Best Online Bachelor’s of Game Design Degree Programs for 2023


Find top-ranked online bachelor’s in game design degree programs for students wanting to combine artistic creativity and technical skills in order to become game designers, art directors, and video game testers.

Top Online Game Design Bachelor's Degrees

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  1. University of Cincinnati
  2. Southern New Hampshire University
  3. Baker University
  4. Savannah College of Art and Design
  5. Lindenwood University
  6. Fisher College
  1. Baker University 99%
  2. Southern New Hampshire University 92%
  3. University of Cincinnati 85%
  4. Savannah College of Art and Design 81%
  5. Lindenwood University 75%
  6. Fisher College 72%
  1. Southern New Hampshire University 21 to 1
  2. University of Cincinnati 19 to 1
  3. Savannah College of Art and Design 18 to 1
  4. Lindenwood University 14 to 1
  5. Fisher College 11 to 1
  6. Baker University 10 to 1
  1. Savannah College of Art and Design $38,840
  2. Fisher College $33,500
  3. Baker University $31,700
  4. Lindenwood University $18,640
  5. Southern New Hampshire University $15,380
  6. University of Cincinnati $10,099
  1. Savannah College of Art and Design $39,240
  2. Fisher College $26,712
  3. Southern New Hampshire University $18,900
  4. University of Cincinnati $13,224
  5. Baker University $11,466
  6. Lindenwood University $9,684
  1. Fisher College
  2. Lindenwood University
  3. Savannah College of Art and Design
  4. Baker University
  5. Southern New Hampshire University
  6. University of Cincinnati
  1. Fisher College 72%
  2. Lindenwood University 75%
  3. Savannah College of Art and Design 81%
  4. University of Cincinnati 85%
  5. Southern New Hampshire University 92%
  6. Baker University 99%
  1. Baker University 10 to 1
  2. Fisher College 11 to 1
  3. Lindenwood University 14 to 1
  4. Savannah College of Art and Design 18 to 1
  5. University of Cincinnati 19 to 1
  6. Southern New Hampshire University 21 to 1
  1. University of Cincinnati $10,099
  2. Southern New Hampshire University $15,380
  3. Lindenwood University $18,640
  4. Baker University $31,700
  5. Fisher College $33,500
  6. Savannah College of Art and Design $38,840
  1. Lindenwood University $9,684
  2. Baker University $11,466
  3. University of Cincinnati $13,224
  4. Southern New Hampshire University $18,900
  5. Fisher College $26,712
  6. Savannah College of Art and Design $39,240

Key Takeaways

  • Individuals who want to pursue careers in game development and game design should consider earning an online game design degree. While other bachelor’s degrees, such as computer science, are also acceptable, the dedicated approach to video game design and development gives graudates a competitive edge.
  • Being a video game designer has its monetary and non-monetary rewards. Median annual salaries are high, and career advancement opportunities abound with professional development and work experience.
  • There are multiple degree tracks in game design. Depending on the student’s interest and skill, they may focus on programming and development, art and animation, or even sound design.

Featured Programs

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Game Design: A Winning Online Degree and Career Choice

There’s no better time than now to look into online bachelor’s in game design degree programs! The video game industry is on a growth surge, thanks to the increase in social and casual gaming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, the enduring popularity of video games is attributed to their attractive entertainment value.

It should be noted that many schools offer two tracks to a bachelor’s degree in game design: game designers with technical skills, like programming and sound design, and game media artists and animators. It is typical for programmers to pursue a bachelor’s of science degree (BS) in game design, while media artists and animators usually pursue a bachelor of arts degree (BA).

Graduates of either degree track hold a crucial role in the game design development process.

No matter which degree track you choose, a bachelor’s in game design degree from the best online programs can be an excellent ticket to a well-paying game design and development job!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), game designers who pursue an art or animation track, earn a median annual salary of $78,790 (May 2021), nearly double the median annual wage for all occupations, with the highest earners getting $131,000+ per year.

The BLS reports that game design programmers earn about the same median annual salary, but the predicted job growth rate over the next decade is expected to be an astounding 23%, compared to just 5% for artists and animators.

Roles and Responsibilities Students Prepare For

Students in online bachelor’s in game design programs prepare for the exciting and challenging work of game design and game development. The extensive preparation starts with general education courses followed by advanced courses such as programming languages, computer graphics programming, digital illustration, sound design, interactive animation, and graphic design. Internships are common, too.

With their online education and hands-on training, professional game designers create the characters, stories, and settings as well as the game mechanics and rules for video games. The use of computer programming languages including writing code and testing early versions are also part of their job.

