Founded in 1898 as an Evening Institute of the Boston Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Northeastern University began with less than two dozen students. Today, according to the school’s most recent enrollment figures, it serves nearly 38,000 students at locations in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Seattle; Silicon Valley; San Francisco; Toronto; Vancouver; London; Portland, Maine and the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant.
Northeastern University offers 150 undergraduate majors and concentrations and over 125 graduate programs in nine colleges and schools. Programs for game designers are offered through the College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD), which serves nearly 6,000 students, and the College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS) – Khoury College of Computer Sciences. Undergraduate programs include BFAs in Game Art and Animation and Game Design, BS degrees in Computer Science and Game Development, and Game Design and Music with a Concentration on Music Technology. Minors include Game Art, Game Design, Experience Design, and Interaction Design.
Graduate options include an MS in Game Science, jointly offered through CAMD and CCIS – Khoury, and Graduate Certificates in Game Design and Game Analytics. The Game Design Certificate consists of five 12-week courses, and the Game Analytics Certificate requires 20 credit hours of study. The interdisciplinary MS requires 34 credit hours of study and it offers three concentrations: Game Analytics, Game User Research and Game Design and Development. The program highlights paid co-op work, research opportunities in the schools more than30 federally funded research centers, and in-class case studies and exercises. The MS can be completed in two years.
The 130 credit hour BFA in Game Art and Animation allows students to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams and with students in the BS in Computer Science and Game Development and BFA in Games majors. Students in the program will also gain practical and technical experiential training via Northeastern’s co-op program. Each student will take at least two co-ops. The BFA in Game Art and Animation culminates in a two-semester Senior Capstone.
The BFA in Games requires 128-129 credit hours of study covering Art and Design, Art History, Games, Entrepreneurship, Critical Making, Creative Making, and Game Electives. While the program does not require a co-op, the school says that students “are exposed to a wide variety of genres and contexts, as well as different ways of thinking about games content, platforms, and production.” Students will have “a minimum of four games courses in which they interact with and collaborate with students in the BS in computer science and game development major.” The program culminates in a Game Design Capstone.
The 138 credit hour Game Design and Music with a Concentration in Music Technology is a unique program that “focuses on the creative application of digital sound technologies to a broad range of artistic, social, and industrial purposes, including experimental composition, film, video, theatre, game design, mobile applications, sound design for urban environments, and beyond.”
In addition to plenty of co-op opportunities, the program offers a diverse set of courses ranging from Programming Basics and Game Interface Design to Hip Hop in the Music Industry and Interactive Music Programming. Students in this program will complete a Music Technology Capstone/Senior Recital or a Game Design Capstone.
The CCIS BS in Computer Science and Game Development is a combined major, which focuses on “building and developing games and playable media experiences” along with “courses in computer science and specialized game technology and design.”
“Interdisciplinary courses enable students to develop their creative and entrepreneurial abilities, as well as create a strong portfolio of game pieces.” The program requires 133 credit hours to graduate.