Since 1988, DigiPen Institute of Technology has been preparing students to succeed as skilled engineers, artists and designers in the growing technology industries.
An educational pioneer, we are the first college in the world to offer a bachelor’s degree in video game technology and development. Today, we offer a wide range of technology-focused programmes, all with an eye toward the career opportunities of today and tomorrow. Through a combination of academic rigor and interdisciplinary team-based projects, our educational model empowers students to be active learners, bold problem-solvers and creators.
Our programmes are intentionally designed to reflect the standards and practices of the professional industries: small teams with different backgrounds and skills collaborate to apply their knowledge, overcome challenges, and build amazing things together. These teams form the core of our tight-knit student and alumni community.
DigiPen was founded by Claude Comair in 1988 in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a computer simulation and animation company. As the demand for work increased, Mr. Comair faced difficulty in finding qualified personnel who not only had a fundamental understanding of computer science but were versed in the latest digital technology as well. As such, DigiPen began offering a dedicated training programme in 3D computer animation. Soon after, DigiPen partnered with Nintendo of America to establish a certification programme in video game programming.
As video games evolved from simple 2D graphics to sophisticated 3D worlds, the industry’s need for qualified employees with advanced education in digital art, design and software engineering continued to expand. Anticipating this growing need, DigiPen devised and began offering the world’s first bachelor’s degree programme in video game development (the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation) that would prepare students for the unique challenges of creating professional 3D game and simulation software. DigiPen relocated its campus to Redmond, Washington in 1998 and opened its doors as DigiPen Institute of Technology.
What began as a groundbreaking approach to simulation and game development education has evolved to encompass new programmes in digital art and animation, computer engineering, game design, music and sound design and other computer science specializations. Today, DigiPen offers nine bachelor’s degree programmes and two master’s programmes at its Redmond campus. DigiPen also offers degrees and other educational programmes at two international campuses in Singapore and Spain, as well as through a number of institutional partnerships with schools and universities around the globe.
Claude Comair, the founder and president of DigiPen Institute of Technology, began his career as an engineer. In 1984, Mr. Comair accepted an invitation from the Japanese Ministry of Education to research at Osaka University, where he went on to earn his master’s degree in environmental engineering. As part of his research, he began to develop 3D visualization software for the purpose of simulating large-scale events, such as earthquakes.
Spurred on by his passion for computer simulation, Mr. Comair founded DigiPen in 1988 in Vancouver, Canada and quickly began developing the educational programmes and philosophies that would lead to the establishment of DigiPen’s first four-year degree programme less than a decade later. In 1998, upon moving to the United States, he also co-founded Nintendo Software Technology and led the company’s development efforts on multiple critically-acclaimed video game titles for the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, GameCube and Nintendo DS. Mr. Comair also steered DigiPen’s Research and Development team in the development of new technologies for companies such as Boeing and has been credited on 29 U.S. patents.
Mr. Comair taught computer science courses for more than two decades and continues to guide the expansion of DigiPen’s educational offerings.
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