Pennsylvania is home to 262 Title IV degree-granting schools. Title IV status means each of the state’s more than 200 accredited colleges and universities are eligible for federal financial aid programs, making them more accessible to students with financial need. Title IV schools have five things in common. They (1) grant an associate's degree or higher, (2) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length, (3) have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (4) have been in business for at least two years, and (5) have signed a participation agreement with the Department of Education.
Pennsylvania is home to a number of top-tier Title IV schools such as Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in University Park. These and several other esteemed Pennsylvania colleges offer excellent art and design programs, including programs for aspiring game designers & developers.
Continue reading to learn more about which schools offer top-tier programs for game designers & developers and what they cost.
Most Expensive Pennsylvania Game Design & Development Schools
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh - Tuition Information: Undergraduate $49,610 for the 2015-2016 school year; Graduate $43,904 for the 2014-2015 school year.
Drexel University, Philadelphia - Tuition Information: Undergraduate $44,646; Graduate $21,864 ($911 per credit hour/12 credit hours per semester) for the 2014-2015 school year.
The University of the Arts, Philadelphia – Tuition Information: Undergraduate $39,908 for the 2015-2016 school year.
Messiah College, Grantham - Tuition Information: Undergraduate $31,410 for the 2015-2016 school year.
Least Expensive Pennsylvania Game Design & Development Schools
The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), University Park – Tuition Information: Undergraduate residents $16,572 (lower division), $17,916 (upper division); nonresidents,$29,522 (lower division), $31,022 (upper division) for the 2014-2015 school year.
Temple University, Philadelphia - Tuition Information: Undergraduate residents $14,006 (lower division), $14,806 (upper division), nonresidents $24,032 (lower division), $24,832 (upper division); Graduate residents $19,320 (12 credits per semester/$805 per credit hour), nonresidents $26,472 (12 credits per semester/$1,103 per credit hour) for the 2014-2015 school year.
More Game related programs to consider:
Pennsylvania Game Design & Development Scene
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide salary information for game designers and developers. However, it does report salaries for software developers. According to the Bureau, the U.S. is home to more than 1 million software developers, averaging $90,060 to $99,000 per year. Pennsylvania’s 31,490 salaried software developers average $88,760 to $90,150 per year. It is important to note that salaries for Pennsylvania-based game designers and developers vary based on location (city), company, experience, employer, and more.
Several other sources offer salary information for game designers and developers based on user reports and surveys. According to Indeed.com, Pennsylvania game designers and developers average $99,000 per year. Philadelphia-based game designers average $108,000 per year, according to the site, while Pittsburgh-based designers average $88,000 per year. According to Gamasutra’s latest Game Developer Salary Survey (2014), game developers nationwide averaged $83,060 in 2013.
Employment opportunities for game designers & developers are excellent in Pennsylvania. The state is home more than 1,000 computer systems and design firms as well as a variety of dedicated game studios. Just a few include:
- Classic Game Room, Pittsburgh
- Electric Owl Studios, Pittsburgh
- Interbots, Pittsburgh
- Klick Studios, Bryn Mawr
- LeftRight Studios, Pittsburgh
- Schell Games, Pittsburgh
- Skyless Game Studios, Philadelphia
Although opportunities for aspiring game designers & developers can be found across the state, some of the best opportunities are in Pennsylvania’s top five largest cities including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie and Reading.
Awesome Animation Fact: The Super Mushrooms in Mario Bros. video games are based on a fungi named Amanita muscaria (A. muscaria). They make the user feel as though they are growing in size. This effect was also referenced in Disney's classic animated film Alice in Wonderland (1951). -InfiniGEEK