Academy of Art University Reviews - Bachelor's in Video Game Design

1.91 out of 5 stars
(6 Reviews)
  • San Francisco (CA)
  • Annual Tuition: $22,308
25% of 6 students said this degree improved their career prospects
17% of 6 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

1.6 out of 5 stars
Guy - 3/15/2016
Degree: Video Game Design
Graduation Year: 2016
"Unhappy with housing. Unhappy with Instructors. online classes are garbage. The schools websites and app is garbage. The volunteer services are not valued. Health services and not available. Career services are not helpful in my field. Department directors have their hands tied. Even janitor services suck and are highly unfriendly."
2.8 out of 5 stars
T.I. Not - 12/5/2015
Degree: Video Game Design
Graduation Year: 2018
"I've attended the AAU in person, and now I'm taking online courses. In person was really, truly a great experience. Online courses not so much. About 50 % of the time I get teachers who barely participate. A few times I've caught teachers cutting and pasting the exact same feedback for every student's homework - which probably means they didn't bother to review it at all. Right now I'm a Game Development major. I've had a few awesome teachers. But the teachers don't put the module content in place. Nor do they create the tests themselves. The video tutorials and module content for software we must learn is often about 5 - 6 years out of date. In particular, Unity, Maya, or 3D Studio Max is horribly outdated. The latest versions have very different interfaces and much expanded capabilities. The existing videos are so bad that I'm forced to find tutorials wherever I can (Youtube, or Lynda, or wherever) just to get the necessary info I need to do my homework. And if you think the teachers tell us where to go to find accurate, updated info, you'd be mistaken. And Youtube is full of thousands of crappy, inaccurate tutorial videos. Doing research is fine, but I expect the core lessons to be covered in the class I'm paying for. Incidentally, each online class costs about $2,600+ per semester. That's a lot of money to shell out for out of date information. I'm not sure why a school that costs this much money, in a world-class city like San Francisco, in a 1st world country, can't manage to keep its course material up to date. Oh, yeah, I forgot. The administrators have really luxurious lifestyles and give themselves big fat paychecks. They aren't investing in their courses, and I'm guessing most of my teachers are adjunct professors being paid less than crap. Why should they care about showing up? I've thought of transferring, but guess what? Those credits don't transfer, and the Academy won't accept a lot of transfer credits. It's a good gig for them: helps them keep students and forces students to take classes they don't really need."
1.0 out of 5 stars
J.M. - 9/19/2014
Degree: Video Game Design
Graduation Year: 2012
"Don't go here for the game design degree. Just don't. Please. Let me elaborate, You're paying this school for a degree that will teach you the skills you need to have a fighting chance at getting a job in the industry, right? I mean that's what you should be doing...Game design is an insanely competitive field ok? Most of the game design specific classes are a joke. They won't challenge you to do better and they won't fail you if you're bad. It's the worst of both worlds. You could be the worst artist in history but if you manage to at least show up to 3 or 4 classes you'll still pass. It doesn't even matter to them, because they already have your money. Need more convincing? One of the required classes is a "game history" course. Now, you figure that would entail some...oh say history of gaming right? Wrong. You get to pay $3000 for a class where literally all you will do is sit in the classroom for 3 hours every week playing random old video games that your classmates have haphazardly brought in. There is NO structure to the class whatsoever. No history. Just playing random ass old games people bring in on a whim. Welcome to the Game Design Department. Look, I get it, maybe you're hell bent on going to AAU. I'm not going to stop you. There are some really good programs. (The Illustration department for example, is fantastic) But please, just do me this simple favor, DO NOT join the Game Design program. If you want to learn 3d modeling software or Photoshop there are a million cheap online resources you can use. (Eat3d,, and many, many more) And guess what, I just saved you $100,000! Seriously that's how much this degree costs....probably more now since they raise their prices almost every year. You can thank me later when you manage to land your first industry job without having been saddled with so much debt that your grandchildren will still be paying it off!"
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