• Find a bachelor's degree

    Bachelors Degree Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

fastest online game design

Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Lewis Uni­ver­si­ty and Lin­den­wood Uni­ver­si­ty are two top online bach­e­lor’s in game design degrees.
  • Fastest online game design bachelor’s pro­grams offer flex­i­ble sched­ules, allow­ing stu­dents to grad­u­ate quickly.
  • These pro­grams focus on key areas such as game devel­op­ment, ani­ma­tion, and inter­ac­tive design. Many pro­grams pro­vide hands-on learn­ing through projects and intern­ships, enhanc­ing prac­ti­cal skills. 
  • Accred­it­ed insti­tu­tions ensure the qual­i­ty of edu­ca­tion, and some pro­grams offer spe­cial­iza­tions in areas like game art, pro­gram­ming, and production. 
  • Grad­u­ates are pre­pared for var­i­ous roles in the gam­ing indus­try, such as game design­ers, devel­op­ers, and ani­ma­tors.

With world­wide earn­ings of more than $100 bil­lion, video games are an indus­try in a long boom that shows no signs of stop­ping. In fact, sim­u­la­tion and gam­i­fi­ca­tion train­ing are often imple­ment­ed with­in more tra­di­tion­al fields like edu­ca­tion, busi­ness, med­i­cine, and even mil­i­tary sci­ence. Obtain­ing an online game devel­op­ment degree in the game design indus­try is ripe with oppor­tu­ni­ties for those focus­ing on e‑learning or game-based learning.

Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished: Novem­ber 2022
Revised/Updated: Jan­u­ary 2024

Whether you’re a high school grad­u­ate plan­ning for your future, or a work­ing adult already in the video game field, a bachelor’s degree in game design or devel­op­ment could be a good invest­ment for a career beyond the entry-level.

Plen­ty of con­ven­tion­al 4‑year degree pro­grams are avail­able, but work­ing pro­fes­sion­als hop­ing to change careers or enhance their cur­rent careers with a bachelor’s degree are turn­ing more and more to online programs. 

These are busy peo­ple who prob­a­bly already have asso­ciate degrees, cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, and col­lege cours­es for trans­fer, so there’s an excel­lent chance that they can com­plete a bachelor’s degree in short order. That’s where the Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter’s Fastest Online Game Devel­op­ment Degree rank­ing comes in.

Methodology: Ranking the Fastest Online Game Development Degree Programs

To rank the fastest accred­it­ed online bachelor’s in-game design pro­grams, Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter edi­tors looked for ful­ly online and hybrid pro­grams that pro­vid­ed a vari­ety of ways for stu­dents to speed up their bachelor’s. Those includ­ed accel­er­at­ed cours­es, gen­er­ous trans­fer cred­its, cred­it for expe­ri­ence, place­ment exams, and more.

Speed isn’t our only cri­te­ri­on, though; after all, who’s to say a pro­gram that takes 9 months is bet­ter than one that takes 24 months? So in addi­tion to a quick com­ple­tion time, we ranked pro­grams accord­ing to five factors: 

  • Cost
  • Grad­u­a­tion Rate
  • Job Place­ment
  • Alum­ni Salary
  • Rep­u­ta­tion

1. Lewis University

At Lewis Uni­ver­si­ty, the online BS in Com­put­er Sci­ence for Game and Sim­u­la­tion Pro­gram­ming is shap­ing tomor­row’s future game developers. 

The game design degree pro­grams help stu­dents with spe­cial­iza­tions in sev­en core con­cen­tra­tions. Each spe­cial­ty teach­es the stu­dent the skills and the nec­es­sary exper­tise of the com­put­er gam­ing industry. 

How­ev­er, the Game and Sim­u­la­tion pro­gram­ming con­cen­tra­tion pro­vides stu­dents with the skill to pro­gram real­is­tic sim­u­la­tions of real process­es. Stud­ies include: 

  • Com­put­er Science
  • Data Sci­ence
  • Infor­ma­tion Security

In addi­tion, tuition costs are very afford­able for students.

The Lewis Uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus is locat­ed in Romeoville, IL. The Uni­ver­si­ty, found­ed in 1932, is a com­pre­hen­sive school with a diverse stu­dent body. The col­lege has an accel­er­at­ed degree for­mat that helps stu­dents achieve their online bach­e­lor’s in game design faster. 

