BS Degree in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences
The Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program has two components. The first component is a program leading to the Bachelor of Science in games and simulation arts degree. It is designed to ensure every graduate has a suite of integrated skills that are recognized as critical for leaders in the field. The second component of the program is a concentration in one of several disciplines directly related to existing or emerging career paths in the games and simulation/entertainment industry.
The courses in the games and simulation curriculum provide many team experiences and iterative cycles of design and analysis, as well as a formal research component rare in undergraduate programs.
Students should graduate prepared to:
- Be able to work effectively in goal-oriented game development teams and have well-developed leadership and management skills.
- Have a strong sense of "procedural literacy" (how to construct, analyze, and manage processes).
- Be fluent in at least one programming or scripting language used in the production of interactive games or interfaces, and expert in at least one game development platform.
- Be able to produce written, oral, and visual communication that clearly express their ideas.
- Understand basic psychological theories of human perception, learning, social interaction, and play.
- Have a basic foundation in mathematics and the physical, biological, and social sciences, including an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry.
- Develop a solid portfolio illustrating their abilities and work experience. This may include examples of industry experience, research, writing samples, and creative works.
The degree requirements are
- 9 courses in the major (36 credits), one of which also fulfills an H&SS Core requirement
- 9 Concentration courses (36 credits)
- 6 Math and Science Core courses (24 credits)
- 5 HASS Core Elective courses (20 credits)
- 3 free elective courses (12 credits)
for a total degree requiring 128 credits.
FallYear OneMATH-1010 OR MATH-1500Calculus IHSS-1972 History & Culture of Games CSCI-1100 Computer Science IPSYC-2520 Game Design
SpringYear OneMATH-2800 Intro To Discrete StructuresPSYC-4xxxGame MechanicsCSCI-1200Computer Science II BIOL-1010 Biology I
FallYear TwoPHYS-1110Physics ICOMM-4969Designing Interactive Characters HASS Core Elective Concentration Course
FallYear ThreeARTS-4510 Experimental Game Design HASS Core Elective Concentration Course Concentration Course
At present, the following concentrations-with the potential of obtaining a dual degree--are:
- Arts (B.S. in Electronic Arts)
- Human Computer Interaction (HCI) (B.S. in Communication)
- Computer Science (B.S. in Computer Science)
- Management/Entrepreneurship (B.S. in Management)
- Cognitive Science (B.S. in Psychology)
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible concentrations or second majors. It is expected that other concentrations will emerge as the program matures. Satisfying the requirements for a concentration in one of these fields alongside the games and simulation program major requirements will ensure that students have solid entry-level professional skills to offer when they leave Rensselaer, and will provide them with a core discipline from which to operate in a highly interdisciplinary profession.
Applicants are encouraged to submit a portfolio that demonstrates creative excellence and preparation for interdisciplinary studies in games. The portfolio should represent what the applicant considers to be their best work in any medium.
Successful portfolios may include any of the following: Games created by the applicant, either digital or non-digital; Interactive digital media and artworks; 3D models; Animation, either digital or non-digital; Visual artwork in any media (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, video, etc); Audio recordings; Creative writing; Level designs; and other examples of creative work.
Portfolios may be submitted electronically through the online portfolio system Slideroom, or on CD-ROM. Your CD-ROM should be mailed to:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, New York 12180-3590
The online portfolio system supports the following formats for each genre:
- Images (5MB each: jpg, png, gif)
- Videos (60MB each: mov, wmv, flv)
- PDF (10MB each: pdf)
- Audio (10MB each: mp3)
Notes for specific media types for CD-ROM submission:
Digital games and interactive media: Windows, Mac, or Linux compatible. Include:
- All required files for your game to run
- Detailed installation and play instructions
- Written description of the game, tools used to create it, and your role if it was a team project
- Image and/or video documentation of the game
Playable Physical Games (board games, card games, etc):
- Submit image and/or video documentation
- Include written description of the game and rules
Images: 10 to 20 still images in JPG or PNG format.
Video: Video DVD or digital files on CD-ROM or Data DVD
- Recommended resolution: 640x480 or higher
- Recommended formats for video files: AVI, Quicktime, WMV, Flash, or Ogg/Theora
- Recommended compression: for AVI, Quicktime, and WMV: MPEG-4 or H.264
Audio: MP3 or Ogg/Vorbis