2018
Top 25 East Coast Game Design Schools - 2018 Rankings
RankingSchoolState
1Rochester Institute of TechnologyNew York
2Carnegie Mellon UniversityPennsylvania
3New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the ArtsNew York
4Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNew York
5Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMassachusetts
6Worcester Polytechnic InstituteMassachusetts
7Drexel UniversityPennsylvania
8The New School/ParsonsNew York
9Northeastern UniversityMassachusetts
10Becker CollegeMassachusetts
11Champlain CollegeVermont
12University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvania
13American UniversityWashington, DC
14Cornell UniversityNew York
15Rutgers UniversityNew Jersey
16George Mason UniversityVirginia
17Quinnipiac UniversityConnecticut
18Boston UniversityMassachusetts
19Marist CollegeNew York
20New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNew Jersey
21The College of New JerseyNew Jersey
22University of ConnecticutConnecticut
23Sacred Heart UniversityConnecticut
24Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityNew Jersey
25Maryland Institute College of ArtMaryland

Our 2018 rankings of the top game design programs in the East . 

We define the East as Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology

The B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include BS and MS degrees in Game Design and Development, and a BS in New Media Interactive Development. The Game Design and Development program emphasizes game programming and cooperative education (co-op). These full-time paid work experiences provide students with an opportunity to learn on the job in real-world industry settings.

Students in the BS in New Media Interactive Development program can explore casual games, physical computing, production, web, mobile, and more. All GCCIS students have the opportunity to minor in Game Design or Game Design and Development or enroll in a double major.

About RIT: Rochester Institute of Technology was founded in 1885 as Mechanics Institute. When it opened, the school offered mechanical drawing, which eventually attracted more than 400 students. Today, RIT is home to nearly 19,000 students majoring in everything from everything from 3D Digital Design to Web and Mobile Computing.  

2. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) houses the College of Fine Arts’ Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe). In collaboration with the School of Computer Sciences’ Computer Science Department, IDeATe  offers a Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) with a Concentration in Game Design.

IDeATe Collaborative Studios include Game Engine Programming offered by the Robotics Institute, Research Issues in Game Development offered by the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at CMU, and Programming for Game Designers—also offered by the ETC. An IDeATe Game Design Minor is also available.

Head over to CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) where you will find another game design option. Founded in 1998, ETC offers a Masters of Entertainment Technology (MET), which is jointly conferred by CMU’s School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts. MET is currently considered a terminal degree.

About CMU: Founded in 1900, Carnegie Mellon University serves nearly 14,000 students representing 109 countries. The school has more than 100 programs across seven colleges.

3. New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts, New York, New York
New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts

Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU) is home to the NYU Game Center. Here, through the Department of Game Design, students can earn a Game Design BFA or MFA, or a  Minor in Game Design. The BFA program is organized in three primary areas including Game Studies, Game Design, Game Development, and four production areas including Programming, Visual Design, Audio Design, and Game Business. Students may specialize in Game Programming, Visual or Audio Design, or Game Development.

The Game Center MFA is a two-year degree that includes classes in Game Design, Game Production, Game Studies, and Game History. Students will gain hands-on experience by taking studio courses and participating in play labs, and electives will allow students to “explore everything from Game Journalism to Games and Players (a class on the psychology and emotions of game play).”

Classes and events for all Game Center programs take place at the Media and Games Network (MAGNET) at the NYU Brooklyn campus. MAGNET also houses the Game Center Open Library, which is "the largest collection of games held by any university in the world."

About NYU Tisch: Founded in 1965, Tisch School of the Arts is part of New York University and home to the NYU Game Center, Department of Game Design. Also known as Tisch or TSOA, the school has more than 3,000 students enrolled in games, animation, film, interactive media, acting, dance, design, performance, writing for musical theatre, stage, screen & television, preservation, recorded music, photography, and public policy programs.

4. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is home to the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS), which offers a BS in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (BS GSAS) and a BS in Electronic Media, Arts, & Communication (EMAC). BS GSAS students may choose a concentration or dual BS degree from the following options: Arts (Electronic Arts), Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Science, Management/Entrepreneurship, Cognitive Science, or Writing for Games.

