Top Game Design Schools and Colleges in Pennsylvania – 2021 College Rankings

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU or Carnegie Mellon) is a global university established in 1900 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In addition to the main campus in Pittsburgh, the school has more than a dozen degree-granting locations including Silicon Valley, Africa, Qatar, and Australia, to name a few. Serving more than 14,500 students representing 100+ countries, CMU has produced 10 Academy Award winners, 50 Tony Award Winners, and 20 Nobel Laureates. The school is also the former home of Andy Warhol.

Carnegie Mellon offers 80 majors and over 90 minors within its six undergraduate schools, colleges, and inter-college degree programs. Game design programs are offered through multiple areas.

In collaboration with the School of Computer Science-Computer Science Department and the College of Fine Arts-Integrative Design, Arts and Technology (IDeATe), CMU offers a Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) with a Concentration in Game Design. The School of Art at CMU offers a BFA with a Concentration in Electronic and Time-Based Media.

The BFA curriculum “implicitly encourages cross-disciplinary study and as such, many students merge fine art and computer science based interests either within” the program “or through the unique BCSA degree program,” says the school. Areas of focus include animation, bioart, computational and interactive art, game arts, tactical media, tangible media, and video and performance.

The BFA also offers the opportunity to pursue an additional major in a technical field. “Particularly popular among students interested in interactive design and new media is the secondary major or the minor in Human-Computer Interaction.” The program “encompasses interdisciplinary work in design, computer science, and behavioral and social science, ideal for students who may wish to pursue a career in video game design, smartphone app design, or interactive robotics, or who are interested in gaining an understanding of human behavior to make interactive artworks.”

The Human-Computer Interaction Institute at CMU also offers an accelerated Master’s program, which allows undergraduate students to obtain a Master’s degree (MHCI) with an extra year of coursework. Students can customize their own path with electives from across the university. 

The College of Fine Arts IDeATe Collaborative Studios include Game Engine Programming offered with the Robotics Institute, Research Issues in Game Development offered with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at CMU, and Programming for Game Designers—also offered with ETC. Students in all areas will gain skills in collaboration and the iterative design process, game programming, game systems and mechanics design, interactive narrative and character development, interface design and user testing, and visual and audio asset creation.

Two additional game design options are offered through the ETC at CMU. Founded in 1998, the Center offers a Game Design Minor (in collaboration with IDeATe) and a Masters of Entertainment Technology (MET). The MET is jointly conferred by CMU’s School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts. The MET is currently considered a terminal degree.

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