The Best Game Design Schools in the World Rankings is something we take very seriously and no external influences or payments are entered into at any point. Our rankings focus on the quality of students portfolios that are submitted to our judging panel which best reflect the recruitment interview process.

We feel that traditional school rankings that include peer and employer reviews, faculty to student ratio, citations and other data are not adequate when ranking the best creative schools. For a complete breakdown of how we rank the best schools for 2018 please read how we rank the best schools and how we analyse the data in the sections located at the bottom of this page.

2018 School of the Year Trophies

Top 10 Game Design Schools 2019

The official rankings for 2019 have been calculated based on the performance of students work submitted to our industry panel. Full details can be found further down the page about how we calculate and rank schools.

Rank School Location Score
1 Think Tank Training Centre Vancouver, Canada 94.325
2 FutureGames Stockholm, Sweden 85.625
3 Ringling College of Art and Design Florida, United States 76.97
4 Breda University of Applied Sciences Breda, Netherlands 71.41
5 Howest - Digital Arts and Entertainment Kortrijk, Belgium 69.58
6 3dsense Media School Singapore 67.49
7 The Game Assembly Malmo, Sweden 65.12
8 University of Hertfordshire Hertfordshire, United Kingdom 61.115
9 Gnomon Los Angeles, United States 61.07
10 The One Academy Malaysia, Malaysia 60.1

Congratulate the Best Game Design Schools with a share of support.

How we calculate the school rankings

Data is based on the quality and performance of student work that is submitted to our judging panel for the Rookie Awards. This year the data pool included:

3,548 Entrants 500 Schools
89 Countries 38,838 Media Uploads

We feel that traditional school rankings – that include peer and employer reviews, faculty-to-student ratio, citations and other data – are not adequate when ranking the best creative schools. This might work in industries with more traditional career paths, however, when it comes to technical and creative roles, such as Visual Effects, Feature Animation and Games, it’s a lot more complicated.

The Judging Process

Each entrant is reviewed by members of the official Judging Panel which includes over 120 highly influential and respected industry veterans. The Judges were asked to score entries based on criteria including — creative skills, technical skills, presentation, variety of skills, complexity, raw talent, and employment potential.

School Calculations

Based on the results of student submissions we received this year we have released the following in-depth breakdowns about the best schools.

Each school is awarded a final score based on the performance of each student representing their academic facility.

When analysing the average scores of each student per school there are three possible data formulas available to use: mean, median and mode.

The Rookies uses median. The median is the middle point of a number set, in which half the numbers are above the median and half are below. A median is intrinsically understandable. It is the middle number when the values are put in order.

  • Schools with < 8 student entries are excluded from ranking.
  • Incomplete student entries are removed from calculations. No penalties.
  • Each student receives a performance score. Max 100 points.
  • Median students score calculated per school. Max 100 points.
  • Each category finalist receives 10 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category runner up receives 15 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category winner receives 20 bonus points toward School Score.

School Information

Interested in finding out more about this top ranking schools? Follow the links to find out more about what makes them stand out from the crowd. Learn more about the courses they offer, their facilities, faculty members and more.

1. Think Tank Training Centre

Founded in 2005 in Vancouver BC, Think Tank Training Centre specializes in the latest software, techniques and technologies used by 3D artists working in the film, television and video game industries. In 2018 we ranked #1 in Canada (#4 worldwide) for Game Development, and #2 in Canada (#3 worldwide) for Visual Effects, and have consistently placed in the top four in previous years. Think Tank's campus is an inspirational place of learning, delivering a one-of-a-kind mentorship program which gives our students the edge as they transition into fully-fledged working professionals.

2. FutureGames

Futuregames is a successful private game development school in Stockholm, Sweden. We are centrally located in the trendy and unique Södermalm district with our school at medborgarplatsen – the heart of Swedish games development cluster. Futuregames programs are 2-3 year Swedish higher vocational education mostly funded by the Swedish government. There are today 4 different programs within Futuregames: game design, 3D-graphics, 2D-graphics and game programming. The school offer 120 yearly seats within these 4 programs and all students mostly work in multiple parallel projects together with leading game studios until ending their education with a 30 week long internship.

