The IGDA 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 600 scholarships to deserving talent in 15 years.
The IGDA Foundation

About The Scholarships

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:

GDCE & Gamescom

GDC 15 - 16 AUG | Gamescom 17 - 21 AUG
Cologne, Germany

8 recipients to GDC Europe & Gamescom will receive a travel stipend between $500 and $1500 USD to attend GDC Europe in addition to an umatched IGDA organized itinerary, an industry mentor assigned to the student, and an all access pass. Apply by 7 June 2016
Applications to GDC Europe & Gamescome have closed.
If you applied, stay tuned!


CEDEC 23 - 26 AUG | TGS 14 - 17 SEPT
Chiba, Chiba Prefecture, Japan & Minato Mirai Nishi-ku Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Chosen applicants to TGS & CEDEC will receive a studio tour along with either a CEDEC regular pass or a TGS business day ticket. Attend one of the biggest game developers conferences in Japan and Asia. Apply by 4 July 2016


Applying to be one of this year’s 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 Finlan, 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 2016 as well as GDC Europe and Gamescom 2016 scholarship winners will receive a partial travel reimbursement stipend 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.