Becoming a virtual reality developer involves a level of specialized learning not every university and college is prepared to offer. Institutions that do, however, are able to provide VR and AR instruction face-to-face for eager learners. There are online courses to choose from, and we’ve ranked those here. Here, we comb through the internet to determine the best VR course offered through universities and colleges from around the world.

This list details higher education institutions that offer specializations or campus resources in virtual reality, and offered certification of some kind. We excluded schools that offered one-off courses with no certification, or held introductory workshops and bootcamps as extracurricular activities. In other words, the schools listed below prioritize VR development for students, or have resources that allow this specialization in an in-person learning environment.

Top VR Universities Compared

Academy of Information Technology

Located in: Sydney, Australia; Melbourne, Australia
4 finished apps | 10 weeks P/T | $2,890 USD inclusive

AIT offers degree and diploma programs for students in game, 3D and digital design. They also offer a 10 week augmented reality course to supplement these existing programs. At the end of these 10 weeks, you’ll have four finished AR applications for your portfolio. Anyone can take their short course, but it does appear designed to complement existing students at the Academy.

British Columbia Institute of Technology

Located in: Vancouver, Canada
Applied Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Certificate | 12 weeks P/T | $1755 USD inclusive

BCIT offers an applied VR/AR certificate designed to pivot established programmers into virtual reality. Students are taken through UI/UX fundamentals, 3D simulations in VR/AR, and application of these skills to final projects. Courses are offered during the day, evenings, and weekends, making it feasible for professionals working fulltime to balance their studies.

Chronos Global Academy

Located in: Seattle, USA; San Francisco, USA; Los Angeles, USA
Certificate of Completion | 7 weeks F/T | $2450 USD inclusive

Chronos offers courses on Unity and Unreal development. Students do not need any prior experience, and are able to work with both VR and AR devices like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft Hololens. Game engine basics, designing spatial sound, world building, and more, students finish the course with the ability to create any 2D or 3D game in VR or AR. Depending on the location, the length of the course varies from seven weeks to an intensive over a couple weekends.

Deakin University

Located in: Melbourne, Australia
Graduate Diploma of Virtual and Augmented Reality | 1 year F/T | $19,500 USD inclusive

Deakin U features a graduate diploma of virtual and augmented reality designed for professionals with at least two years of relevant work experience, or a previous degree in any discipline. In addition to learning to develop and program VR/AR applications, Deakin’s also has a work placement aspect to the diploma so students can grow their professional network simultaneously.

London College of Communication

Located in: London, UK
BA (Hons) in VR | 3 years F/T | $25,200 USD per academic year
MA in VR | 1 year and 3 months F/T | $13,800 USD inclusive

London’s College of Communication offers both a Bachelor of Arts in virtual reality, and a Master of Arts in virtual reality. The BA is geared towards students needing base knowledge in computer science, whereas the MA is designed for returning students or professionals looking to add a VR specialization to their expertise.

Mages Institute of Excellence

Located in: Singapore
Professional Certificate in Interactive Environments | 3 months F/T | $5,560 USD inclusive

Mages boasts many diploma and certificate programs teaching games and entertainment designs, 3D animation and modelling, and more. For VR and AR, Mages offers the professional certificate in interactive environments. Students learn VR/AR development with a focus on mobile applications, starting with storytelling in VR and ending with a final project.

New York Film Academy

Located in: New York, USA
Certificates of Completion and finished game demo | 8 weeks F/T | $5858 USD per workshop

NYFA offers two short-term VR workshops with an emphasis on VR in film. Their first workshop reviews storytelling in VR: screenwriting, directing actors and audience in 360 video, VR post production, and more. Their other workshop features VR game design using Unity 3D and the HTC Vive headset. Students design their game concept, intro animation, interactions, and music and sound effects. Narrative VR is a prerequisite to VR Game Design.

Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington

Located in: Seattle, USA
BSc in Computer Science or Computer Engineering | 4 years F/T | $10,000 USD per academic year

UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering offers two specializations for students: computer science and computer engineering. Computer science and engineering students can learn computer software, data visualization, artificial intelligence, and other topics related around virtual reality. The VR/AR courses available emphasize storytelling, graphics, and machine learning, and are offered as degree options through the UW Reality Lab.

Ryerson University

Located in: Toronto, Canada
BSc (Hons) in Computer Science | Four years F/T | $5,700 – $7,850 USD per academic year

While Ryerson does not have a virtual reality specific program, the computer science Bachelor of Science degree introduces students to VR, programming languages, and platform-based development. They offer work placement programs, and access to the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre with specialized applied-research laboratories.

SP Jain School of Global Management

Located in: Mumbai, India
Professional Technology Program in VR Certificate | 9 months P/T | $6,600 USD inclusive

Though SP Jain schools are also located in Singapore, Sydney, and Dubai, their professional technology program in virtual reality is only offered in Mumbai. The course itself is designed for professionals with at least two years of work experience. However, they do offer two levels of expertise for prospective students: VR Beginner reviews the basics of VR and is the prerequisite for VR Expert (relevant work experience waives the prerequisite). Including 3D modelling and animation, tracking systems, audio, C# and C++ programming, and more, SP Jain blends online lessons with classroom learning and device experience in their Mumbai lab.

University of British Columbia

Located in: Vancouver, Canada
BSc in Computer Science | 4 years F/T | $6,610 CAD per academic year

UBC offers a computer science Bachelor in Science degree, but it does not include a virtual reality specialization. Students receive a thorough understanding of computer software design, mathematics, and are able to combine other interests around artificial intelligence, 3D design, and more. While the degree program itself does not emphasize virtual reality, UBC features a VR Lab for research and applied uses. The faculty and administration support VR learning, while the formal curriculum has yet to be updated to include these specialties.

Circuit Stream

Located in: Live Online
Certification in VR/AR Development | 10 weeks P/T | $2,500 USD inclusive

Circuit Stream offers live online classes in small cohorts. Our instructors are professionals with experience in the VR/AR industry. The project-based, hands-on learning is balanced with one-on-one mentorship sessions that focus on the student’s course project. Help is provided right away for students to tackle problems; they are never left to solve issues on their own. Our instructors work with students to build their idea into a prototype — there’s no hoops to jump through or prerequisites to meet. You can get started on your VR or AR app right away.

Top VR Universities Compared

We offer the applied learning and depth of a technical school without university-level pricing. And, our small class sizes help us prioritize your learning rather than your tuition dollars like a large university does. You receive practical applied education rather than a theoretical understanding of programming concepts. Download our syllabus to learn more about our project-based courses, or drop us a line here.

Download VR Course Syllabus