A video game design degree prepares students for careers as animators, artists, and game designers.
If you're interested in video game design, online classes might be a good fit. Students gain skills in areas like character animation, 3D animation and design, and programming. Graduates enjoy lucrative job opportunities; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, multimedia artists and animators earn a median salary of $72,500 per year, with 4% projected job growth between 2018 and 2028.
Taking video game design classes online allows students to balance their studies with work and family obligations. This guide ranks the best online video game design programs to help students find the right program for their needs.
The Best Online Bachelor’s in Video Game Design Degree Programs
Savannah College of Art and Design
About this school
Savannah College of Art and Design offers online programs with flexible schedules and self-paced learning options, including one of the best online video game design programs in the country.
The 180-credit, online bachelor's degree in video game design includes foundation, general education, and elective courses. Courses cover topics like drawing form and space, color theory and application, digital communication, and aesthetics. Students can pursue an optional concentration in interactive design, taking classes on digital design aesthetics, core principles in programming, social media applications, information architecture, and interactive design.
In addition to taking video game design classes online, students must complete an internship, gaining practical design and programming experience with digital media companies. Students can also access AR/VR labs, compete in gaming competitions, and attend digital media conferences. Graduates work for companies like Apple, Adobe, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft.
SCAD offers rolling admissions for its video game design degree. Applicants must submit transcripts, evidence of English proficiency, and a portfolio of design work. The school accepts transfer credit on a case-by-case basis.
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About this school
Nearly 80% of Franklin University's students take online classes. Franklin's online programs offer flexible schedules, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Franklin boasts one of the best video game design programs in the country.
The 120-credit online bachelor's in interactive media design covers web design for gaming, mobile apps, and websites. Students complete general education, university elective, and core classes. Classes include communication in groups and teams, human-computer interaction, digital media design, interactive media for training and instruction, and graphic design. Students must earn a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and a minimum major 2.5 GPA to graduate.
All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. Active-duty military enjoy a tuition discount. Students can transfer up to 94 credits toward the program. The university's admissions webpage provides a transfer credit calculator to help students determine potential transfer credits. The university offers rolling admissions, and students must submit applications online. Franklin does not require an application fee.
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Online Bachelor's in Video Game Design Programs Ranking Guidelines
We selected the programs based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school's reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.
What is a Bachelor's in Game Design Degree?
Though they come in several flavors, including Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Fine Arts, all Bachelor's in Game Design degrees prepare students to pursue careers in professional video game design. Typically, these programs utilize a somewhat interdisciplinary approach, incorporating a blend of art theory and training, mythology and storytelling, and technical skill and programming to develop a well-rounded foundation of knowledge. All programs incorporate studio work, many programs incorporate a portfolio or project component, and some incorporate a field-experience component.
What Can I Do With a Computer Science Degree?
What Can You Do With an Art & Design Degree?
How Long Does it Take to Complete an Online Bachelor’s in Game Design Degree Program?
Like most bachelor's degree programs, an online Bachelor's in Game Design program typically requires four years for completion. However, some universities offer accelerated or degree completion programs that may be completed in as few as two years.
What Are the Video Game Designer Education Requirements?
While plenty of different video game design careers exist, they all have in common the basic prerequisite of a Bachelor's degree in Game Design. Depending on their specific interests and talents, students may pursue programs that utilize different focuses, to ensure that they may enter their desired career after graduation.
What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Game Design Degree?
A Bachelor's in Game Design degree prepares students to pursue a variety of general or niche careers in the game design field. With this degree, graduates may enter careers in the conceptual, artistic development of games, or the technical, nuts-and-bolts aspects of game design. Individuals may find employment at massive multinational gaming companies, small independent publishers, or even start their own game design firm.
Video Game Design Careers
Individuals with a Bachelor's in Game Design degree can pursue a wide variety of careers in the field, including the following:
- 3D Modeler
- Art Director
- Audio Programmer
- Concept Artist
- Creative Director
- Engine Programmer
- Environment Designer
- Game Artist
- Game Designer
- Game Programmer
- Graphics Director
- Interactive Designer
- Level Designer
- Lighting Artist
- Mechanics Designer
- Mobile User Interface Designer
- Mobile/Game App Designer
- Technical Artist
- UI/UX Designer
- Video Game Designer
- Web & Social Media Developer
What Are Video Game Design Salaries Like?
Specific salaries for video game design professions depend on place of employment, experience, specific job responsibilities, and other factors. As of 2019, according to PayScale.com, video game designers in the US currently see an average annual salary of $64,129. Entry-level video game designers can expect a salary around the average of $72,721, while experienced video game designers can expect a salary around the average of $89,485.
What is the Video Game Designer Job Outlook Like?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer jobs, including video game design, are projected to grow 21% between 2018 and 2028. This growth is much faster than average, providing plenty of new jobs for talented game designers.
Video Game Designer Professional Organizations
With 90 chapters worldwide, the IGDA maintains its mission of advancing the careers of its members through a commitment to four key principles: advocacy, networking and community, professional development, and international reach. Membership includes benefits such as access to professional resources and publications, access to events and conventions, and a large member network.
The ESA dedicates its activities to serving the needs of businesses, publishers, and individuals in the industry. Moreover, through the ESA Foundation, the ESA provides scholarships for video game design students. Membership includes benefits such as access to resources and publications, access to conventions and events, legal resources, and a large member network.