instance, SNHU’s graduate level game design program is recognized by the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) National office as a Professional Science Master’s Program. This accreditation means that the program is a high-level science degree where students obtain mastery over game design while receiving advanced development of workplace skills valued by employers. The PSM accreditation evidences the fact that the graduate game develops degree program goes beyond academic to prepare students for the multiple responsibilities and challenges associated with the highest-level jobs in the industry. This makes SNHU’s graduate programs challenging and empowering, and ideally suited for the game development professional looking to make leaps and bounds in career advancement.

SNHU offers a Master of Science in Information Technology in Game Design and Development. As implied by the degree name, M.S. in Information Technology, the program focuses on the objective, technological aspects of game design and development. Students in the program will cover topics such as graphical user interfaces, processing and data storage, and how to apply human behavior stimulation. Students can also expect curriculum to emphasize the industry’s cutting-edge concepts of information and gaming technology. As described above students will engage these topics in projects that mirror real job assignments of high-level professionals where they will cultivate both expertise in game development and the unique workplace skills exclusive to the profession such as presentation skills, leadership skills, and program management. Students also have the opportunity to take accelerated courses to speed up the degree completion time, making it an even more attractive program for the motivated professional.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $627
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Accelerated course options available.

3. Savannah College of Art and Design

Online MA or MFA in Interactive Design and Development

Savannah-College-of-Art-and-Design Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Design and Development

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a school nationally renowned for its degree programs related to creativity and the arts. Because SCAD narrowed its degree offerings to those concerned with art and design, SCAD has been able to specialize in the components unique to the education of these topics. The effectiveness of this specialization is validated in national rankings and awards from various reputable ranking and review institutions. SCAD has also effectively migrated its specialized education techniques to the arena of online learning in SCAD’s award-winning eLearning Department. SCAD’s graduate level eLearning Degrees deliver some of the most impressive distance learning technology in the industry, employing virtual classrooms where students can create and design projects in real-time with instructor and peer feedback.

Specifically, SCAD offers two game design degrees through its eLearning Department: A Master of Arts (MA) in Interactive Design and Game Development, and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interactive Design and Game Development. Both degree tracks combine fundamental art concepts with topics most pertinent to high-level jobs in the field in courses such as Contemporary Art, Character Development, Interactive Design and Media Application, Visual Interface and Information Design, and Scripting for Interactivity. Students can build their portfolios in agreement with personal interests and career goals through freedom of choice in coursework within these courses and through final projects, which are designed to showcase a student’s individual specialties. The difference between the two degrees is the level to which concepts and principles of the fine arts are applied. In the M.A. track, they are used in a supplemental fashion, whereas in the M.F.A. they are viewed as parallel objectives of equal importance as the mastery of game development

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $600
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Two degree tracks offered: Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts.

4. City University of Seattle

MSc in Computer Science with Video Game Design Concentration Online

city-university-of-seattle Online MSc in Computer Science with Video Game Design Concentration

City University of Seattle online masters programs are designed to accommodate the experienced, hard-working professional with over 15 years of working experience in the field. Specifically, in the Master of Science in Computer Science at the City University of Seattle, students are held to a high standard and are expected to progress through rigorous and challenging coursework including topics such as Computer Architecture, Software Engineering, Software Testing, Information Security, and Managing Technology Projects. Beyond these core courses, students pursue specialization through unique degree tracks. By designing these master’s programs around a central subject i.e. computer science, the program achieves a high level of focus with nearly all of game design topics covered concerning computer science–which is likely perfect for the game design professional looking to build experience in computer science.

The specialization in Master of Science in Computer Science program about video game design is the Serious Gaming degree track. In this degree track, students explore in-depth the intersections and parallels between video game design and computer science, of which there are many. And, in fact, it is a philosophy of this program that true mastery of video game design requires complete mastery of computer science, a bold yet sensible notion. And because there are few programs like this–that view the two professions as inseparable–earning this degree will provide a distinguished and unique master’s degree with an impressive skill set in computer science, which is arguably the most well-suited skillset to take on higher-level positions in the video game design industry. For professionals who have the exceptional experience required to take on this rigorous program and have the desire to specialize in video game design computer science, this degree is likely the best option available.

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  • Tuition per credit hour: $565
  • Flexibility enhancing features: Primary focus in Computer Science w/ specialization in Serious Gaming.