Lewis Uni­ver­si­ty also pro­motes a “4+1 Bach­e­lors to Mas­ters pro­gram” option, mean­ing, instead of a two-year pro­gram, it will only take stu­dents one year to com­plete their master’s.

Degree: BS in Com­put­er Sci­ence — Game and Sim­u­la­tion Pro­gram­ming
For­mat: Online — accelerated

2. Lindenwood University

Lin­den­wood University’s BA in Game Design offers a chance to devel­op skills in the gam­ing indus­try. Foun­da­tion class­es include sto­ry­telling and char­ac­ter devel­op­ment, with a par­tic­u­lar focus on usabil­i­ty and aesthetics. 

The online course is 120 cred­its, with 84 being trans­ferrable cred­its. Sev­er­al cours­es include: 

  • Game Devel­op­ment
  • Con­cept Design
  • 3D Ani­ma­tion

Many grad­u­ates of the degree go on to become game design­ers, game pro­gram­mers, or game artists with­in the com­put­er graph­ics indus­try. Tuition for the bach­e­lor’s in game design is rea­son­able for most students.

Lin­den­wood Uni­ver­si­ty, found­ed in 1827, has a low stu­dent-to-fac­ul­ty ratio of 12:1. The accel­er­at­ed degrees avail­able are sev­en under­grad­u­ates and sev­en grad­u­ate pro­grams. Known as the Lions, the col­lege has sev­er­al clubs and orga­ni­za­tions for stu­dent social involvement. 

In the com­pet­i­tive field of game design, the medi­an salary is around $149,118, mak­ing the cre­ative indus­try worth the effort.

Degree: BA in Game Design
For­mat: Online — trans­fer 84 credits

3. University of Advancing Technology

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Advanc­ing Tech­nol­o­gy online BA in Game Design pro­gram is ful­ly accred­it­ed and avail­able online. Cours­es are heav­ing on col­lab­o­ra­tion, prepar­ing stu­dents for the mod­ern video game devel­op­ment process. Cours­es include: 

  • Game Script­ing for Designers
  • Game Devel­op­ment
  • Game Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Studies

The game design degree pro­gram at UAT has 120 cred­its with­in its pro­gram; how­ev­er, 90 cred­its can be trans­fer cred­its. The cost of tuition is afford­able to most stu­dents. Many stu­dents who receive a bach­e­lor’s degree, go on to a dual master’s degree as well.

UAT is a pri­vate tech­nol­o­gy school with a low stu­dent-to-fac­ul­ty ratio. The Uni­ver­si­ty is locat­ed in Tempe, AZ, and is one of the top tech­nol­o­gy col­leges in the nation. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Advanc­ing Tech­nol­o­gy offers many oppor­tu­ni­ties for game design majors. Some majors that may coin­cide with the Bach­e­lor’s in Game Design degree at UAT are cyber­se­cu­ri­ty, com­put­er sci­ence, and dig­i­tal mak­ing and fab­ri­ca­tion degrees.

Degree: BA in Game Design
For­mat: Online — trans­fer 90 credits

4. Southern New Hampshire University

South­ern New Hamp­shire Uni­ver­si­ty offers two online game devel­op­ment degree programs: 

  • BS in Game Pro­gram­ming & Development
  • BA in Game Art & Development 

Both degrees con­sist of cours­es in 3D mod­el­ing, Dig­i­tal imag­ing or paint­ing, and Inter­ac­tive Animation. 

For stu­dents who are inter­est­ed in graph­ic arts, then the BA in Game Art and devel­op­ment is a bet­ter choice. Those who want to learn more about soft­ware appli­ca­tions, then the BS in game pro­gram­ming and devel­op­ment is the right choice. 

For an online game devel­op­ment degree, these two pro­grams will pro­vide the nec­es­sary skills to equip each stu­dent in this tech-savvy world. Skills include writ­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, analy­sis, and prob­lem-solv­ing. The degree has 120 cred­its in its pro­gram, with up to 90 avail­able as trans­fer cred­its. SNHU is also a very afford­able non­prof­it university.

Found­ed in 1932 in Man­ches­ter, NH, SNHU was cre­at­ed to train book­keep­ers in the­o­ry and meth­ods of account­ing. In 1941, class­es were open to ser­vice mem­bers in the mil­i­tary. As time went on, new majors were added for stu­dents to choose and become skilled in over the next sev­er­al decades. 

