The Best Online Bachelor’s in Online Video Game Design

Evan Thompson
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Updated March 11, 2024
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Discover the best online video game design degree programs with our list of top-rated schools that offer accredited online degrees.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

People used to think of video game design as a hobby. Not anymore. Today, video game design is a booming industry, full of opportunities for people passionate about the field. Many roles are available as a designer, artist, programmer, or tester.

An online game design degree is a common path to entry-level jobs in game design. Many employers require a bachelor’s degree in video game design or a related field. This degree provides industry-standard skills and knowledge, as well as practical experience.

In addition, online degree programs are generally cheaper and more flexible than traditional programs. Students with reliable home internet can customize their schedule and balance their academic, work, and other obligations.

This guide ranks the best online video game design programs to help students find the right program for their needs.

Featured Video Game Design Schools

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Top Online Video Game Design Degrees

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#1 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Online Video Game Design

Full Sail University

  • Location-markerWinter Park, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$25,687
  • Out-of-state$25,687
  • Retention Rate76%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled25,622
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment100%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Online Video Game Design

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

  • Location-markerHarrisburg, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$23,900
  • Out-of-state$23,900
  • Retention Rate59%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled3,206
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment79%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Online Video Game Design

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

  • Location-markerLakewood, CO
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$19,425
  • Out-of-state$19,425
  • Retention Rate60%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,849
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment100%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Online Video Game Design

Savannah College of Art and Design

  • Location-markerSavannah, GA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$38,340
  • Out-of-state$38,340
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate81%
  • Students Enrolled15,636
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment22%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Online Video Game Design

University of Advancing Technology

  • Location-markerTempe, AZ
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$16,741
  • Out-of-state$16,741
  • Retention Rate61%
  • Acceptance Rate91%
  • Students Enrolled908
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment62%
  • AccreditationYes

What is an Online Video Game Design Degree?

An online video game design degree program provides the knowledge, skills and experience to enter the field of video game design and development. These programs combine art, tech, and creativity. They teach the basics of game design, storytelling, character development, level design, coding, and digital art.

Students gain skills to design, create, and implement video games across various platforms. These programs focus on collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking, meaning learners develop into well-rounded game designers. Many programs incorporate experiential learning in studios to provide industry-relevant experience.

Online game design degrees are available at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. Some are in video game design. Others are in related fields, such as software engineering or computer science. A bachelor’s degree is a typical entry-level requirement for video game designers.

How Long Does it Take to Complete an Online Game Design Degree?

The time to finish an online game design degree can vary. It depends on many factors, such as the program, the degree level, and the student’s pace (full-time or part-time).

Typically, you can complete an associate degree in game design in about two years. A bachelor’s degree program often takes about four years to complete. A master’s degree program can take 1-2 years more than a bachelor’s degree.

But these timeframes are general estimates. They can vary based on factors such as the course load, transfer credits, and any breaks or interruptions in instruction.

Some online programs may be faster than others, or have flexible schedules. These flexible programs let students finish the degree at their own pace. It’s best to ask the school offering the online game design degree about the flexibility; they will have more accurate information on how long the program takes.

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Video Game Design Degree?

Admission requirements can vary between degree, institution and programs. Here are some common requirements you may encounter:

Educational Background

You need a high school diploma or equivalent for associate or bachelor’s degree programs. Master’s degree programs may require a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Application

You will need to complete and submit an application form to the institution offering the program. You can do this online through the institution’s website.

Transcripts

Most programs will need you to provide official transcripts, which you can get from your previous schools. These transcripts should demonstrate your academic performance and any relevant coursework.

GPA

Many programs have a minimum grade point average requirement (GPA) for admission, usually between a 2.0-3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Letters of Recommendation

Some programs may ask for letters of recommendation from teachers, professors or professionals (like your manager or volunteer work supervisor). The letters must be from people who can speak to your abilities and potential in the field of game design.

Portfolio

You may need to submit a portfolio showing your creative work in game design, such as game prototypes, artwork, coding samples and level designs. This allows the admissions committee to assess your skills and potential as a game designer.

Personal Statement

You may need to write a personal statement or essay to explain your interest in video game design, your career goals and how the program will help you achieve them.

What Degree is Best for Video Game Design?

The best degree for video game design depends on your career goals, interests, and strengths. That said, a variety of degrees can be beneficial to become a video game designer, including:

Bachelor’s Degree in Game Design

Pursuing a specific video game design degree is a common path for aspiring game designers. These programs focus on many parts of game design, such as storytelling, game rules, level design and coding.

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering

A computer science degree or software engineering degree provides a strong foundation in programming and technical skills, which are valuable in the game design field.

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Graphics, Animation, or Digital Art

These degrees focus on the artistic and visual aspects of game design, including character design, 3D modeling, animation and visual effects.

Bachelor’s Degree in Game Development

Game development programs include a wide variety of skills and disciplines, including game design, programming, art and audio. These degrees provide a well-rounded education in game development.

Bachelor’s Degree in Interactive Media or Multimedia Design

These programs cover various interactive media forms, including video games, websites, and mobile apps. They provide a blend of design, programming, and multimedia skills applicable to game design.

Graduation Requirements for an Online Video Game Design Degree

The requirements for an online video game design degree may vary. They depend on the specific program and school offering the degree. Some common requirements include:

  • check-circleCoursework: You will need to complete all the required courses and credits specified by the program. Most bachelor’s degree programs require at least 120 college credits. These courses include topics such as game design principles, programming, computer graphics, animation, level design, storytelling, and game development.
  • check-circleAssignments and projects: Throughout the program, you will complete assignments, projects, and possibly a capstone or thesis project. These show your understanding and application of game design concepts.
  • check-circleGPA: To graduate, you may need to maintain a GPA of between 2.0-3.0. The minimum GPA requirements for graduation may vary.
  • check-circlePortfolio: Some programs may require a portfolio showcasing the work you’ve done during your studies. This portfolio may include game prototypes, artwork, coding samples, level designs, or any other relevant projects.
  • check-circleInternship or practical experience: Some programs may require an internship or practical experience in the field. It may be practice working on real game design projects. Or, it could involve interning at a studio and learning from industry professionals.

What Can You Do with an Online Game Design Degree?

There is a lot you can do with a video game design degree, from becoming an animator or a technical artist. The following are examples of video game design careers:

  • 3D Modeler
  • Animator
  • Audio Programmer
  • Concept Artist
  • Environment Designer
  • Game Artist
  • Game Designer
  • Game Programmer
  • Level Designer
  • Lighting Artist
  • Mechanics Designer
  • Mobile User Interface Designer
  • Mobile/Game App Designer
  • Modeler
  • Technical Artist
  • UI/UX Designer

These careers can be general or niche. You can work on the creative, artistic side of games as a concept artist. Or, you can work more on the technical side as a level designer.

Some may find employment at massive multinational gaming companies. Others at small independent publishers. Many may even start their own game design firm.

What is the Outlook for Video Game Design Careers?

According to January 2024 Payscale data, the average annual salary for a video game designer is $69,076. The field’s most experienced video game designers earn $111,272, Payscale data shows. Entry-level designers earn $59,629.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not specifically have projections for video game design careers. However, data is available for related careers.

The BLS projects jobs for software developers (including mobile application developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers) to grow by 25% from 2022-2032. Software developers earned a median salary of $124,200 per year as of May 2022.


Page last reviewed on February 14, 2024.

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