Top Associate’s Degree and Certification Options

Despite the indisputable conveniences of online degree programs, unfortunately, they aren’t always enough to allow individuals to pursue them. Whether its financial constraints, time constraints, or just a difference in personal goals sometimes the best option for a young professional is to obtain an associate’s degree or an accredited certification. Particularly in the video game design field, professionals may hold their desired job but need to develop expertise in a single area or earn a certification to advance. In this case, a full degree program may not be necessary, and the fast-paced, low-requirements of associate’s and certification programs may be much more economical in that context. Associate’s degrees and certification programs also hold the added benefit of a more centralized focused than complete degree programs. While most degree programs have massive curriculums to deliver over a longer amount of time, the more compacted formats of the associate’s degree and the certification program mean that they offer laser-focused course material and learning objectives. This makes them perfect options for any student or professional looking to gain a quick and economic specialty in an area–a highly advantageous option in the video game design industry where there are so many areas of potential expertise and specialization.

University of Michigan – Dearborn


The University of Michigan College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) offers more than 20 graduate level certificates that can be completed in a minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework. From the day of enrollment, students have a total of 3 years to complete the certification coursework. These certificates can be completed through self-paced learning either on campus or online through the University’s Distance Learning Network. The Graduate Level Certificate in Game Design is meant to provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to program computer games at the professional level. Elective courses are also available in the program to allow students to strengthen their backgrounds in computer science and/or software engineering. Such freedom of choice in further specialization within a certification program is rare, making this program a fantastic option for any video game design professional.

  • Certificate:Certificate in Game Design
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Stark State College


Stark State College specializes in delivering convenient, fair, and prestigious certifications and associate’s degree programs. Though Stark State employs an “open admission” policy, there are admission requirements for its associate’s degree programs. This is a sensible policy as the Stark State associate’s degree programs are much more in-depth than average associates and even trumps some comparable bachelor’s programs. Stark State’s Associate of Applied Science in Video Game Design and Development for instance requires a total of 63 course credits, and delivers an impressively well-rounded curriculum that touches on all the key areas of game design, development, and programming. This makes it a perfect option for professionals or students looking for an in-depth associate’s degree that’s comparable to a bachelor’s degree of the same type but without the time constraints and costs.

  • Associate’s:Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science and Engineering – Video Game Design and Development
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Ocean County College


Ocean County College (OCC) offers students a wide variety of online degrees at the associate, undergraduate, and graduate level with online certification options as well. The Computer Science department in particular offers a selection of in-depth associate’s degrees that are designed for easy transfer, so students can apply their associate’s towards their bachelor’s later if they should so decide–in which case completion times are often cut in half. The OCC offers an Associate of Science in Computer Science – Game Development/Design where the curriculum is designed for entry level students looking to gain enough command of computer science and relevant skills to achieve success as an entry-level professional game designer/developer. Courses cover beginner to intermediary topics such as Calculus, Computer Programming, Game Programming, Data Structures and Analysis, and English. With a relatively easier curriculum than other comparable programs OCC’s Associate’s program is fast-paced and ideal for beginning game designer.

  • Associate’s:Online Associate of Science in Computer Science – Game Development
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Broward Technical College


Broward County Public Schools is composed of several campuses and online colleges that through collaboration offer a wide array of degree and certification options. McFatter Technical College & High School in particular specializes in associate’s degree and certifications that can help to bridge the gap between high school education and continuing education programs. Specifically the Game Simulation/Animation Programmer Associate’s Degree can be completed in just six months of online classes, which consists of course content such as programming fundamentals, game design, and game engine development. Students in the program will also become proficient in making game simulations with FLASH CSS, JAVAScript, and Unity 3D. For students or professionals seeking a fast-paced, training-oriented associate’s degree program with an emphasis on coding and simulation programs this program is hard to beat.

  • Certificate:Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science and Engineering – Video Game Design and Development
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Guilford Technical Community College


Guilford Technical Community College offers numerous online associate’s degrees as well accredited certificate options. Guilford offers an Associate of Applied Science in Simulation and Game Development, which is an in-depth degree program that rivals the length and curriculum of similar bachelor’s level programs. The program covers a broad approach to simulation and game development through courses in creative arts, visual arts, creative writing, 3D model design, and simulation programming for the purpose of creating simulations and games. Graduates of the program should be qualified for employment as designers, artists, animators, programmers, quality assurance analysts, etc. And despite the breadth of the curriculum, the degree focus on simulation coding, simulation systems, and user perspectives allows students to develop a level of expertise that is usually only associated with bachelor’s degree programs. For students or current professionals interested developing such expertise in simulation-programming, this associate’s degree program is one of a kind.

  • Associate’s:Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science – Simulation and Game Development
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