Video Game Design Certificate

The Video Game Design certificate program is interdisciplinary and offered through the Department of Visual and Theatre Arts and Department of Computer Science. The 18-hour certificate program combines artistic and technical coursework to teach students about the design process and gaming industry. The program provides opportunities for creative and technical-minded students to explore multimedia tools, skills, and applications that are essential to staying competitive in today's gaming culture.


The certificate program of video game design incorporates modeling, graphics, art, design, 2D and 3D imaging, scripting, and virtual reality into an abbreviated program that teaches students how to create and maintain video games. Coursework begins with the fundamentals of video game design, game systems and mechanics, game studio roles and development, programming and advances through hands-on experience and simulations.

Certificate program requirements

Students enrolled in this program should maintain a minimum of GPA above 2.5

List of courses

Art 120 (2-D Design)

GDES 210 Graphic Design I

CSCI 220 or 221

GDES 302 3-D Modeling & Computer Graphics

GDES 340 Video Game Foundations

GDES 452 Video Game Design & Development

Course Titles and descriptions for the Video Game Design Certificate

Art 120 (3) Two Dimensional Design

Application of basic design elements and principles as defined in effective two-dimensional compositions.

GDES 210 (3) Graphic Design I

Computer-based design, tools and practices through actual use in the design lab. Introduction to vector and raster graphics. A brief history of graphic design placing issues of the new media in context with the aesthetics of visual art. Prereq: ART 120 and ART 140, or permission of instructor.

CSCI 220 (3) Introduction to Computer Science

An introduction to the field of computer science and a survey of computing-related topics intended for non-majors and Computer Science majors, who are not ready for CSCI 221. Topics include the history of the discipline, programming in a modern high-level programming language, logic, computer architecture, operating systems, software applications, web development, and select high-level topics in Computer Science.

CSCI 221 (3) Program Concepts and Problem Solving I

An introduction to programming in the C++ language. Types and representations, arithmetic, strings, arrays, control structures, basic algorithm design, and problem solving. Prereq: placement in OR completion of MATH 110 or MATH 140 or above OR Grade of C or better in CSCI 220.

GDES 302 (3) 3D Modeling and Computer Graphics

3D Modeling and Computer Graphics is a hands-on studio course exploring the development of 3D computer graphics for virtual environments and display systems. Students will use computer modeling to explore the principles of 3-dimensional design and emerge with the ability to create well designed 3D models, and also become familiar with the foundations of polygonal modeling, texture mapping, lighting and rendering for video games and other digital media. Prereq: ART 120

GDES 340 (3) Video Game Foundations

This course will introduce students to the concepts, elements, and tools used in the development of modern 2-D and 3-D real-time interactive computer video games. Students will examine the history and philosophy of games, the game production process, and game development careers. Topics covered in this course include graphics, gameplay interfaces, storytelling, contextual design, level design, game mechanics, and software engineering. Prereq: GDES 302

GDES 452 (3) Video Game Design and Development

This is a project-oriented course on Game Design and Game Programming. Students from a variety of disciplines work together in small teams on game projects. Students will design, implement and test games with interactivity, animation, sound, constraints, and networking capabilities. They will develop a range of entertainment ideas on various digital platforms, playtest their game ideas, and produce finished pieces. Prereq: GDES 302 & 340

For More Information, contact us at:

Dr. Carol Eckert, Program Coordinator

16 Mt. Pelia Road, 264 Fine Arts Building

The University of Tennessee at Martin

Martin, TN 38237

(731) 881-7417

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