2020 Most Affordable Online Game Design Degrees

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Why Get a Degree in Game Design?

Game designers work in teams to create concepts and design visuals for video games and mobile games. The gaming industry hires professionals who specialize in areas like game storytelling, animation, graphic design, and programming.

In the fast-paced world of gaming, professionals must bring several key skills to their roles. Game designers think creatively and develop innovative solutions to problems. Game design blends art and technology, so game designers must bring strong artistic and technical skills to their role. Most career paths require a bachelor’s degree and training in game design.

Earning an online game design degree prepares graduates for careers in many areas of the gaming industry, from the designers who develop games to the programmers who turn a concept into code. The gaming industry also offers opportunities for artists who specialize in modeling, animation, and concept art.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Game Design Degrees in 2020

Rank School Location
1 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI
2 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
3 Kent State University Ashtabula, OH
4 Auburn University Auburn, AL
5 University of Washington Bothell, WA
6 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
7 Rutgers University Camden, NJ
8 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
9 University of South Carolina Aiken, SC
10 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
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FAQ

What is the difference between game design and game development?

Game designers create the concept and look for a game, while game developers create the code. While game designers often hold a BA or BFA, game developers typically earn a BS.

What are some specializations in game design?

Within game design, majors specialize in areas like animation, level design, or programming. Some online schools for game design also offer a specialization in mobile games.

Do you need a bachelor’s degree to be a game designer?

Yes. Most entry-level game design jobs require a bachelor’s degree.

Can you learn game design at home?

Yes. Online schools for game design let students study at home through a flexible online learning environment.

How Much Do Game Design Majors Make?

An online game design degree leads to high-paying careers, including as game designers and game developers. Within the gaming industry, professionals with a BA or BFA in game design work in animation, graphic design, and as art directors. These titles also offer opportunities outside of the gaming industry.

  • Multimedia Artists and Animators: Multimedia artists and animators create graphics and animals in both 2D and 3D environments. They make visual effects for video games, create games with a team of animators, and edit animation based on feedback from game designers. The position requires strong artistic, programming, and creative skills.
  • Graphic Designers: Graphic designers create visual materials, often relying on software programs or programming knowledge. They create layouts and designs for video games and mobile games, often coordinating with the art director on the overall look. They may also create original images and illustrations for games.
  • Art Directors: In the gaming industry, art directors create the visual style for a mobile or video game. They determine how to represent a concept visually, develop the overall look of the game, and direct production specialists to develop artwork based on their design. Art directors also approve artwork and graphics created by their staff.
Career Median Annual
Salary
Projected Growth Rate
(2018-2028)
Multimedia Artists and Animators $75,270 4%
Graphic Designers $52,110 3%
Art Directors $94,220 1%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

A BS in game design prepares graduates for careers in the gaming industry, including as software developers. Thanks to the strong programming skills gained during a BS in game design, graduates can also pursue opportunities outside of the field of game development, like computer network architecture.

  • Software Developers: Software developers create applications and computer systems. They must analyze user needs, design software to meet those needs, and test software. Software developers also create models for programmers, conduct maintenance, and collaborate with other specialists to improve software. They typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field like game design.
  • Computer Network Architects: Computer network architects design data communication networks. They help organizations determine their networking needs, set up local area networks, and create custom networks to meet business goals. Computer network architects present plans to executives and research network technologies to improve current networks.
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028)
Software Developers $105,590 21%
Computer Network Architects $112,690 5%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

2020 Most Affordable Online Game Design Degrees

A growing number of game design schools offer online programs. Our rankings consider several factors — including affordability, accreditation, and quality — to rank the top online game design degrees. Read on to learn more about top programs.

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Location

    Madison, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The online Master’s program in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison tops the list for the best Online Masters in Library Science Degrees. Engaging students with 42-credit hours of rigorous and relevant coursework, students complete the iSchool program with the professional skills for success in the diverse field of library science.

    Program Features

    This UW-Madison iSchool degree is accredited by the American Library Association. Students are encouraged to choose areas of concentration in their degree, allowing a highly tailored course load. Specializations range from Librarianship to Archives, Data/Information Management & Analytics or Info and Data Organization. Classes offered to students include:

    • TLAM (Tribal Libraries, Archives & Museums)
    • Information Ethics & Policy
    • Community Engagement
    • Digital Tools, Trends & Debates

    Details

    The online Master’s program in Library and Information Science requires students to live at least 55 miles from Madison, Wisconsin for admission. Students must attend an on-campus orientation and instruction week, allowing interaction with other online students and engagement with faculty instructors. Supervised field study is part of the program as well. UW-Madison students can also receive Named Certificates as optional enhancements to the master’s degree.

  2. Drexel University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Drexel University’s top-ranking online Master’s in Library and Information Science program is an accredited degree program that offers graduates the all the skills they need to be successful leaders in information management. The core values of the field: equity, social justice, privacy, access, and intellectual freedom, are integrated into all coursework.

    Program Features

    American Library Association accredited, Drexel offers convenience for the professional working in the field. The year is set up as four 10-week quarters, which allows students to take more classes at an accelerated pace. Totalling 45 credits, students are immersed in the latest technologies. Classes include:

    • Users, Services, & Resources
    • Leading & Managing Information Organizations
    • Organization of Data and Information
    • Data and Digital Stewardship

    Details

    Drexel University offers several specializations in their Library and Information Science program. Digital Technology Services, Information and Data Services or User and Community Services concentrations allow students to fine-tune their interests and get maximum career value from their degree. All online courses are taught by College of Computing and Informatics faculty and offer students a solid foundation in library science and engaging electives.