Established in 1996, the BS in EMAC program is an interdisciplinary program that includes courses in communication as well as in digital art and animation, video, electronic music, and graphic design, supported by RPI’s strong technological infrastructure. The EMAC curriculum offers concentrations in Digital Storytelling (Animation, Video, Game Design), Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Marketing Communication and Design, Sound Design and Popular Culture.

RPI also offers several advanced degree programs for game designers. Graduate offerings include MFA and PhD degrees in Electronic Arts (EART). Offered through the Department of Arts, both degree programs allow students to explore everything from Gaming and Animation to Communication Technologies. Students may enhance their education by adding a minor, dual major, study abroad, internship, or even a co-terminal graduate program.

About RPI: Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the oldest technological research university in the U.S. Home to just under 7,650 students, RPI offers more than 145 programs across five schools including Architecture, Engineering, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS), Lally School of Management, and Science.

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is home to the MIT Game Lab, the MIT Education Arcade, and the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Together, the labs provide the opportunity to study, design, and develop games as a supplement to several degree programs. Simply put, students who are interested in games can create their own program is study. Students may choose the BS or MS in Comparative Media Studies (CMS) with a Games and Interactive Media “Cluster.” BS and MS in Computer Science and Engineering degrees are also available.

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science offers an extensive graduate program in Computer Science, which allows students to “study and participate in active research of aspects in computer science that are vital in the creation of modern digital games, such as artificial intelligence, networking, and computer graphics.” Minors in CMS with Games and Interactive Media and Computer Science are also available. The CMS programs are available through the HASS Department of Comparative Media Studies/Writing.

About MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded 1861. The school serves nearly 11,500 students enrolled in more than 100 programs across five schools including the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences (HASS), MIT Sloan School of Management, and the School of Science.

6. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) houses the Division of Arts & Sciences, which offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Undergraduate offerings include BA and BS degrees in Interactive Media & Game Development (BA IMGD and BS IMGD), a BS in Computer Science, and Minors in IMGD and Computer Science. Graduate offerings include an MS in IMGD and a PhD and Graduate Certificate in Computer Science.

One of the earliest gaming programs in the U.S., WPI’s IMGD program “blends the artistic and technical aspects of game development and interactive media.” Students will explore diverse topics such as Writing for Games, Game Audio, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Painting, Virtual Reality, and 3D Modeling. As such, graduates of the IMGD are prepared to work in the gaming industry, and apply their technical and creative skills in areas such as education, health care, art, and social sciences.

About WPI: Worcester Polytechnic Institute was established in 1865. The school serves nearly 6,500 students enrolled in 50 degree programs through several divisions and schools. The College of Engineering, Foisie Business School, and the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division (IGSD) are just a few.

7. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Drexel University

Drexel University is home to the College of Computing & Informatics, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and the School of Education. Collectively, these colleges and schools offer six degree programs, a certificate, and a minor for aspiring game designers.

The College of Computing & Informatics offers a BS in Computer Science (BSCS) and a BA in Computer Science (BACS). Both programs offer a Concentration in Game Programming and Development (GMPD) and the school lists Game Development and Design and Artificial Intelligence Concentrations. A Minor in Interactive Digital Media is also available.

Programs at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design include BS degrees in Game Art and Production or Game Design & Production, and MS and PhD degrees in Digital Media. The two-year MS program features comprehensive studies in Gaming and Digital Media History, Theory and Methods, 3D Modeling, Interactivity, and Animation.

The School of Education offers a Graduate Certificate in Learning in Game Based Environments. The program is designed for students who would like to teach game design.

Students in all programs have access to Drexel Game Design (DGD) and the RePlay Lab. DGD and RePlay are collaborative efforts between the Digital Media program (in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design) and the Computer Science Department (in the College of Computing and Informatics).

About Drexel University: Drexel University was established in 1891. It serves nearly 29,000 students enrolled in over 200 degree programs across 15 colleges and schools. Among them are the Dornsife School of Public Health, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Goodwin College of Professional Studies, and Close School of Entrepreneurship.

