Top Game Design Schools and Colleges in Arizona- 2021 College Rankings

Founded in 1983 as the CAD Institute, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) began as a place where students could learn computer-aided design and engineering. Today, this private and family-owned University serves more than 1,000 students enrolled in dozens of associate, bachelor, and master degree programs in areas such as Business & Innovation, Creation & Simulation, Cybersecurity, Digital Arts, Game Studies, and Software Engineering.

University of Advancing Technology established UAT Game Design in 1995. It is the “only fully accredited game design program that boasts a connection to a full continuum of game development degrees including: Game Design degree, Game Art and Animation degree, Game Programming degree and Serious Game Simulation degree,” says the school.

Degree options include BAs in Game Art and Animation, Game Design, and Virtual Reality, a BS in Game Programming, and an MS in Game Production and Management. Students also have the opportunity to start as a Game Design major and graduate with dual gaming degrees from the schools “prolific suite” of game degree programs.

All Games students are “exposed to all the tools of the trade, as well as programming and asset creation video game design skill sets.” Coursework for the programs emphasize “design skills such as strong initial concepts, design in the programs will also take “a critical approach to the study of gameplay, player interaction, role-playing, and community dynamics as well as the unique features of the numerous game platforms available in the marketplace.”

Games students will work with video game design artists and programmers to create innovative projects through team-based assignments and they will “develop the leadership skills to see video game design projects through from an initial design concept to a publisher-ready final product.”

Other program highlights include access to the largest game incubator lab in Arizona, access to UAT Game Studios (a game production pipeline that fosters game development and connection to the game industry), access to UAT’s Gamer Group (supported by the Games Job Fair networking event), and access to UAT’s Greenlight Committee where game projects vie for UAT sponsorship at GDC. The committee awards winning teams the additional resources they need to ensure game readiness and celebrates students’ innovative work.

Students can expect to complete the undergraduate programs in eight semesters. Thanks to flexible, year-round schedules and no thesis requirement, the MS program may be completed in as few as six semesters.

UAT alumni are currently employed at such leading technology organizations as Blizzard, Electronic Arts (EA), Google, Intel, Microsoft, Nickelodeon, the Department of Defense, and many others.

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