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Art & Design

Game Design & Immersive Technologies

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Get ready to launch a career in the exciting field of game design.

You’re a gamer. An artist. Or perhaps music is your thing. The worlds of digital and immersive technologies—where viewers or players are at the center of the action—fascinate you. So, if want to turn your creativity, talent for technology, and love of video games into an exciting career, look no further than our BFA in Game Design & Immersive Technologies

Using computers and sophisticated software such as Maya, Nuke, ZBrush, Unreal Engine, and more, you’ll create art and sounds for video games, film, and immersive experiences. See firsthand how digital painting and sculpting, 3D modeling and animation, and visual effects (VFX) can help you create realistic-looking characters and virtual environments that people will love. 

Begin with a foundation in drawing, visual culture, and 3D concepts. From there, you’ll dive into the principles of programming in a visual environment where you’ll design, implement, and debug the functionality of games and interactive programs. You’ll bring your ideas to life in our computer lab outfitted with gaming PCs and drawing tablets, and in our audio production space for sound design, recording, and mixing. Our virtual production and VFX studio include LED wall technology, motion-capture cameras, a green screen room, and render farm—facilities that are unmatched at any other school in New England

But there’s more to games than technology. You’ll also learn the elements of production including game conceptualization, story development, as well as interface, character, soundtrack, and level design. As you find your strengths and interests, you’ll choose a specialization in one of four areas—Game Art, Game Audio, Game Design, or Virtual Production.

Everything you learn and do in the major prepares you for the professional world. You’ll take several Interactive Studio courses where you’ll apply your skills to instructor-guided projects, such as building games, simulations, and artistic installations. Working alongside accomplished faculty in the gaming industry, gain hands-on experience working as part of a game studio production team with various departments, leads, development infrastructure, and real-world demands.  

A skilled game designer must also understand topics such as biology, anatomy, and geometry to create convincing characters and virtual environments. At Lesley, our College of Art & Design is situated within a larger university that has 25+ liberal arts majors and 45+ minors. That means you'll be able to study a range of topics that can enhance your practice. And with our reimagined general education curriculum, you’ll acquire knowledge and skills that employers value, which will prepare you to succeed in an increasingly complex, diverse, and global world. 

Graduate with a strong base in interactive media production skills, such as design, audio production, and 3D graphics—including real-time 3D skills which are in high demand. Be ready to engage users in your creations, as well as meet the needs of the video game industry. Located in dynamic Cambridge, MA—a few miles from Boston—you’ll be near one of the hotbeds of game development in New England. With studios such as WB Games Boston, Rockstar New England, Zero VFX, Northern Light Productions, Demiurge, Harmonix, FableVision, and Proletariat nearby, there are many opportunities to find internships and an amazing job.

Undergraduate Program Inquiry Form

Program Structure

Full-time or part-time on-campus program

120 Credits
Thinking about transferring here?

Log in to Transferology, add the courses you've taken, and see how they'll transfer to Lesley University.

Detailed 3D digital rendering of an alligator underwater. Its mouth is close to the camera, and we can see many small green lizards crawling around and inside the alligator's mouth.

Game Art Specialization

Game artists create the visual elements of a video game, such as characters, scenery, props, and other objects. In the Game Art specialization, you’ll learn how to bring your characters and game environments to life.

You’ll use sophisticated 3D digital sculpting programs such as Zbrush and Maya, and build models in virtual clay that you’ll print with 3D printers. You’ll create and apply 2D textures to 3D environments. And you’ll gain in-demand 3D graphics skills such as 3D modeling and animation, creating virtual sets, and building content in the industry-standard, real-time game engine Unreal Engine.

View the program of study, including the courses you'll take in the Game Art specialization.

elderly hands playing a piano

Game Audio Specialization

Sound is a critical part of video games, immersive experiences, animation, and film. It ranges from simple everyday sound effects, like doors creaking and glass breaking, to music and voice-over production. In the Game Audio specialization, you’ll learn fundamental audio production skills using digital audio workstations (DAW) and gain experience in specialized areas through courses in the sonic arts.

You'll delve into sound design and production using synthesis and Foley techniques to produce realistic and fantastical sound effects for games, virtual production pieces, animation, and film. You’ll learn digital music production and mixing, music theory and composition for games, voice-over recording and production, as well as game engine audio design and implementation using tools such as Unreal Engine and Middleware.

Hear your work come to life as you gain holistic experience within the broad spectrum of interactive media development. Being a hands-on major that prepares you for the working world, you'll also collaborate with production teams alongside artists and designers as you integrate audio production in interactive media projects.

View the program of study, including the courses you'll take in the Game Audio specialization.

Rough 3D rendering of a modern theater in a city with signs that say "Victory." The building floats in white space and is all gray.

Game Design Specialization

Game designers come up with concepts, objectives, characters, and storylines for video games. In the Game Design specialization, you’ll learn the fundamentals of creating interactive and immersive user experiences. You'll develop in-demand 3D graphics skills as you animate 3D models and scenes using sophisticated software programs such as Maya.

You'll learn how to design engaging game environments using the industry-standard, real-time game engine Unreal Engine. And you'll explore advanced topics in game design and development, such as ideation, digital prototyping, interface design, usability testing, teamwork, and project scoping and management. 