8. The New School/Parsons, New York, New York
The New School/Parsons

The School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT) at The New School/Parsons offers BFA and MFA degrees in Design and Technology. The BFA has a Game Design Pathway. The MFA program consists of major studios, collaborative studios, and the thesis studios. Students have many elective options to choose from and may create their own “coherent” study plan.

A related program, the BFA in AMT is offered at the Parsons Paris campus. This interdisciplinary program, which explores design, art, media, and technology, prepares graduates to pursue careers in Animation, Game Design, Interactive and Social Media, Motion Graphics, and more.

About The New School/Parsons: The New School was founded in 1896 by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase. Back then, the school was known as The Chase School, and later as New York School of Fine and Applied Art. Today, known as The New School/Parsons, this art and design college is home to nearly 5,500 students enrolled in 130 degree and diploma programs across five schools.

9. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Northeastern University

The College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) and the College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS) at Northeastern University have eight program offerings for aspiring game designers. CAMD has six programs including a BFA in Digital Art and Game Design, a BFA in Games, a BS in Computer Science and Game Development, an MS in Game Science and Design, a Graduate Certificate in Game Analytics, and a Minor in Game Design.

CCIS has two programs for game designers including a BS in Computer Science and Design (formerly Computer Science and Interactive Media) and a BS in Computer Science and Game Development. These combined majors focus on “the specific skills needed to succeed in the highly competitive game industry.”

About Northeastern University: Northeastern University was established in 1898. The school serves more than 30,000 students enrolled in over 150 undergraduate majors and concentrations and more than 125 graduate programs, across nine colleges and schools.

10. Becker College, Worcester, Massachusetts
Becker College

The Design Division at Becker College is home to the Interactive Media Design program, which has several offerings for aspiring game designers. Options include a BA in Interactive Media Design with Concentrations in Game Arts, Game Development and Programming, Game Production and Management, and Game Design, an MFA in Interactive Media, a BA Interactive Media Design/MFA Fine Arts 4+1 (Game+) Program, and a BS in Applied Computer Science with a Game Programming Specialization. A Minor in Interactive Media Management is also available.

Besides a variety of game programs, Becker College houses the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI). Established in 2011, “MassDiGI is the result of creative collaboration among academia, industry and government, aimed at fostering the growth of the game industry and innovation economy,” according to the school. It is a statewide center, “designated by the Commonwealth, for entrepreneurship, academic cooperation and economic development across the Massachusetts digital and video games ecosystem.”

About Becker College: John Hancock and Samuel Adams signed Becker College’s founding charter. Notable graduates and students include Eli Whitney (1788), William Morton (1836), and Elliott P. Joslin. Founded in 1784, Becker College is the nation’s 19th oldest campus. The school, which enrolls more than 2,000 students annually, offers 29 areas of study across six academic divisions including Animal Studies, Business, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, Design, Education and Psychology, and Nursing and Health Sciences.

11. Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont
Champlain College

The Division of Communication & Creative Media at Champlain College offers BS degrees in Game Art & Animation, Game Design (with an optional specialization in Sonic Arts), Game Production Management, and Game Programming. A BFA Creative Media is also available, as well as a Game Programming Minor. The BFA has Game Media and Interaction Design Specializations. Creative Media students have the option to choose one primary and two complementary specializations to enhance their degree. 

An important aspect of the Game program is the collaborative environment of the school’s Game Studio. Here, Game Programming majors work with their counterparts in Game Art & Animation and Game Design as well as Game Production Management to build games from start to finish. The Game Studio replicates a professional game development setting to give students a firsthand understanding of how creative teams collaborate to develop individual game assets and coordinate them into a functional product.

All students have the opportunity to study abroad in Montreal, Canada, with internship opportunities at the Montreal Game Summit and the Montreal International Game Developers Association. Recent internship opportunities (outside of the Canada options) include Microsoft Game Studios and Wired Magazine.

Students may also participate in the Game Development Senior Show where students present games they create with their Game Studio team to recruiters from all over the East and Canada, including Square Enix/Eidos, Gameloft, Warner Bros./Turbine, Behaviour and Activision/Vicarious Visions.

About Champlain College: Established in 1878, Champlain College serves more than 2,200 students from 44 states and 18 countries. The school offers more than 80 subject areas, including undergraduate majors, minors and specializations as well as online and on-campus graduate degree programs and certificates.

12. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) offers game design programs through the School of Design-Department of Fine Arts (DFA) and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The School of Design-DFA offers a BFA in Fine Arts with an Animation or 3D Modeling Studio. The program combines studio practices, seminar courses, and interactions with visiting artists and professionals in order to provide an open intellectual framework to foster critical awareness and independent methods of artistic research and learning.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science is home to the Digital Media Design Program, which leads to a Bachelor’s in Engineering and Science (BSE) with a Digital Media Design Major (DMD). The School also houses the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS), which offers a Computer Graphics and Game Technology Program (CGGT), which leads to an MS in CGGT. 

Created in 1998, the interdisciplinary BSE DMD program was designed for students who have an interest in computer graphics, animation, games, and the design of virtual reality environments and interactive technologies. A Digital Media Design (DMD) Minor, and a PhD in Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS PhD) are also available. BSE DMD students go on the work at major studios such as Walt Disney Animation, DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Pixar, and Zynga Games. These are the largest employers of UPenn DMD graduates.

The Center for HMS established the CGGT program in 2004 with a goal to expose recent graduates, as well as individuals returning from industry, to state-of-the-art graphics and animation technologies, as well as interactive media design principles, product development methodologies and engineering entrepreneurship.

The CGGT program prepares students for positions requiring multidisciplinary skills such as designers, technical animators, technical directors and game programmers. Students in the CGGT program use the equipment and resources available through the SIG Center for Computer Graphics. Opportunities for specialization are provided in such core areas as art and animation, creative design, animation and simulation technology, human/computer interfaces and production management.

About UPenn: University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1740. The school serves more than  25,300 students enrolled in more than 400 programs across 16 schools.

13. American University, Washington, DC
American University

American University (AU) offers several programs for aspiring game designers. An MA degree and a Certificate program in Game Design are offered jointly by the School of Communication (SOC) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). An MFA in Games and Interactive Media and a Concentration in Games and Interactivity are offered within the MFA in Film and Electronic Media through SOC. A Game and Computational Media track, within the MS in Computer Science, is offered through CAS.

The school says that the MA in Game Design is the only program of its kind in the U.S. In addition, AU manages The Game Lab, which serves as a hub for experiential education, persuasive play research, and innovative production in the fields of games for change and purposeful play.

Students in all programs get real-world experience by working on projects with the Game Studio, and with clients like the Educational Testing Service, the National Institute of Mental Health, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and WAMU 88.5. 

About AU: American University was founded in 1893. The school serves more than 13,000 students enrolled in over 160 programs, through eight schools and colleges.

14. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Cornell University

Cornell University is home to a game design program that was established in 2001.  Known as the Game Design Initiative at Cornell University (GDIAC), the program leads to a Minor in Game Design and is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering, Computing and Information Science Department (Cornell CIS).

Here’s how the GDIAC works: students pick a major in a core area (e.g., Computer Science, Information Science, Art, Music, Writing, etc.). They may take as many game courses as they can, and build a portfolio of games through independent studies. A few course options include Computer Game Development and Advanced Projects in Computer Game Development.

GDIAC students will work in interdisciplinary teams of four to six to create a game. Students may present their projects at the GDIAC showcase, which is open to the public. Per the school, “any undergraduate student in any college at Cornell University can pursue the Game Design Minor and have it added to their transcript.”

About Cornell University: Cornell University was founded in 1865. The school serves more than 23,000 students enrolled in over 80 formal majors, 70 minors, and dozens of graduate programs across 15 colleges and schools.

15. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Rutgers University

Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include a Dual BA and MI (Master of Information Degree) Pathway for Information Technology & Informatics (ITI) Majors with Game Production and Innovation Specializations and Certificate Program. The school says that the Game Production and Innovation Specialization benefits those who have an interest in gaming and game studies, as an addition to or instead of coding and developing games. It provides a basic understanding of game informatics and design – which includes the social dimensions of various users (e.g., designers, builders, players, managers, etc.); the technical dimensions with a focus on design; and the organizational and contextual dimensions.

