International Student Guide to Studying Game Art in the US

The field of game art design is growing consistently in the US. International students are likely to
find this field appealing because of increasing demand for video game designers and developers. Game art provides
students with an exciting opportunity to work in a fun and creative field.

What is Game Art?

If you love art and video games, you’ll likely love designing game art, also. The massive landscapes and intricate
detail required to produce the compelling, immersive environments popular in modern video games are just a few of
the aspects of game art inspiring students to join this rapidly growing field. Game art in the US is a booming
industry. International students who are artistically gifted and adept with computers should consider attending a
school at which they can study game art. Three-dimensional art is a fundamental component of game design, and
creating it is a major motivating factor for students who would like to be part of the video game development
process. Game design combines artistic and technical skills to create electronic and digital entertainment. Game
artists are responsible for using computer animation tools to create all visual aspects of a game, including the
artwork, environments, characters, and other aesthetic attributes. Collectively, these products of their work
culminate in rich, virtual worlds, which ultimately compel video game enthusiasts around the world to spend billions
annually. International students will find that game art provides numerous career opportunities in game design in
the US.

Studying Game Art

Career opportunities for those who study game art in the US are most often available to those who focus on game art
as a component of a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design, because game art is a specific subject of focus within the game
design degree. So, international students who are interested in entry- and intermediate-level careers in the game
design industry should consider a degree in game art in the US. Game Design programs require that students develop
skills in game design theory, technology and programming, general art and storytelling. International students
studying game art will find themselves studying art, animation, technology, artificial intelligence, visual design,
and mathematics, heavily. The choice to study game art is one that will open doors to an innovative and rewarding
field; however, it requires high levels of skill in every aspect of the field, including: mathematics, computer
programming, art, and organization.

What Does it Take to Be a Game Artist?

Game art requires the use of a great deal of higher mathematics and specialized computer software. Because game
development requires many people and resources, and there are many deadlines, schools teaching game art and design
also focus on management skills. It is essential to these companies that game artists have experience, which can be
gained by studying game art at a formal institution. International students who want to study game art in the US
should research programs that provide a focused Game Art or Game Design degree. Most game artists have a bachelor’s
degree in game art, computer science, or game design. Master’s degrees in game art are also available, but what is
most essential is the student’s experience and facility with computer art design. Career options will be more
focused on experience than graduate degrees.

Game Art as a Career

There are numerous, though specifically oriented, career offerings for game artists. Careers in game art often are
opportunities for artists to create new games, design characters and test the game. As a result, career options for
international students include: level designers, design directors, quality assurance testers, 3-D modelers, and
creative directors. Employers are very concerned with design and artistic experience, so salaries vary based on
experience. International students should be careful to take into account all of the financial implications and
potential rewards of studying game art. The International Game Developer’s Association reports that gaming visual
artists with one to two years of experience earn an average salary of $58,500 USD. While this may be appealing to
many students, it is important to consider that studying game art in the US may be expensive, and finding work in
the field requires that the student achieve a high level of skill.

Where to Study Game Art in the US

The US has some of the top schools for earning a degree in game art. The Princeton Review’s 2020 list of Top Game
Design Schools features Full Sail University, University of Southern California, University of Central Florida, New
York University and University of Utah. Find the right school for you with our USA School Search tool!

For these reasons, international students who wish to study game art in the US should research both university
programs and career opportunities. A degree in game art, obtained by a talented and hardworking designer, will help
open doors to a rewarding career in the field. It is important to note, however, that a game art degree is a very
specialized degree and thus does not provide the variety of job offerings a more generalized art degree might. For
this reason, international students should consider a game art degree to be similar to any other specific and
technical degree—one which prepares the student to work immediately in the field and has specific practical
applications. The benefit of this specificity is the high likelihood that a game artist who has mastered the field,
obtained the degree, and works hard will find good work. The potential drawback is that the degree does not open up
many, if any, opportunities outside of game art.

Game Art Programs

Visit the Study in the USA School search to find schools that offer programs of study in Game Art.

Find Schools Now

Featured Schools with Game Art Programs

Featured Schools with Game Art Programs


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