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The DigiPen Foundation Course (DFC) program allows selected polytechnic students to study and earn credits at DigiPen’s U.S. campus (located in Redmond, Washington) while still enrolled at their polytechnics. If these students eventually matriculate to DigiPen (Singapore), the credits earned during the DFC program will be recognized towards fulfillment of their coursework. This is extremely beneficial to students who plan to join DigiPen (Singapore) as the transferred credits can reduce their workload during the first year of study.

In addition to available courses in art, math, and computer science, the DFC provides a hands-on opportunity for polytechnic students to develop an original PC game in the GAM 100 project class. This project class introduces students to the professional game development pipeline and related industry topics, including concept development, team roles and dynamics, and more. Students gain valuable experience studying at one of The Princeton Review’s top-ranked schools for game design.

Suggested Classes

  • BS in Computer Science and Game Design / BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation: CS 100 (4 cr), MAT 100 (4 cr), COL 101 (1 cr), GAM 100 (3 cr)

  • BA in Game Design: CS 116 (4 cr), MAT 100 (4 cr), COL 101 (1 cr), GAM 100 (3 cr)

  • BFA in Digital Art and Animation: ART 101 (3 cr), ART 125 (3 cr), ANI 101 (3 cr), PRJ 199 (3 cr)

Interested polytechnic students may contact their respective lecturers in their diploma course. For more information, please email[at]digipen[dot]edu.

Course Descriptions

ANI 101Animation Basics (3 cr)

This course introduces the principles of animation through a variety of animation techniques. Topics include motion research and analysis, effective timing, spacing, volume control, stagecraft, and choreography. Weekly screenings of classic animation are held, followed by in-class critiques.

ART 101The Language of Drawing I (3 cr)

This course explores the nature of drawing as a language skill and the use of drawing by production artists and animators. Topics include applied drawing goals, critical thinking skills, and best practices in drawing practice, drill, and play. Design principles, reference research, and the design process are applied to a series of practical problems. This course also explores drawing materials, drawing strategy, drawing sequence, and linear drawing methodology, practice, and theory.

ART 125Tone, Color, Composition I (3 cr)

This course introduces various methods for activating the picture plane, manipulating the viewer’s visual experience, and visually communicating complex ideas and moods. These methods are reinforced through the study and application of light, darkness, value, color-harmony systems, and compositional strategies.

COL 101College Life and Academic Skills (1 cr)

This course assists students in developing the classroom and communication skills necessary to succeed in both educational and professional situations.

CS 100Computer Environment (4 cr)

This course provides a detailed examination of the fundamental elements on which computers are based. Topics include number systems and computation, electricity and basic circuits, logic circuits, memory, computer architecture, and operating systems. Operational code and assembly languages are discussed and then implemented on a hardware platform, such as a personal computer or an autonomous vehicle.

CS 116Introduction to Computer Technology and Programming (4 cr)

This class introduces programming environments to students who are not enrolled in a science degree program at DigiPen. The course provides students with an introductory overview of the fundamental elements on which computers are based, including basic computer hardware systems, operations, and structures. An introduction to basic programming includes simple logic, programming flow, loops, variables, and arrays. Conditionals, evaluations, and other control structures are also included. The instructor may cover special topics in programming or scripting and may focus on currently popular scripting languages in the video game industry.

MAT 100Precalculus with Linear Algebra and Geometry (4 cr)

This course presents fundamentals of college algebra and trigonometry, with an introduction to concepts in 2D geometry and linear algebra. Topics include: polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions, as well as their inverses; analytic trigonometry, trigonometric identities, the unit circle, and trigonometric functions of a real variable; introduction to linear systems, basics of linear transformations in 2D; vectors, parametric lines, dot product, and projections in 2D.

Scope of Project

GAM 100Project Introduction (3 cr)

This class presents an overview of the way the game development industry works and a history of game development. It will expose students to the positions and job responsibilities that each member of a game development team has, along with the industry requirements for concept pitches, design documents, and schedules. It will also introduce sprite animation, object motion, and input processing, which students will use in the creation of a game of their own design.


  • Students will be exposed to the basics of how the game production process works, including pitches, concepts, design documents, scheduling, milestones, testing, time management, teamwork, and team roles.

  • Students will demonstrate basic knowledge of how to analyze games, how to create and present game concepts, and how to write basic design documents and schedules.

  • Students will demonstrate basic knowledge of how to create a simple game in a pre-existing engine, becoming familiar with simple movement, basic physics, sprite animation, sounds, and basic game logic.

  • Students will learn the basic history of video games, genres, and platforms.

  • Students will learn about basic game marketing, target audiences, age/gender issues (including game ratings systems), and ethics for game development.

PRJ 1992D Animation Production (3 cr)

This course prepares student for future project courses where they will be expected to complete all of the same tasks for CG productions. Specifically, this project aims to introduce students to visual storytelling and provide the opportunity for students to hone and extend their working knowledge of the animation process.


  • Students will learn, individually, how to draw several characters, then come up with an initial premise and illustration.

  • Students will complete animation thumbs for their story, as well as create layouts based on the action being portrayed.

  • Students will form into teams to complete the animation, working through a tied-down stage.

  • If there is time, we will attempt to include clean-up, background paintings, and colored characters. Otherwise, the final animation will be scanned and composited in either Toon Boom Harmony Stage or TVPaint 11.

Note: Priority is good story and animation. Clean-up and/or color will only be attempted if the former is completed in time.

Program Information

Location and Address
DigiPen Institute of Technology
9931 Willows Rd NE, Redmond, WA 98052
Program Duration
15 weeks
Start - End Period
September - December
DigiPen Housing, LLC
Estimated Housing Cost
USD 5,145 + USD 300 (refundable deposit)
Estimated Flight Cost
SGD 2,000
Application Deadline

A maximum cap of 20 students are allowed to participate in this program (from all five local polytechnics).

About DigiPen’s U.S. Campus

DigiPen’s U.S. campus is located in Redmond, Washington. Measuring 140,000 square feet, the campus features over 30 classrooms, auditoriums, and computer labs, as well as a cafeteria, campus store, and library. DigiPen’s largest computer labs, Edison and Tesla, are equipped with individual workstations and arranged into dedicated game-production spaces for student teams. For students in the DFC program, DigiPen offers apartment-style housing and free shuttle services to and from campus. Please visit for more information.