3. Ringling College of Art and Design

Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit, fully-accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in thirteen disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers.

4. Breda University of Applied Sciences - CMGT/IGAD

1 to 1 coaching by industry veterans of AAA industry. Latest technology from Sony, Nintendo & Microsoft. Features all relevant game development skills for a practical multidisciplinary education. Partnering with leading game companies around the world. International classroom, completely English-taught, 25% of students and 80% of staff is international. A tradition of winning game awards over the past year (Unity Awards, GGJ, Sumo Digital, Brains Eden, Microsoft, Dutch Game Awards). Top rated in Dutch higher education. The best and motivated talents are selected to start (180 students per year). Officially accredited degree by the Ministry of Education, students enter the program in one of three study paths: Visual Art, Programming or Design & Production.

5. Howest - Digital Arts and Entertainment

Digital Arts & Entertainment (DAE) is a state-of-the-art, yet accessible, English-taught Bachelor’s degree. Fully accredited, 3 years, amounting to 180 ECTS credits. DAE is taught at Howest, a modern and unconventional university of applied sciences, situated in a small but beautiful historic city in Flanders, Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe. At DAE you can choose between 4 study majors: Game Development, Game Graphics Production, Independent Game Production or 3D Production & VFX. It is an industry-approved and award-winning curriculum, with alumni in leading companies and studios all over the world, such as Blizzard, Bungie, Ubisoft, DICE, Rocksteady, Guerrilla Games, Larian, Unity, Studio Gobo, Sumo Digital, ILM, MPC, DNeg and many more.

6. 3dsense Media School

3dsense Media School is a pioneering digital arts school in Asia, preparing students for careers in the media and entertainment industry for over 13 years. Dedicated to providing a real-world education, 3dsense aims to mold the next generation of elite digital artists and designers for the global industry. Some of the properties her alumni have worked on include Interstellar, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Avengers, The Hunger Games series, Assassin’s Creed, Game of Thrones and many more. 3dsense was recently ranked top 20 in the world and 1st in Asia in the CG Student Awards 2015, School of the Year category.Besides education, the school also plays a major role in fostering a vibrant arts & design industry through its events and masterclasses.

7. The Game Assembly

The Game Assembly is a Higher Vocational Education situated in Malmö, Sweden, and we have educated 7% of the Swedish games industry.We educate game artists, game programmers, level designers, game animators and technical artists. 50% of their education is individual development where the students dive into their handicraft and 50% is focused in how to make games together. We are strong believers in the group effort to get the best result - a fun to play game.The Game Art program at The Game Assembly focuses mainly on creating 3D game models. Within game art there are plenty of opportunities during the game projects to appeal to a wide audience, whether you like drawing concept art, modeling 3D models, animating characters, etc.

8. University of Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire is an innovative and enterprising university, challenging individuals and organisations to excel.We are the UK’s leading business-facing university. The University of Hertfordshire is an ambitious and entrepreneurial university with an international vision, putting students at the heart of what we do.Industry focused courses, state-of-the-art learning facilities, a new £38m entertainment venue and opportunities to study, take a years internship or work aboard are just some of the great aspects of what we have to offer.

9. Gnomon

Since 1997, Gnomon has been educating many of the world’s best digital artists. The school in Hollywood, California, offers a variety of educational options to help students reach their goals in the entertainment industry, with a BFA degree in Digital Production, full-time vocational programs, specialised courses for high school students, and over 100 individual courses for professional enrichment. The founders launched Gnomon in 1997 with the support of the entertainment industry to help meet the demand for well-trained creative talent in the growing field of digital entertainment.

10. The One Academy

For over 25 years of creative education excellence, The One Academy has been renowned as one of the best art and design colleges in Asia with over 2,500 existing students in two of our main campuses. We are committed to our role as a world-class education provider by nurturing creative pioneers who can brace and surpass international standards.To achieve this, we provide comprehensive courses, for instance, Film Visual Effects and Digital Animation with Game Development, in collaboration with industry masters such as Andrew Gordon, Pixar animation director, Eduardo Pena, concept artist of The Hobbit trilogies, and also Ubisoft, to name a few.