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Advances in game and computer technology have paved the way for increasingly sophisticated breakthroughs in digital audio — from adaptive musical scores to spatial audio rendering and more. The BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio program teaches you how to implement and further develop these complex audio technologies, bringing new levels of realism, innovation, and sensory immersion to the interactive experiences of tomorrow.

In addition to foundational coursework in mathematics, physics, and computer science, this program places a specialized emphasis on audio programming and digital signal processing. As you design and program your own games and audio tools, you’ll also learn fundamental recording techniques, sound design principles, and music theory and terminology.

All graduates of this program who follow the recommended course sequence will earn a music minor upon graduation.


Who Should Pursue This Degree?

The BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio offers a specialized focus on the technology and practice of audio design, audio programming, and the implementation of digital audio effects in games and computer applications. For those who want to experience the same proven curriculum of DigiPen’s other computer science programs while also pursuing a specific interest in professional sound design or audio engineering, this program could be a good fit.

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.

  • Build Your Own Audio Tools and Technology

    Develop audio software tools for games and interactive simulations, with a special emphasis on sound and music that adapts to player input.

  • Study a Blend of Science and Music

    In addition to extensive coursework in computer science, you’ll learn about music theory, musicianship, audio design, and studio recording.

Program Name Change

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Digital Audio degree program was previously referred to by a different name: the Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Sound Design. Please note that stories and materials published before 2017 may refer to the program by its former title.


Academic Roadmap

As a BS in Computer Science in Digital Audio student, you’ll begin with foundational coursework in computer science and mathematics, followed by studies in music theory and musicianship, as well as applied sound design, production, and implementation. Throughout the program, you’ll also apply your knowledge in semester- and year-long team projects, creating original games with sophisticated interactive audio.

View a sample course sequence

Admissions Requirements

In order to apply for the BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio 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. No prior musical training or experience is required.

View all requirements

Topics Covered

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Digital Audio program will focus on the following subjects:

  • Software engineering, especially in the area of audio engine programming for simulations and video games, but also including graphical algorithms, tools programming, and physics programming.
  • Studio recording techniques, including mixing, microphone selection and placement, digital audio workstations, studio acoustics, and synthesis. This program includes four semesters of lab courses that teach the tools and techniques of soundtrack production.
  • Sound design for video games, including sound effect creation, interactive sound design, scripting, and the game development pipeline.

Event Schedule

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: Welcome to DigiPen with President Claude Comair

Saturday, October 30, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: Welcome to DigiPen with President Claude Comair

Saturday, October 30, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

This two-hour Deep Dive session offers a broad overview of DigiPen itself and is especially helpful for students and families who haven’t attended one of our online or in-person events before.

This session will include:

  • A welcome talk with Claude Comair, founder and president of DigiPen
  • A brief overview of the degree programs
  • An overview of financial aid, types of accepted aid, available scholarships, and more 
  • An overview of student services, Disability Support Services, and student life
  • A Q&A with staff from Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Affairs

RSVP Today

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: Music and Audio Programs

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: Music and Audio Programs

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Join us online for the DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series! Tuesday, November 2 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. PDT, we’ll have faculty members and students live on stream to share their insights and take your questions about our music and audio degree programs.

RSVP Today

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: Computer Science Programs

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

DigiPen Degree Program Deep Dive Series: Computer Science Programs

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Join us online for the DigiPen Program Deep Dive Series! Thursday, November 4 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. PDT, we’ll have faculty members and students live on stream to share their insights and take your questions about our computer science degree programs.

RSVP Today

Student Projects

Multidisciplinary team projects make up a core component of the BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio curriculum. As part of your coursework, you will participate in both semester- and year-long team projects to create original games and software tools — often as general programmers, audio tools programmers, and sound designers — with the primary goal of learning how to incorporate sophisticated audio design and technology. These are just a few examples of projects created with the help of BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio students.

Meet the Faculty

Faculty for the BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio program come from several different backgrounds and academic disciplines — including computer science, physics, and music — and have worked as audio directors and composers for companies like Microsoft and Nintendo. These are just a few of the instructors who teach core courses in the program.

DigiPen Faculty Lawrence Schwedler

Lawrence Schwedler

Program Director (BA in Music and Sound Design)

Lawrence Schwedler earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in classical guitar performance with a specialization in electronic music from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1993. He was a founding member of the Modern Arts Guitar Quartet, a chamber ensemble specializing in 20th century music, performing concerts in Europe, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. Since then he has worked as a composer, sound designer, and audio director in the video game industry for developers such as The Dreamers Guild, JVC Digital Arts Studio, and Nintendo Software Technology.

DigiPen Faculty Brian Schmidt

Brian Schmidt

Senior Lecturer

Brian Schmidt has been creating music, sound, and audio technology for games since 1987. As the 2008 recipient of the Game Audio Network Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Schmidt has a credits list of over 130 games for companies such as Sony, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Sega, Microsoft, Zynga, Namco, and many others. Apart from his work as one of the industry’s first freelance game composers, Schmidt spent 10 years at Microsoft as the primary audio architect for the Xbox team, where he was responsible for technologies such as XMA and XACT.

DigiPen Faculty Matt Klassen, Ph.D.

Matt Klassen, Ph.D.

Professor

Dr. Matt Klassen earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Arizona in 1993, specializing in number theory and algebraic geometry. Since joining DigiPen in 1999, his interests moved to mathematics relating to computer graphics and geometric modeling with particular emphasis on splines. He went on to develop special courses on quaternions with application to computer graphics and animation, and spline curves through the perspective of linear algebra.


Career Outlook

The BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio will prepare you for a number of entry- and intermediate-level positions in the areas of software engineering and sound design.

Potential Careers

Audio Software Engineer

Audio software engineers use their knowledge of audio technology and computer science to create the programs, plugins, and middleware that make audio integration possible in computer applications and games.

Engine and Tools Programmer

These programmers are responsible for developing the game engine and associated software tools that power a real-time game or simulation, as well as the support programs and functions that allow other developers to easily create and put new content or assets into a game world.

Recording Engineer

The recording engineer is responsible for making sure audio — including music, voice-overs, and sound effects — is captured at the highest fidelity and according to the project requirements.

Other Job Titles

  • Audio Engine Programmer

  • Game Developer

  • Software Engineer

  • Software Developer

  • Computer Programmer

  • Audio Production Editor

  • Sound Designer

  • Dialogue Editor

A DigiPen student tries out their VR game team project as their teammates smile at them.

Learn what to expect from your senior year DigiPen game team project course.

A DigiPen professor points to three students’ game team project on a computer in a campus production lab.

Learn what to expect from your junior year DigiPen game team project course.

	Four DigiPen game teammates smile as they look at their project on screen.

Learn what to expect from your sophomore year DigiPen game team project course.

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