Illinois Esports



The courses listed below are Esports or gaming focused courses currently available at the University of Illinois. For up to date schedules check out Course Explorer

Game Studies & Design Minor

The undergraduate Game Studies & Design minor is a set of courses that fosters critical skills in academic game studies, and technical skills in game design. The minor will serve undergraduates who are interested in the study and design of games, gaming, game design and the digital, extended and virtual reality (XR/VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies involved with the crafting of interactive systems and interfaces relevant to the game, film, education, and media industries, as well as a range of other emerging professions.

Students are required to take three core courses: GSD 101, a minimum of one of the following historical/social perspectives courses: GSD 102, IS 142, or GSD 202, and at least one of the following introductory game design courses: GSD 103 or CI210.

In addition, students must complete 3 approved upper-level Games Studies electives totaling at least 9 credit hours.

The three required core courses provide a general and solid foundation in game studies. All three are introductory in nature and meet the university’s General Education requirements.

  • GSD 101-Introduction to Game Studies – This broad survey course will provide students across campus an introduction to interdisciplinary game studies, covering both historical/social perspectives and game design. It will explore humanities, social science understandings of play, and the social contexts from which our games and gaming practices arise, as well as the development and consequences of gaming cultures.
  • A minimum of one 100-200 level historical/social perspectives course. Choose from the following:
    • GSD 102 – Introduction to the Video Game Industry
    • IS 142 – Social History of Games & Gaming
    • GSD 202 – Let’s Play: Understanding the Role of Play in Life and Art
  • A minimum of one 100-200 level introductory game design course. Choose from the following:
    • GSD 103 – The Basics of Game Design
    • CI 210 – Introduction to Digital Learning Environments

There are 10 suggested pathways to help focus the minor in an area of interest: Design, Programming, Education & Research, Film & Media, Music, Sound & Dance, Narrative, Play Studies, Theater, and Visual Arts. These pathways are suggestions; students may choose any combination of classes on the approved list.

Additional Courses

GSD 405 Introduction to the Video Game Development Process

The emphasis of this course is understanding the video game development process as seen in current Game Studios. The course will focus on key elements of the process including the development timeline, scheduling, prototyping, iteration, QA, game builds and player research. The goal will be to take a design document from a catalog of designs that have already been created and implement one or more of them using the game development process.

3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Credit is not given for GSD 405 and INFO 490 DC “The Video Game Dev Process” sections.

CI 437 Content Creation

Explores theories of creativity; situates creativity and creative practices within the social structure of organizations that develop creative content; examines the relationship between creative strategy, creative concepts and creative executions; exposes students to the practice of creating content for traditional and non-traditional media vehicles.

Advertising majors will be given first priority for registration.

CS 415 Game Development

A team and project-based course on the technical aspects of video game development and game engine internals: geometric modeling, game physics and AI, shader programming, real-time physically based rendering, and software engineering practices within the game industry. The central focus of the course is the development of a game by teams of 3 to 5 students. The course strongly emphasizes code development using a modern game engine. Students will gain skills necessary to develop games and to develop game engines.

3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: CS 225

CS 418 Interactive Computer Graphics

Basic mathematical tools and computational techniques for modeling, rendering, and animating 3-D scenes.

Same as CSE 427. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: CS 225; One of MATH 225, MATH 257, MATH 415, MATH 416, ASRM 406, or BIOE 210; MATH 241.