Turn Gaming Passion Into a Profession
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If you grew up obsessed with video games, becoming a professional game designer might be your dream job. But being an avid gamer isn’t enough of a credential to break into the industry. You’ll need to show that you have specific knowledge of game systems and game design, as well as broader awareness of the development process and how major game studios operate.
In this three-course certificate program, we’ll examine the key principles of modern game design. You’ll learn about focus groups; balance and playtest different types of games; and explore the factors that engage players and keep them coming back for more. Prepare to play an important role in this exciting, rapidly expanding field.
Designers, developers, entrepreneurs and those who want to enter or advance in the video gaming field.
If you're not a native English speaker, you’ll need to have basic English language skills to participate in this program. To learn more, see English Language Proficiency Requirements.
To enroll in this program, international students must have a visa that permits study in the United States. This program does not enable students to obtain or maintain F-1 visa status. For more information, see Admission Requirements for International Students.
You must have access to a computer, and we recommend a high-speed Internet connection.
You earn the certificate by regularly attending class and successfully completing all required courses. For more information, see Completing Your Program.
Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.
Fundamentals of Game Design
Game Mechanics & Systems Design
Game Studio Roles & Development
Certificate in Game Design
Approved by the UW Bothell School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics and developed in partnership with the UW Bothell Digital Future Lab.
View this program's advisory board.
Each of our programs uses an advisory board to review content, guide design and recommend updates to ensure the program remains current as the field of study evolves. By tapping the minds of the top thinkers, doers and leaders in the field, we offer a transformational learning experience. The following individuals serve as the advisory board for this program.
Erik Bansleben, Director, UW Professional & Continuing Education
Scott Berfield, Executive Producer, UW Bothell Center for Serious Play
Rovy Branon, Vice Provost, University of Washington Continuum College
Carolyn Brennan, Assistant Vice Chancellor, UW Bothell
Andy Collins, Lead Story Designer, Secret Identity Studios
Skaff Elias, Vice President, Three Donkeys LLC
Richard Garfield, President, Three Donkeys, LLC
Wanda Gregory, Director, UW Bothell Center for Serious Play
Stephen van Horn, Principal, Dutchman Games
Barbara Mones, Creative Director, UW Animation Research Labs
Alex St. John, president & CTO, Hi5
Brian Tinsman, Senior Game Design Managers, Wizards of the Coast
Jordan Weisman, CEO, GoGo Kiddo
With the exception of the one-time application fee, certificate program fees are charged on a quarterly basis. Payment is due when you register.
Course fees do not include any costs for class materials such as textbooks and software.
Drops, Withdrawals & Refunds
Attend class in person at one of our convenient locations. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. An online learning management system may be required to access some course materials and assignments.
Our special blended programs combine the convenience of online study with the vibrancy of in-person classes for a unique learning experience.
Not available for this program
Enjoy the flexibility of online learning, which allows you to participate in class activities, assignments and discussions on your schedule, from anywhere. Experience cutting-edge technology and a supportive, diverse learning community.
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