Graduate Programs in Silicon Valley

Graduate programs at the UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus include:

Games and Playable Media

Serious Games

Natural Language Processing

Human Computer Interaction, MS

Complete program information can be found by visiting the degree program page of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering website.

Games and Playable Media, MS

The Games and Playable Media Masters of Science program (GPM) is a five-quarter, professionally-oriented degree program that provides students with an intensive educational experience to prepare them to enter the computer game industry. The degree explores state-of-the-art and novel experiences in video game development across genres, audiences, and platforms. Students gain foundational skills in game technology and game design, and advanced skills in methods of game development that maximize creativity and expression. The curriculum’s focus on professional methods and work habits, understanding of games from both practical and theoretical perspectives, and the generation of new gameplay ideas, provides excellent preparation for a career as a game developer.

Serious Games, MS

The Serious Games Master of Science program (SG) is a five-quarter, professionally-oriented degree program. As games have grown in importance, game developers have found ways to design games that aim to impact measurable social goals — and businesses, nonprofits, and governmental entities have also sought to fund and develop games that serve purposes other than entertainment. The M.S. in Serious Games targets the development of novel games that have the potential to make high societal impacts, such as learning games, simulation, health-based games, and more. Students in this program will propose their own game ideas and work with subject matter experts to realize and test their creations. The curriculum is designed so that all students develop a baseline understanding of the necessary areas: game design, game technology, integrating subject matter expertise, designing and performing efficacy measures, effective teamwork, and career planning — all within the context of the serious games field.

Natural Language Processing, MS

Our selective Natural Language Processing program is taught intensively over 15 to 18 months Building on computer science, our program provides a cost-effective way to equip students with the skills needed for a successful career in this fast-growing field. Drawing on existing expertise at UCSC, the program is delivered by a team of world-class academics from the fields of natural language processing, deep learning, linguistics, classical machine learning, and data science.

Close collaboration with an advisory board of senior industry scientists from Silicon Valley R&D ensures that the program has both academic rigor and real-world context. An expert panel of industry advisors provides regular guest lectures, mentors teams of students for capstone projects, and attends networking and career events. Small class size enables a high level of customization for each student to meet individual development needs and career aspirations. 

Human Computer Interaction, MS

What are the effects of technology on society? How are people shaping technologies to fit their needs? How do we design technologies that uplift a diverse range of users? Human Computer Interaction (HCI) embraces a multidisciplinary approach incorporating computer science, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and the humanities to thoughtfully design a more equitable future with technologies.

The Master of Science in HCI is a four-quarter (15 months) program that guides students into the User Experience (UX) profession, such as in product design and UX research. Students will learn and apply design methodologies, prototyping and technical build skills, user research, and collaborative teamwork and stakeholder communication. Drawing from UC Santa Cruz’s strong tradition in social justice, students will think critically and address unconscious bias, include underrepresented users, and identify potential harms in the design process.