Area of Focus
  • Arts & Media
  • Engineering & Technology
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
Academic Division
  • Arts
  • Performance, Play and Design

Program overview

Art & Design: Games & Playable Media (AGPM) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in the Department of Performance, Play and Design at UCSC. The program is closely affiliated with the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: Computer Game Design in the Computational Media Department in the School of Engineering. Students in both programs work together throughout their studies at UCSC, from foundation courses to a year-long capstone sequence that results in team creation of a releasable game demo. Students in AGPM obtain a degree focused on the design of game systems and other interactive experiences, including their connection to a wider arts context — with a full grounding in the fundamentals of artistic practice and expressive game development.

Students playing game

Learning Experience

The foundation of the program is game making, with students working together to make games each year. Students also learn about the history of games, the interpretation of games and game culture, expression of ideas and creating experiences through games, and approaches to design, communication, teamwork, and artistic innovation.

Study and Research Opportunities

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

Students interested in entering the program as frosh are urged to make games — using any materials, digital or analog, from Python/Javascript to cardboard — and carefully study game systems. Developing an arts practice in any medium is also helpful, including drawing, writing, music, sculpture, filmmaking, and others. Finally, deepening your understanding of technology is good preparation, including computer programming, participating in maker groups, or whatever else grabs your interest.


Students smiling

Transfer Requirements

In preparation for transfer to AGPM, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in programming, visual art, and game design.

See the Transfer Information and Policy section in our program statement for more information.

It is required that incoming transfer students complete all the necessary programming courses and have some experience with art or game design courses prior to entering UCSC. Students interested in entering as junior transfers, including from within UCSC, are urged to complete all general education requirements (IGETC) and as many appropriate foundation courses as possible.



Students at interactive booth

Internships and Career Opportunities


The AGPM B.A. serves as the sister program to the Computer Science: Computer Game Design (CS:CGD) B.S. major. While the CS:CGD major prepares its students for engineering and developer roles, the AGPM program focuses on artist, designer, or producer roles in the games industry including:

  • 2D / 3D Artist
  • Game Designer
  • Game Programmer
  • Game Writer
  • Producer
  • Sound Designer
  • User Interface (UI) Designer
  • User Experience (UX) Designer

Outside of the games industry, students have gone on to careers in games research, science, academia, marketing, graphic design, fine art, illustration, and other types of media and entertainment.

Program Contact



apartment Arts Division Programs Office, Digital Arts Research Center 302


phone (831) 459-1554