Game designers may also have the following responsibilities:

  • Promote new game ideas to company executives and third-party clients
  • Manage multiple game projects in progress and their teams
  • Keep up with good practices and trends in the gaming industry
  • Monitor cash flows and other aspects of game production
  • Perform quality control measures

Indeed, game design and development has its extreme challenges, from long hours at work to demanding clients! Game design students prepare for these challenges during their studies in these online programs.

Among their preparations are earning certifications in computer programming languages and building their portfolio of sample projects. Both can be achieved while in a bachelor’s in game design program, too. These aspects are embedded in the game design curriculum.

Aspiring video game designers can also strengthen their online learning by joining professional organizations. The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) are great examples.

Hard and Soft Skills Learned as Students

Aspiring professionals in game design and game development must engage in continuous skills development! The key hard skills that will be learned in an online bachelor’s in game design program are:

  • Programming languages like C++ and C#
  • Software development skills
  • Mathematical reasoning and analytical thinking skills

Video game designers and developers must also possess soft skills that make them more productive on the job including:

  • Collaboration skills: necessary because video game design and development requires working in teams
  • Communication skills: a must for successful collaborations between several professionals, from executives to clients
  • Creativity: a vital skill, since game designers should be excellent storytellers

Software Used in Game Design and Development

Effective game design requires the use of computers and their software, including but not limited to:

  • Game engine, such as Unreal Engine and Unity 3D
  • Google Office or Microsoft Office
  • Art software, such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
  • Scripting and programming languages and tools, such as C#, Python and Unreal Script
  • Jira and Bug tracking apps

The best online bachelor’s degree in game design program provides students with the software. Many even provide free laptops with embedded software or provide students with affordable payment plans.

Students can also choose from concentrations in game design. Game art, mobile game design, and animation are popular. Prospective students are usually required to present a portfolio of works.

Frequently Asked Questions About Game Design Degrees

With a bachelor’s degree in game design, you’ll get the chance to combine artistic creativity and technical skills.

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This undergraduate degree can be earned on campus or online and typically takes about four to five years to complete. In most cases, students will be required to complete a minimum of 120 credits.

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In addition to a comprehensive liberal arts course load, students will take degree-specific classes on programming, graphics and animation, user-centered design, and 3-D modeling. Though not required, having knowledge in Java, C#, linear algebra, and computer graphics is helpful.

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Upon graduation, degree holders often seek employment as game designers, art directors, and video game testers.

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Best Online Bachelor's in Game Design Degree Programs
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Online Bachelor’s in Game Design: How We Came Up With our Top Picks

The best online bachelor’s degree in game design programs are often accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET). This programmatic accreditation is in addition to the regional accreditation granted to colleges and universities by the Higher Learning Commission, among other accrediting bodies. Students then have the guarantee that the bachelor’s degree in game design programs meet the rigorous academic standards of higher education.

These bachelor’s in game design online programs were also chosen because of their excellent student support services. Game design majors are provided with topnotch admission counseling and academic advising services, thus, contributing to their increased chances for graduation. Financial aid counselors also discuss tuition reduction options that best fit each student’s unique circumstances.

Students were also provided with one-on-one and group tutoring services, usually via online platforms. 24/7 access to digital libraries and IT help desk was also provided, thus, minimizing campus visits. Best of all, many of these programs ensured that students met the technical requirements for online learning, from computers to their software and learning management system.

We also looked into the graduate outcomes of these online bachelor’s in game design programs. With the majority of their students earning the online degree, it’s among the best indicators of success.

Graphic Designers Salaries by Percentile in the U.S.

The following graph depicts the average salaries of Graphic Designers for each percentile in the U.S.


SVG Attribution: Wikipedia

Total Employed: 204040
10th Percentile25th Percentile75th Percentile90th Percentile
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Best Online Bachelor’s in Game Design Degree Programs

  1. #1

    University of Cincinnati

    Cincinnati , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Median SAT/ACT


    Online Degrees

    BS in Information Technology


    • Networking and Systems
    • Software Application Development
    • Cybersecurity
    • Game Development and Simulation
    • Data Technologies
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Hybrid
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Online Degrees

    BA in Game Art And Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Hybrid
    BS in Game Programming And Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Hybrid
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Online Degrees

    BA in Arts


    • Interactive Design & Game Development
    • Required Credits: 180
    • Completion time: 48 months
    • Format: Hybrid
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Online Finance Programs Looking for You

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.