Future Undergraduate Students


Thank you for visiting our site to learn more about our academic programs. We invite you to visit IGM through our tours and presentations that are offered throughout the year. You will have the opportunity to learn about our academic programs, see the classrooms and research labs, as well as ask any questions you may have.

If you have any questions regarding visiting us please contact our Lyndsay Herkimer at lmhigm@rit.edu.

Spring 2020 Virtual Accepted Open House

Why IGM?

The School of Interactive Games and Media is nationally and internationally renowned for innovative approaches to media-centric computing that merge the creative design of the interactive experience with the development of content, technologies, and systems that form the basis of such work. The School supports, wherever and whenever possible, multi- disciplinary work that fuses these elements in pursuit of its academic mission.

IGM is comprised of talented and motivated individuals from a variety of academic  backgrounds with a shared interest in computing as it relates to interactive and social media, new media, games, simulations, and media-centric systems of all varieties. Our mission is to provide a sustained educational environment that supports and encourages creative and collaborative academic inquiry by both faculty and students into these areas. IGM's programs, coursework, research, and development efforts provides students with the knowledge and skills to pursue meaningful and rewarding careers in this arena, while simultaneously advancing the field and helping to provide a well-rounded educational experience.

IGM's Game Design and Development degrees are currently ranked in the Princeton Review's Top 10 National Game Design academic programs for the past 3 years. Additionally, we are the first university to offer a Bachelors Degree in New Media Interactive Development.

High School

Admission to the IGM Bachelor of Science programs requires strong math, science, writing, and communication skills. At a minimum, high school applicants should have taken pre-calculus. We recommend they also complete calculus and physics. Courses in computing or technology are desirable but not required.

  • We highly encourage you to submit a portfolio of sample project work (websites, programs, code samples, etc.), though it is not required.
  • Students interested in the BS/MS program in Game Design and Development must wait until their third (3rd) year at RIT to enroll.
Transfer Students

Please review RIT's transfer student information to learn more about joining RIT. Below, we post specific information about IGM's academic programs Please note that at this time the School of Interactive Games and Media does not offer part-time or online coursework for our degree programs.

Transfer admission to IGM's undergraduate degree programs (Game Design and Development and New Media Interactive Development) is available to students according to the following requirements:

  • Completed a year or more of study at a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0 (specifically in math, science, and other technical coursework).
  • Enrolled in or completed an AS or BS degree program in Computer Science, Information Technology, or a related computing degree with courses in programming, computer applications, math, science, and liberal arts.

We look closely at programming and math courses and grades. If possible, please include an online portfolio, which includes examples of your work (e.g., websites, programs, source code samples, and design/animation examples). Acceptance as a transfer student to one of our undergraduate programs is currently competitive due to the limited seat availability.

Visit Us

Different students have different needs.

  • Future graduate students should e-mail Kaitlin Lee at knlics@rit.edu.
  • Accepted undergraduate students should register for one of the Accepted Student Open Houses. You may also arrange an additional visit and tour by signing up for one of the dates, below.
  • Future undergraduate students should register for one of the Fall Semester Open Houses. As part of those events, individual degree programs give presentations and tours, and future students can meet representatives from multiple programs.

For all accepted and future undergraduate students, IGM provides additional small-group tours and presentations on different dates, which we have found extremely effective for students to learn about our programs. Please reserve your spot below. After making a reservation, you will receive specific directions on when/where to meet us.

Click on the following link to select a date and register for the IGM Prospective Student Group Presentation: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/school-of-interactive-games-and-media- rochester-institute-of-technology-25486220399

Please contact us

If you have any questions regarding a visit, please e-mail Lyndsay Herkimer at lmhigm@rit.edu, and she will direct you to the appropriate resource and/or person.

Change of Program and Double Majors

If you are an undergraduate RIT student seeking a change of program or a double major, we have two undergraduate degrees from which you can choose:

Because of the popularity of these programs and capped enrollment, we have limited availability for students seeking either a change of program or double major. For students seeking Game Design & Development, we strongly recommend first considering one of our Minors.

We currently process applications twice per year.

The fall semester deadline for applications is by end of business day on Monday, December 9, 2019. Accepted students will begin their curriculum in the Spring 2019-2020 (2195) semester.

The spring semester deadline for applications is by end of business day on Monday, April 27, 2020. Accepted students will begin their curriculum in the Fall 2020-2021 (2201) semester.

How we evaluate your application:

We will base our decisions on the overall course work completed, grades, and the written statement, as described below. Students who have done well in their programming and math courses will have a competitive advantage. Applicants must demonstrate a willingness to research the program to which they are applying, passion and aptitude for their major of choice, and overall preparedness with respect to the rigors of IGM academic programs.

