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Students working in Game Studio with text "Sultan Ahkter '19"

Game Art Degree Online Game Design & Development

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Register By: August 28 Classes Start: August 30

Learn Game Art & Design Online

  • $320/credit (120 total credits)
  • Learn while using industry-standard 3D and 2D graphics software
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Create a portfolio of front-end game art assets to show employers
  • Get job-ready for game and simulation development

Game Art Degree Online Program Overview

Bring virtual worlds to life with an online game design and art degree.

Whether it's imagining rich virtual game worlds or designing creatures from another planet, you'll be on the right path to the fast-paced, exciting world of video game art and design with SNHU's Bachelor of Arts in Game Art and Development.

As an online game design degree that zeroes in on game art, this program will help you build a portfolio of compelling front-end game designs. You'll use industry-standard 3D and 2D graphic software to learn and apply game design and game art principles such as:

  • 3D modeling & 3D mesh topology
  • Lighting, shading and texturing
  • Illustration & digital painting
  • Rigging

Creativity, critical thinking and technical skills all come together in this highly sought-after undergraduate program. The convenience of SNHU’s online offering means you can remain located in the areas of the country where the markets are booming – the West Coast or Florida, for instance – and emerge with the skills you need to enter an industry that's both fast-paced and always changing.

You'll learn how to:

  • Design professional quality digital game and interactive media elements
  • Recommend strategies that shape the design of digital games and interactive media
  • Apply industry tools used to create digital games and other interactive media
  • Evaluate and respond to problems through creative thinking and collaboration
  • Optimize the design of interactive media elements within various digital platforms

Level Up in Game Programming: Passionate about the science behind gaming? Our game programming degree online will teach you how to create interactive game experiences through rule design, play mechanics and more.

Career Outlook

According to Newzoo, the global video game industry is projected to grow to more than $180.1 billion by 2021.1 In addition, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for multimedia artists and animators is projected to grow 4% through 2028 – on pace with the national average for all occupations.2

SNHU offers a critical advantage in a highly competitive field, as our program uniquely hones in on today's industry standards and essential skill-building to excel in game design and game art.

Whether it's for games or movies, ed-tech or the military, here are just a few careers you might land with an online game art degree:

  • Environment artist. Create the virtual worlds and landscapes the game's characters will inhabit.
  • 3D modeler. Build detailed 3D models of objects and characters.
  • Character animator. Use models to animate objects and characters.
  • Concept artist. Envision and plan the look and feel of virtual worlds and characters.
  • User interface (UI) artist. Design and draw the menus, heads-up display and other navigational components of a game or virtual environment.

Almost anything you need to build or create in the 21st century begins with a model, animation or both, because these tools can help pinpoint design flaws, identify areas of improvement and ultimately reduce costs.

Danielle Rumbaugh with the text Danielle RumbaughThe practical application of these skills is one of the big reasons Danielle Rumbaugh '20 was able to take her career to the next level.

"When I first started the game art program, I worked at a small game company," Rumbaugh said. "Applying the knowledge I learned from SNHU really pushed the limits of what I thought I was capable of."

Learning the ins-and-outs of industry tools, she made the decision to "jump right in and do it." That attitude ultimately helped her become her own boss.

"Building up these skills was what gave me the courage to start my business and reach out to new companies," she said.

Danielle Rumbaugh's work Beast with the text Danielle Rumbaugh '20 Beast Character DesignNow, as a contract artist, Rumbaugh has already collected her share of big wins. She's even had her work featured in Aviation Week and Space Technology.

As far as future goals? She's aiming even higher. "I’m hoping that I will eventually be able to work on my first console game as a contract artist," she said.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Game Art and Development Degree

Courses & Curriculum

Our curriculum was designed to help you become proficient with design tools like Adobe Software Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, In-Design) and 3DS Max. Armed with these tools, you'll build an eye-catching portfolio that includes original character and creature designs. You'll also gain demonstrated experience designing interactive 3D environments.

Courses mirror the standard workflow pipeline used in the industry for the production of art assets. You'll apply these skills to multiple video game platforms, including web, console, PC and mobile, so you'll be ready to hit the ground running in a fast-paced industry.

Additionally, our expert faculty of gaming vets will impart their broad experience within the gaming industry.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • General education courses: All online bachelor's degree students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
  • Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
  • Save time and tuition: Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 9 math credits – the equivalent of 3 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment with our Pathways to Math Success assessments.
  • Earn credits for what you already know: Did you know certain work and life experience – like industry-recognized certifications, law enforcement training and math knowledge – could save you time and money at SNHU? Learn how you could get credit for work or life experience.

Student Spotlight: John Lanier

John Lanier with the text John LanierUsing tools and skills you gain throughout the program, you'll build a portfolio employers want to see.

For John Lanier '20, that meant building character designs for just about any type of game you can think of – from surrealist horror to go-cart style racing games.

"In my time at SNHU, I created player and non-player character concepts that evolved from quick thumbnail designs to these final versions," Lanier said. "Modeling was done in 3D Studio Max and Mudbox, with textures created in Photoshop – all programs introduced and taught within the program."

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation—and haven't raised our costs in a decade.

We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.