The objective of Game Production and Innovation is to provide students with the capability to plan and design video games to address organizational and societal issues, including recreational gaming. Specific careers in gaming may include game production, game design, writing or screen writing, animation and management.

Students in the program have the opportunity to complete an internship in the game industry, they may complete 150 hours of independent study, and they may participate in the Information Technology and Informatics Program (ITI) Showcase. ITI provides students with experiential learning focused courses such as ITI 210 - Management of Technological Organizations and the Capstone Course. The culmination of both courses is the ITI Showcase, where student teams from the ITI 210 class compete in the Prototype and Pitch Competition while the Capstone class presents their project to a panel of judges before an audience of their peers.  

About Rutgers University: Established in 1766, Rutgers University is the eighth oldest higher education instittion in the United States. The school, which serves more than 69,000 students from all 50 states and more than 125 countries, offers more than 150 undergraduate majors and over 200 graduate programs across 30 schools and colleges.

16. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
George Mason University

The Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University (GMU) is home to the Department of Computer Science, which has several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include a BFA in Computer Game Design, a BS in Applied Computer Science with a Concentration in Computer Game Design, an MS in Computer Science, and an MA in Computer Game Design. Minors in Game Design, Sport and Game Design, and Computer Science are also available as well as an Undergraduate Certificate in Computer Science.

Sample game courses include Computer Game Design, Game Programming I and II, Computer Graphics, Digital Art and Animation, Three Dimensional Digital Art, Visual Computing, Computer Systems and Programming, and Advanced Programming Lab.

About GMU: George Mason University was initially founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1949. The school became an independent institution in 1972. Today, GMU serves 34,000 students enrolled in hundreds of programs across 10 colleges and schools.

17. Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut
Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University (QU) has several programs for aspiring game designers. Options include a BA and a Minor in Game Design and Development, and a BA in Computer Science. The Game Design and Development program has two Tracks: Game Design or Game Art. The Game Design Track focuses on building, designing and programming games. In the Game Art Track, students create game features, such as characters, props, architecture and levels.

Besides two in-demand Tracks, students have access to the Game Lab, where designers come together in interdisciplinary teams to build game prototypes. They may also participate in the QU in LA program, where students spend a semester interning at California companies such as Electronic Arts, Blizzard or Facebook. The Center for Game Development (CGD) is another unique option that the school says supports the continued development of select student and faculty games by providing financial support and resources during the summer and fosters a shared and continuing culture of technological know-how and innovation.

The school says that the BA in Computer Science degree takes a more holistic, interprofessional approach to the application of computer science. Students will learn the same fundamental concepts and techniques, but also how to apply them to other subject areas, such as game design, graphic design, business, and biology. The degree is designed to be flexible, allowing students to complete an additional major or minor.

About QU: Quinnipiac University was founded in 1929 as the Connecticut College of Commerce—a two year small business college that awarded associate’s degrees. Today, the school serves an estimated 10,290 students from 45 states and 53 countries, enrolled in more than 100 programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and eight professional schools.

18. Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Boston University

The School of Arts and Sciences at Boston University (BU) is home to the Department of Computer Science, which offers a BA Computer Science with a Concentration in Computer Graphics, Games & Animation. Sample courses for the program include Advanced Computer Graphics, 3D Design and Animation, Machine Learning, Image and Video Computing, Stochastic Processes, Information Design, and High Performance Programming with Multicore GPUs.

All students have access to BUILDS—a student-run hackerspace that provides students with tools and resources for working on collaborative projects, as well a variety of certificate programs through the Center for Digital Imaging Arts.

About Boston University: Boston University was founded in 1839. The school serves more than 33,000 students from 130+ countries. More than 250 programs of study are available through 12 colleges and schools.

19. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York
Marist College

The School of Communication and the Arts, and the School of Computer Science and Mathematics at Marist College offer several programs for aspiring game designers. School of Communication programs include a BA in Media Studies and Production with a Concentration in Interactive Media and Game Design and an Interactive Media Minor. The School of Computer Science offers a BS in Games and Emerging Media in collaboration with the Media Arts Department in the School of Communication.

The BA in Media Studies and Production is a new program that the school says prepares students to create vibrant content for those technologies shaping commerce and culture in the 21st century. Students learn the latest tools and trends in the interactive media and game industries, as well as creating social networking sites and designing mobile applications and games.

