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Undergraduate Study

UC Santa Cruz's Bachelor of Science, Computer Science in Computer Game Design, is the first in the University of California system. It focuses on the construction and design of interactive computer games, with an emphasis on the technical, play-oriented, narrative, and artistic underpinnings. 

The degree offers many critical and competitive advantages for undergraduates. Students begin receiving rigorous technical training, taking classes infused with cutting-edge research results, and doing team-based game development projects starting their very first year in the program. The degree program culminates in a year-long studio couse in which student teams each develop a game of their own design for a platform of their choosing. 

Undergraduate students at UC Santa Cruz have access to a wide variety of game-related course offerings, with topics including Game Design Experience, Interactive Game Design, Creating Virtual Worlds on the Web, Video Games as a Visual Culture, Computer and Game Console Architecture, Electronic Sound Synthesis, Distributed Systems: Online Gaming, Artificual Intelligence, Game AI, Interactive Storytelling, Computer Graphics, Computer Animation, Game Engines, and the Inventing the Future of Games: Speaker Series (IFOG). This plethora of course options allows students to truly dictate the direction of their education within the program. These course offerings are not only broad in scope, but game courses at UC Santa Cruz are largely taught by tenure-track faculty whose primary research area is games.

This four year interdisciplinary degree program provides a rigorous education in computer science, in concert with a broad introduction to those aspects of art, music, narrative, digital media, and computer engineering most relevant to games. Students wishing to matriculate in this degree program should apply for admission to UC Santa Cruz and the degree program for studies commencing either Freshman year, or Junior year (for transfer students from California community colleges).

For additional information, contact the School of Engineering Undergraduate Advising Office,, (831) 459-5840.

More information: The Computer Science: Computer Game Design Major

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