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If you’re a high schooler dreaming of life as a Dragon, you might be wondering how best to prepare yourself for the challenges and opportunities that await you at DigiPen. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do before graduating high school to set yourself up for success!

If you’re interested in our computer science or computer engineering programs, below you’ll find a few handy tips, as well as some words of wisdom from currently enrolled students.

To prepare for the BS in Computer Science, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation, BS in Computer Science and Game Design, BS in Computer Science in Machine Learning, BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio, or BS in Computer Engineering programs, you should:

  • Take precalculus and physics classes. DigiPen offers five undergraduate degrees in computer science with different areas of focus, as well as a computer engineering degree. No matter which you choose, programming and engineering requires a strong math and science background. If you can, take Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes in calculus and physics to establish a solid foundation in both topics. You’ll thank yourself later!

  • Get involved in extracurricular math and science opportunities, whether it’s by joining a club, taking part in a workshop, or offering your services as a tutor. Not only will this solidify your passion and deepen your knowledge in those subjects — it also looks great on college applications.

  • Learn the basics of computer programming. Whether you’re taking classes in high school or working from online tutorials, it’s never too soon to get familiar with the foundations of programming. Try building your own website using HTML or JavaScript, or start coding your first simple programs in Python. Whatever language you decide to explore, becoming familiar with the logic and syntax of programming can help prime your brain for the concepts you’ll be learning at DigiPen.

Practice math. Especially linear algebra and trigonometry. The biggest thing that I didn’t feel prepared for was the math. There’s a lot of it [at DigiPen], and it will be a lot easier if you are just reviewing the math rather than learning these concepts for the first time. I also attended a high school that participated in the IB program, and I think that helped me feel prepared for the non-academic part of going to school in general — mainly time management under a heavy workload. I think that’s what students struggle with the most, just blocking out the right amount of time for homework and classes.”

Cody Morgan

BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation

Since I am an engineer, I would have told my high school self to have gotten involved in robotics. It’s a good source of knowledge for basic electric circuits and programming. Coming into the degree, I had no experience with either, and it made it very difficult the first year. Getting my foot in the door would have been a huge help!”

Riley Gusa

BS in Computer Engineering