  3. Kent State University
    Location

    Ashtabula, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Kent State University offers a well-rounded online Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Fully accredited by the American Library Association, Kent State University students benefit from the highly awarded and recognized faculty, but delivered in a convenient, user-friendly online format. Perfect for the working professional, students receive the same high standard of classes which has made Kent State University a top-tier academic institution.

    Program Features

    Kent State University wants to make sure your M.L.I.S. degree is exactly tailored to the career you have in mind. The degree offers an incredible array of 14 specializations available for students to pursue, from Information Technology and Information Science to Academic Librarianship. Dual or multiple degree options are also available, as are electives from the Master of Science program.

    Core class offerings include:

    • The Information Landscape
    • Information Organization
    • People in the Information Ecology
    • Information Institutions and Professions

    Details

    Kent State University M.L.I.S. students have shown high job placement success. Surveys run of iSchool graduates in the past 5 years have indicated 92% employment placement within 12+ months of program completion. Utilizing the highly effective and user-friendly Blackboard Learn online platform, Kent State students are able to access their coursework and engage in the high caliber learning environment.

  4. Auburn University
    Location

    Auburn, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Auburn University provides a top-notch Library Media Master of Education degree, specifically focused on career paths as a school librarian or technology specialist. Whether you want to teach, be an information specialist or enter administration, Auburn’s online program will give you the bandwidth to fully engage and understand the rapidly changing field of media. The degree carries A-level teaching certification for the state of Alabama and receives library media certification upon completion.

    Program Features

    The online Library Media Master of Education program gives students the opportunity to study instructional design and technology, learning theory, and information science. The program is approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Specific coursework in the degree offerings includes classes such as:

    • Bibliographic Description, Organization & Control
    • Literacy & Inquiry in the Content Areas
    • Selection & Use of Media for Youth
    • Integration of Technology into the Curriculum

    Details

    Auburn University online students have a clinical residency built into their coursework. Featuring 300 clock hours in diverse school environments, students gain hands-on, applicable experiences. Over 30 hours of coursework is required for graduation and multiple scholarships are offered specifically for library media students. Online courses begin at $610 per credit hour and program enrollment is offered three times a year.

  5. University of Washington
    Location

    Bothell, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Washington Information School offers a Master of Library and Information Science degree that will equip professionals in library sciences. Highly regarded faculty will guide you through online coursework that is identical to what students on campus receive. Boasting a low student/faculty ratio and high rankings by many national publications, students graduate and enter the rapidly evolving world of library and information science prepared for successful careers.

    Program Features

    Whether you are interested in working with nonprofits, corporate environments, libraries, or other information jobs, iSchool grads are given the research connections, scholarship, and community engagement to make it happen. Core curriculum centers on information organization, policy, design concepts and more. Field experiences and independent study gives a practical application to the program standards. Course offered in the MLIS degree include:

    • Information Resources, Services and Collections
    • Management of Information Organizations
    • Research, Assessment, and Design
    • The Question of Information

    Details

    Tailoring your education to your specific career goals within the iSchool is simple. Students can build on their law degree by choosing a specialization in Law Librarianship in their top-ranked focused track. Those interested in working in K-12 public schools can also pursue a School Library Media Endorsement. The online program is 63 quarter credits to completion. It is part-time and designed to be completed in three-years. Students enroll at a pace of 6–8 credits per quarter.

  6. Florida State University
    Location

    Tallahassee, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Florida State University’s online Master of Science in Information prepares students for professional careers in librarianship, youth information & services, information architecture & technology and more. American Library Association accredited, students in this rigorous program gain skills, in theory, basic information techniques, application of new technologies and much more. The degree requires 36 semester hours of graduate-level coursework.

    Program Features

    Students are able to specifically tailor their degree to suit their career goals through one of the many areas of study. These tracks do not add any official endorsements upon graduation, rather are used as guides in course planning. Students are able to clearly focus their interests on their studies by choosing to engage in tracks like:

    • General Librarianship
    • Public, Academic, and Special Libraries
    • Web Design
    • Specialized Study in Museum Theory & Practice
    • Health Informatics

    Details

    Florida State University does also offer five certificate programs at the graduate level which give students technical expertise in a certain area of study. Certificates available range from Health and Information Technology to Information Leadership and Management. Juris Doctor/MS joint degree program is also offered in conjunction with the school of law. With the majority of online programs being taught by FSU’s highly respected faculty, students gain a top-notch education with online convenience.

  7. Rutgers University
    Location

    Camden, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Rutgers University offers an online Master of Information program that equips professionals for outstanding careers in library science. Whether working with books or integrating advanced and dynamic technology, Rutgers knows that students need a pedagogical framework and the practical application skills to be field leaders. Their curriculum is suited to enable data scientists, information managers, librarians, archivists, and designers to excel.

    Program Features

    Rutgers University has consistently ranked high in national publications for its Information Sciences, School Library Media, and Digital Librarianship. It is American Library Association accredited and part of the iSchool consortium. The Master of Information program is focused on these core principles for success:

    • People and Community
    • Data, Information, and Knowledge
    • Technologies, Systems, and Networks
    • Empowerment, Engagement, and Action

    Details

    Students who are enrolled in the online program have opportunities for internships, a close-knit networking community, and interaction with other online classmates through various clubs and organizations. The Master of Information also offers six concentrations of study, from Technology, Information and Management to Library and Information Science, which includes School Libraries. Rutgers maintains high student satisfaction and gives students an easy entry to the field.

