BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GAME DESIGN & PRODUCTION COURSES AND CURRICULUM
Drexel University’s major in Game Design & Production is a full-time undergraduate program that prepares students for exciting careers in video game design, consumer gaming, corporate enterprise, entertainment, and education. To best prepare students for the demands of game design careers, Drexel Westphal’s Game Design curriculum includes a foundation of design and technology, hands-on coursework that covers the entire video game production pipeline, and a six-month co-op experience, in which students work full-time in the game design industry while continuing their studies.
Students in the Drexel Game Design & Production major benefit from small class sizes and hands-on experience in our cutting-edge facilities, such as the Animation Capture & Effects Lab and the Immersive Research Lab for virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive media. The Game Design program at Drexel is offered as a four-year Bachelor of Science program or as a five-year BS/MS degree program in partnership with the graduate program in Digital Media.
Game Design & Production Course Requirements
Drexel Westphal’s undergraduate Game Design & Production major is a 191-credit degree program, which can be completed in four years, including a six-month professional co-op experience. Students begin taking Game Design classes during their first year of study, while also fulfilling general education requirements in the humanities and foundational coursework in design, computer programming, and the visual arts.
Game Design & Production majors take required courses in:
- Game Development Foundations
- Character Animation for Gaming
- Scripting for Game Design
- Realtime Visualization
- Basic Cinematography
The Game Design curriculum emphasizes project-based teamwork, a structure that mirrors the game design industry, prepares students for cross-disciplinary work in any size company, and helps gaming majors build impressive portfolios prior to graduation. Game Design majors utilize state-of-the-art facilities and equipment under the guidance of our distinguished faculty who are leaders in the field of video game production and digital media. As the fields of game design and media rapidly adapt to a changing world and improving technologies, Drexel Westphal’s gaming program evolves in response, ensuring students are prepared for the dynamism of a digital media career.
Game Design & Production majors also take required courses in visual studies, computer science, media, and the humanities, such as:
- Light & Sound
- History of Modern Design
- Computer Programming
- Audio Production & Post
- Introductory Drawing
See here for a sample plan of study for Game Design & Production majors.
Game Design Elective Classes
In addition to required gaming and digital media courses, students in the Drexel BS in Game Design & Production take 12 credits in Game Design electives. The gaming program leverages the expertise of its industry-leading faculty by offering specialized elective classes, such as:
- Artificial Intelligence in Gaming
- Game Design from the Player’s Perspective
- Mobile Game Development
- Experimental Games
Students may also select free electives offered by the Westphal College or other colleges and schools to enhance their studies or even pursue a minor. Most minors offered by Drexel University are 24 credits. Many Game Design majors choose to minor in Computer Science, which gives students an even more rigorous technological education. To see a full list of undergraduate minors, visit the Course Catalog.
Experiential Learning and Employment in the Game Design program
Co-op Experience for Game Design & Production
The Game Design & Production program at the Westphal College is enhanced by Drexel’scooperative education system(co-op). Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Game Design spend six months during their junior year in a full-time job in the industry, earning invaluable professional experience prior to graduation. The accelerated BS/MS in Game Design and Digital Media includes three co-op experiences across the second, third, and fourth year of study.
Game Design co-op students have secured co-op positions with such companies as:
- eNable Games
- Entrepreneurial Game Studio
- GLIDE Lab
- iD Tech Game Design & Development Academy
- Penn Medicine
- PHL Collective
- Skyless Game Studios
- Tipping Point Media
- Virtual Health
- Rockstar Games
- Inter Media Japan
The Co-op experience is a requirement for graduation with the Game Design degree. The Steinbright Career Development Center and Digital Media faculty provide resources and assist in job placement, giving Drexel Game Design & Production majors the advantage of industry experience when seeking employment after graduation.
Through the rigorous, hands-on curriculum and co-op employment, Drexel Game Design & Production majors are prepared for dynamic, in-demand gaming careers, such as:
- Video Game Designer
- Game Animator
- Game Programmer
- Creative Director
- Game Audio Engineer
- Systems Designer
- Game Marketer
Entrepreneurial Game Studio
The Entrepreneurial Game Studio (EGS) at Drexel University is a commercial game development studio and publisher focused on developing the next generation of leaders in the gaming industry. Led by Dr. Frank Lee, the EGS creates a professional gaming startup environment, incubating student game design companies from development to production and marketing. With support from the Entrepreneurial Game Studio, students in the Game Design & Production major, the Digital Media graduate program, and the Computer Science program have developed and brought to market games like Sole (Gossamer Games) and the award-winning Fling to the Finish (SplitSide Games).
What is the difference between a Game Design degree and a Game Programming and Development Concentration?
The BS in Game Design & Production at the Westphal College provides a well-rounded education in all aspects of game design, but is ideal for the student who is most interested in the creative side of game development. Game Design majors take in-depth courses in narrative storytelling, animation, character creation, and visual studies with complementary coursework in computer programming. Students who major in Game Design & Production may also choose to pursue a minor in Computer Science for a more rigorous course of study in programming.
To complement the creative focus of Drexel Westphal’s Game Design & Production major, a sister concentration in Game Programming and Development is offered as part of the Computer Science major in the College of Computing and Informatics. The Game Programming and Development concentration is ideal for students seeking to focus more on the technology side of gaming rather than the design and ideation of games.
Senior Project in Game Design & Production
Drexel’s degree program in Game Design culminates in a capstone project, which demonstrates control over the entire creative and production pipeline. Under the supervision of Digital Media faculty, Game Design majors collaborate with their peers in the College of Computing and Informatics to create professional-caliber games, which they present in a thesis exhibition attended by industry representatives.
See examples of Game Design student portfolios here.
Accelerated BS/MS in Game Design & Production and Digital Media
For students interested in completing both a bachelors and an advanced degree, the Game Design program offers the option to enter an accelerated BS/MS degree in Digital Media. Current students in the undergraduate Game Design & Production major can apply for the accelerated degree through the Graduate College after completing 90 credits, but no more than 120 credits. Acceptance into the accelerated program is open to outstanding students with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 and a successful portfolio review by the Digital Media faculty. The accelerated program offers qualified students to earn a master’s degree in Digital Media in addition to a bachelor’s degree in Game Design within an accelerated period, and can be completed in five years. Students who pursue the BS/MS in Game Design & Production and Digital Media complete three co-op experiences. Game Design majors who completed the BS/MS program have gone on to careers at leading companies including Pixar, Netflix, Microsoft Studios, Dreamworks, NCSoft, and Disney.
If you are interested in learning more about the Drexel degree programs in Game Design & Production, contact the Westphal admissions team at 215.895.1738 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.