Learning about our programs:

Please review the posted material for our degree programs (Game Design & Development (GAMEDES-BS) and New Media Interactive Development (NWMEDID-BS)). As part of the application process, you must meet with one of our Academic Advisors to discuss either degree program. This meeting must take place before the application deadlines of December 9th or April 27th. You also have the opportunity to meet with an IGM Ambassador. An ambassador is a current student who can answer your questions about the student experience in the School.

Please let your interviewer know if you are interested in this option. Please note: meeting with an ambassador does not satisfy the interview requirements of this application process.

General Requirements:
  • For students applying to Game Design and Development, if possible, we encourage you to complete PHYS 111: College Physics or PHYS 211: University Physics prior toapplying.
  • We do not require an online portfolio, but we strongly encourage you to submitone.
  • We reserve the right to “hold” on our decision regarding your application until the end of the following semester. We may need to have an additional semester of your coursework to consider when making our decision.
  • Minimum Cumulative GPAs:
    • Change of Program: 3.0
    • Double Major/Dual Degree: 3.5
Required Application Materials:
  1. Schedule a meeting with an IGM Academic Advisor by calling the IGM Main Office at 585- 475-2763 or visiting GOL 2145. This meeting will include an interview. This meeting must take place before December 9th or April 27th (depending on when you plan to submit your application). Please note that you must schedule this meeting prior to submitting your application materials so you can gain access to the MyCourses shell.
  2. Find and fill out the official Registrar form (http://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/registrar/forms) If you are requesting a change of program, select “Change of Program / Plan.”
    • If you are requesting a double major or dual degree, select “Double Major Authorization - Undergraduate Only" or "Dual Degree Authorization - Undergraduate Only". Which form you choose depends on your primary degree program.
    • Complete the “Change of Program” or “Double Major" or "Dual Degree” Authorization form with your home department.
    • Submit signed “Change of Program” or Double Major” or "Dual Degree" Authorization form with your application to IGM. You'll receive instructions on this process at your interview. If your department will send this form to IGM on your behalf and you will not be uploading it to the MyCourses shell, please inform an IGM advisor.
  3. Write a one to two page essay with the following:
    • Your name and local contact information
    • What you are requesting (Change of Program or Double Major or Dual Degree)
    • The requested degree
    • Why you are applying
    • Your academic strengths (with examples of why you believe these are strengths)
    • Your interest and experience in learning how to develop games and interactivemedia
    • Your professional goals/interests
    • Why your requested major is the "right" fit for you (If you are a double major or dual degree, please explain why you desire this path instead of a minor and/or graduate degree)
    • What you believe you can contribute to the School of Interactive Games and Media and your future industry
Optional Application Materials:
  1. An updated résumé
  2. A link to your online portfolio/website
    • A portfolio is a collection of work samples, which we want to see via a website. A typical portfolio has your contact information, resume, and projects. The project samples should include thumbnails/images, brief descriptions, team/individual roles, and downloads and/or links to code repositories (like GitHub). Many portfolios have additional material like development blogs, videos, and more. Ultimately, your portfolio expands upon your resume, demonstrating what you can do, what makes you stand out, and what you want to do.

Please note that failure to complete any part of the application process will result in an automatic rejection from the degree program for which you are applying.

How to Submit your Application Materials:

For Spring 2195 applicants: Your interview and application materials must be complete by end of business day on Monday, December 9, 2019. Application materials must be submitted through the IGM Change of Major myCourses shell. You will receive access to the myCourses shell during your interview. No paper applications will be accepted.

For Fall 2201 applicants: Your interview and application materials must be complete by end of business day on Monday, April 27, 2020. Application materials must be submitted through the IGM Change of Major myCourses shell. You will receive access to the myCourses shell during your interview. No paper applications will be accepted.

Notification of Decision:

Applications submitted for the December 9th deadline will be evaluated during January 2020. You will receive an email (at your RIT email address) with our decision before spring semester begins. Applications submitted for the April 27th deadline will be evaluated during the summer semester. You will receive an email (at your RIT email address) with our decision before the Fall 2020 semester begins.


Here is a list of frequently asked questions as an additional resource. If you have additional questions not answered here, please contact our Administrative Assistant Jill Bray to arrange a conversation with an IGM representative.

Students take several programming courses and three math courses that cover discrete math, graphical simulation, and computing. In general, students seeking additional technical depth would take further courses as part of their free electives.  Students who want to focus specifically on writing, narrative, art, business, etc. should consider another degree program and a Minor in Game Design (which requires minimal programming). Note that entry-level jobs in design, writing, music, and production are fiercely competitive.