View the program of study, including the courses you'll take in the Game Design specialization.

digital filmmaking instructor directing behind a camera

Virtual Production Specialization

Virtual production is where the physical and digital worlds meet. It’s an emerging method that uses sophisticated software tools to combine live-action with an LED stage, blending physical and digital worlds in real-time. While the field of game design is about making games, virtual production is about using game technology in cinematography.

In the Virtual Production specialization, you’ll learn how digital cinematography and live-action combine with emerging real-time technology in film. You’ll delve into 3D animation and modeling, traditional and digital cinematography, as well as interactive storytelling and building virtual sets using the industry-standard, real-time game engine Unreal Engine. And you'll learn how to integrate computer-generated imagery (CGI) and simulations into film and animation, and create narrative art in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) platforms. 

View the program of study, including the courses you'll take in the Virtual Production specialization.

Q: What are "immersive technologies" anyway?

A: Any technologies that create an immersive experience for viewers and players. For example, LED walls create a cinematic experience in a life-sized environment. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) put viewers and players at the center of the action, and 3D audio surrounds people in a listening experience. Haptic feedback uses the sense of touch—like the rumble in a game controller—to communicate.

High Demand
Demand for workers with 3D graphics skills has grown 42% faster than the market. For workers with real-time 3D skills—an area of 3D graphics at the forefront of technology—, demand has grown 601% faster than the market. (Burning Glass Technologies & Epic Games, Visualizing the Future, 2019.)
429,000
The number of jobs in all 50 states produced by the U.S. video game industry. (Entertainment Software Association, 2019).
$73,513
The average starting salary for people with 3D graphics skills. That average salary goes up to $86,533 for those with real-time 3D skills. And 23% of job openings requiring 3D graphics skills, and 19% of job openings requiring real-time 3D skills, are entry-level. This means that there are opportunities for graduates right out of school. (Burning Glass Technologies & Epic Games, Visualizing the Future, 2019.)
Careers
In-Demand Jobs in Game Design
In our Game Design BFA program, you can choose from 4 different specializations in Game Art, Game Audio, Game Design, and Virtual Production to prepare for a range of careers in these growing fields.
Craft Creative Combinations
As a Game Design & Immersive Technologies major, not only will you choose a specialization, you can also pursue a second major in art & design (we have 10 BFAs), liberal arts (25+ majors there), or one of our 45+ minors across the arts and the liberal arts.

Forge your own path with a creative combination to expand your career opportunities:
Places and Fields Where You Could Work
The skills you'll learn in our Game Design & Immersive Technologies program can prepare you for jobs in a range of organizations and fields.
doble campus during the fall

Cambridge is our campus. Boston is our neighbor.

Cambridge is one of the most creative cities in the country. In fact, there are about 96 art and culture events happening in the Greater Boston area every day. And while you'll benefit from our dynamic surroundings, you'll also be a big part of them. You'll take art and design classes in our $48 million Lunder Arts Center. And our $7 million Visual Effects (VFX) studio—a state-of-the-art facility where our VFX curriculum comes alive—is the only one of its kind in New England.

Faculty

Approximate cost, before financial aid, for 1 year of study in this undergraduate program.
Game Design & Immersive Technologies
Housing Options
Compare the cost of the program for students who live on campus in a residence hall with the cost for commuter students.
  • Tuition
    Fall Tuition
    $14,600
    Spring Tuition
    $14,600
  • Fees
    Facilities Fees
    $500
    Activity Fees
    $250
    Materials Fees
    $150
    Registration Fees
    $80
    Lab Fees
    $40
  • Room & Board
    Double/Triple/Quad Room
    $10,600
    Housing Deposit
    $300
    Meal Plan
    $6,900
    Health Service Fees (required for resident students)
    $800
  • Total cost before financial aid
Estimated Cost

Merit Scholarships & Financial Aid

It’s our goal at Lesley to break down financial barriers so that students who want to learn here, can learn here. That’s why we offer generous, customized aid packages for students based on their individual needs. In fact, more than 98% of our full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. Learn more about Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Tuition & Fees

Other fees may apply. Review all undergraduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

Housing Options
Compare the cost of the program for students who live on campus in a residence hall with the cost for commuter students.
  • Tuition
    Fall Tuition
    $14,600
    Spring Tuition
    $14,600
  • Fees
    Facilities Fees
    $500
    Activity Fees
    $250
    Materials Fees
    $150
    Registration Fees
    $80
    Lab Fees
    $40
  • Room & Board
    Double/Triple/Quad Room
    $10,600
    Housing Deposit
    $300
    Meal Plan
    $6,900
    Health Service Fees (required for resident students)
    $800
  • Total cost before financial aid
Estimated Cost

Merit Scholarships & Financial Aid

It’s our goal at Lesley to break down financial barriers so that students who want to learn here, can learn here. That’s why we offer generous, customized aid packages for students based on their individual needs. In fact, more than 98% of our full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. Learn more about Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Tuition & Fees

Other fees may apply. Review all undergraduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

Apply Now

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.

Approximate cost, before financial aid, for 1 year of study in this undergraduate program. Tuition and fees are for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal, state, and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.