USA | TOP game schools

2021 US game schools ranking: which are the best?

TOP 10 US Game Schools ☆ 

☆ more details about the top 5 ☆


   for hiring young talent

game schools top 5 USA ☆ 

#1 DigiPen Institute of Technology 

Redmond, Washington

details on World Ranking 2021


Los Angeles, California

details on World Ranking 2021

#3 Champlain College

Burlington, Vermont

Champlain College provides a concrete, career-oriented education facilitating students’ entry into the world of work. In addition, Champlain’s degree programs leave ample room for creativity, as illustrated in the school’s numerous game project achievements, both visually and in terms of interactivity.

Champlain’s value is growing when compared with other schools in America and across the world.  Its Montreal campus offers students the opportunity to do part of their curriculum in Canada in a selection of studios. 


Champlain College offers four bachelor’s video game degrees, all distinguished by their thorough preparation:

Champlain’s bachelor’s degree programs have the merit of being sufficiently well designed and comprehensive, allowing a large number of graduates to access employment without additional training.  

Nearly all of the alumni (96%) who have entered video game jobs in the United States since 2016 hold only a Bachelor's degree from Champlain. The most numerous are BS Game Design graduates (32%). Next come BS Game Art and Animation (28%), Game Programming (15%), and finally BS Game Production Management (9%).

Another strong point of the school is that students are able to follow the courses of their chosen major from the first semester, which gives an advantage to the most motivated students.

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (2017), a Champlain student project commercialized on Steam.


Champlain College students produce a variety of high-quality video games. The following are some of the games that caught our attention:

Descent of Champions is an innovative PC game allowing spectators to influence the course of the game with their cell phone. It was presented at the Intel University Games Showcase 2020, hosted by the Game Developers Conference.

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is an open-world game in an extraterrestrial city featuring a wide variety of settings and characters. It was a finalist at the Independent Games Festival in 2017.

The main companies who have hired Champlain College graduates in games since 2016 are:

At these five main employers', more than half of the recent graduates employed have artistic functions, most being game artists (half of the positions) and game designers (1/4). 

On a larger scale, Champlain alumni recruited over the last five years by 63 studios in the United States are 38% game artists and technical artists, 27% engineers and programmers and 24% game designers. The most common positions are those of game artists (34%). The share of producers (11%) is also the highest among the US schools in our rankings. 

Nautical Nonsense (2018)


Savannah, Georgia

Savannah College of Art and Design, or SCAD, is the school in this ranking with the most art oriented video game degrees.  Students acquire not only artistic skills, but also technical skills, such as programming languages. 


Among the alumni recruited in the United States since 2016 by game studios, 89% have a Bachelor's degree from SCAD. For 2/3rds of these graduates, the SCAD degree is their only higher education degree in this speciality. These degree programs are proving to be very effective in obtaining careers in the industry.

55% have a Bachelor of Art in Interactive Design and Game Development, and 19% have a Bachelor of Art in Animation, followed by a BA in Sound Design (6%) and a BA in Visual Effects (5%).

CUI CUI, selected at Intel® University Games Showcase 2020


Few schools manage to have their student projects selected in major competitions several years in a row. SCAD is one of these, with five projects from 2016 to 2020 at the Intel® University Games Showcase (IUGS) national competition hosted by the Game Developers Conference (GDC). Two of these games have won awards: 

Vacancy won the 2019 IUGS Innovation Award. This puzzle-solving game addresses the complex theme of mental health. In it, the character is connected to different dimensions by means of an interdimensional radio.  The player can change the station - by mouse, game controller, keyboard or cell phone input - and can thus escape his state.

Battery Jam won two awards in 2016. It claimed second place for its visual quality and third place for its gameplay.

Cor Dormus was a finalist at the prestigious international Unity Awards competition in 2019.

Finally, the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), which hosts the national College Game Competition, selected SCAD games as finalists for five consecutive years from 2013 to 2017.  Two Savannah games were crowned winners: Prisma in 2014 and Brobot Beatdown in 2016.  

The main companies who have hired SCAD graduates in games since 2016 are:

The profiles of the alumni in the six largest game studios in the United States since 2016 show a perfect match with the artistic orientation of the school: 84% hold positions as game artists. 

The 110 American studios that recruited the most SCAD graduates hired 70% artistic positions, 65% of which are game artists, a record rate in this ranking. 17% are game designers. Savannah College also prepares the largest share of audio designers (4%).  

Conversely, only 7% are technical programmers / developers.

Cor Domus, student project finalist at the Unity Awards 2019 

#5 RIT - rochester institutE of technology

Rochester, New York

Rochester Institute of Technology focuses primarily on its comprehensive Bachelor's degree program. 76% of its graduates who have entered the video game industry since 2016 have a bachelor's degree from the Institute as their only higher education degree.

In 2016, the faculty of RIT's video game department supported the student project Hack, Slash and Backstab in successfully making it through Microsoft’s editing sieves resulting in it being published on Xbox Live. 


RIT's Bachelor of Science in Game Design and Development is particularly successful. It is sufficiently comprehensive and solid to allow most of its graduates to enter the gaming industry without further higher education. 73% of recent RIT graduates recruited in the United States hold this degree alone.

Hack, Slash & Backstab is an award-winning student game at the Intel University Games Showcase in 2016 which was later incubated and ported to Xbox Live. 


RIT has been consistently present at the Intel University Games Showcase competition. Eight Rochester projects were selected from 2015 to 2019, two of which won awards: Super Daryl Deluxe, crowned best student project in 2015 and best in visual quality, and Hack, Slash & Backstab, third place winner for visual quality in 2016.

The mobile game Crazy Platez was a finalist in the 2018 Unity Awards and winner of the New York State Game Dev Challenge the same year. 

The main companies who have hired RIT graduates in games since 2016 are: 

Rochester Institute of Technology’s focus on tech is clearly reflected here in the positions its recent graduates hold: nearly 3/4 of the positions are technical, with a majority of engineers and programmers . Only one recent new hire holds an artistic position as a game artist. 

About half of RIT’s recent alumni earned a BS in Game Design and Development and the other half have a master's degree in the same realm. 

These primary employers of RIT game graduates are mainly large studios, which allow these new hires to work on several major AA or even AAA projects.

71 studios recruiting Rochester’s alumni in the last five years mainly hire for tech positions: 69% are engineers and programmers / developers, and 10% are game artists and technical artists. Unsurprisingly, the main career paths are those of engineers (37%), programmers/developers (32%, the highest rate in this US ranking), and game designers (19%), which again reflects the content of RIT's video game teaching.