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 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 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.
Study and Research Opportunities
- Year-long, team-based game design project
- Research opportunities with graduate students/faculty including:
- The Ludo Lab Center for Games & Playable Media Research. The Ludo Lab seeks to approach the issues & opportunities that shape our collective future - including Social and Environmental Justice, Gender Equality, Identity, and Representation.
Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)
Information for Transfers
In preparation for transfer to AGPM, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in programming, visual art, and game design.
It is required that incoming transfer students complete all the necessary programming courses and have some experience with art or game design courses prior to entering UCSC. Students interested in entering as junior transfers, including from within UCSC, are urged to complete all general education requirements (IGETC) and as many appropriate foundation courses as possible.
The AGPM B.A. serves as the sister program to the Computer Science: Computer Game Design (CS:CGD) B.S. major. While the CS:CGDmajor prepares its students for engineering and developer roles, the AGPM program focuses onartist, designer, or producer roles in the games industry including:
- 2D / 3D Artist
- Game Designer
- Game Programmer
- Game Writer
- Sound Designer
- User Interface (UI) Designer
- User Experience (UX) Designer
Outside of the games industry, students have gone on tocareers in games research, science, academia, marketing, graphic design, fine art,illustration, and other types of media and entertainment.
- The Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) houses extensive digital printmaking/photography facilities, faculty studios, and exhibition/media labs.
- The main AGPM lab is located in DARC 308 and serves multiple functions. The lab is a modular/dynamic space that can be used as a classroom, coworking space, and prototyping studio.
- Students in the ARTG/CMPM 170 senior sequence are granted access to our AGPM Game Design Lab located in DARC 230. This lab is equipped with high-end PCs & VR/AR.
Awards, Honors, and Recognitions
UC Santa Cruz is ranked 26th on the list of "Top 50" undergraduate Game Design programs by the Princeton Review.
- Our alumni have gone on to continue their games education through top graduate programs, such as theUniversity of Southern California'sInteractive Media & Games program.
- Those whochoose to pursue the industry route have also found success in game studios throughout the country includingPixelberry, Funomena, LEGO, Jam City, Tender Claws, 2K Games, Antares, NASA, and many more.
Art & Design: Games + Playable Media (AGPM) Program Values
As a community we are committed to equity, inclusion, social & environmental justice. As an intersectional feminist program we recognize this is a process that must be grounded in shared leadership & radical gentleness.
In our work as students, faculty, and staff we embody the values of honesty, kindness, and critical thinking while maintaining a nurturing environment with a specific focus on health and wellbeing, critical consciousness, and growth.
We are committed to sustaining a program that is pro-LGBTQ+, anti-racist, and anti-oppression. This work requires a proactive approach to sustainability and accountability, and ultimately relies on our shared experience and solidarity.
Arts Division Programs Office
Digital Arts Research Center 302
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064