22 Great Colleges For People Who Love Video Games

University of Southern California

The USC Games Program has long been considered the premier game design destination in the country. With high-profile faculty members straight from the industry itself and an assortment of stunning alumni success stories, like Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen who created Journey, USC earns its reputation as the country's most cutting-edge design school.

Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University allows you to pursue degrees in both game development and game programming. In addition to its excellent academic offerings, it's located in the heart of the game industry, San Francisco, making it a great launching pad for your future career.

DigiPen Institute of Technology

DigiPen is one of the most well known and highly regarded schools to attend for a game design education. Located in Redmond, Washington, its graduates have gone on to work on illustrious games like Uncharted, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, BioShock and many more.

Ringling College of Art and Design

Located in the tranquil seaside city of Sarasota, Florida, Ringling College has one of the country's most respected programs in game art and design. Above, Alexandra Barlow and Michael Calandra work on their senior thesis projects, and like many former Ringling students, they've already secured jobs in the game industry. Alexandra is headed for NeoGlyphic Entertainment and Michael's picked up an offer from Epic Games.

Savannah College of Art and Design

In addition to their well-respected film and animation departments, Savannah has recently established itself as an expert educator in interactive media and game design. SCAD has even won top honors in the E3 College Game Competition for the past two years. Savannah College sets the industry standard for game design education.

University of Utah

With successful alumni such as Nolan Bushnell, who went on to found Atari, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City has received high praise from the Princeton Review for its Entertainment Arts & Engineering program. If you're interested in making games, this is simply one of the best schools to attend to begin working towards that dream.

Laguna College of Art and Design

In addition to its beautiful campus in Laguna Beach, California, the Laguna College of Art and Design boasts an incredible 94 percent job placement rate for its graduates. This is an excellent school to attend if you're interested in game art or animation, and they even offer a master's degree in the art of game design.

Champlain College

Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, was one of the first institutions to offer game design degrees, and it remains one of the best. In addition to its academic pedigree, Champlain is well known for its diversity and its progressive ethics. If you're looking for a smaller college with a hands-on approach to learning this would be a perfect fit for you.

Cornell University

Yes, you can actually attend the prestigious Cornell University in Ithaca to study video games through its Game Design Initiative. Just imagine being able to claim you have an Ivy League education in video games.

Northeastern University

Boston's Northeastern University's College of Arts, Media and Design offers a variety of degrees in game design and computer science. They also have partnerships with studios like Microsoft and Zynga that can lead to co-op placements for game design students.

Michigan State University

If you're planning on living in the Midwest, one of your top choices for game design schools should be Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. You can specialize in game design through either the Computer Science, Studio Art, or Media Information programs at the school, giving you a broad range of choices for how you'd like to develop your overall skill set and knowledge base.

Ferris State University

Ferris State University's star has been rising lately with the Princeton Review frequently citing its Digital Animation and Game Design curriculum as one of the top undergraduate game programs in the country.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Considered by many to be the birthplace of video games, it would be hard to find an institution more exciting to study them in than Cambridge's MIT. Today, MIT has their own Game Lab program dedicated to game development and research. You can even take some of their game courses online for free!

Parsons The New School for Design

Located in New York City, Parsons has a dedicated game design track that seems loaded with cool opportunities, including an option to minor in virtual reality! Parsons is also on track to become a 3rd party publisher on PSN, which means your student projects would have a real shot at wide distribution.

The University of Texas at Austin

UT Austin's a giant school, with over 50,000 students enrolled each year, a testament to its excellence in higher education. It has its own interdisciplinary game development program, including a Computer Science Complex donated by Bill Gates. There's nothing like having the blessing of Microsoft's billionaire philanthropist as you pursue your software development dreams.

Becker College

Becker College, located in Worcester, Massachuessets, wears its game credentials on its sleeve. According to Professor Terrasa Ulm, she requires "students to play computer games for homework and considers it a sign of success if a student has carpal tunnel syndrome from using a video game controller into the wee hours." In addition to a fun curriculum, the school is widely recognized for its Interactive Media Design program.

Drexel University

Cited by the Princeton Review as one of the top 15 undergraduate schools to study video game design, Drexel U in Philadelphia is highly regarded for its arts and technology programs. Microsoft has even noted that interns from Drexel have the highest full-time job offer rates of any university.

Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago has a variety of concentrations available allowing you to specialize your video game education to your interests and attributes. You can study sound design for games, art, development, motion graphics, computer animation and more. Its academic pedigree frequently lands it in the top tier of game design school rankings.

Lawrence Technological University

For almost 100 years now LTU has been training students in state of the art technology and engineering. It's only natural for the college to expand into game software development. They now offer degrees in game art, interaction design and graphic design, as well as computer science degrees with a concentration on software. One of the things LTU does best is blending the skill sets of mathematics and art, preparing students for the diversity of challenges they'll face in the game industry.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

RPI is located in Troy, New York and offers a BS Degree in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences. One of the most interesting aspects of RPI's game design program is Associate Professor Lee Sheldon's concentration on the importance of game narratives. If you're interested in games with strong stories, this is a great place to improve your writing chops.

DePaul University

Chicago's DePaul University allows students to pursue degrees in interactive media, computer game development, and animation. DePaul also offers internship possibilities with companies like EA, which often prove crucial to starting a career in game development.

Bradley University

Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, features The Slane College Department of Interactive Media, with a variety of video game concentrations including design, animation and visual effects. It comes highly recommended by Entrepreneur Magazine and the Princeton Review.

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