Aug 09, 2020  
2018-2019 University Catalogue 
2018-2019 University Catalogue [Archived Catalogue]

BFA in Game Art

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Erik Van Horn, Program Director



The Game Art program is designed to direct each student’s quest for creative self-expression and to lead to productive careers. We are creating fine artists –with a strong core foundation– who use contemporary technology. Students will be prepared to be effective creative partners, whether serving as part of a small indie-game development team or working on a large AAA title.
Successful creative practice engaging Gaming, Virtual-, and Real-time technologies requires a deep foundation in traditional methods and approaches in the visual arts. Drawing on the 139-year history of The University of the Arts in both applied and fine arts, our program is positioned to accomplish this goal. Our approach uses a cross-college, interdisciplinary framework to create skillful virtual 3D artists who can create compelling, complex digital worlds from concept through realization.

Our approach balances the development of the artist’s creative voice with in-depth, systematic, progressive technical instruction. Students are exposed to broad historical contexts in order to develop rich aesthetics that push the boundaries of imagination. By emphasizing the artistic components of immersive media creation, we are able to re-think and re-frame the visualization of game worlds and experiences.

The students’ skill sets apply to industries ranging from entertainment to serious games, such as medical visualization, scientific modeling, educational applications, and others. Their job titles can include 3D Generalist, 3D Modeling (Environment, Props, and Characters), Animation for Games, Level Building, Game Design and in-game Visual Effects.

Program Objectives

Our students will:

  • Demonstrate an ability to utilize 3D-game development tools and systems to produce technically competent works of art; 
  • Demonstrate an ability to imagine and express creative, innovative, visually engaging virtual worlds and characters;
  • Demonstrate the ability to participate and collaborate successfully as effective members of creative development teams; 
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop meaningful 3D virtual objects, characters and worlds across a wide range of aesthetic styles, while adapting to rapid changes in industry.

Academic Plan

Academic plans provide a semester by semester suggested course sequence. Plans can be customized through discussions with academic advisors.

Program Requirements (120 credits)

Discipline History (12 credits)

Critical Studies (30 credits)

Students will complete a writing placement exam to determine their composition sequence. Students who do not complete the exam may be placed based on standardized tests scores (if available) or high school GPA. Some students may be required to complete additional developmental coursework.

Students will complete one of the following sequences:

First Year Writing (6 credits)



Critical Approaches to the Arts and Culture (9 credits)

  • Select 3 courses from subject CRIT

Scientific Inquiry Foundation Track (3 credits)

  • Select 1 course from subject SIFT

Critical Studies Electives (12 credits)

  • Select courses from subjects:
    • AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
    • FRCH (French), ITAL (Italian), LITT (Literature)
    • PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
    • MATH (Math), SCIE (Science)
    • ANTH (Anthropology), PHIL (Philosophy), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)
    • STCU (Cultural Studies), STDA (Dance Studies), STGS (Gender & Sexuality Studies),
      STMU (Music Studies), STPF (Performance Studies) 
  • Select courses from  : Art History or Critical Studies Elective.

Free Electives (15 - 16.5 credits)

Game Art students who complete DESN*305 Business Communication for Design Professionals must complete 16.5 free elective credits. Students who complete DESN*499 Design Internship must complete 15 free elective credits.

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