What are the Pre-Requisites for Majoring in Game Design Online?

Game Design is a degree major that attracts many of today’s young people often because they grew up playing video games. Over the years, video games became more sophisticated with intricate story plots that display interactive animated graphics during play. The purpose of the games also expanded as studies showed that video games are excellent learning tools. Video games became the learning medium of choice for education and training programs for small children to adults. The most marked change in the world of game design is the development of structured academic degree programs that assist video game creators to reach their full professional potential. Top university and degree program review organizations like the Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Reports have compiled their lists of the top game design academic programs across the country, but many students wonder if they have what it takes to be successful in such programs and obtain a successful career after graduation. Here are some common prerequisites for entering theĀ top online Game Design programs.

Above Average Academic Credentials

Many accredited schools offer online game design programs at the associate, undergraduate and graduate degree level. Students who enter programs to pursue an associate degree in Game Design are usually required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent and have a minimum grade point average (G.P.A.) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Game Design are required to have the same high school diploma and G.P.A. as an associate degree candidate or proof of degree completion from another accredited program. Entrance into a graduate Game Design degree program requires successful completion of an undergraduate degree program from an accredited university. Many international students also seek entrance into this degree program and most schools require that they submit proof of English language proficiency. None of the programs usually require submission of standardized test scores.

Submission of a Digital Portfolio

Although none of the programs require professional video game design experience, many do need students to demonstrate a high level of creativity in drawing, graphic design or game production. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Game Design can expect to submit drawing samples for this purpose. Some schools use the drawings as part of the admission department’s screening process while others ask for the drawings to assess the student’s aptitude for class placement purposes. At the graduate level, students are often required to send a comprehensive creative portfolio with their application. This portfolio contains a personal statement of one’s professional goals and proposed career focus area that would include game design, visual design or game software development. Students give these personal statements along with a collection of related projects that could include games that the prospective students have already authored.

Letters of Recommendation

A common prerequisite for most graduate level Game Design degree programs is the requirement to submit at least two letters of recommendation. These can be from previous professors, academic advisors or even supervisors who are familiar with the prospective student’s work ethic and character.


Video game design combines the technical skills of computer science, the story plot inspiration gained through exposure to courses in the humanities and the presentation elements of the fine arts. The popular degree programs produce technical artists who are prepared to raise the standards of future game design. Aspiring students should strive to identify and complete the prerequisites of promising academic degree programs in Game Design as early as possible.