  8. The University of Alabama
    Location

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama offers a fully online Master of Library and Information Studies degree. Completion of the 36 hours requirement can be met efficiently, as online students typically register for two classes each semester, completing the degree in six total semesters. Online classes meet synchronously at a set time each week.

    Program Features

    Accredited by the American Library Association, students are prepared for a career in the rapidly evolving field of library and information studies. Whether looking to engage in library work via an academic environment, a community branch, or interested in digital technologies, the rigorous coursework will train and prepare. Classes offered in the degree requirements include:

    • Public Libraries
    • Academic Libraries
    • School Media Centers
    • Special Libraries and Information Centers

    Details

    The University of Alabama allows students to choose from six areas of emphasis in their program. Ranging from Youth Service to Social Justice, Digital Stewardship to Special Libraries, these give students avenues to explore their career interests and design their study. Specializations which can be seen on their degree are also offered, including Archival Studies and School Libraries.

  9. University of South Carolina
    Location

    Aiken, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of South Carolina’s Master of Library and Information Science degree offers a highly tailored education which gives students big opportunities for career success. Whether working in schools, businesses, academic, or private settings, this online degree can launch you into the career you want. 36 hours of coursework complete the degree, with 9 hours being required classes.

    Program Features

    The Master of Library and Information Science degree offers a school library certification option for students ready to enter a classroom setting. All of the coursework is designed to integrate and teach the core competencies. Students leave the program with the understanding the dispositions, skill-sets, and values of:

    • Information and its organization
    • Provision of information services
    • Leadership and management
    • Research
    • Technology
    • Professional development and lifelong learning

    Details

    Built into the course offerings is a 135-hour internship or field practicum. Students are placed in a learning environment in the field where they are engaged and mentored by an experienced professional. This experience provides vital lessons and skills to take into their careers. With a high student retention rate in the program and very positive job placement results, the MLIS program shows its strength and longevity.

  10. Syracuse University
    Location

    Syracuse, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science offered at Syracuse University’s iSchool gives students the ability to fully engage library settings. Accredited by the American Library Association, the LIS program is a leader in the field, always seeking to innovate and expand what a library is and better understand the diverse role a librarian plays in modern culture.

    Program Features

    The LIS program can typically be completed in 2 years and has a 36 credit requirement. With core competencies in management, information resources, and electives available in a focus area, students receive robust knowledge of the field. Focus areas include:

    • Academic Librarianship
    • Data Librarianship
    • Historical Materials
    • Management
    • School Media
    • Public Service Librarianship

    Details

    Online students in the iSchool receive coursework and are taught by the same faculty they would encounter on campus. Through a combination of live classes, collaborative coursework, and professional networking, students are able to maintain full-time work and keep up with their classes. Merit-based awards and LIS specific scholarships are available, including a 25% tuition award for library employees.

  11. University of Illinois
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Illinois School of Information Sciences offers an online degree in Library & Information Science through The iSchool at Illinois. The school consistently ranks high as a premier institution for its academic rigor and innovative practices. Working through the Leep online learning program, which provides real-time virtual class experience, students stay connected to coursework wherever they are, offering fantastic flexibility.

    Program Features

    Students are encouraged to tailor their course of study to the career path and knowledge they are most interested in gaining. After finishing two required introductory courses to the degree, students are able to create their path of study with their advisor by adding on electives that support their interests. Degree completion is 40 hours total and students can choose from classes such as:

    • Information Organization and Access
    • Libraries, Information, and Society
    • Digital Media Ethics
    • Hip Hop Informatics

    Details

    American Library Association accredited, the LIS program also touts its affordability in comparison to other similar online programs. Tuition rests at $636/hour and $1,053/hour per credit hour for Illinois residents and non-residents respectively. Career guidance and job placement assistance is also an active part of the program culture, helping graduates secure jobs in research institutions, public library systems, and top organizations.

  12. University of Maryland
    Location

    Princess Anne, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland has become recognized for its innovative best practices. Their graduates are known for creative, forward thinking and improving information and knowledge organization. The iSchool online learning community is a highly interactive space, with strong networking and an edge on what library and information science is now and can become in the future.

    Program Features

    Students of the MLIS program are able to complete the 36 hours of coursework online, with 12 hours being in core classes and either a field study or thesis option for completion. Students can benefit in their field studies with the University of Maryland’s close connection to many Washington DC agencies, giving MLIS students opportunities in prestigious museums, libraries, archives, and non-profits. Classes taken by students in the MLIS program include:

    • Serving Information Needs
    • Achieving Organizational Excellence
    • Creating Information Infrastructures
    • Designing Principled Inquiry

    Details

    Specializations are also offered in the MLIS program, giving students additional strength and bandwidth as they seek their career interests. Available to online students are focuses on Individualized Program Plan, School Library, and Youth Experience. Fully accredited by the American Library Association, the MLIS program at the University of Maryland is one to consider, with its unique opportunities and networking strength.

  13. Clarion University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    Clarion, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Clarion University offers a Master of Science in information and library science program that allows students to work fully online, at a full or part-time pace. Students are immersed in the world of information organization, technologies, foundational principles, and learn how to navigate the key issues faced today. Classes are available to start in the fall, spring, or summer terms.

