Campus Video Game Design Graduate Programs in California
Game design grad school may provide a hands-on learning experience to help you create interactive and engaging games. For some, a game development graduate program could be the first step towards understanding the creative concepts behind programming a video game. For others, it might be a great way to flesh out current programming knowledge and enhance a new career. No matter where you start, a game design graduate degree could help you develop the unique skill set potentially needed to plan, review, and revise your dream game. And by earning your degree on campus, you could do that with the support and assistance of your peers and professors.
Game design grad schools typically offer programs at one of two levels: masters programs and graduate certificates. Masters in video game design programs aim to provide a well-rounded overview of the design process and introduce students to the newest in video game techniques and technology. Certificate programs, on the other hand, provide a more concise course of study, great for those who may not want to commit to a full degree program. Below is an overview of each, including their potential benefits, requirements and course topics. Consider your personal background, as well as goals, to determine which might be perfect for you.
Whether it’s virtual reality, new programming engines, or coding, masters programs in game design on campus could provide the chance to directly apply your new knowledge in the classroom. Not only could this put you in contact with innovative materials, but it might also be an eye-opening experience of what goes into a game besides the code. “Design” is a holistic term that also encompasses things such as gaming strategy, in addition to programming. Masters programs in game design aim to provide an understanding of the entire process, from start to finish. For example, in order to help students engage an audience, a masters in game design might cover subjects such as AI creation, datamining, game analytics, and gaming psychology. Not only could this flesh out your programming knowledge, but it might also make your games more appealing to a general audience.
Taking into consideration the above coursework, students could potentially earn a masters degree in 2 years. Completion time might differ by school.
Typically, schools require two parts to the masters in game design admissions process. This way, schools could assess both your academic and programming capabilities. First, students may be required to submit a 3.0 undergraduate GPA in addition to GRE exam scores. Then, students may also be requested to submit a portfolio of their previous work. This is a great way for schools to see your game design experience. Others may also request examples of coding experience. Admissions criteria may vary by school. For more information about admissions requirements, check with potential programs.
Have you already earned an undergraduate degree? Or, are you itching to move into the gaming industry quickly? Then earning a game design graduate certificate on campus might be a great choice! This might act to supplement your already established programming knowledge with game design fundamentals. Courses could include game design basics such as gaming algorithms, data structures, and design theory. Not only that, but students may also have the chance to develop small games as part of the program. In addition to being great practice, it could also be a perfect way to start your gaming portfolio for the professional world.
Because certificate programs only focus on foundational gaming topics, and doesn’t include electives, these programs might be shorter than other graduate degrees. This might be a great way to immediately jumpstart your career in the gaming industry! Students could potentially earn a graduate certificate in 1 year. Completion times may vary by institution.
Since game design graduate certificate programs tend to build on previous programming experience, it is not uncommon for some schools to require students to hold an undergraduate degree in the same field. As part of the application process, students may be asked to submit examples of their previous programming work. This is often considered on equal terms with the required 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Check with intended universities for more information about their admissions process.
Earning your game design graduate degree on campus could be a great way to build a professional community and refine your game design technique. During class time, you could interact with others as they present their own games and receive critical feedback. What a great way to see what inspires others in your industry! Also, this means you could be receiving valuable feedback from your peers as well. Another set of eyes on your work could be what it needs to take it from “good” to “great”! It’s also important to note that this might be a great opportunity to find new partners. Game designers hardly work alone, after all. While earning your degree on campus, you might find your game design soul-mate!
Additionally, professors in these degree programs may be industry professionals. They could apply their gaming industry know-how to their feedback, thus helping you create a more polished piece of work. Plus, many programs ask professors to hold office hours, granting students facetime to ask questions and seek advice. In short, an on campus program could provide you with an active support system devoted to improving your games, and potentially helping launch your career!
Want to pursue a career as a video game designer? In terms of gaming industry requirements, many employers look for entry-level candidates to have a bachelor’s degree.i But, the hunt might not stop there. Graduate game developers might have an advantage because their education may have afforded them more chances to interact with innovative technology such as virtual reality, new game engines, and other practices. Additionally, graduate game designers might have more experience with advanced techniques such as computer interaction and game analytics that may be left untouched in an undergraduate program. This extra depth of knowledge could make graduate game developers alluring to employers.
New to the industry? Graduate study may also be a great entryway for those looking to shift career paths and break into the field. Game design grad schools aim to provide students with foundational knowledge to develop a game from start to finish, and a supportive community in which to do so.
Instead of sitting at the start menu, now might be a great time to begin your search for a perfect game design grad school! As far as next steps go, continue on this page to view a list of potential programs. If you see one you’re interested in, click its associated link for more information. While you’re there, don’t forget to click the “request info” button. That way, you could receive pertinent information about admissions deadlines, curriculum, and other info directly from your school of choice. Good luck!
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