Art Institutes

Game Art& Design

I want to put my ideas in play.

Welcome to one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. If you’re still reading, then you must be up to the challenge. And that’s good, because you’re also in line for a career where you can feed your passion for gaming—and turn the skills you've honed into a career where you do what you love. Your future starts in our Game Art & Design degree programs, where you can learn what you need to become a key player in the game creation process. Using the same kinds of technology professionals use, you’ll explore what it takes to get games into the production pipeline. And get yourself into a dynamic industry. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. It’ll put your talent and commitment to the test. But it could also put you in a position to succeed.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty & instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment


Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to:
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply design and art skills, both traditional and digital, towards game related projects.
  • Employ the principles of gaming, to plan, design, and create environments, level play, background stories, and characters.
  • Demonstrate the requisite skills in presentation, interviewing, networking, resume-building and game business knowledge critical to seeking an entry-level artist and/or designer position in the industry.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the skills necessary to create quality, game-ready assets using industry standard techniques and tools.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the managerial and developmental aspects of the game production pipeline and demonstrate knowledge of planning, budgeting, specifications, constraints, scope, teamwork, problem solving, and deadlines that go into making a market-ready game.

See for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Classroom Experience

I'm ready to take the intensity to a whole new level.

If you see yourself using your creativity to tell stories, you’re looking at a rigorous education. In Game Art & Design, you’ll start with the fundamentals like the principles of design, drawing, and color, in both traditional and digital art. You can build skills in game design, level design, 2D concept art, 3D modeling, texturing, and real-time lighting. The focus is on the principles of gaming, balance, and usability; creating the entire gaming experience; and developing games that’ll be used in industry-standard engines. You’ll explore the planning, scope, problem-solving abilities, and economics of creating a market-ready game. And through it all you’ll put in a lot of hours, work your way through a lot of trial and error, and find yourself challenged by other like-minded students. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet Our Alumni

  • Ai Orange County alumni

    Mikal Carter

    Game Art & Design , 2017

    "I always reminded myself that not only am I competing for my dream job with my classmates, but I am also competing with other professionals. You have to get to that level and slowing down doesn’t get you there.”

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    Mikal Carter

    Models, Textures, Enhances Game Quality

    Mikal Carter is an outsource reviewer and associate environment artist for Insomniac Games. He’s responsible for modeling, texturing, feedback, and enhancing game quality. He says that a typical day involves fixing mistakes and creating and texturing game models. Mikal is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He worked as an administrative specialist, earning the rank of Corporal during his four years of service.

    The demands of the gaming industry keep Mikal on his toes. “I had to learn a whole new game engine that I was not familiar with at all,” he says. “The way I overcame it was by asking questions and communicating with the team during my first couple of weeks. I took a lot of notes and learned as many shortcuts as I could. Everyone was impressed by how fast I was able to pick things up and it also helped that I was familiar with Unreal Engine and there were some similarities.”

    Mikal enjoys working in a creative environment, alongside talented and artistic people. “We like to bounce creative ideas off of each other and giving feedback is great. I like to think that my positive and optimistic attitude makes me approachable.” He explains that working well within a team helps to overcome challenges. “We are trying to make a great looking game but not kill it because of optimization. We tend to put a lot in a game only to find that the frame rate drops or there are assets taking up too much memory and we have to troubleshoot on how to reduce it. I’m building my technical side with computers and their current capabilities to better understand how to make a great game but also to give the player the best experience.”

    He advises current students to push through tough times and to think of challenges as fun learning experiences. “If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’ll find yourself complaining than you’re in the wrong line of work. I always reminded myself that not only am I competing for my dream job with my classmates but I am also competing with other professionals. You have to get to that level and slowing down doesn’t get you there.”

    Mikal, who in 2017 earned a Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design from The Art Institute of California—Orange County, says that his education provided an understanding of 3D modeling that helped to define what he wanted to do within the industry. “It helped me to understand various roles in the industry such as rigging, animation, and programming. I communicate mostly with the animation department and the technical departments and it’s good that I know what they may need.”

    He’s already achieved professional goals, including modeling and texturing a weapon skin for an Overwatch character name Zarya. “I uploaded it to my portfolio and DeviantArt. Within a week it had received 36,000 views and a lot of positive critiques.” He also posts his work on ArtStation and Instagram “I was getting a lot of recognition and positive feedback from people. It took me about two years of hard studying and practicing to get that far, but it was well worth it.”


What Will I Study?

Game Art Design Study Section

I have the imagination. I need the tools.

In this competitive industry, companies are looking for creative people who are passionate about the craft of taking a game from concept to market-ready. The curriculum for Game Art & Design will help you prepare to do just that, as you study:

  • Digital Imaging
  • Life Drawing
  • Drawing & Anatomy
  • 2D Animation
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Character and Object Design
  • 3D Modeling
  • Game Art & Design
  • Texture Mapping
  • 3D Animation
  • Material & Lighting
  • Game Modeling
  • Game Production Pipeline
  • Designing Interior Spaces and Worlds

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Game Art & Design is built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we temper the tough with the support you need to make your creativity marketable. We provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. Here, you’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. So if your heart is telling you that you belong in a creative field, you belong here. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.


Miami International University of Art & Design alumni Marlon Munoz I'm challenged by the opportunity to take my ideas and bring them to life. Marlon Munoz
Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, Miami International University of Art & Design, 2008