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Step into the world of immersive experience design!

SMFA's Certificate in Virtual Reality brings a flexible, intensive, skills-oriented program to students and professionals interested in the intersection of art and technology. Through six short courses, students will be given the skills to tackle virtual reality environment design for application in fields such as game design, healthcare, education, real estate, and many more!

Built upon SMFA's unique interdisciplinary approach to art making, the Virtual Reality Certificate introduces students to the world of VR from the lens of an artist/maker. Tap into Tufts University's cutting-edge research, expertise in everything from medicine to fine arts, and begin building the future!

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Program Requirements

This program consists of 6 required short courses. Each course is 6 weeks in length. Students are encouraged to enroll in 2 courses per semester, allowing for the program to completed within 1 calendar year.

Required Courses

Course #1: Introduction to Virtual Reality I

In this intensive course, students learn to design and build their own virtual 3D worlds. These custom environments are navigated interactively, creating an immersive experience for the viewer. Techniques we learn include constructing environments with stock assets, 1st and 3rd person navigation, lighting, animation, stock character animation, localized sound, virtual camera, and recording. Final projects are viewable on the computer, or on the web. The course is aimed at a wide variety of uses of VR, including gaming, animation, cinematic forms, prototyping for architecture or interior design, educational projects, and commercial purposes.

Course #2: Introduction to Virtual Reality II

In Part II of this intensive course, students learn to add complex interactivity into their own virtual 3D worlds. Techniques we learn include interactivity using stock scripts, scene switching, grabbable objects, camera animation, simulating physics, localized post-processing, outputting to VR headset. Final projects are viewable on the Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset (required for course). The course is aimed at a wide variety of uses of VR, including gaming, animation, cinematic forms, prototyping for architecture or interior design, educational projects, and commercial purposes.

Course #3: Interactive Programming for Virtual Reality

Students learn core principles of coding for graphics using Processing. These concepts are further developed in C# / C++ to be used for interactivity in VR environments.

Course #4: 3D Modeling

Principles of modeling for video, gaming, and VR: interface and workflow, 3D animation, materials, UV mapping, coloring, low- and high-poly models, file formats and exporting.

Course #5: Advanced Virtual Reality I

Students construct fully interactive and immersive VR environments to be experienced with VR headsets. Focus is on advanced techniques for commercial-level VR experience, including scripted interactivity, multiple scene navigation, UI elements, baked lighting, incorporating custom models, architecture, and characters. 

Course #6: Advanced Virtual Reality II

In part II of this intensive course, students further advance their VR environments for headset usage, sharpening techniques to prepare them for commercial-level VR work. Topics include: scripted interactivity, multiple scene navigation, UI elements, baked lighting, incorporating custom models, architecture, and characters. 

Program Costs

Non-Credit tuition is $795 per course. Course tuition for all 6 courses is $4,770. Note that there is a one-time application fee of $45. 

There is a $65 registration fee each academic year, fall term through summer term, which covers registration for any number of courses taken that year. Tuition does not include the cost of class materials/supplies. 

How to Apply

The application will be available soon! Please be sure to sign up here to receive updates when the application is open.

Applications will be collected via Slideroom. There is a $45 application fee. 

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