Computer Science: Computer Game Design


The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: Computer Game Design is an undergraduate degree program focused on the construction and design of interactive computer games. Reflecting both the growing cultural and economic importance of the computer gaming industry within California and the increasing complexity and specialization of computer gaming systems, the program focuses on the technical, narrative, and artistic underpinnings of these games.

Degrees Offered

  • B.S.
  • M.S.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • B.S.
  • Year-long, team-based game design project
  • Students have multiple opportunities to participate in research projects

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

Please see the current UC Santa Cruz General Catalog for a full description of the BSOE admissions policy.

Freshman Applicants: It is recommended that high school students intending to apply to the major have completed four years of mathematics (through advanced algebra and trigonometry) as well as any available courses in computer science, arts, and media (especially interactive media). Comparable college mathematics, arts, and media courses completed at other institutions also serve to properly prepare a student for the major.

Information for Transfers

Transfer Applicants:

The prerequisite structure for upper-division courses at UC Santa Cruz requires that many courses be taken sequentially. Because of this, it is necessary for prospective transfer students to have completed as many of the lower-division required courses as possible before transferring.

Transfer students should not follow the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) because it will not provide enough mathematics and science courses to allow them to complete the computer science: computer game design program in two years. Most students find it easier to spread the general education requirements out over four years.


  • Computer game engineering
  • Computer game design
  • Computer game producer
  • Animation and graphics programming
  • Computer systems design, development, and administration
  • Software engineering
  • Web development
  • Database system design, development, and administration

These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.


BSOE students may wish to develop their cross-cultural competency, typically via the Education Abroad Program (EAP). Interested students must work very closely with the faculty and academic advisers in their major very early during the freshman or sophomore year to create a plan for transferability of coursework towards graduation. For more EAP information, visit

Awards, Honors, and Recognitions

The game design program at UC Santa Cruz was well represented at the 2016 IndieCade Festival, which celebrates the best independent games of the year.

Four games developed by UC Santa Cruz students have been announced as official nominees for IndieCade awards, and UCSC students also took part in a panel on "Games as Protest" during IndieXchange, a series of workshops and sessions for developers that precedes the festival.

Department Website

More Information

Undergraduate Advising Office
Jack Baskin School of Engineering
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064
(831) 459-5840