Pre-College Program At a Glance

DigiPen’s Pre-College Program is designed for high-achieving students who have completed their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school and are interested in exploring careers in the video game industry.

The program combines college-level coursework in fundamental academic subjects like applied mathematics, computer science, and foundational art with practical production experience in a team environment. Taught by DigiPen faculty level instructors, this extended program provides students with an excellent opportunity to experience what post-secondary education is like. During this month-long college prep technology program, offered at DigiPen’s Redmond, WA, campus, students take on the roles of programmers, designers, artists, music and sound designers, and computer engineers, learning what it takes to be successful as professional game or hardware developers while working together to bring their creative vision to life. 


  • DigiPen faculty members teach every course in the Pre-College program.
  • Students who participate in the Pre-College Program and matriculate into DigiPen Institute of Technology within three years will receive a tuition credit for the tuition fees paid for the Pre-College Program.
  • Students leave this program with a broad understanding of the game development process, an academic blueprint for how to succeed in their chosen role, and invaluable hands-on experience with the challenges of game and hardware creation.


Students must have completed their sophomore, junior, or senior year* of high school in order to enroll in a Pre-College Program.

*Students MUST be within 18  months of their graduation date at the start of the program to be eligible for the Pre-College Program.


All Pre-College Program classes are held at DigiPen's campus in Redmond, WA (9931 Willows Road NE, Redmond WA, 98052).

Program Tracks

Game Design

Game Design students learn about the fundamental principles of game design, the computer science that goes into designing a video game, and the storytelling and character creation skills necessary to bring video games to life.

Game Programming

In the Game Programming track, students learn about computer science, mathematics, and physics, specifically how each of these disciplines relates to video game programming.

Game Art Production

By learning the foundational skills of art, animation, and computer graphics, students in this track practice the skills necessary to produce sophisticated digital art for video games.

Computer Engineering

Students in the Computer Engineering program study the mechanics of how computers work and learn how to use these powerful pieces of technology to their fullest potential.

Music and Sound Design

By focusing on the theory, history, and techniques of music and sound design, students in this program gain an understanding of what elements make a video game's soundtrack and sound effects a compelling experience.

Admissions and Housing

Admissions Information

Because the Pre-College Program moves at an accelerated pace, DigiPen limits enrollment in this program to highly motivated students who have completed their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school.

Priority Application Deadline: April 1, 2016

Application materials must be postmarked by April 1, 2016. Due to the limited space in DigiPen’s Pre-College Program, admissions is competitive. Submit your required application materials by April 1 and we will waive the non-refundable $50 application fee.

Final Application Deadline: May 15, 2016

DigiPen admits students to the Pre-College Program on a rolling basis; applicants can expect to receive a decision within two to three weeks of submitting their completed application.


  • The online application form and a non-refundable $50 application fee.  Application fees can be submitted via check to DigiPen Institute of Technology (9931 Willows Road NE, Redmond, WA 98052) or by phone at 425-629-5007.
  • An official high school transcript that includes a list of all completed courses and grades earned.
  • A Statement of Purpose that discusses your reasons for applying to the Pre-College Program and how these reasons relate to your personal, educational, and/or professional goals.
    • Formatting Guidelines:  Electronic submissions must include the applicant’s name and the program to which he or she is applying at the top of each page, and the date of submission on the last page. The essay must be typed, double-spaced, and no longer than two pages. Please upload as a pdf. or word doc. within the online application form.
  • An optional letter of recommendation from a teacher in the student’s subject area of interest. Letters of recommendation from family members or friends will not be considered.
  • One of the following track-specific requirements: Proof of completion of Algebra 2 (for Game Programming applicants), rules for an original card or dice game (for Game Design applicants), or five drawings from observation (for Game Art Production applicants).

Pre-College Housing Program

DigiPen offers limited off-campus housing and transportation for Pre-College Program students. Please follow the provided link for more information about the program and to fill out an application for Pre-College housing. For information about other housing accommodations in the Redmond area, see our Visitor Guide [PDF].

For housing questions, or for information regarding carpool options for program participants, please email

Schedule and Tuition

Schedule for 2016

All Pre-College Programs are four weeks long, meeting Monday through Friday from July 5 to July 29, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Pre-College Program Tuition

$2,699 per four-week session, including a $50 non-refundable application fee. If admitted, students must submit a $549 non-refundable deposit within 10 business days of the date they are notified to secure their place in the program. The remaining balance of $2,100 is due by June 15, 2016.

Course materials are provided to students at no additional cost.

Click here for information about scholarships and cancellation/refund policies.

DigiPen's ProjectFUN offers workshops, camps and college prep courses for kids and teens. Technology courses are held in Redmond, WA (near Seattle and Bellevue), and online.