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Game Programmer working on a 3D model on a computer

Game Development Degree Online BS in Video Game Programming

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Register By: August 28 Classes Start: August 30

Earn a Game Development Degree Online

  • $320/credit (120 credits)
  • Learn computer programming languages C++, C# and Java
  • Use Unreal Engine to construct games for various platforms
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Apply 3D modeling with Autodesk and Adobe Creative Suite
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores required

Online Game Development Degree Program Overview

Become a master game developer and programmer with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Game Programming and Development online from Southern New Hampshire University.

SNHU's game development degree goes beyond traditional software development training to give you the technical expertise you need in a competitive field.

You'll be prepared beyond gaming, too. Industries everywhere are creating meaningful experiences with game development tools and technologies. Med students, for example, are turning to virtual simulation software to rehearse complex surgical procedures. The military, on the other hand, is creating synthetic training environments (STEs) to prep soldiers for combat. In between is a host of other opportunities for those who can master the tools behind these incredible virtual environments.

In the Bachelor of Science in Game Programming and Development online, you'll learn how to:

  • Use various programming languages (C++, C# and Java) and game engines (Unreal) relevant to professional game development
  • Create realistic, dynamic gameplay experiences, including game AI, game physics and 3D modeling and sculpting with Autodesk and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Articulate and solve complex logic problems associated with programming interactive game systems
  • Apply effective, industry-standard design, production and testing techniques through all phases of game development
  • Adhere to the standards of the professional game development community, especially regarding effective communication, teamwork and ethical decision-making
  • Research, develop and contribute to advances and trends within the field of game programming

Upon graduating from the program, you'll be positioned for success in a multi-billion dollar industry. You'll be able to apply these skills and techniques to various gaming platforms, including PC, console, web and mobile devices.

Explore the Art of Gaming

Looking for a degree that emphasizes game art over programming? Our game art degree will give you the skills you need to bring your front-end character designs and virtual environments to life.

Career Outlook

According to Newzoo, the global video game industry is projected to grow to more than $180.1 billion by 2021.1 The global market for virtual, augmented and mixed reality products is projected to grow to $49.7 billion by 2023.1

In other words, with numbers rivaling the film industry and dwarfing the music industry, a professional game development degree could be your gold coin to a rewarding, dynamic career.

Gwen Britton with the text Gwen Britton"The beautiful part of this program is that it’s really going to position students to do what they really want to do," said Dr. Gwen Britton, academic associate vice president of online STEM and business programs at SNHU. "If they want to be game developers and play with the big kids out in the game world, it will position them to do video game development or simulation development because they are learning so many different things."

This online BS in Game Programming and Development empowers you to pursue or advance your career as a:

  • Game programmer or game developer. Create the back-end coding for video games. Many programmers and developers specialize in one area of game programming, such as AI, simulations, audio or graphics.
  • Tools programmer. Work on internal software that helps programmers, artists and designers create games more efficiently.
  • Simulations programmer. Develop situational models that can help predict and prepare for real-world scenarios. Common examples include military or medical training software.
  • Software applications developer. Design, build and test application software for various digital platforms.

The software development field in particular will see job growth of up to 21% through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.2

Megan Bohland with the text Megan Bohland

The programming skills you'll gain from this program can be used for more than just pure entertainment – you can create "serious games," too. From exer-gaming to city planning simulations to virtual aviation training, there are plenty of opportunities to combine purpose and play.

For Megan Bohland, game programming is a vehicle to create more inclusive experiences. Inspired by her grandmother, who lost her eyesight at age 60, Megan has set out to create mobile games for the blind.

Max Callahan with the text Max Callahan

"People who have lost their vision can still get immersed in these worlds," Bohland said. "Even when (my grandmother) was blind… I would pick games that had vocals so she could hear, and I would describe the rest to her."

Your game programming skills could also score you a career in a number of industries that use gaming technology.

"Game and simulation programming skills are in demand in a growing range of fields, including health care, defense, communications and more," said Max Callahan, associate dean at SNHU.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Game Programming & Development Degree

Courses & Curriculum

The curriculum is designed to help you tackle game genres and platforms, interface design, game theory and e-collaboration. You'll also learn how virtual game environments create experiences through rule design, play mechanics and social interaction.

"Most people don’t think of the game development program as an engineering program," said Gwen Britton, academic associate vice president of online STEM and business programs at SNHU. "But if you look under the covers, it has a lot of engineering flair. You have to know how to do physics. You have to know how to do math. You have to be able to write programs. Think about it: If you’ve got an animal coming at you and it’s coming at a certain velocity, you have to know how to make its arms wrap around you, you have to know how to make it go fast – velocity and force and all of that."

You'll have room to play with hands-on courses like Design of Virtual Game Environments and Gameplay Systems Development, where you'll master the tools pros use.

And with experienced instructors and subject matter experts at the helm, the program is constantly improved to keep up with a fast-evolving industry.

"Game programming and development courses were developed to reflect, and are regularly updated to keep pace with, the dynamic and ever evolving nature of the technology utilized in game development and related industries," said Max Callahan, associate dean at SNHU. "Instructors bring real-world experience to the classroom that provide students with current production processes and methodologies."

Introduction to Quantitative Analysis and Precalculus are dictated courses for the General Education Program.

  • 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 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 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.

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.