The game design certificate is a 19-credit program jointly offered by the departments of Curriculum and Instruction, Art, and Computer Sciences. It is designed to empower students with the skills, understanding, and background to create and produce games independently, to develop a body of work, and to gain critical perspectives on games and game design. The certificate will focus on game design in the general sense: creating, testing, and understanding how to design gameplay to be fun and impactful, across board games, video games, gamification, and even classrooms.

Declaration Process

To be eligible to declare the Game Design Certificate, students must complete two courses prior to submitting a certificate declaration. One course is required of all prospective certificate students:

CURRIC 277 Videogames & Learning3
The second course may be selected by the student from the following options:
ART 107 Introduction to Digital Forms3
COMP SCI 200 Programming I4
COMP SCI 301 Introduction to Data Programming3
COMP SCI 300 Programming II3
Students meeting the eligibility criteria who intend to complete the game design certificate may find the declaration form on the School of Education's Apply to a Program page. The declaration for this certificate program can be submitted at any time during the calendar year.

Requirements of this 19-credit certificate program include both required and elective coursework. All coursework must be taken for a letter grade. At least 10 credits of the certificate must be earned in residence at UW–Madison.

Students must have an overall 2.5 GPA in Game Design Certificate coursework upon completion of the certificate.

Certificate Requirements

Required Courses
CURRIC 277 Videogames & Learning3
CURRIC 357 Game Design I3
CURRIC 432 Game Design II3
ART 107 Introduction to Digital Forms3
Computer Science Elective
Select one of the following:3
Programming I
Introduction to Data Programming
Programming II
Art Elective
Select one of the following:4
Digital Imaging Studio
3D Digital Studio I
3D Digital Studio II
Total Credits19

Certificate Completion Requirement

This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. Students will gain the design and technical skills necessary to create games.
  2. Students will gain the critical and theoretical perspectives necessary to understand the production and reception contexts in/for which they design such games.

Information about faculty, staff, and other contributions to the certificate in game design can be found on the certificate's website.