Bachelor Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Video games aren’t just entertainment – they’ve evolved into complex software systems that push the limits of what computers can accomplish. The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation prepares you to build and optimize the technology at the core of these systems – from graphical algorithms to level editors to physics engines.

Through an in-depth study of mathematics, physics, and computer science – combined with real-world projects where you design and program your own fully playable games from start to finish – this program transforms you into an efficient software developer, able to understand, communicate, and solve problems at every stage of the development process.

Developers from all over the world have made their marks on the video game industry after earning a BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree from DigiPen. Will you join them?

Who Should Pursue This Degree?

If you want to develop the software technology that makes video games and interactive worlds possible, the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation program can help get you there. Students have landed positions working on AAA video games right out of DigiPen as skilled programmers, producers, and more. While the program is specifically focused on the computer science skills and graphics technologies used to create cutting-edge 3D games and simulations, as a graduate of the program you will have the skills and experience necessary to develop all manner of software applications.

As a student in this program, you will:

Become a Proficient Software Engineer

Dive deep into core programming languages as you tackle coursework in data structures, graphics rendering, computer networks, and more.

Create 2D and 3D Simulations from the Ground Up

Work with teams to design and develop 2D and 3D video games and simulation software, starting with your own engine technology.

Gain Experience in a Collaborative Studio Environment

Learn how to collaborate with others on a shared codebase as you solve problems and tackle the challenges of game software development.

Academic Roadmap

As a student in this program, you will split your time between courses in mathematics, physics, and computer science and team-based project classes that will allow you to collaborate with students from other disciplines. Each course will build on your foundational knowledge, while the project coursework will give you the opportunity to apply your education in a setting that emulates the professional studio environment.

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Sample Course Sequence

This is a sample sequence of courses for a student in the 2018-2019 academic cohort. This sequence should not be used for advising purposes; please contact your Student Success Advisor to receive a copy of this program’s Curriculum Flowchart.

Semester 1

  • MAT 140 - Linear Algebra and Geometry
  • CS 100 - Computer Environment
  • CS 120 - High-level Programming I: The C Programming Language
  • ENG 110 - Composition
  • GAM 100 - Project Introduction

Semester total credits: 18

Semester 2

  • MAT 150 or MAT 180 - Calculus and Analytic Geometry I or Vector Calculus I
  • CS 170 - High-level Programming II: The C++ Programming Language
  • CS 230 - Game Implementation Techniques
  • COM 150 - Interpersonal and Work Communication
  • GAM 150 - Project I

Semester total credits: 17

Summer

One or more of the following courses may be taken in the summer for those who wish to reduce the Semester 3 and/or Semester 4-course load: CS 200, MAT 200, PHY 200

Semester 3

  • MAT 200 or MAT 230 - Calculus and Analytic Geometry II or Vector Calculus II
  • CS 180 - Operating System I: Man-Machine Interface
  • CS 200 - Computer Graphics I
  • CS 225 - Advanced C/C++
  • GAM 200 - Project II

Semester total credits: 17

Semester 4

  • MAT 250 - Linear Algebra
  • PHY 200 - Motion Dynamics
  • PHY 200L - Motion Dynamics Lab
  • CS 250 - Computer Graphics II
  • CS 280 - Data Structures
  • GAM 250 - Project II

Semester total credits: 18

Summer

One or more of the following courses may be taken in the summer for those who wish to reduce the Semester 5 and/or Semester 6-course load: CS 300, CS 315, MAT 258

Semester 5

  • MAT 258 - Discrete Mathematics
  • PHY 250 - Waves, Optics, and Thermodynamics
  • CS 260 - Computer Networks I: Interprocess Communication
  • CS 300 - Advanced Computer Graphics I
  • CS 330 - Algorithm Analysis
  • GAM 300 - Project III