The BS in Games and Emerging Media is also a new "interdisciplinary" program that the school says provides all majors with a foundation in programming, art, game design, UI/UX, game writing/storytelling, and the business of games. Students in the program have the opportunity to take courses in the ethics of games, online culture, storytelling across media, artificial intelligence, and other relevant topics. All students also participate in a game studio course, which is set up like a mock game studio. All students are also required to take a capstone course, which helps students establish a portfolio of games and media work. Students can also minor in Games and Emerging Media.

About Marist: Marist College was founded in 1929. The school serves approximately 6,657 students enrolled in more than 60 degree programs and 14 certificate programs through seven schools.

20. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) offers two degree paths for aspiring game designers: a BS in Information Technology (for those most interested in coding and game development) or a BA in Digital Design (for those interested in the art of game design, the look and feel of a game, character and environment design, etc.). Digital Design students still take coding classes in the College of Computing and Information Technology students take classes in design, such as Color and Composition, in the School of Art + Design.

The BA in Digital Design has two Track options: Entertainment and Interactive Media/Production. Students in the program will select their track of study in the second year and follow their chosen track to completion. Besides Color and Composition, sample courses for the program include Game Architecture and Design, Game Modification Development, Digital Design Studio, 2D Character Design, 3D Character Development, Acting for Animators, Simulated Environments, Advanced Music Technology, Visual and Special Effects in Movies, Digital Sound and Music, and Design Techniques.

The two programs, in two different colleges at NJIT, work collaboratively which allows broader opportunities and more options for students, regardless of their "home" program.

Graduates have landed positions in the areas of game design, animation, graphic design, architectural and environment visualization, web design, storyboard art, and more. Among the studios where NJIT students have interned or worked full-time are 1st Avenue Machine, CSALAS & Co Labs, KWD – Kim Wendell Design LLC, Miskowski Design LLC, NTropic, SUSPECT vfx+design, SWDTech Games, and Tripwire Interactive.

About NJIT: New Jersey Institute of Technology was founded in 1881. The school opened its doors as The Newark Technical School on Monday, February 9, 1885, with just 88 students. Today, NJIT serves 11,400 students enrolled in 50 bachelors, 59 masters and 19 doctoral degree programs across eight colleges and schools.

21. The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, New Jersey
The College of New Jersey

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) is home to the School of Arts & Communication, which houses the Department of Interactive Multimedia (IMM). Here, aspiring game designers can earn a BA in Interactive Multimedia. The school says that the program explores user experience design, interaction design, interface design, and programming for everything from web sites to video games. Other program highlights include internships at places such as Amazon and DreamWorks and the IMM Senior Showcase, which allows students to present their senior capstone projects to their peers and technology professionals.

Graduates of the program have gone on to enroll in top graduate schools such as NYU, SVA,  and SCAD and land positions at companies such as MarkerBot, Nickelodeon, and TIME.

About TCNJ: The College of New Jersey was founded in 1855. The school serves approximately 6,790 undergraduates and 610 graduate students enrolled in more than 50 liberal arts and professional programs through seven schools—Arts & Communication; Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Education; Engineering; Nursing, Health, & Exercise Science; and Science.

22. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
University of Connecticut

The School of Fine Art at University of Connecticut (UConn) is home to the Digital Media and Design that has five programs for aspiring game designers. Pathways include BA and BFA degrees in Digital Media with a Concentration Game Design and Mechanics, MA and MFA degrees in Digital Media & Design: Game Development and Design, and an Online Digital Media Graduate Certificate.

Students in all programs are required to take the foundation curriculum, which consists of Digital Foundation, Animation Lab, Fundamentals of Web Design, Digital Culture, Motion Graphics I, Critical Perspectives of Digital Media, Student Agency (2 semesters), and Design Lab. Game design courses include Intro to Digital Game Design, Virtual Worlds & Simulations, Stories in Video Games, Advanced Digital Game Design & Development, Game System Design, Multiplayer Game Development, Disruptive Technologies, and Advanced Game Scripting.

