By Iris Stone
Posted June 2014
It can sometimes be hard to find an online game design degree program that is inexpensive, but is also accredited and will provide a quality education. Most students will admit they don’t want to sacrifice the integrity of their education just to save money! But of the biggest perks of online programs is that they are often more affordable than other schools.
Future students who hope to study Game Design – but would like to do so on a budget – will love this list. The selection below has been compiled by taking all the accredited online game design degree programs and ranking them based on both cost of tuition according to information provided by institutions themselves to the U.S. Department of Education as reflected in the online and publicly accessible College Navigator database. The resulting schools are the only ten that made the cut. They are listed according to affordability. All offer top notch courses that, in many cases, have earned them attention from objective sources like U.S. News and College Prowler.
Cheap Online Game Design Degree Programs Ranked
1. Baker College
Online Game Software Development Bachelor of Computer Science
A B.S. in Computer Science from Baker College’s game software development program can help determined students prepare for entry-level positions in the gaming industry. The rigorous curriculum covers aspects of programming technologies, software engineering, and the latest and greatest in gaming development. Online learners benefit from a truly comprehensive academic experience, which starts with basic modeling and animation and leads to advanced game programming and a senior design project. Super Scholar has recognized Baker’s online programs as some of the most affordable in the nation, labeling the college a “smart choice.” In addition, the school’s placement rates are quite high, with 97% of Baker’s available graduates currently employed.
2. Franklin University
Interactive Media Design Degree Program Online
A degree in interactive media design from Franklin University can help give aspiring game designers a significant edge in the field. Rather than focusing just on the technical aspects of gaming, classes at Franklin also cover artistic and management aspects, putting graduates in a position to develop eye-catching products and manage team members in the process. On the technical side of the curriculum, classes cover mobile apps, web development, front-end design, and media-rich content, but students also explore project management, communications, and concepting. Past graduates have found work as interface designers, social media specialists, web developers, and instructional designers. Of course, the degree also allows graduates to pursue careers as game designers and testers as well.
3. International Academy of Design and Technology | Sanford-Brown– Chicago
Online Animation Technology Degree
The International Academy of Design and Technology is the graphic design wing of Sanford Brown, a popular online college with both virtual classes and campuses available in multiple U.S. states. Specifically, the B.S. in Animation Technology is an online program that provides students with the foundational aptitudes they need to excel in the production of short animated works. Students first must hone their artistic talents, participating in traditional drawing and design classes at the front-end of the degree plan. Later on, online learners can enroll in animation, special effects, and motion graphics classes as they practice translating their talents to the digital screen. College Prowler gives Sanford-Brown an A- in academic experience, academic flexibility, and tuition/financial aid.
4. Westwood College
Software Development: Online Major in Game Software Development
Students with an interest in both software development and game design should give Westwood College a close look. Technology experts at Westwood understand that successful products like Xbox and Playstation only achieved popularity with the help of intelligent software engineers, and so they have designed a program that disseminates essential programming, graphics, architecture, and computer assembly information. Those with a particular interest in game development can also take classes in artificial intelligence and game engine architecture, plus get to design a complete working game that they can use to showcase their skills in interviews. Westwood College earns an A in online courses from College Prowler.
5. Daniel Webster College
Online Game Design and Development Degree
Students come to Daniel Webster College to pursue a degree that expertly melds artistic design with modern technological application. DWC offers two complementary degrees – one in game design and another in game programming – that allow members of both programs to collaborate on projects and share their newfound knowledge. This college also recognizes the changing landscape of consumer gaming, and helps students gain the marketing, finance, and entrepreneurism skills they need to sell their creations directly to users. Most importantly, Daniel Webster professors understand the importance of hands-on training, and so give students opportunities to complete capstone courses, develop a portfolio, and apply for internships in order to get the most out of their undergraduate education.
7. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Game Design & Programming Online
Game art & design students at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh learn the fundamentals—drawing, color, and design—and then move on to develop animation skills—game design, scriptwriting, storyboarding, and character design. Other courses include scripting, the basics of 2D and 3D modeling and animation, physics, and texture mapping. Online game design degree students in the visual & game programming program receive a strong foundation in art and design. They learn technical, programming, and problem-solving skills and work with classmates on team projects.
College Prowler awards The Art Institute of Pittsburgh an A- in career services and online courses.
8. The Art Institute of Phoenix
Game Art & Design Bachelor of Arts Online
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh isn’t just for photographers, fashion designers, and chefs. In fact, many of the programs of study at this “art school” are geared more toward computer lovers and tech heads. One such degree is the bachelor’s in game design and programming, which puts the latest and greatest information regarding digital imaging, 3D modeling, texture mapping, 2D animation, and digital storytelling right at students’ feet. The school boasts some truly notable online game design degree alumni, including a creative director at Sony and key developers on some of the most high-profile games on the market. College Prowler awards The Art Institute of Pittsburgh an A- in both career services and online courses.
This concludes our ranking of top cheap accredited online game design degree programs.
About the Author:
Iris Stone got her start in writing when she began working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Check out her Google+ profile.
This concludes our ranking of the top cheap online game design degree programs.