School of Game Development

Don’t let the word “game” fool you. The gaming industry is not child’s play—it is the largest, fastest-growing media industry in the world. It’s bigger than Hollywood, and it dwarves the music business, making more than $100 billion a year.

As a student in the School of Game Development, you’ll experience the entire game development cycle—from creating concept art and UI & UX for games, to coding for artificial intelligence (non-player character behavior) and virtual reality gaming experiences. Develop specialized skills that prepare you for cutting-edge careers in one of the most vibrant, multifaceted, and expansive industries ever.


Game Development Degrees

At Academy of Art University, you will receive a well-rounded education in the arts and sciences, with courses that cover techniques in game design, game programming, concept art, 3D modeling, and animation, among others.

Tour of a Top Game Development School

Join concept artist Michael Buffington on a virtual POV tour of Academy of Art’s School of Game Development. Meet the instructors, check out student work, explore our impressive eSports gaming room, and more.

Learn Online

Our revolutionary online courses provide the same rigorous education that we offer on campus with greater flexibility. Our online programs are purpose-built to deliver art and design courses. Study on your own time, at your own pace. Combine online and on-site classes. Find Out More

Developing Game Makers

See how Academy of Art University students prepare for a career in the video game industry through both traditional classroom environments and production-based collaborative classes.

Start Your Career Now

Your dream is within reach. Follow your heart and get started on the career of your dreams.

Facilities & Technology

The latest in software and equipment is essential to preparing you to enter the game development work force, which is why we keep up with current advancements in game development technology and industry practices. Whatever the pros are doing and whatever the pros are using is what you will find in our classrooms and studios.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

At the Academy, we use technologies like the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and the Microsoft Hololens to push our understanding of what altered reality gaming experiences mean to players now, and where the medium will take us in the future.


Our instructors don’t just teach you about the gaming industry, they are the gaming industry.

Alumni Success

Featured Alumni

Industry Partnership

Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment partners with the School of Game Development at Academy of Art University to provide lectures and student portfolio reviews. Many of our students have entered and won the annual Blizzard Student Art Contest, earning mentoring, internships and employment with Blizzard.

Careers in Game Development

As one of the top art and design schools in the country, Academy of Art University game development graduates have a range of opportunities to choose from. Our facilities, faculty, and hands-on learning approach are designed to provide you with the tools you need to succeed in this exciting industry. VIEW ALL CAREERS

Your career starts here.
Take the first step.
Or call 415-274-2222 to request more information about this program.
3D Character Artist
Bring characters to life as a 3D character modeler. You’ll build complex character models, organic meshes, and work across teams to rig, light, texture, and animate your creations.
Animation VFX
Animation and Visual Effects gives a game it’s personality. The most well-designed and crafted character doesn’t come to life until someone makes them move and give them some personality. Visual Effects, such as fire, laser blasts, and warp gates, grab the player and transport them to another world altogether.
Environment Concept Artist
Combine a playful imagination with a high degree of artistic skill. Concept and flush out all aspects of environmental design, from small props to full culture kits.
Game/Level Designer
Balance gameplay elements to keep games engaging. You will also improve systems, contribute to features, and participate in testing to create immersive worlds and evoke emotions.
Gameplay Programmer
Gameplay programmers are the heart of any game. Your job will be to bring the game to life by implementing the core gameplay mechanics. You'll work very close with designers to build the game itself.
UX/UI Designer
Use your knowledge of game features, design, motion graphics, and user paths to create an immersive experience.
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