Besides a variety of course offerings, the program highlights internship opportunities at places such as Disney, Boston Interactive, and Rocket Software and participation in DMD Club, After Effects Club, and Video Game Club.

About UConn: The University of Connecticut was founded in 1881 by brothers Charles and Augustus Storrs.  under the name Storrs Agricultural School. At the time, SAS was a two-year vocational school, which eventually became Storrs Agricultural College, and began officially admitting women. Today, UConn serves more than 32,000 students enrolled in 113 majors, 90 research and professional practice fields of study, and six professional degree programs across 14 schools and colleges.

23. Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut
Sacred Heart University

The School of Computing at Sacred Heart University (SHU) offers a BS in Game Design and Development, along with Certificates in Computer Gaming Design & Development at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The game programs are designed for students who wish to design and develop games for entertainment, simulation, and training. Sample courses include 3D Object Creation, Advanced Computer Gaming, OOP with C# and Games, Computer Ethics, and Photoshop and Illustrator.

Other program highlights include a year-long senior project, which is based on research and applications, access to the Gaming Club and Cybersecurity Club, and internship opportunities at places such as Microsoft, IBM, and NBC. Study abroad experiences are also available.

About SHU: Founded in 1963, Sacred Heart University is the second-largest Catholic university in New England. The school serves 4,982 full-time undergraduate students, 621 part-time undergraduate students and 2,940 graduate students from all 50 states including DC and over 30 countries. SHU offers more than 70 academic programs, through five colleges and two schools.

24. Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) offers several programs for aspiring game designers through two departments. Becton College of Arts and Sciences is home to the Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics Department and the Visual and Performing Arts Department. Department program options include a BS in Computer Science with a Game Development Concentration and a BA in Film and Animation with a Video Game Animation Concentration. Several Minors are also available and include 3D Video Game Animation, Animation, Film Production, Studio Arts, and Cinema Studies.

The school says that the BS program lays a solid foundation in computer science and mathematics with carefully chosen courses in the computer science, animation, mathematics and physics departments as well as the department of visual and performing arts. The program is designed based on guidelines provided by IGDA, The International Game Developers Association and prepares students for a career in gaming as well as a career in computer science.

The Video Game Animation program focuses on the artistic side of video game production. The school says that students will study the formulation of the visual and interactive content, goals and gameplay of video games. Students learn the skills to create 3D animation as it applies to video games while constructing practical projects, which are commonly produced in professional gaming companies. Students complete their creative work using 3D Studio Max, Unreal, Unity and ZBrush.

The program culminates in a senior project where the students design and create a game prototype that displays all of the techniques and aesthetics learned in their previous classes.

About FDU: Established in 1942 and home to more than 12,000 students, Fairleigh Dickinson University is New Jersey’s largest private university. The school offers more than 100 degrees and disciplines across two New Jersey campuses (Madison and Teaneck) and two FDU locations outside the U.S. including Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, England, and the Vancouver Campus in British Columbia, Canada.

25. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Institute College of Art

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) offers a BFA Game Design and a BFA in Interactive Arts with Concentrations in Game Arts Studio or Interactive Arts Studio. The school says that the program explores games from a unique perspective that can only be found at an art and design college. The program explores the role of play within our culture and questions how games are used to entertain, educate, and create meaning.

Students learn to create games from the ground up, building skills in design, programming and prototyping. Students can also concentrate in supporting areas like 3D animation, sound design, graphic design and illustration. And they'll do all of this in a state-of-the-art space with a designated game lab, serving as a nexus of creative ideas and output.

Students in the program can expect to take courses such as Game/Play: Introduction to Design, Drawing: Tradition and Innovation, Advanced 2D Game Design, Game Collaborative Studio, Form & Space, 3D Worlds and Level Design, 3D Game Design, Art Matters, 3D Game Studio, and 2D Level and Narrative Design. For an additional six credits, students can earn an integrated degree in Humanistic Studies, which combines in-depth coursework in academics with studio practice.

About MICA: Maryland Institute College of Art was founded in 1826, making it the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The school, which is home to nearly 3,500 students from 49 states and 65 countries, offers more than 80 programs leading to the BFA, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also available and programs are offered in the areas of fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies.