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Video Game Courses and Degrees in The U.S. Increase By More Than 50% in Five Years

390 Schools Offer Courses and Degrees in Game Design and Development

Washington, D.C. – WEBWIRE

Three-hundred and ninety colleges, universities, and other academic institutions in the United States now offer professional certificates and undergraduate or graduate degrees in video game design, according to new research released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). This marks an increase of more than 50% since 2009, when 254 schools offered such programs.

"Today’s colleges and universities are responding to student demand for high-quality and innovative video game design programs,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. “This explosive growth in video game education is the rocket fuel that will propel this industry to new heights. The new talent coming into our industry will revolutionize entertainment experiences.”

Students interested in game design and development careers possess greater academic options to choose from than their predecessors, including a broader range of degrees and school locations. Degree programs are available at schools in all 50 states and Washington DC, and are preparing the video game industry’s future leaders.

Offerings range from awarding professional certificates and associate degrees to master’s degrees and doctorate programs at schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, University of Southern California, Carnegie Mellon University, DePaul University, Michigan State University, Dartmouth College, Arizona State University, and Ohio State University.

“As video games have become a major component of popular culture, we’ve seen more academic programs addressing games from a variety of perspectives, whether it be aesthetic, cultural, educational, or economic,” said Drew Davidson, Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. “This is only going to increase the influence video games have in our culture as students graduate with more of a critical grasp of the unique capabilities of games, and apply that in their careers and lives.”

Currently, California offers the greatest number of video game-related courses or degrees (73), followed by New York (26). Illinois and Texas tie for third place with 24 schools. Other leaders include Florida (22), Pennsylvania (19), Minnesota (17), and Massachusetts (14).

The expansion and growth of these academic programs spurred the creation of The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (The Alliance) that launched in July. The Alliance is a first-of-its-kind organization that will provide leading academics with a platform to highlight best practices, publish research, and strengthen industry connections. The Alliance is also tasked with educating and engaging policymakers and the media on the critical role video game programs play in preparing students for the 21st Century creative workforce. Information on the Alliance can be found at

The complete list of schools offering video game courses and degree programs can be found on ESA’s website here.

ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global content protection program, owning and operating E3, and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @RichatESA or @ESAGovAffairs.


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