Game Design and Interactive Media, B.S.
UCI’s Game Design and Interactive Media program prepares students to be innovative designers, developers, and industry leaders. Taught by internationally-recognized faculty and industry experts, the program’s unique two-year foundation includes hands-on courses in worldbuilding, game design and development, game programming, and game studies. Students then pursue advanced coursework that culminates in a two-quarter capstone project supported by industry mentors. Electives in advanced game design and development, programming, storytelling, games entrepreneurship, and the cultural aspects of games offer students the chance to build a portfolio that reflects their individual interests and career goals. The program explores both established and emerging platforms, including AR/VR, tabletop, and mobile. Located in Silicon Beach, our students benefit from access to industry partners like Blizzard, Riot, Electronic Arts, Obsidian Entertainment, Age of Learning, Disney, Tencent, and the Cartoon Network.
Freshman Applicants: See the Undergraduate Admissions section.
All applicants must have a cumulative UC transferable GPA of 3.0 and a minimum grade of B in one year of computer programming courses in a single object–language (Python, Java, or C++). It is recommended that students articulate to I&C SCI 31-33 which can be used to satisfy degree requirements. Introduction to computer science courses do not meet this requirement.Applicants to the Game Design and Interactive Media major should be aware that several lower-division courses must be taken at UCI; therefore, the minimum time to degree completion will be three years. Students are strongly urged to complete the IGETC at their community college to reduce their time to degree. Visit the UCI Office of Admissions website for information on transfer requirements for our major.
Major Requirements (176 total credits)
|GDIM 25||Game Design Fundamentals|
|GDIM 27||Intermediate Game Design|
|GDIM 31||Introduction to Programming for Games|
|GDIM 32||Intermediate Programming for Games|
|GDIM 33||Coding In Game Engines|
|GDIM 41||Games and Society|
|GDIM 49||Special Topics in Games and Society|
|GDIM 51||Visual Design Fundamentals|
|GDIM 55||Storytelling for Interactive Media|
|GDIM 61||Introduction to Game Development|
|ICS 80||Special Topics in Information and Computer Science 1|
|GDIM 129||Special Topics in Advanced Game Design|
|GDIM 131||Data Analytics for Games and Interactive Media|
|GDIM 161||Multiplayer Game Project|
|GDIM 167A||Capstone Game Project I|
|GDIM 167B||Capstone Game Project II|
|B. Select one of the following:|
|A. Select an additional six courses from the following list:|
|Special Topics in Games and Society|
|Special Topics in Advanced Game Design|
|Special Topics in Game Programming|
|Solo Game Project|
|Human Computer Interaction|
|Project in Human-Computer Interaction Requirements and Evaluation|
|User Interaction Software|
|Children's Learning and Media|
|Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Computer Science|
Open electives may not overlap with major degree requirements.
At least six courses must be upper-division level courses.
Complete nine elective courses from across the university (36 units).
Majors must take the Intro to Data Science course topic. Other topics will not count toward the degree requirement.
|GDIM 41||GDIM 53||GDIM 61|
|GDIM 31||GDIM 25||GDIM 32|
|GDIM 51||STATS 6||Open Elective|
|WRITING 39B||WRITING 39C|
|GDIM 55||GDIM 27||GDIM 49|
|GDIM 33||Open Elective||Core Elective|
|Core Elective||GE III/VII Requirement||Open Elective|
|GE IV/VIII Requirement||GE II Requirement|
|GDIM 131||GDIM 129||GDIM 161|
|Core Elective||Open Elective||GDIM 165|
|GE VI Requirement||GE II Requirement||Core Elective|
|Open Elective||Upper-Division Writing||GE IV Requirement|
|GDIM 167A||GDIM 167B||Core Elective|
|Open Elective||Core Elective||Open Elective|
|GE III Requirement||Open Elective||Open Elective|
|GE IV Requirement|
- Students are advised that this sample program lists the minimum requirements; it is possible that students may have to take additional courses to prepare for required courses.
- The lower-division writing requirement must be completed by the end of the seventh quarter at UCI.
- This is only a sample plan. Course offerings may be moved due to unforeseen circumstances. It is strongly recommended that students meet with an academic advisor to create an academic plan tailored to meet their specific areas of interest.
Games and interactive media technologies are evolving at a radical pace in ways that are transforming how we work, learn, and play. As such, a wide variety of careers and graduate programs are open to Game Design and Interactive Media (GDIM) graduates, including game development, interactive entertainment, creative technologies, educational and learning software, and more. Because of the strong technical underpinnings of the degree program, demand for our GDIM majors is strong. The majority find employment in the industry, whether at a major publisher, smaller studio or as self-employed freelancers. Many squarely focus on entertainment, others succeed in bringing their skills to the design and development of serious games in a variety of domains, including healthcare and education.
Of course, many of our students also pursue a career or graduate school in game design, interactive media, computer science, or informatics after they complete the major.