The IGDA Scholars conference scholarships are among the most coveted awards for promising students in game development and related disciplines. The program began in 2001 with a select group of students receiving an all-access pass to GDC. In the intervening years, the program has expanded globally to include a number of different conferences such as GDC Europe, Gamescom, the Tokyo Game Show and more.

The scholarships are awarded to the most promising students studying anything related to game development. Scholars still receive an all-access pass, just like they always have, but now it also includes a lot more – mentorship from members of industry, opportunities to visit local studios or even meeting with senior figures in the industry.
Help us celebrate giving over 600 scholarships to deserving talent for 16 years in 2017.
The IGDA Foundation

About IGDA Scholars

Each event has a custom itinerary built by our team of volunteers based on the conference which the student is visiting. In addition to a pass to the conference students receive:

Game Developers Conference

GDC 27 FEB - 3 MAR
San Francisco, California, United States

18 recipients to GDC will receive a travel stipend between $500 and $1500 USD to attend the Game Developers Conference in addition to an umatched IGDA organized itinerary, an industry mentor assigned to the student, and an all access pass. Apply by 6 Dec 2016.


Applying to be one of this year’s IGDA Scholars is as straightforward as filling in a form. We have a separate form for each event where we host scholarship opportunities.

Judging Criteria

Applications will be judged by a panel of game industry professionals. To help students hone their applications, and to better understand what the judges are looking for, here is the basic criteria which the judges are asked to use when rating applicants.

  • Relevance – Will attending the event help the student achieve his or her specific educational and/or career goals?
  • Initiative – Has the student demonstrated continued dedication to game development and effort to his or her education?
  • Engagement – Has the student demonstrated a breadth of activity and volunteerism within his or her community?
  • Communication – Are the ideas expressed in the essays communicated effectively and efficiently?
  • Qualification

  • Only full-time undergraduate, graduate or doctoral (or similar) students, or former students who graduated in the 6 months prior to the event they are applying for, are eligible.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older as of the date of the event. (Also note that certain aspects of some events may carry higher age restrictions)
  • Applicants must be IGDA members in good standing. If you are not currently an IGDA Member, you must join the IGDA before applying for the scholarship. All applications will be verified. If you aren’t currently a member, you can join today.
  • When asked for your IGDA Membership number, if you are associated with IGDA Finland, Japan or UKIE, you may simply write your country name or “UKIE”. Applications from all other countries and organizations must have a valid IGDA membership number accessible via their account.
  • Applicants are eligible for a scholarship if your application for the corresponding event is submitted before the cutoff date listed with each event.
  • Applicants are only eligible to be awarded two scholarships. Previous scholarship winners who have already been awarded two scholarships before 2013 are eligible for a third provided all other criteria are met.
  • Applicants are only eligible to be awarded one scholarship to each individual conference. E.g. A prior E3 scholar is not eligible to apply for E3 in subsequent years. Note: Each instance of GDC (GDC, GDC Europe etc.) is considered a different conference. Successful applicants to responsible for all travel arrangements, housing and other related costs. NOTE: GDC 2017 scholarship recipients will receive a partial travel reimbursement stipend valued between $500 and $1500 USD based on their distance to travel from university.
  • Successful applicants will be required to write a short report describing their experiences as an IGDA Scholar.