    Program Features

    Well established, Clarion prides itself on being the first information and library science program in Pennsylvania. Students are able to navigate their coursework with a specific concentration, allowing them a high level of personalization and tailoring to their future ambitions. Concentrations available to M.S.L.S students are:

    • Management of Information Agencies
    • Information Access
    • Reference and User Services
    • Local and Archival Studies

    Details

    Clarion University’s program also offers career placement assistance and provides an active networking collaborative to aid students and graduates in finding career success. Internships offered also give students invaluable field experience and can be arranged with postings through the Clarion Career Connections. Whether looking toward a career in youth or adult services in a public library, local history, and genealogy, or a government agency, Clarion can advance your future.

  14. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    Location

    Greensboro, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of North Carolina at Greensboro offers an all-online Master of Library and Information Studies. This program offers classes that are both synchronous and asynchronous in design and is able to be completed with 36 credit hours. Featuring academically challenging coursework in a close-knit, network-savvy class community, students are able to learn all foundations of the field.

    Program Features

    Fully accredited by the American Library Association, the MLIS program is proud to be the oldest in North Carolina. Students of the program are able to find success in career opportunities in schools, non-profit organizations, corporate, and academic environments. Coursework involved in the MLIS degree includes:

    • Foundations of Library and Information Studies
    • The History of Libraries and Librarianship
    • Principles of Database Information Retrieval
    • Humanities Information Sources

    Details

    MLIS students are able to add on School Library Licensure and Instructional Technology Licensures to their degree. Students end their coursework with a capstone experience, giving them the hands-on experience as they embark on their post-graduate life. The program boasts highly affordable tuition, with online courses priced lower than on-campus offerings. Coursework starts in the fall or winter terms and can be completed in around 2.5 years with part-time enrollment.

  15. McDaniel College
    Location

    Westminster, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    McDaniel College’s Master of Science in School Librarianship is a fully online program that is geared toward cultivating library professionals who effectively bring best library practices into school settings. High-quality teaching is fostered in McDaniel’s program, as well as hands-on exposure to the technologies that will most benefit learning outcomes. Graduates leave with the skill sets to create top quality school libraries.

    Program Features

    The M.S. in School Librarianship degree meets Maryland standards for certification as a Library Media Specialist. Students are closely mentored by faculty scholars who bring enthusiasm for the field of librarianship, along with a commitment to successful school libraries through their research and professional contributions. Coursework offered in the M.S. includes:

    • Literature for Children
    • Instructional Collaboration
    • Selection & Use
    • Professional Portfolio

    Details

    Students end their degree with a practicum, offering an ideal transition into their future career. Students are placed in a school library environment, where gain a minimum of 99 hours of experience. This ending course takes three weeks to complete and gives students the relevant, hands-on experiences that will enable them to be better teachers, instructional administrators, and leaders. A professional portfolio is also created, summarizing and showcasing experiences in the program.

  16. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Southern California offers a unique and innovative program for those studying library sciences in the Master of Management in Library and Information Science. Building on USC’s forward-thinking fashion, the MMLIS differentiates itself by being housed in the Marshall School of Business. This gives students coursework with a management-based perspective and a focus on leadership skills. Bringing these tools into library environments has yielded positive outcomes.

    Program Features

    Fully online and following a cohort model, the MMLIS program is accredited by the American Library Association. Students may enter library environments, but also are finding career success in medical fields, museums, and corporate environments. Embracing the technologies that are truly evolving the field, students begin the program learning the foundations of librarianship. These foundations include areas of study involving:

    • Research
    • Data Management
    • Technology
    • Curation
    • Communication

    Details

    Students can follow a general track or tailor their education to their specific career trajectory. Internships are available as an optional part of coursework, giving them additional charge on their resume. The program is designed to be finished in 20 months, based on a platform of five 15-week semesters. Faculty mentor students through individual assignments that articulate their interests.

  17. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    East Carolina University offers a Master of Library Science online graduate degree is known for producing highly trained library science professionals who engage school, academic, and research environments. Accredited by the American Library Association, students find the perfect balance of educational foundations, combined with skills to highlight and utilize the new technologies that are changing the field.

    Program Features

    East Carolina proudly graduates the highest number of library professionals in the state and maintains a pulse on the newest issues faced in libraries today. The program consists of 13 courses or 39 credit hours and focuses on the following areas:

    • Cataloging and Reference
    • Information Literacy
    • Library Foundations
    • Technology
    • Collection Development
    • Age Specific Literature

    Details

    The Master of Library Science program allows students to choose from three different concentrations. This allows students to tailor their coursework exactly toward their career ambitions. Students can choose from studies in either school, public, or academic librarianship. Within each concentration are required courses and an array of electives. This degree also carries North Carolina Public Librarian Certification once graduation requirements are met.

  18. University of Pittsburgh
    Location

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Pittsburgh’s Master of Library and Information Science gives students every advantage that on-campus students receive, but with terrific flexibility due to its accessible online format. Using Pitt Online, students can take advantage of the school’s rigorous coursework and still maintain a full-time job. Students can complete the program’s 36 credit hour, 12-course requirements in around two years as a part-time learner

    Program Features

    Within the coursework, students engage the core principles of librarianship and learn the new technologies that are evolving the field. American Library Association accredited, the online program offers asynchronous class meetings. MLIS students are able to choose Pathways, which are specific areas of concentration. Pathways available to online students include:

    • Data Stewardship
    • Library and Information Services

    Details

    Unique to the University of Pittsburgh is their participation in the WISE program. Web-based Information Science Education allows students to take online courses from other institutions. This gives students new options in coursework, and also the opportunity to interact and engage with other perspectives in the wide-arching field of information science. Students are also able to work with faculty scholars in various research capacities while pursuing their degree.