GDD students take two courses in game design after their first year and may take several electives specifically related to design (e.g., level design, causal games, table-top games, etc.) These elective courses are also available to NMID students that take the pre- requisites.

In both GDD and NMID, students take two art and animation courses to learn how to work with students in art programs. NMID students have specific courses shared with New Media Design, which is the sibling program. Some IGM students seeking additional art courses to become technical/procedural artists take art courses from the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences via their electives.

Consider NMID, which is a broader field of interaction and software development. Receiving a degree in NMID offers exceptional job prospects. Some students may wish to take another RIT major along with one of IGM’s minors.

We strongly recommend that you do not consider double majors unless you can meet the following conditions: you have taken at least one year of classes, you have high grades, and you are bored/have a significant amount of free time. Usually, students should pursue a minor, filling as many elective spots with related courses in this other field. In time, students may discover even stronger interests and pursue a graduate degree. So, instead of spending 5+ years getting two undergraduate degrees and overloading yourself, consider spending the same amount of time and get a graduate degree, which will likely earn you higher pay and better professional development.

Investigate jobs for companies posted on https://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce/employer/creative-industry-day. These 60+ companies seek software developers that work in collaboration with designers, artists, user interface/user experience, and business & marketing. They build apps, websites, and others kinds of interactive software. In fact, many of these job titles are called interactive developer, digital media developer, app/mobile developer, web developer, UI/UX, and a wide-variety of corresponding titles for design and art.

Working on games can be an amazing way to motivate you to learn a vast set of technical, creative, communication, and collaboration skills—all coveted by a variety of industries. By considering the wide variety of games that spans society, IGM students have landed many outstanding jobs working on games. But given the fierce competition, some students will look to the general software industry, which has a multitude of creative and exciting opportunities—these students have gotten jobs with great pay, hours, and stability. In fact, many “non-game” companies seek GDD students because of their technical skillset and understanding of the user experience.

Although we do not require students to know programming before coming to college, we strongly recommend that they try it out—gain some exposure. Since you will be programming nearly every semester, the sooner you can discover that you would enjoy doing it (or not), the better. Try one or more online tutorials, e.g., csharp.net- tutorials.com, processing.org/tutorials, openframeworks.cc/tutorials. Consider also continuing with JavaScript/HTML5, Unity, and/or mobile development to get a taste of both NMID and GDD.

One way to demonstrate interest in IGM is to start learning something about interactive media and/or game development. For example, take a tutorial, create a small project, and post it on a personal website (e.g., screenshots, videos, source code). If you have some prior work, definitely include it in your portfolio. Include the link in your application, which might need to be inside your essay(s).

Take as many math (calculus, linear algebra, discrete) courses as possible, along with physics. Demonstrate that you can handle technical courses during the same term and that you have excellent writing skills. Ensure that you meet with an IGM representative before graduating from your current college—the earlier, the better. We cannot guarantee that RIT will admit you, but our guidance might help, especially if you discover early that you do (or don’t) like technical courses. For more information, see www.rit.edu/gccis/igm/transfer-students.

IGM students take two blocks of co-ops after their sophomore year. Although students usually take them during the summers, co-ops can also happen during the academic school year (Fall-Spring). Students on co-op do not pay tuition. In general, the first co-op tends to focus on general software development, given that students have just finished their first two years of courses. In time, students become more competitive, and they gain access to exciting opportunities. Design jobs tend to be more competitive, though some IGM students get them.

Yes! We are continuing to develop academic partnerships each year. Currently, we have plans for our sibling campus in Croatia and growing partnerships in Sweden and Germany. Many students have worked and/or studied in Japan, and the opportunities continue to develop. For general information and an overview for all programs at RIT, please see at www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/global.

At this time, IGM does not provide shadowing (following) of someone at RIT to learn about our school or the gaming industry, due to the disruption in our courses and student's studying.

To learn about IGM, the game industry, and possible career path(s):

  • Do your research at our webpage, this FAQ, or http://www.gamecareerguide.com
  • Attend our open houses, weekly presentations or attend events.
  • IGM occasionally hosts outreach events, and RIT hosts ImagineRIT and Kids on Campus.
  • RITx is a collaboration between RIT and online course provider edX. IGM has published several video game related courses to RITx and information about then can be found here: https://www.edx.org/school/ritx/.
  • There are regional events like RPI's "GameFest" and "PaxEast" that have game industry representatives.