North Carolina is among leading states with colleges and universities offering video game design programs with 19, according to new research. Degree programs range from awarding professional certificates and associate degrees to bachelor and master’s degrees.

California leads the nation with 66 schools offering video game-related programs. Other leading states include Texas (29), Pennsylvania (26), Florida (21), New York (20), North Carolina (19), Arizona (14), New Jersey (14), Illinois (14), Michigan (12) and Massachusetts (12).

“The video game industry is helping fuel the American economy. From outstanding video game design programs that prepare future leaders with critical skills necessary to succeed to outstanding studios that create immersive world-leading entertainment, this is a snapshot of the American creative tech engine,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA in a statement.

“Our industry thrives anywhere there is talent and an environment conducive to growth. This data reflects the truly national impact of our industry.”

Although NC also has a strong video game studio sector with major players such as Epic Games, it didn’t make the top five in new research from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade association representing the U.S. video game industry, and the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA), a consortium of more than 80 colleges and universities that offer video game design programs.

As of October of 2015, there are more than 1,600 video game studios and publishers in the United States, the research shows, with 37 in NC.

The top five states with the highest number of video game company locations are California (546), Texas (196), New York (154), Washington (149) and Massachusetts (92).

The complete list of schools offering video game courses and degree programs can be found at: An infographic highlighting key findings from the research, including a map of game programs and companies, is available here:\

Entertainment Software Association: