Online Game Design Degree

By The Find Best Degrees Staff

Updated February 13, 2023

The Find Best Degrees Staff

The Find Best Degrees (FBD) Staff is a group of talented, experienced data researchers, writers, editors, and experts who understand the higher education system, degree programs, universities, careers, and financial aid options. The majority of the FBD staff have undergraduate and graduate degrees.

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Careers in game design and programming are part of the growing video games industry. As people want more complex visual effects and novel applications for gaming, television, movies, and mobile devices, there is an increasing demand for game designers, multimedia artists, and animators. By enrolling in an online game design degree, students can gain the knowledge and skills to enter a growing and competitive field. This degree provides an understanding of the development and application of interactive digital media and other emerging technologies. Read on to learn about the game design degree online, its curriculum, career options, and more.

Best Online Game
Design Degrees

Choosing a top college to study a game design degree online can be challenging. To identify a good college, one must consider several critical factors, such as its infrastructure, its faculty’s qualifications and experience, availability of computing facilities, graduation rates, affordability, etc. With these and other factors in mind, FBD teams have drawn up a list of the best online game design degrees in the U.S.: *

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Online Game Design
Degree Program

Degree Types for Online Game
Design Programs

Areas of Specialization for Online Game Design
Degree Programs

Why should I do an Online Game
Design Degree?

Free Courses for Online Game Design
Degree Students

Free online game design courses are readily available over the internet. However, unlike any other full-time or part-time programs from an accredited university, they frequently do not provide a comprehensive degree; rather, they just provide the competencies connected with a certain concept or component of game creation. The free online game design courses are either certificate programs or individual modules best suited for persons who want to learn more about a topic before digging into it in depth or who want to expand their expertise. Here are a few free courses to explore:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Intro to Game Design (Game Jam)This course introduces game design and explains everything about its nuances and some of the platforms frequently used by game designers and developers.Udemy
Learn Game DesignThis course focuses on creating game interactions from start to finish. Students learn to use the Unreal Engine and create their own games using unreal motion graphics tools, landscaping terrain tools, material editing tools, 3D geometry tools, etc.Udemy
HTML5 Apps and GamesThis course follows HTML5 Coding Essentials and Good Practices. Students examine HTML5-based APIs and learn to use advanced HTML5 features such as Web components, enhanced multimedia, audio for music and games, etc.edX

How to get into the Online Game Design
Degree Program?

How Long does it take to complete the Online
game design Degree

Accelerated Online Game Design
Degree Programs

Accelerated degree programs are slowly yet surely becoming increasingly popular with certain sections of students. Two primary reasons for interest in accelerated online game design degrees are that they save time and money. While most bachelor’s programs require about 4 years to finish, an online game design degree can be completed in as few as 2 years. Some universities, like Lindenwood University, offer a 2 year game design degree online, while others allow students to transfer academic or work credits to reduce the duration of their programs.

Accreditations for Online Game Design
Degree Programs

How to Pay for an Online Game
Design Degree?

Scholarships for Online Game Design
Degree Students

Online bachelor’s degrees can be very expensive to pursue, and one might need years to pay them off once one graduates. Scholarships and other types of financial aid can significantly alter this scenario by lowering college expenses, leaving students with much less debt once they have graduated. Here are a few such scholarships for online game design degree students to explore:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardDeadline
NYU EVO ScholarshipThe EVO Scholarship is given out annually to the applicant who best displays active participation in the fighting game community, a passion for game design with an emphasis on inventing in the field of competitive games, and a true financial need.Between $20,000 and $30,000TBA
ESA Foundation ScholarshipsThe Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation encourages and supports anyone who wants to work in the video game business. ESA offers 3 different scholarships – the Computer and Video Game Arts and Sciences Scholarship, the LGBTQ+ Service Scholarship, and the Esports Scholarship.VariesTBA
AIAS Foundation ScholarshipThe AIAS Foundation Scholarship is awarded to students intending to pursue a career or work as early professionals in any aspect of game development, including game design.$2,500May 31

FAQs Related to the Online Game Design
Degree Program

What is game design?

What is an online game design degree about?

Can a game design degree be pursued online?

