2023 Course Applications

As with all courses in the computer science department, the GDIAC courses are a victim of their success. Many students want to take them, and we do not have room for everybody. The high level of demand has also made it difficult for students that are interested in completing the game design minor.

In attempt to solve this problem, admittance to GDIAC courses is now by application only. This ensures that we can give priority to students who want to complete the game design minor, or who need the course to satisfy a university requirement. With that said, you should not be discouraged from applying. The application process itself discourages a number of students, and students who are committed to getting into the course almost always get in.

The workload for the game design courses is quite significant. In both the introductory and advanced courses, you are expected to commit an average of 10 hours a week towards your game. If you are unable to commit to this because of a heavy workload, then you should consider applying in a later semester.


Application Process

The applications are available online via the links below for each course. As they are Google forms, you must have a Google account to fill them out. Applications are restricted to currently enrolled Cornell students.

The courses 3152 and 4152 require separate applications (for graduating seniors applying to both). On the other hand, 5152 does not require a different application than the one for 4152. There is also one application for each course, regardless of whether you wish to take the CS or INFO offerings. The difference between these courses (how they are assessed, and the restrictions on the student roles) will be explained upon admission to the course, allowing each student to make the choice at that time.

The deadline for all applications is December 20, 2022. While we will accept applications after that date, priority will be given to students who apply by the deadline. Admission decisions will be made by the end of the second week of January. Students should expect to receive news about the status of their application at that time.

Graduating Seniors

If you are a graduating senior who is not remaining to complete an MEng or MPS degree, then you will have a very low priority for the introductory course CS/INFO 3152. However, we are often able to move graduating seniors to the advanced course (CS/INFO 4152) and group them with a more experienced team. Furthermore, the advanced course also satisfies the Technical Writing Requirement. Therefore, we encourage all graduating seniors to apply for both courses if it fits their schedule. As long as you satisfy one of the prerequisites other than CS/INFO 3152, you have a good chance of admittance.

Graduate Students

Graduate students (including MEng students in a technical field, as well as MPS students in Information Science) are only permitted to take CS/INFO 5152. They are not permitted to take the 4000-level version of the advanced class, and they are not allowed to take the introductory course at all. Graduate students are exempt from all course pre-requisites, though they are expected to demonstrate competency in relevant skills through their application.

External Members

Occasionally, teams like to add an additional person who is not a full-time member of the team. Typically, this is a person who is working on asset creation, such as a back-up artist or a composer. This person cannot join the course full time because either the credit load and time commitment is too high (in the case of a back-up artist) or because of unsatisfied prerequisites (e.g. a composer with insufficient programming or UX design experience). Such students are permitted to join a team as an external member.

External members receive INFO 4900 credit for the course. Credit hours are negotiable, but the standard expectation is 2.5 hours of work per week for each credit hour assigned. External members are not required to attend classes, but we recommend that they do attend critique sessions whenever possible. If you would like to be considered for this option, please note this in the application.


CS/INFO 3152

CS/INFO 3152: Introduction to Game Development is the introductory course in game design and development. This is a 5 credit course. It is 4-credits in either CS or INFO (depending on your choice of course), plus one additional credit in ENGRC 3152: Communication for Game Development. All students must enroll in both classes, regardless of whether or not you need to meet the Technical Writing Requirement. The time commitment of the course remains the same. The course still meets 5 days a week. The only difference is that you will receive one more credit for your additional hard work this semester.

This course takes a maximum of 12 game design teams. At a maximum of 8 students per team, this means that the class is capped at 96 students. The typical breakdown of a team is four programmers, two artist/character designers, one UX designer, and either a composer or extra programmer.

Because students enrolling in this class are new to GDIAC, the application is a bit involved. You might be intimidated by a lot of questions that you cannot answer. Do not worry; no one is going to be able to do everything. The purpose of the application is to get enough information to ensure that we have as diverse a class as possible.


CS/INFO 4152

CS/INFO 4152: Advanced Topics in Game Development is the follow-up course. It is intended for students who have taken CS/INFO 3152, though it is open to graduating seniors who statisfy some other pre-requisite of the course. This is a 4 credit course. It is 3-credits in either CS or INFO (depending on your choice of course), plus one additional credit in ENGRC 4152: Communication for Advanced Game Development. All students must enroll in both classes, even though most of you have already satisfied the Technical Writing Requirement. As with CS/INFO 3152, this extra hour is a primarily time for creating and receiving feedback for the design documents.

This course takes a maximum of 9 game design teams. At a maximum of 8 students per team, this means that the class is capped at 72 students. The typical breakdown is the same as 3152. That is, four programmers, two artist/character designers, one UX designer, and either a composer or extra programmer.

All interested students must apply to CS/INFO 4152, even those that previously took CS/INFO 3152. However, the application for students that took the introductory course is quite short; we mainly need to know the type of game you want to work on and your choice of team members.


CS/INFO 5152

CS/INFO 5152: Advanced Topics in Game Development is the graduate-level version of CS/INFO 4152. You should only sign up for this version if you are a graduate student, or need this course for early admission to an MEng or MPS program in the Bowers College of Computing. Students in CS/INFO 5152 will be given extra assessments and activities to demonstrate their mastery of the subject material, beyond what is assigned in CS/INFO 4152.

The application process for this course is identical to CS/INFO 4152. Indeed, if you are admitted to the class, you will be put on a team with those students. However, course enrollment is different. While CS/INFO 5152 is also a 4 credit course, all four credits are in either CS or INFO (depending on your choice of course). There is no 5000-level ENGRC course for graduate students.