Not only are the some of the most successful creators of video games, like Madden, based in Florida, the sunshine state also boasts several of the best computer programming game design schools in the country. Students in Florida have a number of game design program options. Majors that allow for study in this field include new media, digital media, graphic design and computer programming. Coursework combines hands-on practice with game design software and the exploration of creative skills like character development and graphic design.
Some programs are based in the computer sciences, whereas others have a liberal arts focus. Many programs culminate in either an internship, capstone project or thesis.
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University is a private school located in the city of Boca Raton. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs for students interested video game design schools in Florida. Undergraduate students can enroll in the university’s Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies program, which includes studies in film, video, and new media. Students in this program will complete 120 credits and can take courses in 3-D computer animation, game programming, and video game studies. A multimedia practicum is required.
For graduate students, the school offers a Master of Fine Arts in Media, Technology, and Entertainment. This program offers courses in digital art, game programming, computer animation, and interactive multimedia, among others. Graduate students complete a thesis and oral defense.
Keiser University – Fort Lauderdale
Keiser University is a four-year school in Fort Lauderdale, which offers primarily associate’s degree programs and enrolls over 17,000 students. The school offers an associate’s degree program in video game design, which blends programming and game design courses. Students learn animation theory as well as technical skills. The 88-credit curriculum includes courses in 3-D modeling and animation, Java programming, C++ programming, image editing, game texture mapping, and game design. This program isn’t transferrable to a four-year degree program.
Ringling College of Art and Design
Ringling College of Art and Design is located in the city of Sarasota. The college offers a range of bachelor’s degree programs to its approximately 1,400 students. Students interested in game design can enroll in the school’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art program. This four-year program begins with courses in drawing, film and narrative, and design. As the program progresses, students will study computer animation, programming, and preproduction in addition to liberal arts courses. During the last semester, students will complete a game art and design thesis.
Stetson University is located in the city of DeLand. The school offers a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts program that may appeal to students interested in game design. The digital arts program offers tracks in sound, art, and computer science. Students will complete projects and assemble a portfolio of their accomplishments.
The curriculum includes classes in modeling and animation, digital art, and digital video. Students may also study network art and computer music. Students can participate in internships, and many graduates pursue careers in the gaming industry.
Tallahassee Community College
Tallahassee Community College is a two-year school in the city of Tallahassee, with a student population of more than 15,000. The school offers an Associate of Science in Graphic Design Technology with an interactive media track. This program requires students to complete 64 credit hours of coursework.
The program’s core classes include design, digital photography, and marketing. The interactive media track offers courses in multimedia programming, computer animation, computer-generated character production, and scripting. This program is designed to be completed in two years.
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida is a public school in Orlando, serving over 58,000 students. The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy is a division of the university that offers a Master of Science in Interactive Entertainment degree program. Student can choose to concentrate in programming, art, or production. Programming students take classes that cover topics such as game frameworks and optimization. In the second and third semesters, students work with their peers to create large-scale games. Through the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, graduates have access to a variety of career resources, including major industry internships and job opportunities.
University of Florida
The University of Florida is located in the city of Gainesville. The college offers two programs for students interested in video game design or computer programming schools in Florida. Undergraduates can enroll in the school’s Bachelor of Science in Digital Arts and Sciences program. This 121-credit-hour program can be completed in eight semesters. The program focuses heavily on computer science and offers courses in software engineering, multimedia production, and computer-aided animation. Courses in art history, drawing and sculpture are also required. Graduates have found work as game engineers.
The school also offers a Master of Science in Digital Arts and Sciences. This program offers thesis and non-thesis options. Graduate students will take core courses in graphics and simulation, after which they may choose additional courses in advanced computer graphics and aesthetic computing as well as other computer science and art classes that apply to their professional goals.
University of Miami
The University of Miami is a private school located in the city of Coral Gables. Students at the University of Miami interested in pursuing a career in game design might consider the school’s Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media program. This program requires 45 credits and can be completed in two years. Students can choose to study either full-time or part-time. Students in this program will study technology trends, programming, and interaction design. The program also offers electives that include introduction to game design, game development, and 3-D for graphic storytelling.
University of Tampa
The University of Tampa is a private school located in the city of Tampa. The college offers one program for students interested in game design. Undergraduate students can enroll in the Bachelor of Arts in New Media Production program. This program can be completed in four years and requires completion of 132 credit hours.
Students will begin the program by taking courses in mass media and society and beginning digital arts. As the program progresses, students will study digital imaging, application development, writing for interactive media, online production, and advanced digital arts. Beginning and advanced courses in digital arts focus on 3-D modeling and animation. Seniors will be required to complete a senior project.