Who can study a game design degree?

How long is an online game design degree?

What can I do with a game design degree?

Is a game design degree worth it?

Is game design in demand?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after an
Online Game Design Degree

An online game design degree allows designers to experiment with entrepreneurship by forming their own gaming-related business organization and creating a team of varied profiles to create games. Meanwhile, people seeking experience can work in established game design firms as game designers, developers, character modelers, and so on. Those who studied user experience and psychology along with game design may also be able to join research and development teams.

Graduates of game design online degrees may also find work in multimedia design and animation. A game designer’s job descriptions may include multimedia art, 2D or 3D game design, game development, critical game design, and graphic design. Some examples of potential job titles include, but are not limited to:

  • Game Marketer/PR
  • Game Artist
  • Game Animator
  • Creative Game Director
  • Game System Designer
  • QA Game Tester
  • Game Audio Engineer
  • Game Designer
  • Game Programmer

Statista indicates that the worldwide video games market was valued at $138.4 billion in 2021 and has expanded further to $203 billion in 2023. It is clear that the gaming business requires more workers, meaning that online masters in game design graduates will have plenty of job opportunities. Some occupations for game designers to consider are included below, albeit they are not directly related to game design – because game design is only one function of creating a game, and various other components go into it.

Occupation Job DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Special Effects Artists and AnimatorsAnimators and special effects artists create two- and three-dimensional models, moving visuals, and visual effects for video games, movies, television programs, and other kinds of media.Communication skills, time-management skills, computer skills, artistic talent, creativity$78,7905% (as fast as average)
Broadcast, Sound, and Video TechniciansBroadcast, sound, and video technicians install, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment used in radio and television broadcasts, concerts, movies, and sound recordings.Computer skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, manual dexterity$48,79010% (faster than average)
Graphic DesignersComputer skills, time-management skills, communication skills, analytical skills, creativity, artistic ability$50,7103% (slower than average)
Producers & DirectorsProducers and directors make creative and business decisions about films, television shows, stage productions, and other forms of entertainment. They perform an interpretation of a writer’s screenplay to entertain, inform, or instruct an audience.Leadership skills, communication skills, decision-making skills, creativity$79,0008% (faster than average)
Web Developers and Digital DesignersWeb developers develop and maintain websites and oversee their technical components, such as performance and capacity. Digital designers plan, design, and test a website or interface’s layout, functionalities, and navigation for usability.Problem-solving skills, customer service skills, communication skills, creativity, detail-oriented$78,30023% (much faster than average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online Game
Design Degree Students

Additional Resources for Online Game
Design Degree Students

Joining professional organizations and websites that provide profession-related materials is a great way to expand one’s professional network of colleagues. It is also a good tool for researching job opportunities, participating in discussion forums, creating relationships, listening to podcasts, accessing webinars, and attending conferences, among other things. Here are a few resources to get online game design degree students started:

International Game Developers Association (IGDA)The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is the world’s biggest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to advancing all game developers. It assists game developers in advancing in their careers and improving their lives by connecting members with their peers, encouraging professional development, and lobbying for game creators’ global problems.
Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS)The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and recognizing interactive arts. The AIAS aims to promote and improve the global interactive entertainment community while recognizing outstanding interactive arts and sciences achievements.
Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA)The Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) is the world’s foremost association for academics and professionals interested in digital gaming and associated concerns. It prioritizes high-quality game research and promotes collaboration and work exchange among its members.
ACM Special Interest Group for Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI)ACM SIGCHI is the world’s largest international network of students and professionals interested in Human-Computer Interaction research, education, and practical applications. It gives its members the ability to develop and alter how people engage with technology, as well as understand how technology influences people’s lives.
North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA)The North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA) is a professional network dedicated to creating, deploying, and evaluating games and simulations to improve learning outcomes in a wide range of organizations.

Author Bio:

The Find Best Degrees Staff

The Find Best Degrees (FBD) Staff is a group of talented, experienced data researchers, writers, editors, and experts who understand the higher education system, degree programs, universities, careers, and financial aid options. The majority of the FBD staff have undergraduate and graduate degrees.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners. | Page last updated: Dec 2023.