DigiPen Institute of Technology

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DigiPen Institute of Technology
DigiPen web logo.png
Established 1988
President Claude Comair
Provost Xin Li, Ph.D.
Undergraduates 2000+
Postgraduates 100+
Campus Suburban
Colors Black and Maroon
Nickname Dragons
Website digipen.edu
DigiPen Mascot.png

DigiPen Institute of Technology is a private, for-profit university in Redmond, Washington. DigiPen has campuses in Redmond, Washington, in Singapore, and in Bilbao, Spain. DigiPen offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in Computer Science, Animation, Video Game Development, Game Design, Sound Design, and Computer Engineering.

DigiPen also offers summer programs for students in grades K-12, online courses and year-long high school programs. DigiPen is registered under the Committee for Private Education Singapore (CPE).[1]


In 1988, DigiPen was founded by Claude Comair in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as a research and development institute for computer science and animation.

In 1990, DigiPen began offering its first dedicated educational program in the subject of 3D computer animation through the Vancouver Film School.

In 1990, DigiPen began offering a 3D animation program and began collaborating with Nintendo of America to create a post-secondary program for video game programming.[citation needed] With Nintendo's support, DigiPen Applied Computer Graphics School accepted its first class of video game programming students in 1994.[2][3]

In 1996, the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) granted DigiPen the authorization to award degree programs in the United States. DigiPen’s first offered degree program was the Bachelor of Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation.

In 1998, DigiPen Institute of Technology opened its campus in Redmond, Washington as a joint campus between DigiPen and Nintendo Software Technology. Redmond became DigiPen’s home.

In 2002, DigiPen received national accreditation from the ACCSC. DigiPen began offering its first Masters program, a Masters of Science in Computer Science. DigiPen graduated its last classes in its Associate programs, and only offered Undergraduate and Postgraduate programs.

In 2008, DigiPen Institute of Technology opened its campus in Singapore in conjunction with Singapore’s Economic Development Board.

In 2010, DigiPen relocated its main campus to an independent location, still in Redmond, Washington. DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore joined the public university Singapore Institute of Technology.

In 2011, DigiPen Institute of Technology opened its campus in the Greater Bilbao area, in the municipality of Zierbena.

In 2015, DigiPen’s Singapore campus moved to the Singapore Polytechnic campus, while Singapore Institute of Technology’s joint campus began development.[4] DigiPen's Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering received ABET accreditation.[5]


Redmond, Washington, United States[edit]

DigiPen’s main campus is located in Redmond, Washington on 9931 Willows Road. It offers 8 undergraduate and 2 postgraduate degree programs.[6] It has approximately 1200 full-time students with a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:11 and an average class size of 22. International students make up 13% of the total student population. 24% of students are women.[7] There are approximately 50 student run organizations on campus.[8] King County is the home to a significant number of technology and game development companies.[9]


DigiPen’s Singapore campus is DigiPen’s first international campus since its establishment in the United States. DigiPen opened its Singapore campus in conjunction with Singapore’s Economic Development Board in 2008. DigiPen operates as an Overseas University Affiliate with the public university Singapore Institute of Technology. DigiPen’s Singapore campus offers 5 undergraduate degree programs, including a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Systems Engineering (ElectroMechanical Systems) which is not offered in any other campus. DigiPen’s Singapore campus has approximately 900 full-time students.[10]

Zierbena, Greater Bilbao, Spain[edit]

DigiPen’s Europe campus is located in the municipal region of Zierbena, Spain on Virgen del Puerto Kalea. It offers 2 undergraduate degree programs, with approximately 150 full-time students.

International university partnerships[edit]

  • Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea and DigiPen Institute of Technology have a collaboration where students local to South Korea have the option to spend a program’s first 5 semesters in Daegu, taught by DigiPen Faculty members, and the remaining semesters in Redmond.[11]
  • Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand and DigiPen Institute of Technology have a collaboration where students local to Thailand have the option to spend a program’s first 2-4 semesters in Bangkok and the remaining semesters in Redmond.[12]


Primary educational paths[edit]

  1. CS - Standard computer science education with emphasis on high performance programming.
  2. RTIS – Real Time Interactive Simulation (core game engine architecture and programming)
  3. GD – Game Design (gameplay architecture, programming and scripting)
  4. FA – Fine Arts (digital art and animation).
  5. E – Engineering (computer hardware, and software architecture)
  6. MSD – Music and Sound Design
  7. DA – Digital Audio


