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A female student stands behind a female student at a computer in a computer lab, examining her screen.

Learn the fundamentals of compelling game design in our in-person or virtual programs

In-person Program


Virtual Program

The UCLA Game Lab Summer Institute introduces high school students to game-making as a form of artistic practice, teaching them the techniques and tools that will help them develop analog and digital games that reflect their own creative voice and vision. We now offer two versions of our institute–an in-person, residential experience, as well as a virtual/online program. These programs are identical in terms of curriculum design, lesson objectives, and hands-on, faculty guidance and support. No previous game-making skills are required, but students with an interest in games and in the visual arts, in particular, will find our institute especially stimulating and rewarding. Students in the program develop a solid aesthetic and technical foundation in various aspects of game design–but just as importantly, they begin learning how to express their own, personal ideas through game-making and game art.

Taught by alumni of the internationally renowned UCLA Game Lab, the two-week program leads students through four, hands-on courses in game development. These workflow-oriented classes focus on:

  • Learning the fundamentals of game design
  • Creating compelling game characters
  • Building game worlds
  • Programming/coding games

By the end of the two weeks, students will have created complete games or game assets in each of the four classes. Students leave the program with game art they can include in their college application portfolios.

The institute also provides students with a rare opportunity to receive invaluable feedback that will prove useful to academic and career considerations in the gaming field and earn four units of pass/no pass UC credit.

Fees and Payment Info

The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. The program fee also includes the cost of UCLA Housing (for mandatory housing programs). In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.

Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.

The program fee listed in the selection are for the In-Person version only. The following are the program fees for the Virtual version.

  • High School Student = $2,616
  • Incoming UCLA Student = $2,192
  • Incoming UC Student = $2,192

All other fees listed will remain the same for the Virtual version.

Program Fee
Registration Fee
Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students)
Total Estimated Fees:
* Fees only apply for certain student types

Meet your instructors

All faculty and teaching assistants are practicing game design artists and educators affiliated with the UCLA Game Lab, with extensive experience and expertise in their respective course subjects. Each course will be led by a faculty instructor and teaching assistant, with additional staff to provide support.