  19. East Central University
    Location

    Ada, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    East Central University offers a Master of Library Media degree through their College of Education and Psychology. Geared towards those looking to working in school settings, the degree offers coursework focused on PreKindergarten – grade 12 students. Students graduate with the certification and competencies to work as School Library Media Specialists. Available fully online, the program requires 32 credit hours for completion.

    Program Features

    Students of the Master of Library Media degree at ECU take classes that highlight topics that matter in PreKindergarten – grade 12 environments. Students are given professional skills in technology best practices, foundations of librarianship, and practical strategies for helping students achieve learning outcomes. Specific courses that are offered in this program include:

    • Young Adult Literature
    • Survey of Emerging Technologies
    • Survey of Intellectual Property
    • Curriculum and the Media Center

    Details

    Graduate students in the online program wanting to work in Oklahoma must pass subject area tests and have a valid teaching certificate to gain certification as a Library Media Specialist. The Masters of Library Media program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students create a portfolio as the culminating piece of their time at ECU, featuring highlights of their program and experiences.

  20. Valdosta State University
    Location

    Valdosta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Valdosta State University offers a Master of Library and Information Science program prepares library professionals for work in schools, university settings, public libraries, and other information management environments. The Master of Library and Information Science offers familiarity with technology, data management, administration, and best practices for library systems. Highly attentive faculty enable good communication between online classes.

    Program Features

    The Master of Library and Information Science program is completed with 39 credit hours and is American Library Association accredited. It also does not require a thesis as a capstone. Its core curriculum is designed for graduates to gain competency in Technical Knowledge, Services in the Knowledge Society, Resources for Clients, and Administration. Classes offered in the degree include:

    • Foundations of Library and Information Science
    • Information Sources and Services
    • Management of Libraries and Information Centers
    • Organization of Information

    Details

    Students are able to tailor their education to their career aspirations by choosing a track of focus within the program. While this is not required, some may appreciate the specializations. With opportunities for Reference Sources and Services, Youth Services, Technology, Cataloging, and Classification, or Library Management students can leave the program with additional resources for successful careers.

  21. University of Kentucky
    Location

    Lexington, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Kentucky helps students excel with their Master’s in Library Science program, housed in the School of Information Science. American Library Association accredited and available fully online, the Library Science degree at the UK is known for its innovative and forward thinking. Offering School Librarian Certification, it is a great option for those who are looking to work in a classroom setting.

    Program Features

    Whether you are looking to work in a school, research, public, or private capacity, the University of Kentucky works with your time schedule. Asynchronous classes can be taken as a full or part-time student. 36 hours of coursework complete the program and online students receive resident tuition prices, making it a great value. Coursework available through the program includes:

    • Methods of Research in Library and Information Science
    • Youth Literature for a Diverse Society
    • Information Resources and Services for Children
    • Library Materials and Literature for Children

    Details

    The University of Kentucky doesn’t just give you the basics, they offer students some truly unique experiences. A 140-hour fieldwork practicum gives students the real, hands-on experience of working in a library setting. Study abroad options are also available for students looking to engage and network on an international scale. Library Science students may even participate in internships in our nation’s capital, working with prestigious institutions like the Smithsonian Institutions, Library of Congress and other national organizations.

  22. Louisiana State University
    Location

    Baton Rouge, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Louisiana State University offers a Master of Library and Information Science through their well regarded School of Library and Information Science. This degree is 100% online and was established in 2013. Program requirements for a minimum of 36 credit hours can be met in 2 years at a full-time pace. If working at a part-time pace, students have up to 5 years to complete their degree.

    Program Features

    Students benefit from LSU’s balanced course load. Core classes offer foundations in librarianship, management, and service. Electives are available to expound on their particular interests and support their career aspirations. If desired, one of eight specializations can be chosen to guide their studies, from Cultural Heritage Resource Management to Adult Services in Public Libraries. Classes found in the degree program include:

    • Information Technologies and Systems
    • Understanding Research
    • Graphic Novels in Libraries
    • Introduction to Archival Theory, Principles & Practices

    Details

    LSU LIS students find their graduate experience greatly benefits from internship opportunities and directed independent studies. Internships allow 120 hours of field work and mentoring from a professional in an information center or library. The practical, real-life experience gained interning has been a real boost to graduate careers. Working with faculty on an independent study gives students the freedom to explore topics that are not covered in classes and highlight their specific interest sets.

  23. University at Buffalo
    Location

    Buffalo, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Buffalo offers a Master of Science in Information and Library Science degree through their Department of Library and Information Studies. Accredited by the American Library Association, this degree is offered online and prepares graduates to work in the dynamic and evolving field of library science. Whether you use your degree to work in a school library environment, instructional technology, research, or a private institution, the foundation of the University of Buffalo can launch a successful career.

    Program Features

    Upon entry to the degree program, full-time students can complete the 36 credit hours of coursework in 4 semesters. Classes enable proficiency in technology and also a solid grasp of information and its management. Aspects of professional librarianship are taught in detail, through courses such as:

    • Introduction to Research Methods
    • Information Users and Uses
    • Curriculum Role of the Media Specialist
    • Multicultural and Special Population Materials for Children and Young Adults

    Details

    Information and Library Science students can also choose between a general course of study or a concentration. Uniquely, the program allows for concentrations in multiple areas, giving motivated students an opportunity to build a strong resume. Concentrations range from Public or Academic Libraries and School Librarianship to Information Storage and Retrieval and Cataloging and Classification. A Music or Law Librarianship can also be obtained in collaboration with those respective departments.

