Four Distinct Degree Programs in Game Design and Development
USC Games offers four degree programs in distinct areas of game design and development. At the undergraduate level, we offer both a Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media & Games and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in Games. For students at the graduate level, we offer a Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media & Games and a Master of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in Games.
Deciding which program is right for you depends on your goals and level of preparation. All of our degrees are hands on with technology and creative project development. For those primarily interested in design and production, we suggest the Interactive Media & Games degrees in the School of Cinematic Arts. For those interested in focusing on technical development for games we suggest the Computer Science (Games) degrees in the Viterbi School of Engineering.
In addition to our full degree programs, we also offer a wide range of minors for undergraduates who would like to add an expertise in one of the various aspects of games alongside their major field of study. All USC Games students work together collaboratively across degrees and disciplines.
School of Cinematic Arts, SCI building
SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS DEGREES
B.A. in Interactive Entertainment
The Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Entertainment combines a broad liberal arts background with specialization in the design of games and interactive entertainment. Students make games at all levels of the program gaining hands-on skills across a range of digital media arts. Hands-on skills are taught within a vibrant community of thought that explores new models of interactivity as well as emerging markets and platforms for playful media. Emphasis is placed on collaboration, teambuilding, innovation and creative leadership.
M.F.A. in Interactive Media
The M.F.A. in Interactive Media is an intensive three-year program designed to prepare students to become creative thought leaders and innovators in the evolving fields of games and interactive entertainment. As with the undergraduate degree, M.F.A. students are immersed in hands-on project development, gaining skills in design, development, collaboration and creative leadership, culminating in a year long thesis project. The M.F.A. program draws on the strengths of the School of Cinematic Arts, including Game Design, Animation, Sound Production, Screenwriting, Producing and Critical Studies, bringing these resources together in a vibrant community of innovative digital media practice.
Viterbi School of Engineering, EGG building
VITERBI SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING DEGREES
B.S. in Computer Science (Games)
The goal of the B.S. in Computer Science (Games) program is to graduate students with a solid grounding in computer science and a cross-disciplinary background in game development.
M.S. in Computer Science with Specialization in Game Development
The goal of the M.S. in Computer Science (Game Development) program is to graduate students with a core in computer science, an engineering-oriented game development core, and a concentration in one of the key research directions in game development infrastructure, cognition and games, immersion, and serious games.
Game Animation – The skills of the modern animator, visual effects artist, performance capture professional and many others are of great value in the games industry when paired with an understanding of how these assets can be used in games and systems. The Game Animation Minor provides an educational path that teaches both systems thinking and the skills and creativity of an animator.
Game Audio – Game audio professionals must not only be competent in one area (e.g., expressly in music composing, or in audio recording), but in other areas of audio and in theories of procedurality and interaction. This minor provides grounding in game design and systems thinking, while also providing theoretical backing and skills in audio design and composition to prepare students to design successful audio for the games industry.
Game Design – Design for games is a young, exciting field applicable to media artists working all over the world, in different aspects of the industry and with as many different tools as possible. The Game Design minor teaches iterative design and prototyping skills while providing students the opportunity to explore design for new technologies and the skills of user assessment and usability testing.
Game Entrepreneurism – The modern media, technology and entertainment fields are built on the backs of new businesses and new ideas. To start a successful business, a young videogame entrepreneur needs specific knowledge of the processes for setting up a business, finding investment and turning their creative project from prototype to finished project. The Game Entrepreneurism Minor provides an educational path that teaches hard business thinking for creative entrepreneurs.