DigiPen is nationally accredited by the ACCSC.[13] DigiPen's Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation and Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering are ABET accredited.[5]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Prasanna Ghali is a Canadian computer scientist and game developer. Ghali was Vice President of Engineering at Nintendo Software Technology Corporation until 2002.[14] Ghali is Chief Technology Officer and Dean of Faculty of DigiPen's Asia Pacific region.
  • Charles Duba, Ph.D. is an American physicist. Duba participated in proving the solution to the long-standing Solar neutrino problem at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Charles shared the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics[15] and SNO's director shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics.[16][17] Duba is a Vice President and Senior Professor of DigiPen.
  • Mark Thomas Henne is an American animation and visual effects artist and computer scientist. Henne was the Technical Director at Pixar, there for close to 18 years.[18] Henne is Program Director of DigiPen's Master of Fine Arts in Digital Arts.[19]
  • Lawrence Schwedler is an American musician and audio director. Schwedler was the Audio Director of Nintendo Software Technology Corporation where he and Claude Comair were awarded two U.S. patents for Nintendo, one for an interactive music engine and another for a real-time wave table sound generator. Schwedler is the Program Director of Sound Design Programs at DigiPen.
  • Ellen Beeman is an American fantasy and science fiction author, television screenwriter and computer game designer/producer. Beeman was ranked in the top 100 most influential women in the game industry by Edge Online (formerly next-gen.biz).[20] Beeman is a Senior Lecturer of Game Software Design and Production at DigiPen.

Notable alumni[edit]

Research and development[edit]

DigiPen Research & Development performs research for The Boeing Company and has received the commendations of Boeing Supplier of the Year Award in Technology in 2008 and Boeing Performance Excellence Award in 2008, 2013, and 2014.[22][citation needed] DigiPen has a professional relationship with Phantom Works and BR&T.[citation needed]

DigiPen Research & Development is active in the research in Formula 1 and INDYCAR, and is technical sponsor of Renault F1 (2008–present) and Andretti Autosport (2015–present).[23]


DigiPen has been criticized for asserting ownership over the copyright of work performed by their students.[24]


  • The Princeton Review ranked DigiPen No. 3 on its annual list of "Top 25 Undergraduate Schools to Study Game Design," as well as No. 5 on its list of "Top 25 Graduate Schools to Study Game Design" for 2015.[25] Since the Princeton Review began its ranking of Game Design schools in 2010, DigiPen has consistently been ranked as one of the top four undergraduate schools.[26]
  • Animation Career Review ranks DigiPen as the 6th best video game university in the United States.[27]
  • DigiPen is ranked among the 50 best computer science and engineering schools in America by The Business Insider.[28]


  1. ^ "DigiPen". 14 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "Who Said School Couldn't Be Fun?". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (76): 78. November 1995. 
  3. ^ "The Game Makers: Programming Schools". GamePro. No. 87. IDG. December 1995. pp. 30–34. 
  4. ^ "Master Plan for Singapore Institute of Technology". Mkpl.sg. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  5. ^ a b "Find an ABET-Accredited Program | ABET". Main.abet.org. 2016-10-01. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  6. ^ "DigiPen: Degree Programs". Digipen.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  7. ^ "DigiPen: About DigiPen". Digipen.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  8. ^ "DigiPen: Clubs and Student Organizations". Digipen.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  9. ^ "gamedevmap". Gamedevmap.com. 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  10. ^ "DigiPen Singapore: A Leader in Game Development Education : About". Singapore.digipen.edu. 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  11. ^ "DigiPen: Educational Partnerships". Digipen.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  12. ^ "IDD Program | IDD and CDT, Thammasat University". Idd-cdt.sci.tu.ac.th. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  13. ^ "Directory | Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges". Accsc.org. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  14. ^ "DigiPen Singapore: A Leader in Game Development Education : Department of Computer Science". Singapore.digipen.edu. 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  15. ^ "2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics Laureates". breakthroughprize.org. Retrieved 2017-09-26. 
  16. ^ "Solving the Mystery of the Missing Neutrinos". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  17. ^ "The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory: Observation of Flavor Change for Solar Neutrinos" (PDF). Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  18. ^ "Pixar Veteran Joins Art Faculty — DigiPen News". News.digipen.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  19. ^ "DigiPen: Department of Digital Arts". Digipen.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  20. ^ "Game Industry's 100 Most Influential Women". Edge Online. September 11, 2006. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  21. ^ "Nate Martin Broke Out By Locking People in Rooms". Jewish in Seattle Magazine. Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  22. ^ "Clients - DigiPen Research & Development". Digipenresearch.com. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  23. ^ "Clients - DigiPen Research & Development". Digipenresearch.com. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  24. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3849/controversy_in_the_classroom_.php
  25. ^ "Top Game Design Press Release | Public Relations". The Princeton Review. 2016-03-15. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  26. ^ "The Princeton Review Ranks DigiPen Among Top Schools for Game Design — DigiPen News". News.digipen.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  27. ^ "Top 50 Game Design Schools and Colleges in the US – 2015". Animation Career Review. 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  28. ^ Tech Insider (2015-07-22). "Best computer science engineering schools in America". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 

External links[edit]