The Best Game Design Schools In North America

Looking to embark on a wondrous career in game design? GamePro Media and The Princeton Review have teamed up for a second year to list the 10 best graduate and undergraduate schools for video game design in North America.

With video games becoming an increasingly important part of our culture every year, more and more universities are offering game design degrees. Not all learning institutions are created equal, however, so GamePro and The Princeton Review polled faculty members at 150 of these institutions to determine which spots were tops for game design hopefuls.

So which schools took home top honors? Why, the University of Southern California tops both the graduate and undergraduate lists, which is mighty convenient, as most major game publishers have some sort of presence in the area. And might I suggest you handle your graduate studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design. As a Georgia resident I am required to mention how lovely the town is, steeped in historical something-or-another.

The top 10 undergraduate schools for video game design study for 2011 are:

1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) 2. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT) 3. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA) 4. The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC, Canada) 5. Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) 6. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA) 7. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA) 8. Champlain College (Burlington, VT) 9. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) 10: Becker College (Worcester, MA)

Honourable Mentions:

Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA), North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA) and Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH).

The top 10 graduate schools for video game design study for 2011 are:

1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) 2. University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL) 3. Southern Methodist University (Plano, TX) 4. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) 5. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA) 6. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT) 7. University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA) 8. Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA) 9. Parsons The New School for Design (New York, NY) 10. The University of Texas at Dallas (Dallas, TX)

Honourable Mentions:

Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA), DePaul University (Chicago, IL), DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA), Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)

Check out the article at GamePro for a deeper look at what makes these schools so special, aside from the historical ambience.


Comments

    I was just wondering how you go about deciding on who is the best Game Design school? As far as I can tell, there is no way of determining these statistics of who is 'best'. Does Kotaku send students to each of these schools and ask those students what they would rate the school? Or does Kotaku just ask for each school to throw in money to determine their positions?

    As far as anyone is concerned, Game Design is still just a concept. Are Game companies 'really' struggling with finding people who can design games? I mean REALLY, Anybody can come up with a game if they are given Anything.

    What is your process Kotaku, for honest prospective students who don't want to waist their money, and for the students that may have to move across the country.

      Like most tertiary education reviews, pretty sure it's based on % of first year graduate employment. This is usually how they compare courses.

      Not surprised that Southern California is most highest rated, as the LA/San Diego region is a hotbed of game development and many of their founders came from neighbouring colleges eg Blizzard, Obsidian, etc.

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