Game Lab Summer Institute


Game Lab Summer Institute from UCLA Game Lab.

The UCLA Game Lab is an internationally renowned, creative research center that approaches game development and design as a discipline that combines technology and the arts.

Founded in 2009 by artist and game designer Eddo Stern, a professor in the Department of Design Media Arts, the lab is sponsored by the School of the Arts and Architecture and the School of Theater, Film, and Television. The lab’s mission is to foster the production of various game forms and game-related research along three areas of focus:

  • Game aesthetics - the experimentation with the look, sound, language and tactility of games
  • Game context - development of games that involve the body, interface, physical space and/or performance in new ways
  • Game genres - examination of the history and discourse of gaming and the development of game forms that explore new subject matter for games and push the boundaries of the medium

In the Game Lab’s Summer Institute Program, high school students have the opportunity to develop the fundamental skills required to create games and game art that express a personal and subjective approach to game making.

This two week program offers a unique blend of artistic vision with technological expertise, introducing students to the field of gaming and walking them through the essentials of making a playable game. More specifically, students will learn:

  • What constitutes the fundamentals of game design
  • How to build game worlds
  • How to create game characters
  • How to make a playable game for mobile platforms

Taught by professionally trained and well-experienced artists and educators using current software and technology, the program culminates in the creation of game projects that students will exhibit and can use for college applications.

This institute also provides students with a rare opportunity to sample college life in a cutting-edge design department, receive invaluable feedback that will prove useful to academic and career considerations in the gaming field, and earn four quarter units of pass/no pass UC credit.


The Game Lab Summer Institute is designed for students in grades 9-12. The program is first-come, first-served.

Registration is conveniently done online here starting February 15, 2017.

In order to guarantee a spot in the program, a valid payment of the non-refundable deposit ($400 for international students; $150 for all others) is required if registering prior to the May 1 payment deadline. After the payment deadline, a full payment of all fees including the non-refundable deposit but excluding any applicable document and IEI fees is required for registration.

Registration is not complete until the required payment is made. Those who are not prepared to pay can submit their registration form and retrieve registration at another time to make payment.

This deposit is not refundable under any circumstances including, but not limited to, drop for non-payment and withdrawal, even if you withdraw from the program before it begins. If you withdraw, this deposit will appear as processing fee charge on your BruinBill account. If the program is full, you will not be prompted to make payment. When your application is accepted from the wait list, you will be notified by email with instructions for methods of payment.

If applicable, the document and IEI fees must be paid on MyUCLA after registration. For more information, please refer to FEES AND PAYMENT in the left column.

Already submitted the registration form but need to make a change or complete registration? You can easily do so by retrieving your registration. You will need your five-digit registration number that was sent to your email address.

Changes that can be updated or made using the retrieve form include:

  • Paying non-refundable deposit
  • Uploading required documents
  • Dropping a current program

If you would like to switch into a different program or add additional programs, please contact our office at with your five-digit registration number, the students first and last name, and a description of the change you are requesting.


The UCLA Student Code of Conduct has been developed to maintain a safe, supportive, and inclusive campus community that engages students in order to foster their academic success, personal growth and responsible citizenship. Therefore you are expected to conduct yourself in a manner which demonstrates respect for yourself, your fellow Summer Sessions students, UCLA's faculty members, and members of the local community.

Behavior governed by the UCLA Student Code of Conduct includes:

  • Academic honesty
  • Treatment of others
  • Health and safety
  • Use of resources
  • Use of alcohol and controlled substances

UCLA’s reputation for academic excellence and institutional integrity is among the most valued assets; as such, academic integrity is of paramount importance and UCLA does all within its power to maintain its standards.

During the summer, matriculated UCLA students and visiting students alike are members of our diverse and inclusive True Bruin community. For more information on the student code of conduct, please visit the Dean of Students' website.

Program Dates

JULY 24 - AUGUST 4, 2017

Important Dates

FEBRUARY 15: Summer Institutes Registration Opens

MARCH 1 - APRIL 1: Summer Scholars Support for California High School Students application available

MAY 1: Full Payment via MyUCLA due for Precollege Summer Institutes

JUNE 1: Refund Deadline for Precollege Summer Institutes

JULY 24 - AUGUST 4: Game Lab Summer Institute - Commuter Program