Best Online Bachelor’s in Video Game Design Degree Programs

The video game design industry grows every year. From computers and gaming platforms to cell phones and tablets, games are now widely available on numerous devices, and more people start playing every year. As the industry grow, the effort involved to make games becomes ever greater. Game stories have never been more intricately detailed, and the accompanying visual effects are better and more lifelike than ever. Gaming companies increasingly rely on designers to develop exciting products, and many businesses employ several game builders on a single project.

With such an expanding field, students are finding it easier and easier to pursue certification by attending video game design schools online. A number of schools offer degrees or certificates that will help students specialize in video game design, and many of these programs are available entirely online. Online work can be completed remotely and the format is convenient for students looking to enter the field without disrupting their current professional responsibilities.

Below, we’ve ranked the best online bachelor’s in video game design programs in the country. These schools provide premier instruction in an online format and help their graduates find employment in the industry. If you’re looking to begin a career in game design, the schools below deserve your consideration.

Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Franklin UniversityColumbus$$$$$201 S Grant Ave
Columbus, OH 43215-5399
(614) 797-4700

Franklin's interactive media design program helps students develop their design skills and technical knowledge in preparation for a career in video games. Introductory courses familiarize students with important software and programming languages, including Photoshop, Flash, JavaScript and HTML. As part of the curriculum, students complete a practicum, with faculty acting as firm directors and students working in groups as the design team. Graduates of the video game design degree program emerge with a professional portfolio of individual and collaborative work completed for clients in the industry.

Franklin designs its curriculum to accommodate working professionals. Students can sign up for courses six, 12 and 15 weeks-long and take classes part-time or on an accelerated schedule. The school offers flexible start dates and accepts up to 84 hours of transfer credit (students must complete 124 credits to graduate). Additionally, Franklin structures their course offerings to fit into your busy schedule. Classes are offered asynchronously and professors are readily available over email and chat software. Students can view all class information, including grades and assignments, through their myFranklin portal .

2Savannah College of Art and DesignSavannah$$$$$342 Bull St
Savannah, GA 31402-3146
(912) 525-5000

SCAD offers a bachelor's in digital media with a concentration in game development. As part of the program, students take specialized courses in digital design aesthetics, game art, game design and more. Renowned faculty members introduce distance learners to important software and programming languages at the start of the program. Throughout the degree, students have the opportunity to work on collaborative and individual video game designs of their own choosing, building skills on assignments that interest them most.

Additionally, SCAD helps students find jobs after graduation and the completion of video game design schools online. Distance learners build a professional portfolio as they progress through the degree, and the school's office of career and alumni success helps students promote their skills on the job market. The school provides several services, including:

  • Resume development
  • Portfolio building
  • Mock interviews
  • Assistance finding internships and employment opportunities

Online learners follow the same ten-week schedule as residential students. While some classes require scheduled meet-ups, most classes are taught asynchronously, allowing students to "attend" lectures at their convenience. SCAD uses Blackboard to facilitate their distance learning program: on Blackboard, students can check grades, view course information and interact with peers on discussion forums.

3Sheridan Technical CollegeHollywood5400 Sheridan St
Hollywood, FL 33021
(754) 321-5400

As part of its graphic arts and information technology program, Sheridan offers students a certificate in game/simulation/animation visual design. Here, students gain practical experience in game conceptualization, storyboarding and 2D/3D animation design. As part of the certificate, students can take a mobile app development course where they learn to make games formatted for mobile devices. Graduates of the video game design degree program are prepared to get their Adobe Certified Associate Certificate in Photoshop upon completing the program.

Sheridan uses the Blackboard learning management system to host all online course content. Here, students can access grades, view course materials and talk with peers and instructors on discussion forums. Courses are taught asynchronously at Sheridan: students are given weekly assignments and learning objectives, and they complete tasks at their own pace.

Completing a bachelor’s in video game design online fully prepares graduates to enter the field. Whether you’d like to build apps, computer games or anything else, a quality video game design program trains you to work across mediums. Additionally, you’ll be ready to work in a number of different positions, from programming to design to quality assurance testing.

The BLS projects that positions in video game design will grow by about 6% throughout the decade. Like most fields, your salary will depend on your particular position and where you work. On average, audio and graphic designers make about $70,000 per year: programmers and producers make a bit more, as do managers and executive leaders.

Students attending video game design schools online should strive to graduate with at least one marketable specialty. Whether you excel in animation graphics, programming or some other niche in the field, a demonstrable skill will help you earn your first job. Once you’ve discovered your strength, tackle projects that will help you emphasize your skills. Most programs will have you create a portfolio as you progress through the degree, giving you ample opportunity to demonstrate your proficiency across several games and projects.

Ultimately, an online video game design degree allows students to focus on their studies without disrupting their current career. Students in a quality program build a portfolio of work directly applicable to the industry and can rely on school resources to find a position in the field. If a career in game design is what you’ve always wanted, you should give some serious thought to earning your degree online.