Semester total credits: 20

Semester 6

  • Math Elective - Any MAT course numbered 200 or higher
  • CS 315 - Low-Level Programming
  • CS 350 - Advanced Computer Graphics II
  • Computer Science Elective - Any CS course numbered 200 or higher
  • CG 130 - 3D Computer Animation Production I
  • GAM 350 - Project III

Semester total credits: 19

Semester 7

  • Math Elective - Any MAT course numbered 200 or higher
  • Computer Science Elective - Any CS course numbered 200 or higher
  • English Elective - Any ENG course of three credits or more
  • ART and MUS Elective - Select one: ANI 125, ART 105, FLM 115, FLM 151, FLM 152, or MUS 115
  • GAM 400* - Project III

Semester total credits: 16

Semester 8

  • English Elective - Any ENG course of three credits or more
  • Computer Science Elective - Any CS course numbered 200 or higher
  • Computer Science Elective - Any CS course numbered 200 or higher
  • HSS Elective - Any HIS, PSY, or SOS course of three credits or more
  • COL 499 - Career Search Preparation: Materials, Logistics, and Communication
  • GAM 400* - Project IV

Semester total credits: 17

Degree total credits (minimum credits required): 142

*Other courses may fulfill this requirement.

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Admissions Requirements

In order to apply for the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation program, you should have a strong foundation in math, science, and problem-solving. You’ll need to have completed precalculus (or its equivalent) prior to attending DigiPen Europe-Bilbao. Additional coursework in computer science and physics is recommended but not required.

Number of Credits and GPA

The BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation (RTIS) degree program requires completion of at least 142 credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. The program usually spans eight semesters of 15 weeks each or a total of four academic years.

Grade Requirements

Students must receive a grade of “C-” (or 1.7 quality points) or higher in all core courses for the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program. (In a non-core course, a grade of “D” [or 1.0 quality points] or higher is considered passing.) The core courses are all those taken to fulfill the GAM, MAT, and CS requirements. PHY 200, PHY 200L, and CG 130 are also core courses.

English Requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their level of English either via a recognized certificate in English or by taking our internal English examination.

Topics Covered

Students in the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation program will learn how to:

  • Program a variety of simulations and games, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional games.
  • Draft game design and technical design documents to aid in the scheduling and organizational aspects of game production.
  • Implement efficient graphical user interfaces (GUIs), including the management of windows, menus, and dialog boxes.
  • Create robust artificial intelligence algorithms to serve as the cognitive processes for computer-controlled game objects.
  • Apply concepts such as computer networks, TCP/IP, and internet programming to a multiplayer video game environment.

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Student Projects

Multidisciplinary team projects make up a core component of the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation curriculum. As a student in the program, you will work with your classmates on a series of original game projects. In addition to building your own 2D and 3D graphics technology from scratch, you’ll have the chance to take on team roles in gameplay programming, artificial intelligence, game design, and other areas—applying classroom concepts toward tangible software products. These are just a few examples of what students in the program have created.

Career Outlook

BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation graduates can pursue a variety of entry- and intermediate-level positions in software engineering, especially in video game development.

Potential Careers

Engine and Tools Programmer

In general, an engine or tools programmer creates customized software systems (such as a level editor or scripting language) that will be used by other developers on the team to create game assets, or just make the overall development process more efficient.

Software Architect

The software architect is responsible for designing the high-level structure for a development project and making decisions related to technical standards. Essentially, the software architect creates the “blueprints” for the project’s codebase.

Gameplay Programmer

The gameplay programmer is responsible for implementing the mechanical features and systems of a video game, often working with designers to turn ideas into working, moving parts.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

Welcome to DigiPen Institute of Technology! We’re an academic community of builders and believers with a shared passion for games, art, and technology. For more than 30 years, and with three internati ... Read More

Welcome to DigiPen Institute of Technology! We’re an academic community of builders and believers with a shared passion for games, art, and technology. For more than 30 years, and with three international campuses in the U.S.A., Singapore, and Spain, we’ve been preparing students like you for a wide range of careers — doing the kind of work that challenges the mind and excites the imagination. Read less