Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation

General

Program Description

This degree is taught 100% in English.

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation (BSCS) is a four-year computer science degree focusing on the technical aspects of computer graphics and simulations. Students begin with a solid foundation in mathematics, physics, and programming, then apply that knowledge in yearly team-based projects where they design, program, test, and finally release their own fully playable games to the public. Those who successfully complete the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation program will have gained the knowledge and skills to produce highly complex software systems at a professional level.

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 text-based, 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.

Career Outlook

Graduates of the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program are ready to pursue a variety of entry- and intermediate-level positions in the areas of software engineering in general and video game development in particular, including:

  • Software Architect
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Gameplay Programmer
  • Engine and Tools Programmer
  • Artificial Intelligence Programmer

Program Overview

The real-time interactive simulation field, which includes the software and digital entertainment industries, is one of the fastest growing and most exciting career choices of the future. The video game, movie, and military industries are only a few of those that demand well-trained, enthusiastic programmers, designers, artists, and managers. DigiPen Institute of Technology is a key provider of these individuals, and the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program prepares programmers for these industries. Designed and developed by industry experts and DigiPen faculty, the Institute's four-year BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program is a computer science degree that is highly focused on the areas of graphics and simulations. Participants in the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program specialize in the skills and tools necessary to create real-time simulations of real-life events and imaginary situations.

The BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation degree program offers extensive training in mathematics and physics as a foundation for the various topics presented in general computer science and computer graphics. Throughout the degree program, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation students participate in several team-based projects. These substantial projects are designed to give students concrete experiences in which they apply the theoretical knowledge gained from their courses. Forming the cornerstone of the program, these projects exemplify many of the skills necessary in the video game industry today: teamwork, design, implementation, follow through, and business knowledge, among others.

BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation students gain the experience of designing, programming, and testing a variety of simulations and games, including text-based, scrolling, simulation, and 2D and 3D games.

Students in this degree program work both individually and collaboratively to learn the fundamentals of software programming, game design, and production. Additionally, they write game design documents and technical design documents, learn how to schedule tools and techniques, and participate in the full production of several games. These game-oriented productions are a perfect media to present complicated subjects in a format agreeable to students. These productions:

  • are graphics-oriented simulations, including 2D and 3D simulations.
  • can realistically reproduce or simulate natural phenomena and real-life events. Flight simulators are excellent examples of such simulations.
  • are highly interactive, requiring an elaborate and efficient graphical user interface (GUI). The development of a GUI requires the management of windows, menus, dialog boxes, and hardware resources including keyboards, mice, and display monitors.
  • react in real time. The implementation of such simulations requires a thorough knowledge of computer hardware and computer languages.
  • are story-based simulations requiring a plot in which game objects must interact intelligently with each other. Therefore, in order to make games challenging and interesting, students must design and implement good artificial intelligence algorithms, which serve as the cognitive processes for the computer-controlled game objects.
  • could be designed for either a single-player or multiplayer environment. The development of the latter requires the understanding of subjects such as computer networks, TCP/IP, and internet programming.
  • are excellent examples of large and complex productions. Teamwork is essential to the successful completion of such productions. Therefore, students are divided into teams and are rigorously trained in object-oriented programming languages, paradigms, and software engineering techniques and practices.

Graduates of this degree program will be prepared to enter the video game industry as entry-level computer scientists and software engineers. Possible entry-level position titles include Computer Scientist, Software Engineer, Software Developer, Software Development Engineer, Software Development Engineer in Test, Software Analyst, Computer Programmer, Gameplay Programmer, Engine Programmer, Physics Programmer, Graphics Programmer, Networking Programmer, Artificial Intelligence Programmer, User Interface Programmer, Tools Programmer, Web Programmer, or Game Scripter. After several years in the industry, graduates may attain titles such as Lead Engineer, Lead Developer, Development Manager, Principal Engineer, Technical Director, and Chief Technology Officer. This degree program also includes secondary training that can contribute directly to a graduate obtaining positions with titles such as Producer, Program Manager, Technical Program Manager, Technical Writer, and Technical Designer.

