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

Foundation courses for all computer science majors are as follows:

CMPS 12A/L (or Computer Engineering 13, or both CMPS 5J and CMPS 11) and 12B/M; Computer Engineering 16; and Mathematics 19A and 19B, or 20A and 20B.

Transfer students must have completed all of the foundation courses listed above, or their articulated equivalents. A student lacking one foundation course may be admitted if they have completed CMPE 12/L or AMS 10/Math 21. It is highly recommended that all transfer students in computer science complete these two courses prior to admission.


  • 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