While each degree program offered at DigiPen is designed to prepare students for a unique set of intended career paths, they all share a common set of characteristics.
Course curriculum at DigiPen is cumulative. The knowledge taught during the first-year of the program will remain vital and pertinent throughout a student's academic career. Students will be expected to retain what they have learned in previous coursework as they tackle increasingly complex subject matter in the advanced classes.
Although DigiPen students will gain practice and — in some cases — proficiency with industry tools and software packages during the course of their studies, the curriculum at DigiPen places a much stronger emphasis on the development of foundational knowledge rather than individual tools or programs. Our goal is to teach the core skills that will allow a student to adapt and thrive using any professional platform after they graduate. Despite DigiPen's heavy emphasis on applied learning, the project courses represent only a small component of the overall curriculum. In order to succeed in the various disciplines, students must understand the academic and theoretical frameworks that govern the day-to-day work of professional engineers, artists, and designers.
One of the primary reasons students choose DigiPen over other institutions is the opportunity to work on a wide range of both personal and collaborative projects as a part of their course curriculum. These project courses, which typically begin during the first semester of the degree program, challenge students to create original software, games, animations, hardware devices, and more — often using custom-built software tools and do-it-yourself technology. These project courses benefit students by reinforcing a wide range of professional skills, such as project management, teamwork and communication, and working with design constraints. They also allow students to build a portfolio of creative projects as they gain the experience of working in a studio-like environment.
DigiPen faculty members come from a broad range of professional and educational backgrounds. Together, they bring decades of experience in academia, electrical and computer engineering, fine arts, and the professional game and animation industries. This expertise doesn't just manifest itself in the classroom lectures. Thanks to a 13:1 faculty ratio, students benefit through individual mentorship and advising.
Each degree program is evaluated on an annual basis by a curriculum advisory committee comprised of both faculty members and outside industry professionals. Their input and guidance helps ensure that the skills and concepts being taught in the classroom remain pertinent and applicable to what students need to know by the time they make the transition from college to career.