By 2002, 40 per­cent of all online enrollees were mil­i­tary stu­dents. Today there are over 300 pro­grams avail­able online and on-cam­pus. (snhu.edu)

Degree: BS in Game Pro­gram­ming & Devel­op­ment or BA in Game Art & Devel­op­ment
For­mat: Online — trans­fer 90 credits

5. Liberty University

Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty’s BS in Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy Gam­ing Design con­cen­tra­tion applies a stu­den­t’s pas­sion for gam­ing to a sat­is­fy­ing career. 

The game design degree pro­grams offer com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy appli­ca­tions, graph­ic design, and pro­gram­ming skills that help each stu­dent suc­ceed in the world of tech­nol­o­gy by pro­vid­ing real-world expe­ri­ence in game design. The degree is a 120-cred­it pro­gram with sev­en­ty-five cred­its avail­able as transfers. 

The online game devel­op­ment degree at Lib­er­ty cre­ates strong career paths for stu­dents inter­est­ed in sev­er­al super­vi­so­ry posi­tions. For example: 

  • Video Game Designer
  • Cre­ative Director
  • Graph­ics Director
  • Mobile User Inter­face Designer
  • Soft­ware Programmer

Tuition costs at Lib­er­ty are rea­son­ably priced for most stu­dents. How­ev­er, mil­i­tary ser­vice­men and women are eli­gi­ble for a tuition dis­count. Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty, found­ed in 1971 by Rev. Jer­ry Fal­well, is an accred­it­ed evan­gel­i­cal lib­er­al arts insti­tu­tion. It has six­teen col­leges and schools, with over 550 pro­grams avail­able to stu­dents. Their mot­to: Train­ing Cham­pi­ons for Christ.

Degree: BS in Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy — Gam­ing Design
For­mat: Online — trans­fer 75 credits

6. Franklin University

The Franklin Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Inter­ac­tive Media Design pro­motes an online game devel­op­ment degree with a project-based cur­ricu­lum. The pro­gram trains each stu­dent with gen­er­al stud­ies of spread­sheets and data­bas­es at first. 

As time moves for­ward, knowl­edge in web design, research writ­ing, and flash ani­ma­tion is intro­duced. By the end of the course, the stu­dent will be pro­fi­cient in inter­ac­tive media, dig­i­tal media, adver­tis­ing, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. The degree is a 120-cred­it pro­gram with 36 cred­its in the Game design specialty.

Franklin Uni­ver­si­ty is an afford­able col­lege that is about fifty-three per­cent cheap­er than the aver­age nation­al, pri­vate four-year col­lege. The school also offers a mil­i­tary dis­count to all ser­vice mem­bers of the armed forces. Found­ed over 115 years ago, the col­lege is locat­ed in Colum­bus, Ohio, and is known as one of the largest pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties in the State. 

Franklin also part­ners with over 230 com­mu­ni­ty and tech­ni­cal col­leges through­out the nation to increase grad­u­a­tion rates, invest in com­mu­ni­ties, and deliv­er pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties to the fac­ul­ty and staff.

Degree: BS in Inter­ac­tive Media Design
For­mat: Online — transfer

7. Full Sail University

For those who have a pas­sion for becom­ing the next best game devel­op­er, then Full Sail Uni­ver­si­ty’s BS in Game Design is the right choice. 

The online game devel­op­ment degree will pro­vide each stu­dent with game design fun­da­men­tals and intro­duce key indus­try con­cepts on sys­tems and lev­el designs that pre­pare stu­dents with pro­to­typ­ing and game balancing. 

The degree is avail­able on-cam­pus and online. This is also an accel­er­at­ed BS degree, tak­ing the aver­age stu­dent only 29 months to complete.

Full Sail is locat­ed con­ve­nient­ly just min­utes from Walt Dis­ney World and Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios, mak­ing this a great place for learn­ing about game design and devel­op­ment. Full Sail is an accred­it­ed uni­ver­si­ty, com­mis­sioned by the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion. It pro­vides real-world expe­ri­ences to stu­dents in prepar­ing them for a career path designed in media, arts, tech­nol­o­gy, and entertainment.

