two students collaborating on a game design project in front of a computer screen

Learn to Build Worlds

Develop the programming skills that bring your creative vision to life.

Division of Information Technology & Sciences 
On-Campus Employment Opportunities
Study Abroad
Game Studio Experience 
Study Abroad 

Learn by doing, surrounded by like minds.

Turn your ideas ideas into digital reality. Level up your technical abilities and start building your network at a major incubator for the gaming industry. Studying Game Programming at Champlain will develop your technical skills and your creativity in a team-based environment, giving you a chance to build the skills employers value.

As a Game Programming student, you will gain cutting-edge computer science skills and experience while also diving headfirst into how to program great games and work as part of a game development team. By graduation, your skills and experience will make you an outstanding candidate for a position as a programmer in the game industry-or you can take your skills into other computer science and programming-related career paths.

What Is Game Programming?

Game Programmers write the code that takes game art and conceptual ideas and makes them into complex characters or a full-blown world. In the Game Programming major, you’ll explore artificial intelligence behaviors, game physics, game architecture, and working with and rendering 2D and 3D graphics. You’ll work with other game disciplines in a studio environment to combine your skills and create engaging, immersive games using the same methodology as the studios do.

Why Study Game Programming at Champlain?

Champlain’s Bachelor of Science degree in Game Programming – one of the first bachelor’s degrees of its kind in the nation – puts the intellectual challenge of software creation in the context of game development to produce a highly versatile, in-demand skill set. You’ll gain the technical skills and professional experience to produce games that will enchant and engage audiences.

Our Upside-Down Curriculum gets you into Game Programming courses in your first semester. Through real work experience, you’ll build an impressive portfolio of individual and collaborative work and create a remarkable résumé.

excited students play video games together

Different by Design

Hands-On Learning

Students will spend most of their time in class and at home actually working on projects and doing the work. Students won’t have to sit through hours of lectures before starting the work; instead they learn by completing projects and working on real games and software.

Perfect Blend of Creative and Technical

We combine technical skills with creativity. Other programs favor either the creative side or the technical skills involved with game programming, but Champlain combines these two aspects of the major into a complete degree that teaches students both sides of game programming.

The Game Studio Experience

The Game Studio style of learning ensures that students know how to work well in teams just like the ones in professional studios. This cooperative experience sets Champlain graduates above others when competing for jobs.

The Best

The 2024 Fiske Guide to Colleges names Champlain College among the 300 “best and most interesting” colleges in the U.S., Canada, and United Kingdom.


Champlain College was ranked a top school for game design The Princeton Review’s in the 2024 rankings.

The Most

Champlain was named as “Most Innovative School” by U.S. News & World Report in its “America’s Best Colleges” 2024 ranking of universities in the North.

What Sets Us Apart

a team of game studio students presenting their game project to a full audience in an auditorium champlain college game studio students posing for a photo with the GDC sign at the game developers conference

The Game Studio Experience

The unique Game Studio Experience at Champlain College gives you start-to-finish game-building experience in a professional environment. You’ll collaborate with your peers in each of our game majors to create playable games in a studio that parallels the processes of the industry.

Annual Game Studio Senior Show

You will have the opportunity to present the game you create with your Game Studio team—as well as your own demo reel—to recruiters from all over the United States and Canada. Recruiters often come to the Senior Show to scout new talent, from companies like: Insomniac, Activision, Ubisoft and more!

Game Developers Conference

Champlain College sends a cohort to the world’s largest game developers conference each year in San Francisco for professional development and networking. The Career Coach facilitates exclusive networking meetings for Champlain students with top recruiters from some of the largest game developers.

Sample Courses in the Game Programming Major

The Game Programming major is an intense and challenging degree built on a foundation of math, programming skills and software engineering practices. With this base, students can then explore the sub-systems that add graphics, physics, and artificial intelligence into modern game engines.

You might also be interested in these…

Based on your interest in the Game Programming major, we thought you also might like to check out these other academic programs and opportunities.

Game Programming Admissions Requirements

Harnessing the power of today’s computers, consoles, and portable devices to make game images come alive—and knowing how to bring new possibilities to the next generation of games—is the fundamental passion of game programmers.

If you share this passion, start your application to Champlain College, which Princeton Review has repeatedly highlighted as one of the best places in the country to study game development.

Suggested Areas of Study

Academic preparation includes successful completion of a college preparatory curriculum, including Mathematics, English, History/Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, a foreign language, and a full course load of academic subjects through senior year.

While we know some Game Programming students may start with no programming experience, here are some suggested areas of study and areas of exploration:

  • High-level math, such as Calculus
  • Programming languages such as Python and Java
  • Unity Game Engine
  • Attend Champlain’s Game Academy

Champlain awards course credit for AP courses taken with completed exams, including Computer Science, Calculus, Statistics, and more. Follow the Apply Now link below for more information from our admissions team. There is no portfolio requirement for this major.


If one of the elements of your academic profile is not as strong as your overall application we recommend a Personal Interview to demonstrate the personal qualities we look for in admitted students. We are seeking individuals who are highly motivated to achieve their professional and personal goals.

You can apply to Champlain College using the Common Application or the Champlain College Application. Both are free. Regardless of which you choose, all applications are considered equally.

Sign Up To Get Stickers + Helpful Info

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Ready to be inspired? Fill out the form and sign up to receive helpful information about Champlain College—plus, we’ll send you a full sheet of high quality stickers designed by one of our Graphic Design & Visual Communication graduates.

Career Success

Champlain Game Programming majors are sought after not just for their technical abilities, but also for their experience working in a team environment in the Game Studio.

Student using a VR headset to test a game while another student watches the screen.

Career Success

  • 81% of Game Programming graduates over the last six years were employed within six months of graduating
  • 92% of Champlain’s employed Game Programming graduates are in career-relevant positions

You’ll Find a Career In…

  • Game Engineer
  • Developer/ Programmer
  • AI (Games) Programmer
  • Gameplay Programmer
  • Graphics Programmer
  • Network (Games) Programmer
  • Physics Programmer
  • Tools Programmer
  • UI Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • pre-college game design student working on multiple computer screens
    Pre-College Summer Program: Champlain Game Academy

    The Champlain Game Academy offers an intensive residential pre-college program for high school students entering grades 10-12 and recent high school graduates. Like the Game Studio, our program emphasizes teamwork and creative collaboration across all the game development disciplines. In order to understand how a professional game development team works, students will be introduced to all aspects of game development.

    Learn More on the Pre-College Summer Program Website

More Inside Game Programming