  24. Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Appalachian State University’s online Master of Library Science program offers a high caliber degree that students can obtain while still maintaining a career. The degree is completed with 36 credit hours and graduates are then able to apply for North Carolina Media Coordinator licensure. Additionally, graduates can apply for Public Librarian Certification for North Carolina. The MLS degree is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

    Program Features

    Library Science students benefit from the melding of both synchronous and asynchronous online class structures. A predictable, live virtual experience is offered one time a week for class, but other coursework can be completed around a student’s schedule. Classes offered in the program include:

    • Collaborative Media Program Planning and Evaluation
    • Strategic Administration of Library Resources and Services
    • Collection Development and Management
    • Critical Issues in Literature and Media

    Details

    A non-thesis program, the MLS offers an internship in a school or public library setting or a field experience through the Applications of Librarianship Standards course. This hands-on engagement adds tremendous value to the program experience. An M Level licensure or Instructional Technology/Computers add-on licensure are also available within the program. At $266 per credit hour for North Carolina residents, the program maintains affordability.

  25. Jacksonville State University
    Location

    Jacksonville, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Jacksonville State University’s Master of Science in Education degree in Library Media is an online program that gives graduates the skills necessary for professional success. This degree program is designed specifically for certification in schools as a PreKindergarten – Grade 12 library media specialist. Certified teachers who are looking to change their career are able to maintain their studies and work obligations while completing this program.

    Program Features

    Students benefit from Jacksonville State University’s technology-focused curriculum. The degree also gives professional competency in leadership, design, collection management, and standards-based instruction. Specific courses in the Library Media program include:

    • Research in Education
    • Diversity in Education
    • Trends, Issues, Innovation & Leadership in Libraries & Schools
    • Learning through Interactive Technologies

    Details

    Students in the Library Media program build off of their teaching backgrounds with library media courses that are practical and relevant. An internship or practicum in a media center, working under the supervision of a professional mentor is a highlight experience for students. Offering a chance to engage students and fulfill the responsibilities necessary for a productive media center, these hands-on experiences are a fantastic way to end the program. Online work is maintained through the easy to use College LiveText program.

  26. Dominican University
    Location

    River Forest, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Dominican University offers a Master of Library and Information Science with an online delivery, perfect for busy professionals looking to advance their career opportunities. Accredited by the American Library Association, the program prides itself on equipping graduates to meet the evolving demands of the field. 36 credit-hours will complete the program requirements and the degree can be completed between 1 – 6 years total.

    Program Features

    After completing the four core classes of the Library and Information Science program, students have the ability to create a path of study that is best suited to their career path. For the remaining eight courses, students can pick from a vast array of 80 courses. Students can enter a Pathway track, such as School Library Media Specialist or Academic Libraries, which will help them gain expertise in a particular area. Courses offered in the MLIS program include:

    • Reference and Online Services
    • Management of Libraries and Information Centers
    • Organization of Knowledge
    • School Libraries

    Details

    Demonstrating Dominican University’s commitment to forward-thinking, students can obtain a maximum of six hours of graduate credit in other programs and apply them to their MLIS degree. Certificates can be added to a degree in areas like Digital Libraries, Web Design, or Youth Services. Dual degrees are an option. Dominican offers a rich network of an internship, practicum placements, and future employment connections.

  27. Murray State University
    Location

    Murray, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Murray State University’s College of Education and Human Services offers a well regarded Master degree in Library Media. This program embraces all of the technological change that libraries are experiencing and prepares students to be leaders in the library media profession. A practicum portion of the portion is completed in a library setting, but the other 33 credit hours needed for degree completion are available online.

    Program Features

    The program offers two separate tracks for students to engage, based on their previous coursework. A Master of Education in Library Media for Certification in Library Media or an MA in Education in Library Media for Initial Certification can be obtained. Classes required by the degree programs include:

    • Integrating Educational Technology
    • Curriculum Development
    • Research to Improve Student Learning
    • Libraries and Education

    Details

    Murray State’s Library Media programs offer new and exciting options for careers. The degree can also lead to school media librarian certification for PreKindergarten to Grade 12 in the state of Kentucky. With an ever growing demand for media professionals who are trained in the highly dynamic and changing world of library science, a degree at Murray State is an investment worth making.

  28. University of Northern Iowa
    Location

    Cedar Falls, IA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Northern Iowa’s School Library Studies Master program is a fantastic option for an online degree. If you are interested in working in schools with Iowa students from Kindergarten-Grade 12 as a library professional, this program will offer you teacher librarian endorsement. A cohort model, the program matches standards proposed by the American Library Association and other state and national guidelines.

    Program Features

    With a strong emphasis on technology, graduates leave the program with a high level of proficiency using the tools that schools rely on as resources. Unique to the University of Northern Iowa is the course design standards created by the Quality Matters program, which are implemented in all classes. Some of the classes offered in School Library Studies include:

    • School Library Curriculum Development
    • Administration of the School Library Program
    • Reference Services and Information Retrieval
    • Technologies for Libraries

    Details

    Touting a highly affordable price tag and acknowledging the lack of qualified school librarians trained to fill open jobs, an investment at the University of Northern Iowa is something to consider. Utilizing the highly accessible eLearning online course delivery program, students are able to maintain their class studies and pursue their career aspirations is the innovative field of library studies.

  29. University of Central Missouri
    Location

    Warrensburg, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Central Missouri creates amazing opportunities for students through their Master of Science in Library Science and Information Services degree. This degree carries with it Missouri certification as a library media specialist. Students gain knowledge in the areas of leadership, ethics, information management, literacy strategies and more. Available fully online, the program uses Blackboard learning and work hard to create engaging communication among students and faculty.