Course Sequence

The BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation 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.

Sample Course Sequence Chart

Semester 1

  • Linear Algebra and Geometry
  • Computer Environment
  • High-level Programming I: The C Programming Language
  • Composition
  • Project Introduction

Semester 2

  • Calculus and Analytic Geometry I or Vector Calculus I
  • High-level Programming II: The C++ Programming Language
  • Game Implementation Techniques
  • Interpersonal and Work Communication
  • Project I

Semester 3

  • Calculus and Analytic Geometry II or Vector Calculus II
  • Operating Systems I: Man-Machine Interface
  • Computer Graphics I
  • Advanced C/C++
  • Project II

Semester 4

  • Linear Algebra
  • Motion Dynamics
  • Motion Dynamics Lab
  • Computer Graphics II
  • Data Structures
  • Project II

Semester 5

  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Waves, Optics, and Thermodynamics
  • Computer Networks I: Interprocess Communication
  • Advanced Computer Graphics I
  • Algorithm Analysis
  • Project III

Semester 6

  • Any MAT course numbered 200 or higher
  • Low-level Programming
  • Advanced Computer Graphics II
  • Any 200-level or higher CS course not required
  • 3D Computer Animation Production I
  • Project III

Semester 7

  • Any MAT course numbered 200 or higher
  • Any CS course numbered 200 or higher
  • Any ENG course of three credits or more
  • Select one: ANI 125, ART 105, FLM 115, FLM 151, FLM 152, or MUS 115
  • Project III

Semester 8

  • Any ENG course of three credits or more
  • Any CS course numbered 200 or higher
  • Any CS course numbered 200 or higher
  • One humanities & social science elective from any three-credit HIS, PSY, or SOS courses
  • Career Search Preparation: Materials, Logistics, and Communication
  • Project IV

Degree Requirements

Number of Credits & GPA

The BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation 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 & Core Courses

Students must receive a grade of “C-” (or 1.7 quality points) or higher in all core courses for the BS in Computer Science and 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.

Art and Music

The following courses are required: CG 130 and three additional credits from the following: ANI 125, ART 105, FLM 115, FLM 151, FLM 152, or MUS 115. (Total: 6 credits)

Computer Science

The following courses are required: CS 100, CS 120, CS 170, CS 180, CS 200, CS 225, CS 230, CS 250, CS 260, CS 280, CS 300, CS 315, CS 330, and CS 350. Students must select four additional CS courses (12 credits) numbered 200 or higher. (Total: 57 credits)

Humanities and Social Sciences

The following courses are required: COL 499, ENG 110, and COM 150. Students must take an additional six credits in ENG and an additional three credits in HIS, PSY, or SOS. (Total: 16 credits)

Mathematics

The following courses are required: MAT 140, MAT 150 or MAT 180, MAT 200 or MAT 230, MAT 250, MAT 258, and two MAT electives numbered 200 or higher. (Total: 24 credits)

Physics

The following courses are required: PHY 200, PHY 200L, and PHY 250. (Total: 9 credits)

Projects

The following courses are required: GAM 100, GAM 150, GAM 200, GAM 250, GAM 300, GAM 350. Two courses from the following list are also required: GAM 375, GAM 390, GAM 400, GAM 450, and GAM 490. (Total: 30 credits)

Note on General Education Courses

The following courses satisfy the general education requirement for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation: ART or MUS elective (3), COM 150 (3), ENG 110 (3), two ENG electives (6), a social science elective in HIS, PSY, or SOS (3), MAT 150 or MAT 180 (4), MAT 250 (3), PHY 200 (4), PHY 200L (1), and PHY 250 (4).

Fees and Study Options

Last updated July 2018

About the School

DigiPen Institute of Technology is the first university in the word to specialise in video game education with 3 campuses in Redmond-USA (Our main campus), Singapore and Bilbao-Europe (opened in 2010)... Read More