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Frosh Admissions

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Students interested in entering the Art & Design: Games + Playable Media (AGPM) program as frosh can do so as long as they are admitted into UC Santa Cruz.

Incoming frosh do not need to satisfy any programming or art requirements prior to arriving at UCSC.

While frosh may not need to satisfy specific requirements, they are urged to make games — using any materials, from Javascript to cardboard — and carefully study game systems. Developing an arts practice in any medium is also helpful, including drawing, writing, music, sculpture, filmmaking, and others. Finally, deepening your understanding of technology is good preparation, including computer programming, participating in maker groups, or whatever else grabs your interest.


If you are admitted into the AGPM program and would like to get a head start on your courses, we recommend looking into our summer offerings. Courses that would be great for frosh to take the summer before they arrive at UC Santa Cruz are:

  • ARTG 80I: Foundations of Play
  • ARTG 91: Introduction to Game Art and World Building (Online)
  • ARTG 131: 3D Game Art Production (Online)
  • ARTG 132: 3D Character Rigging and Animation for Video Games (Online)
  • DANM 140: Intro to 3D Printing, Laser Cutting, & More (also offered as ART 105)

Other courses we recommend are:

  • CMPM 80K: Foundations of Video Game Design
  • CSE 20: Beginning Programming in Python*
  • CSE 30: Programming Abstractions: Python*
  • THEA 14: Drawing || THEA 20: Intro to Acting || THEA 30: Intro to Dance

*Note: CSE 20 is recommended if you do not have any prior programming experience. If you have previously taken an AP Computer Science A course and got a 4 or 5 on the AP exam, then you will have already satisfied the CSE 20 requirement.