    Program Features

    The Library Science and Information Services degree is recognized by the American Association of School Librarians. Its coursework is offered in synchronous and asynchronous manners. Students are able to take classes which prepare them directly for the scenarios and learning environments they will face in their careers. Courses offered in the degree include:

    • Children’s, Adolescent, & Young Adult Literature
    • Library Systems & Information Technology
    • Action Research in School Libraries
    • Organizing Information

    Details

    A practicum is also a part of the 35 credit hour program requirements and may be completed in the school library a student is currently employed with. A research paper is one of the capstones of the degree requirements. With faculty scholars who are committed to online student success and the University of Central Missouri’s forward-thinking approach to library sciences and information services, student satisfaction with the program is high.

  30. San Jose State University
    Location

    San Jose, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    San Jose State University’s School of Information offers a Master of Library and Information Science that trains students for engagement in this dynamic, highly innovative field. When San Jose State says their program is 100% online, they truly mean it. Meeting with your advisor, virtual internships, listening to a guest speaker, and even convocation can all achieved online.

    Program Features

    The Master of Library and Information Science is completed in 43 units. Students are able to plan their courses according to a Career Pathway, such as Web Programming and Information Architecture, Academic Librarianship or Management, Digitization, and Preservation of Cultural Heritage and Records. With a strong emphasis on technology proficiency, graduates leave the program with the skills and abilities to be leaders in their work environments. Specific coursework includes:

    • Information Retrieval System Design
    • Online Learning: Tools and Strategies for Success
    • Information Communities
    • Information Professions

    Details

    Whether you are full or part-time, studying at SJSU is all about flexibility. Most classes are 15 weeks in length, but some offer an accelerated 7-week delivery. This allows students to complete their degree quickly, as fast as 4 semesters. Check out the extensive network of internships available to graduates, offering opportunities around the country because of their online participation.

  31. Valley City State University
    Location

    Valley City, ND

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Valley City State University prepares students for career success with their online Master of Education concentration in Library and Information Technologies. This program prepares students for employment as a Library Media Specialist in the state of North Dakota. American Association of School Librarian aligned coursework ensures students are prepared for the challenges of the field through highly organized and engaging classes.

    Program Features

    Students in the Library and Information Technologies program enter into a close-knit online community through the dedicated efforts of faculty and Library Media Specialists to mentor and engage. The online network of students is encouraged to interact during and outside of classes. Coursework in this dynamic degree includes:

    • Introduction to Libraries in the Information Age
    • Administering and Evaluating Program Resources
    • Collection Development in a School Library
    • Using Information Resources

    Details

    Although coursework is delivered online, students participate in field experiences in library settings, with special considerations of location. An optional Summer Institute at Valley City State University is also available, giving online students a chance to meet face-to-face and participate in a field experience opportunity. A portfolio summarizing the knowledge gained and standard mastery in this rigorous program is created at graduation.

  32. University of North Texas
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of North Texas offers a fantastic Master of Science with a major in Library Science degree. This program enables graduates to confidently engage the varied aspects of library science. Whether interested in youth or children’s programs, an academic setting, corporate environment, or museum archival opportunities, the online program at UNT can help you reach your career aspirations.

    Program Features

    Coursework in the Library Science program requires 36 credit hours for completion. A balance of foundational courses that will benefit any career aspiration in library science and guided electives give students a balanced course load. Courses in the MS-LS program include:

    • Information Access and Knowledge Inquiry
    • Metadata and Networked Information Organization/Retrieval
    • Research Methods and Analysis
    • Information and Knowledge Professions

    Details

    Library Science students are also required to take 12 credit hours from a program of study that may best match their career aspirations. These programs range in topic from Law Librarians and Legal Informatics Specialist to Distributed Learning Librarianship, Digital Image Management to Youth Librarianship. Students are also able to take general electives from other programs or fill in these spaces with transfer credits from previous institutions.

  33. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Location

    Milwaukee, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers a Master of Library & Information Science program that is highly individualized and offers many different opportunities in the field. Boasting one of the most established online programs in the nation and holding American Library Association accreditation should give students confidence in the program’s merits. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a member of the iSchool consortium, another networking and innovation connection for students in the information field.

    Program Features

    Students have multiple options and avenues to take due to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s robust programming. Students can choose concentrations in their Library & Information Science degree from Archival Studies to Public Library. Students can also specialize in a particular area, with opportunities in Information Law, Policy & Ethics, Academic Libraries, or Digital Libraries. 36 credit hours must be met, taking classes such as:

    • Foundations of Library and Information Science
    • Information Access and Retrieval
    • Organization of Information
    • Digital Information Services

    Details

    Some unique opportunities at UW-Milwaukee include the coordinated degree program. This allows students to complete coursework two subject areas at the same time, and graduate a Master degree in both programs. Working closely with students who have graduate or terminal degrees in other programs, some students may be eligible for a lower number of credit hours for degree completion in the Library and Information Science program.

  34. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
    Location

    Knoxville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Tennessee-Knoxville offers a Master of Science in their highly regarded School of Information Science. This program is accredited by the American Library Association and prepares students for careers in all facets of information distribution, management, and development and more. Requiring 36 hours for completion, students can end their program with either writing a thesis, taking a comprehensive exam or creating an ePortfolio.