Degree: BS in Game Design
For­mat: On-cam­pus or online — 29 months

8. Davenport University

Dav­en­port Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in Com­put­er Sci­ence with a con­cen­tra­tion in Gam­ing and Sim­u­la­tion. The degree’s mot­to is “Cap­i­tal­ize on your tech­nol­o­gy skills.” 

For stu­dents who are com­put­er gurus, then a bach­e­lor’s degree in game design may be just the right choice. The degree is avail­able online and on cam­pus. Stu­dents can earn cred­it for cer­ti­fi­ca­tions through this pro­gram as well. Cours­es include: 

  • Advances in Biometrics
  • Arti­fi­cial Intelligence
  • Soft­ware Engineering 

The degree is a 120-cred­it course, with 42 cred­its in the gam­ing con­cen­tra­tion. For stu­dents on active duty or retired from the mil­i­tary, a twen­ty per­cent dis­count is available.

Dav­en­port Uni­ver­si­ty has opened its doors and taught stu­dents for the past 150 years. Grand Rapids, MI is where it all start­ed; how­ev­er, it has cam­pus­es through­out the Mid­west. Tuition at Dav­en­port is mod­er­ate­ly afford­able, and the school offers schol­ar­ships to those who are eli­gi­ble.

Degree: BS in Com­put­er Sci­ence — Gam­ing and Sim­u­la­tion
For­mat: Online — cred­it for cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, mil­i­tary service

9. Middle Georgia State University

The BS in Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy at Mid­dle Geor­gia State Uni­ver­si­ty comes with sev­en con­cen­tra­tions, Inte­grat­ed Dig­i­tal Media and Gam­ing Design is one of these spe­cial­ties designed for the online game devel­op­ment degree programs. 

Tak­ing the CLEP or DSST exams, which are equiv­a­lent to forty cred­it hours, allows the stu­dent to fin­ish school faster as well. The over­all tuition costs are afford­able and some schol­ar­ships are avail­able to eli­gi­ble stu­dents. The col­lege also offers cred­it for pri­or learning.

The col­lege was named one of the most afford­able col­leges in the nation as well. For­mal­ly called Macon State Uni­ver­si­ty, MGSU is now one of Geor­gia’s newest and old­est col­leges. Their four core val­ues are Stew­ard­ship, Engage­ment, Adap­tiv­i­ty, and Learning.

Degree: BS in Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy — Inte­grat­ed Dig­i­tal Media and Gam­ing Design
For­mat: Online — trans­fer, test out, pri­or learn­ing credits

10. Rasmussen College

Ras­mussen Col­lege has a BA in Graph­ic Design that puts cre­ativ­i­ty and inspi­ra­tion to the test. The graph­ic design degree at Ras­mussen is one that stu­dents should not pass up. The pro­gram offers each stu­dent two spe­cial­iza­tions that may be valu­able to game designers: 

  • Ani­ma­tion and Motion Graphics
  • Web and Inter­ac­tive Design

The online degree also is accom­plished with­in thir­ty-six months through the Flex­choice option, a way to com­bine tra­di­tion­al class­es and self-direct­ed assign­ments as one. Cours­es in the cur­ricu­lum include: 

  • 2D and 3D Modeling
  • Motion Graph­ics
  • Dig­i­tal Spe­cial Effects
  • Char­ac­ter Modeling

Tuition at Ras­mussen Col­lege is very afford­able, and schol­ar­ships are avail­able as well. The col­lege is locat­ed in Still­wa­ter, MI. The Uni­ver­si­ty offers sev­en schools. It is also a region­al­ly accred­it­ed insti­tu­tion. As part of the tech­ni­cal school, the graph­ics design degree is ful­ly avail­able online.

Degree: BA in Graph­ic Design — Ani­ma­tion and Motion Graph­ics
For­mat: Online — 36 months

Is an Online Game Development Degree or Local Game Design Program Better?

For some­one inter­est­ed in get­ting a degree in Game Design, there are two choic­es: apply­ing to an online school or tak­ing class­es at an on-cam­pus uni­ver­si­ty. Each choice has pros and cons. For an online game design degree, there are sev­er­al advantages. 

Many stu­dents choose online because of the flex­i­bil­i­ty to learn at their own pace, log in and out any­time they want and have either a part-time or full-time course load. All from the com­fort of home. 

