Columbia College Chicago

Interactive Arts & Media

The Interactive Arts & Media Department provides a number of degree programs that are technically and creatively challenging. We offer Bachelor of Arts degrees in Game Design, Game Programming, Mobile Media Programming, and Interactive Arts and Media. You might choose a more rigorous Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interactive Arts and Media or a technically focused Bachelor of Science in Game Programming. You can also add a new set of skills to another major with a minor in Web Development, Game Art, Game Design and Programming.

Majors & Programs

For requirements and more information about these programs, visit the course catalog.


Game Design, BA

As a Game Design student, you’ll learn how to create engaging, interactive game experiences. Core courses emphasize the fundamentals of game design theory as well as the cultural and theoretical roles of game design in society. You can choose one of three concentrations in the major: Game Art, Game Development or Sound Design for Games.

Concentrations:
Game Design, Game Art, BA

Students in the Game Art concentration gain in-depth experience using a variety of software tools and workflows to create sophisticated visual concepts and game-engine-ready production assets. Our students learn to integrate those assets, including characters, environments, props, animations, and visual effects into a variety of game engines, with a focus on quality, efficiency and expediency. You graduate with the ability to use a wide range of 2D and 3D visual styles and tools to realize a strong creative visual design for a game or simulation.

Game Design, Game Development, BA

Students in the Game Development concentration learn to design games in terms of gameplay, fun and user experience, as well as system and level design. Classes in the concentration focus on critical thinking, advanced theory, integrated scripting/programming, deep analytic skills and disciplinary knowledge to construct original game and simulation designs, as well as deconstruct, analyze, and evaluate existing works. You learn to apply innovative game design patterns and use state-of-the-art techniques and tools to create game experiences that are engaging and immersive. The program focuses on the importance of using effective game production techniques from a variety of methodologies in order to create well-planned and documented projects of various sizes, ranging from large commercial-style teams, to smaller independent-scale projects.

Game Design, Game Sound Design, BA

Students in the Game Sound Design concentration learn to create self-designed sonic landscapes and environments by applying theoretical and practical concepts of sound design to games, real-time environments and simulations. Our students acquire a fundamental knowledge of music theory and well as advanced concepts of acoustics and digital audio using state-of-the-art software, field and studio production technology and techniques. Significant focus is placed on practical application and expression of game audio assets and theory within multiple industry-standard game engines.

Game Programming, BA

We all work with technology, but programming is the discipline that makes it all work. You’ll learn to develop games, simulations and other game-like interactive experiences and graduate with a portfolio showcasing a wide range of skills.

Interactive Arts and Media, BA

Interactive media is expanding throughout entertainment, art, education and business. This major will help you create the next generation of dynamic interfaces, mobile applications, audience-focused games, sound design and other interactive media for work and play. Senior-year students complete a capstone team project and a professional web-based portfolio that demonstrates a mastery of leading-edge interaction design, user experience and visual branding.

Mobile Media Programming, BA

In this program you’ll think and act as an innovator to create mobile media for smartphones, tablets and whatever portable, web-equipped hardware emerges next. As the desktop era fades, you’ll learn the programming-related technical skills you’ll need to create products at the forefront of interactive media design. The Interactive Arts and Media Department offers three different applied programming degrees, each tailored to a different kind of interactive media.

Game Programming, BS

As a Game Design student, you’ll learn how to create engaging, interactive game experiences. Core courses emphasize the fundamentals of game design theory as well as the cultural and theoretical roles of game design in society. You can choose one of three concentrations in the major: Game Art, Game Development or Sound Design for Games.

Game Art Minor

The Game Art Minor offers in-depth experience creating sophisticated visual concepts and generating creative visual solutions for games and simulations. You’ll learn to integrate art assets, including characters, environments, props, animations and visual effects into a variety of game engines. We place special emphasis on fostering professional and productive collaborations within an interdisciplinary game development team.

Game Design Minor

As a Game Design minor, you’ll learn to design games in terms of gameplay, fun and user experience, system design, and level design. You’ll focus on critical thinking and use state-of-the-art techniques and tools to create game experiences that are engaging and immersive. Our curriculum focuses on cross-disciplinary communication skills to foster successful collaborations on creative teams.

Programming Minor

Programming is a highly sought-after skill in many industries; jobs in journalism, marketing and other communication fields often require fluency with coding and application development skills. A minor in programming offers you a distinct edge in a highly competitive economy.

Web Development Minor

Any arts major can benefit from a fundamental understanding of web development, social media and user-centered design. You’ll learn web page creation, basic programming languages and information management as a complement to studies in graphic design, fiction writing, marketing, arts and media management, journalism, television or film/video.

Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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