    Program Features

    School of Information Science students is able to individualize their program. Degree participants can choose from areas of focus in their coursework by choosing a Career Pathway, such as Geographic Information, Public Librarianship or Data Curation and Data Management. Additional coursework in the program includes:

    • Information Access and Retrieval
    • Management of Information Organizations
    • Information Environment
    • Development and Management of Collections

    Details

    The University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s online platform works through the ZOOM program application. This gives students easy access to synchronous or asynchronous class structures, where students can interact, attend lectures, provide feedback to other classmates, and meet with faculty advisors. A 1 day on campus is required for online students on campus in Knoxville. Students who choose the thesis or comprehensive exam option must also return to campus to complete their program.

  35. St. John's University-New York
    Location

    Queens, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    St. John’s University’s online Master of Science in Library and Information Science prepares students for library and information that meet the demands of the highly dynamic professional landscape. Accredited by the American Library Association, students are able to access coursework that is all online. The program is structured to meet the 8 Core Competencies of Librarianship. Graduates gain proficiency in emerging technologies and current issues in libraries.

    Program Features

    Students at St. John’s are able to create a program of study that matches their career aspirations. Concentrations in 7 areas of librarianship from Law, Academic, Archival Studies or Management for Information Professionals can be chosen. This focused study gives even greater career preparation for students. 36 credit hours are needed for graduation in courses such as:

    • Introduction to Library & Information Science
    • Information Sources & Services
    • Research & Evaluation Methods
    • Information Organization

    Details

    Library and Information Science students are typically able to complete the asynchronous coursework in 2 years and there are no on-campus obligations. Students create a comprehensive ePortfolio at the end of their program, which summarizes their work and experiences with St. John’s. A strong networking community with faculty and professional mentors gives students career and development advice and opportunities. Whether looking for a career in research, corporate, academic, or another environment, St. John’s University can help take the first step.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor’s in Game Design

Accreditation matters when choosing game design schools online. An accredited school meets the highest standards for academic excellence. Students at accredited schools also qualify for federal financial aid. During the accreditation process, independent accrediting agencies review a school’s student learning outcomes, graduation requirements, and faculty qualifications. Colleges and universities that pass that evaluation earn accreditation.

Regional accreditation remains the gold standard for liberal arts and research institutions, including online game design schools. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission also grants accreditation to online schools that meet high standards for distance education.

Learn more about why accreditation matters.

What Kind of Game Design Degree Should You Get?

Prospective students considering game design schools online have the option of earning a bachelor of fine arts (BFA), a bachelor of arts (BA), or a bachelor of science (BS).

A BS in game design or game development emphasizes computer science skills like programming. During the degree, students take courses in mathematics and computer science in addition to game design courses. A BA in game design emphasizes animation, writing, and drawing skills. Students complete fewer technical classes and take more general education courses. A BFA in game design focuses on the fine arts side of the field, with fewer general education requirements.

By considering their interests, career goals, and strengths, prospective students can find the right online game design degree.

Courses in Game Design

Online game design schools offer courses that build the knowledge and skills needed for careers in the field. Many programs offer specialized courses that prepare graduates for focused career paths, including options like mobile game design.

In addition to game design courses, undergraduates also complete general education requirements that strengthen the critical thinking and analytical skills needed for game design professionals. The following list introduces common courses in a game design program.

Introduction to Game Design

Introductory courses provide an overview on the field of game design and game development, including core areas like game art, level design, and coding. Students learn about the requirements of game information systems, platform selection, and player engagement. The course prepares majors for advanced courses in game design.

Game Theory

In game theory courses, students learn about the principles behind games in both analog and digital formats. The class analyzes popular games, explores the risk/reward principle, and looks at different theories behind the appeal of different game types. Students also examine video games from different eras to understand the relationship between game theory and the finished product.

Programming

Online game design schools often include courses in programming to prepare learners to create code. In programming courses, students learn about different programming languages and techniques, including C++, C#, and Java. The course also introduces students to data types, functions, 2D and 3D software programs, and game-related techniques.

Mobile Game Design

Mobile game design courses explore the design and creation of games for wireless and handheld game devices, including smartphones. Students learn about the growing mobile game sector, the market for adapted rich platform games, and the requirements for successful mobile games. During the course, students may design a mobile game concept.

Project Development

Courses on project development train students to work in teams to create games. During the course, students apply their knowledge of project management, game design, and programming to complete a project. This course helps students build a portfolio of work while gaining hands-on experience in game development.

Scholarships for Game Design

Online game design students qualify for multiple scholarship opportunities. Unlike loans, which students must repay, scholarships permanently lower the cost of earning an online game design degree. Accredited online programs meet the requirements for many scholarship opportunities, including those listed below.

ESA Foundation Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants should be women or minorities pursuing a career in computer and video game arts. Requirements include full-time enrollment and a minimum 2.75 GPA.
Amount: $3,000

Eric Dybsand Memorial AI Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Granted by the IGDA Foundation, the scholarship supports students interested in artificial intelligence. Recipients attend the Games Developer Conference and receive a scholarship.
Amount: $1,000

AIAS Foundation Scholarships
Who Can Apply: Full-time students at accredited institutions meet the qualifications for the AIAS foundation scholarship. Applicants should plan a career related to game development and demonstrate a minimum 3.3 GPA.
Amount: $2,500

WomenIn Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants should be women planning on pursuing a career in the field of video games, including game design. Requirements include full-time status at an accredited institution and a minimum 3.3 GPA.
Amount: $2,500

AIGA Worldstudio Scholarship
Who Can Apply: AIGA grants multiple scholarships to students earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in graphic design, illustration, or photography. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Amount: $500-$5,000

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