game art student pointing at a character model design on their screen

Start Your Portfolio, Start Your Career

Train on industry-standard tools and impress employers with a portfolio of professional-level work.

Division of Communication & Creative Media 
On-Campus Employment Opportunities
Study Abroad
Portfolio Requirements 
Game Studio Experience 
Study Abroad 

Imagine the world you want, then build it.

Champlain College is a cutting-edge incubator for the gaming industry. By studying Game Art, you have a chance to graduate with a portfolio of models, animations, sculptures, and concept art that will set you apart in the field and make it easier to land your first job. Our Game Studio Experience shows you how creative teams collaborate to turn ideas and assets into a functional game. Champlain College is one of the top-ranked schools in the nation for game design, according to the Princeton Review. And in this program, you’ll learn to think about the big-picture questions at the heart of gaming.

What Is Game Art?

Game artists live at the intersection of art and technology. You’ll learn to bring your visual ideas to life, creating compelling environments, characters, and animations that fully immerse your audience in the game.

Game Art focuses on all visual aspects of a video game. These include the user interface, characters, environments, objects, effects and more. The style of a game’s art sets the mood and tone of a game through visuals like a character’s design, the lighting, and more. A great game will combine beautiful, visually dazzling game art with strong gameplay mechanics and a good story. Game Art is often what people notice first in a video game, which makes it vital to a game’s success as a marketing tool, as well as user experience. 

Why Study Game Art at Champlain?

As a Game Art student, you will hone your artistic abilities and learn the industry standard tools and technologies required to create 2D and 3D art and animation for games. By the time you graduate, you’ll understand how to bring everything you’ve learned together to give life to characters and worlds and to create a professional quality portfolio.

Through our Upside-Down Curriculum, you will start Game Art courses-like Introduction to 3-D Modeling & Texturing and Introduction to Animation for Games-in your first year. These early foundations in both traditional and digital art techniques allow you more time to refine your work and gain experience through practice. 

The Game Studio Experience at Champlain College is a unique feature that gives you hands-on experience in your field, working with peers from our other game majors to complete game projects from start to finish. In your junior and senior years, you will create independent high-quality work in a variety of Game Art electives, and work with a team of other Game Studio students during Senior Capstone to create fully-functioning games. This parallel to real-world professional studio work is what makes Champlain game artists stand out from the crowd.

game art of a laboratory interior

Different by Design

At the Center

Champlain’s gaming strength is deep and wide. The Game Studio brings together students from multiple majors and operates like a professional studio. The eSports team is Champlain’s biggest student-led group. And Princeton Review ranked Champlain College among the top nationally for game design.

Be Artistic, Be Technical

We believe technical skills pair best with creativity. Other programs favor either traditional art or digital art, but Champlain combines these two aspects of the field into a complete degree that teaches students both sides of game art.

Start Game Art Classes on Day One

Students begin game art classes in their very first semester, giving them a head start on developing a professional portfolio for immediate hire after graduation. This focus on hands-on learning puts Champlain students a step ahead.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, game artists earn competitive salaries, reflecting the high demand for their specialized skills, according to major job boards.


Of Game Art majors in the Class of 2023 were employed within six months after graduation.


Students can count on personalized support and guidance from faculty and staff committed to their academic success.

What Sets Us Apart

a team of game studio students presenting their game project to a full audience in an auditorium champlain college game studio students posing for a photo with the GDC sign at the game developers conference

The Game Studio Experience

The unique Game Studio Experience at Champlain College gives you start-to-finish game-building experience in a professional environment. You’ll collaborate with your peers in each of our game majors to create playable games in a studio that parallels the processes of the industry.

Annual Game Studio Senior Show

You will have the opportunity to present the game you create with your Game Studio team—as well as your own demo reel—to recruiters from all over the United States and Canada. Recruiters often come to the Senior Show to scout new talent, from companies like: Insomniac, Activision, Ubisoft and more!

Game Developers Conference

Champlain College sends a cohort to the world’s largest game developers conference each year in San Francisco for professional development and networking. The Career Coach facilitates exclusive networking meetings for Champlain students with top recruiters from some of the largest game developers.

Sample Courses in the Game Art Major

Game Artists begin with a foundation in the elements and principles of visual art and design while working in traditional and digital media, and our Upside Down Curriculum puts students in their major right away. Foundational courses include life drawing, 2D digital art, 2D and 3D animation and 3D modeling. From these building blocks students can choose from many areas to specialize.

First Year

EGD 105 Game Art Fundamentals

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Based on your interest in the Game Art major, we thought you also might like to check out these other academic programs and opportunities.

Game Art Admissions Requirements

The Game Art major at Champlain College is a visual art program focused on the creation of 2-D and 3-D art assets and animation for games. To be successful, students must enter the program with a strong aesthetic ability and a passion for creating visual art using both traditional and digital media. As part of the application for admission into the Game Art major, Champlain College requires the submission of a portfolio consisting of five files.

See our portfolio requirements for more specific information on what to submit, and check out this article with tips from past and current Game Art students on how to shape your portfolio submission.

Suggested Areas of Study

We anticipate that our Game Art students will come in with basic drawing skills. It is valuable for you to have experience creating in a range of media. Here are some suggested areas of study and exploration that are helpful, but not required:

  • Traditional drawing and painting including the human figure and perspective
  • Art History
  • Architectural History
  • Sculpture, traditional or digital
  • Animation
  • Adobe Creative Suite, especially Photoshop
  • Any digital painting tools
  • Maya, Blender, 3DS Max, Z-brush or any other 3D package

Sign Up To Get Stickers + Helpful Info

Laptop on a bed, the laptop is decorated with exciting stickers from a champlain college graduate

Ready to be inspired? Fill out the form and sign up to receive helpful information about Champlain College—plus, we’ll send you a full sheet of high quality stickers designed by one of our Graphic Design & Visual Communication graduates.

Career Success

The Game Studio experience gives you years of collaboration experience in the industry. 86% of Game Art majors in the Class of 2023 were employed within six months of graduation.

digital rendering of a winged character model for a game
Various angles of a video game character model designed by a Game Art student

You’ll Find a Career In…

  • 3D Modeling and Texturing Artist
  • 3D Animator
  • 3D Environment Artist
  • 3D Character Designer
  • Game Concept Artist
  • 2D Game Artist
  • User Interface Artist
  • Technical Artist
  • Game Visual Effects Artist
  • Professional in Other Industries, such as Film or Architecture

Recent grads are in positions such as:

  • Insomniac Games // Character Artist // Burbank, CA
  • PlayStudios // Real-Time VFX Artist // Burlingame, CA
  • Raven Software // Junior Environment Artist // Middletown, WI\
  • Sony Bend // Associate Technical Artist // Bend, OR
  • Trivium Interactive // Graphic Artist // Boston, MA
  • Ubisoft // 3D/2D Artist // Montreal, QC
  • Vicarious Visions // Junior Artist // Albany, NY
  • Wayfair // 3D Viz Artist // Boston, MA
  • Velan Studios // Environment Artist // Troy, NY
  • game design student working on a computer
    Pre-College Programs

    Champlain’s pre-college summer programs offer motivated high school students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a subject area they’re passionate about, gain new skills, get a taste of college-level coursework, and add strength to their college applications – all while having fun with like-minded peers.

    Explore our Programs:

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