Online learn­ing can also be very con­ve­nient, espe­cial­ly for the stu­dent who needs to work a full-time job while going to school. Many schools may also pro­vide online men­tor­ing. How­ev­er, the hours avail­able may not coin­cide with your time schedule.

The cons of online learn­ing are few, although impor­tant. Some instruc­tors have an avail­abil­i­ty issue of when they can assist stu­dents online. For instance, If you email a ques­tion about a project or assign­ment to the teacher, you may not get a response for a num­ber of hours, some­times not till the next day. This can be an ugly incon­ve­nience if the stu­dent has a due date for the project you need help with.

Just like the online option, the on-cam­pus choice also has both advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages. The pros to a local school or uni­ver­si­ty are sim­ple: face-to-face com­mu­ni­ca­tion, on-cam­pus com­put­er labs, tutoring/mentoring options, and close dis­cus­sions with the teacher up front. 

How­ev­er, there are some cons to being on cam­pus. For one, the cost of tuition. Unless liv­ing with par­ents is still an option, room and board can be very expen­sive for a col­lege stu­dent. In addi­tion, some com­put­er labs only have a cer­tain num­ber of com­put­ers to use, so there is a chance of wait­ing your turn to get in/on.

What If I Don’t Want a Full Degree?

There is a chance to advance in a career in game design with­out receiv­ing a degree. By earn­ing a cer­tifi­cate in game design or game devel­op­ment, the stu­dent will learn the basic foun­da­tions of the field, includ­ing com­put­er graph­ics. Stu­dents will need to have basic com­put­er knowl­edge, under­stand algo­rithms, and com­pre­hend dif­fer­ent forms of math­e­mat­ics; for instance, alge­bra, trigonom­e­try, and calculus.

Many required cours­es include game research meth­ods, ani­ma­tion, com­put­er sci­ence, and Java pro­gram­ming tech­nolo­gies. 2D and 3D graph­ics imag­ing also is part of the cur­ricu­lum. Oth­er course­work may include:

  • Soft­ware Development
  • Pro­gram­ming Languages
  • Mul­ti­me­dia
  • Com­put­er Programming
  • Project Man­age­ment
  • User Expe­ri­ence

Game design schools have boomed for online stu­dents, espe­cial­ly as mobile game soft­ware has changed the play­ing field. Learn­ing to devel­op apps for mobile devices pro­vides learn­ers with anoth­er way to enter the video game industry.

Cer­tifi­cates are also trans­ferrable to degrees like a Bach­e­lor of Fine Arts or a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence. This means if a stu­dent choos­es to go for a graph­ic design degree after receiv­ing a cer­tifi­cate, then the cred­its earned will be added to the cho­sen degree pro­gram. Each cer­tifi­cate is usu­al­ly 15–18 cred­its long and takes approx­i­mate­ly eight to twelve months to complete.

Anoth­er ben­e­fit of choos­ing a cer­tifi­cate is the cost. You can still obtain finan­cial aid but have much less to pay back with­out need­ing gen­er­al edu­ca­tion cours­es and unnec­es­sary elec­tives. Just make sure your cer­tifi­cate pro­gram has accreditation.

Can I Become a Video Game Developer Without a Degree?

A game design/game devel­op­ment cer­tifi­cate alone can give a stu­dent a start­ing point in the right direc­tion. Those with a cer­tifi­cate in game design do have the chance to become video game devel­op­ers at an entry-lev­el position. 

Some busi­ness­es may hire can­di­dates with just a cer­tifi­cate, although there is not much room for pro­mo­tions with­out a four-year degree. Some appli­cants for game design or game devel­op­er jobs decide to acquire sev­er­al cer­tifi­cates with­in the gam­ing indus­try. For instance, receiv­ing a cer­tifi­cate for web design, dig­i­tal design, or com­put­er science. 

Each of the cer­tifi­cates pro­vides a spe­cif­ic con­cen­tra­tion to the game design indus­try. Hav­ing sev­er­al types of game design cer­tifi­cates does add to your busi­ness port­fo­lio. How­ev­er, cer­tifi­cates are also used to ben­e­fit the degree pro­gram as well. It can also pro­vide more oppor­tu­ni­ties for high­er learn­ing, as well as, pos­si­bil­i­ties for man­age­r­i­al or super­vi­so­ry positions.