National High School Game Academy

Summer Pre-College National High School Game Academy

The National High School Game Academy (NHSGA) explores the video game industry and the skills needed to be successful in it. The program includes an exciting blend of hands-on exercises combined with traditional lecture and discussion. Students are encouraged to expand their own creative possibilities in a unique blend of left- and right-brain college-level work.

The Experience

Inspired by the Carnegie Mellon graduate program, Entertainment Technology, the NHSGA is structured to give students a taste of the current state of video game development and provide guidance toward embarking on their own career in the video game industry. The program encourages all students to apply. No particular technical or artistic skills are needed. Regardless of your background, if you are interested in exploring the world of video game development, the National High School Game Academy is the program for you.


The program consists of daily lectures on various topics concerning video game development and the industry itself, followed by four-hour studio sessions in the afternoon where various specific skills classes and workshops are held. Upon applying for the National High School Game Academy, students will need to declare an Art Focus or a Programming Focus. While all students will take classes in all three areas of art, programming and game design, their declared focus will dictate the length of time they spend in each area.

Topics in Game Development

This lecture style course will introduce students to all aspects of video game development. Local video industry professionals will aid in examining the entire product life-cycle and discover new ways that video game techniques are being used.

Game Design Studio

This afternoon studio is a collection of skill-specific classes and workshops that will explore the three areas in which all students take part. Workshops on digital and traditional art, design and programming will be offered for all students.

For further questions regarding this program, you may contact the Director of NHSGA, Chris Klug at or at (412) 268-3258.


Each student is assigned a desktop computer at the ETC for their studio work. All software that is needed to complete the program will be installed on this machine.

Students are encouraged to bring their own laptop or desktop PC for use in their residence hall. Students will be given a copy of the game development tools which they can install on these computers. Students will be assigned homework in the areas of design and drawing that they will be expected to finish in their off hours.

In the summer Pre-College Forms booklet is located the suggested minimal system requirements for the student's resident hall laptop or desktop PC and a list of required art materials.


Resident - $8,689
Commuter - $6,374