Can I work while studying for my bachelors degree in video game design?
Many students enter a bachelor degree in video game design with experience as a game designer or animator and want to enhance their skills. Schools often require a portfolio of creative work in order to be accepted, so having some kind of background in an artistic field is essential. Because of the course load and design projects required in the best game design bachelors degree programs, it will be difficult to maintain a full-time job. Students who do work while in school usually do so part time.
If you do choose to work, you have an opportunity to gain valuable experience that employers look for in addition to the skills learned in school. Working in a team environment is especially important for aspiring designers. Students in a game design program may work as graphic designers, web developers or computer programmers or in the fine arts as writers or artists. If you are studying for an online bachelors degree in game design, it will be easier to maintain a job as classes are more flexible and assignments can usually be completed on your own time as long as deadlines are met.
Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online video game design bachelors degree program?
The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top online bachelors programs, offers both a bachelors and masters degree in game design. The program builds on a fine arts foundation to teach students 3-D modeling, animation and lighting techniques for video games.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the oldest of the Art Institutes, offers a video game bachelors online as well. Students design backgrounds, create characters and environments and evaluate products. They also learn coding, production, artistic concepts and game play strategies. The Art Institutes comprise the largest collegiate art and design education system in the world, but their reputation has suffered in recent years due to its very high tuition and allegations of poor curriculum with low placement rates.
Full Sail University was recently ranked by The Princeton Review in the top 50 best video game design schools for its video game bachelors online program. And according to The New York Times, the school is regarded more highly than other for-profit institutions. Students learn not only how to design games but also explore their societal and cultural impact.
Are there any scholarships for traditional or online bachelors degree students in video game design?
Women in the top game design bachelors degree programs should apply for the Sony Online Entertainment Gamers In Real Life (GiRL) Scholarship. Those who are enrolled in an accredited undergraduate program related to games and have an average GPA of 3.0 or higher can apply.
Applicants must submit concept art and an essay in order to be eligible for the $10,000 prize. Scholarship recipients also win an internship at Sony Online Entertainment, a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games. The scholarship was established to encourage women to pursue careers in game development and design.
The Game Design Expo, run by the Vancouver Film School, offers several scholarships from major studios ranging from $1,000 to $7,000. The Expo also created the Women in Games scholarship in 2009, which is a full-tuition scholarship for 1 female designer who also seeks to increase opportunities for women in the industry.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation sponsors a Foundation Scholarship Program for those seeking a bachelor degree in game design. Fifteen scholarships of $3,000 are awarded annually to current college students, and the program was recently expanded to graduating high school students. The ESA Foundation funds programs and opportunities that create positive social impact through the power of video games.
Can I study abroad during my on-campus or online bachelors degree program in video game design?
Students in George Mason University’s computer game design program can study abroad in Scotland at University of Abertay for either a semester or a full academic year. Abertay owns internationally renowned facilities for computer games education.
University of California, Santa Cruz also offers a study abroad program for its computer game design students. Students can choose an immersion program or a program that focuses on a specific discipline as well as pursue independent research, internships, community service or lab work.
Students in online programs should check with their program director for study abroad opportunities. As long as the minimum requirements are met, students seeking an accredited online bachelors degree in game design should be eligible to study abroad.
If you are enrolled in Champlain College’s game programming major, you can study at the school’s Montreal campus. The Canadian campus is the world’s second-largest game development center, and students there can attend the annual Montreal Game Summit to make industry connections.
Students studying game design at Miami University can travel to Nairobi, Kenya for a new 4-week study abroad program. Students will learn the basics of creating computer games for a commercial client and the emerging African game market.