Art & Design: Games & Playable Media


The Bachelor of Arts in Art & Design: Games & Playable Media (AGPM) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in the Arts Division at UCSC. The program is closely affiliated with the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: Computer Game Design in the School of Engineering.

Students in both programs will work together throughout their studies at UCSC, from foundation courses to a year-long capstone sequence that results in team creation of a releasable game. Students in AGPM will obtain a degree focused on the design of game systems and other interactive experiences, including their connection to a wider arts context — with a full grounding in the fundamentals of artistic practice and expressive game development.

The foundation of the program is game making, with students in both B.A. and B.S. degrees working together to make games each year. Students also learn about the history of games, the interpretation of games and game culture, expression of ideas and creating experiences through games, and approaches to design, communication, teamwork, and artistic innovation.

Degrees Offered

  • B.A.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • B.A.
  • Year-long, team-based game design project
  • Digital Arts Research Center – A multimedia complex housing extensive digital printmaking/photography facilities, faculty studios, and exhibition/media labs for the Digital Arts and New Media graduate program
  • The Center for Games and Playable Media. The center houses the school's five games-related research labs including the Expressive Intelligence Studio — one of the largest technical game research groups in the world.
  • The Ludo Lab Center for Games & Playable Media Research. The Ludo Lab seeks to approach the issues and opportunities that shape our collective future - including Social and Environmental Justice, Gender Equality, Identity, and Representation.

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

Students interested in entering the program as frosh are urged to make games — using any materials, from Javascript to cardboard — and carefully study game systems. Developing an arts practice in any medium is also helpful, including drawing, writing, music, sculpture, filmmaking, and others. Finally, deepening your understanding of technology is good preparation, including computer programming, participating in maker groups, or whatever else grabs your interest.

Information for Transfers

All junior transfer students must pass a highly competitive portfolio review to be admitted to the program. See department website for more information.

It is highly recommended that incoming transfer students complete all the required programming courses prior to entering UCSC. Students interested in entering as junior transfers, including from within UCSC, are urged to complete all general education requirements and as many appropriate foundation courses as possible.


  • Game Design
  • Game Production
  • Game Programming
  • Game Art (2D)
  • Game Art (3D)
  • Game Animation
  • Game Audio
  • Concept Artist
  • Software Design
  • Interaction Design
  • User Interface Design
  • User Experience Design
  • Product Management

Department Website

More Information

Juan Morales-Rocha
AGPM Adviser
Arts Division Programs Office
Digital Arts Research Center 302
(831) 459-1554

Robin Hunicke
Associate Professor
AGPM Director

University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064