In this program, you’ll learn all about how to create a game that evokes a certain feeling and style. This may help you create your own games, or it may allow you to bring a game developers vision to life. Special effects artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, images that appear to move, and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media. Special effects artists and animators often work in a specific medium. Some focus on creating animated movies or video games.

Degree Benefits:

  • Training in the newest game design programs
  • An eye toward the future of where games and game design is going, including VR
  • access to some of the best internships that are available in the gaming industry

Career Options Include:

  • Background/Character Artist or Modeler
  • Concept Artist
  • Game Developer

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median salary for Special Effects Artists and Animators in 2020 was $77,700 per year. Graphic Designers average median salary for 2020 was $53,380 per year according to BLS.

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


The time required for online completion of a degree and on-campus in Game Art & Design should be about equal at most schools for most students. The standard for a four-year degree is eight semesters whether online or on-campus. Some online schools appeal to students by offering accelerated course curricula. Accelerated curricula condenses the requirements into fewer courses to speed up graduation. Many students can accelerate graduation by attending online, but this requires a much heavier than usual credit-load. Most colleges and universities require 120 credit hours to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Game Art & Design.

Online attendance can avoid scheduling bottlenecks. Students may find on-campus classes unavailable, and that can cause additional semesters of attendance. Online classes in the summer months can help online and/or traditional students accelerate graduation. Online students can take a full course load of 15 semester hours when they have time and resources available. The lower typical costs of semester hours online, as opposed to on-campus rates, can help students take more courses.

In general, you can begin your career as a Game Art & Design by earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Game Art & Design, but in many cases for the position you are seeking you may need to obtain a master's degree in Game Art & Design. Furthermore, there are numerous specializations and subfields associated with a major in Game Art & Design. You will want to research the college or university to determine if they have the major you are considering.

This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.

A Game Art & Design degree will certainly require consisting of some really particular training courses. Generally, a bachelor's degree in Game Art & Design looks like an associate level doubled, but associates courses (the first two years) focus more on general studies. While the 3rd-5th years focus more on specific studies related to Game Art & Design. Below is a sample of online bachelor's degree courses so you can see the kind of curriculum that will be typically found. Universities will differ in their specific studies needs. Compare colleges very carefully on the courses they will require you to take to gain your bachelor's degree in Game Art & Design. Sample courses you may need:

  • Game Design: Art and Concepts
  • Game Design and Development
  • Introduction to Game Design
  • Unity Certified 3D Artist
  • Principles of Game Design
  • Story and Narrative Development for Video Games
  • Gamification
  • Introduction to Game Development

Currently, students enrolled in four-year universities have less than a 50% chance of graduating within four years. Statistics vary from university to university, but many students are graduating closer to the 6-year range.

If you want to be one of the lucky 40% who do graduate in your fourth year, you'll need to make a few sacrifices. First, you'll have to take more than the minimum 12 credit hours per semester. Take 15 credits per semester, because you'll finish earning the required credits in around four years.

Go to school each summer session. Take at least one class per summer semester. Not only will you be sure to graduate on time, but you may also benefit with lower per-credit tuition charges, as well.

Declare a major as soon as you can. You won't be moving from major to major this way. If you have to work for gas or rent, work for the fewest number of hours per week that you can. Your studies are vital.

Schools can provide valuable assistance for Game Art & Design graduates that seek employment after graduation. The programs can be formal, such as job banks and employment centers that present graduating students and graduate credentials to prospective employers and host interviews.

Depending on the college, they may have resources that can enhance employment and career opportunities for their Game Art & Design graduates. Most schools have an extended community of alumni, donors, and corporate and business support. Alumni groups offer opportunities for networking as well as for sharing information and experiences. The corporate and business community support may include opportunities for internships or other hands-on learning experiences.