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Old 08-26-2010, 03:26 PM   #1
Josh the zombie
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Question Graduate school for Game Programming

Are there any schools/colleges/universities with an undergraduate & graduate program in Game Programming? The current schools I'm looking at for a Game Programming major/concentration are as follows, but unfortunately they only offer an undergraduate program and not a master degree program.

Full Sail University -
offers a bachelor degree in Game Development, which is what they call their Game Programming major/concentration, but does not offer a master degree in the same. Further, this school does NOT have regional accreditation.

Digipen -
refers to their Game Programming major/concentration as RTIS (Real Time Interactive Simulation) and while they do offer a bachelor degree in RTIS, they do not offer a master degree in RTIS and thus have no graduate program in Game Programming. Further, this school does NOT have regional accreditation.

Champlain College -
offers a bachelor degree in Game Programming but does not have a master degree program in Game Programming. Significantly it does have regional accreditation.

New England Institute of Technology -
offers an associate degree and bachelor degree in Game Development & Simulation Programming, but does not offer any graduate program in Games Programming. This school does have regional accreditation.

University of Advancing Technology -
offers a bachelor degree in Game Programming but does not offer a master degree in Game Programming and has no graduate program for Game Programming. This school does have regional accreditation.

I considered going to a school that offers an undergraduate and graduate program in Software Engineering, since Game Programming is a type of Software Engineering and game programmers can be considered software engineers but the problem is that for traditional or non specific programs there may be absolutely no exposure to important things in Game Programming such as Game engines or graphics engines. Graduates from traditional undergraduate programs in Software Engineering have said that they did not get any exposure in many things fundamental to game development, such as graphics engines.

Last edited by Josh the zombie : 08-26-2010 at 04:51 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:48 PM   #2
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Graduates from traditional undergraduate programs in Software Engineering have said that they did not get any exposure in many thungs fundamental to game development, such as graphics engines.
It doesn't stop them from doing it in their own time. It is a case of 'you shouldn't just do what the course says'.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by yaustar View Post
It doesn't stop them from doing it in their own time. It is a case of 'you shouldn't just do what the course says'.
If it's not in the course/program, then I'm not getting the education I want and I'm paying to get an education that in and of itself is not going to expose me to what I need to be exposed to to understand and apply all elements of Game Programming. I think a more specific, career focused and non-traditional program is preferable as it has real world equivelents and has a job focus, whereas many traditional studies have no real world job equivelents. But basically what I'm looking to get here is to maybe mention a school I haven't heard of or overlooked with a Game Programming undergraduate and graduate degree opportunities. Career focused schools can be a good thing, many or most IT professionals come from career focused schools, such as Microsoft education training centers, etc.

Edit 1: and formal and nonformal education IS very expensive, so if your going to pay for it, they better deliver everything you want. Afterall, you may end up spending the rest of your life in debt and paying off school loans. So I'm just saying, it's ridiculous to be paying for an education that does not deliver, as much as your freakin paying for it in the first place.

Last edited by Josh the zombie : 08-26-2010 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Josh the zombie View Post
I think a more specific, career focused and non-traditional program is preferable as it has real world equivelents and has a job focus, whereas many traditional studies have no real world job equivelents.
Yes, but the career opportunities following a traditional degree are more varied. You may find several years down the line that you discover a passion for something other than games development. Perhaps, you can no longer put up with quality of life issues. Sometimes, you may even find that schools favour the demands of local developers over the demands of the industry!

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Originally Posted by Josh the zombie View Post
Career focused schools can be a good thing, many or most IT professionals come from career focused schools, such as Microsoft education training centers, etc.
It depends.

I currently work at a university where there are more IT staff with humanities and arts degrees than with math degrees, computing degrees or software-specific certifications. Passion plays a more important role - few of the people in my department were explicitly taught in school.

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Originally Posted by Josh the zombie View Post
Afterall, you may end up spending the rest of your life in debt and paying off school loans. So I'm just saying, it's ridiculous to be paying for an education that does not deliver, as much as your freakin paying for it in the first place.
I agree that you should be getting your value for money; however, at the end of the day it's completely down to you to do the work. You only get out of your education the effort and rigour you put in. Don't expect to get spoonfed.

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Originally Posted by Josh the zombie View Post
...basically what I'm looking to get here is to maybe mention a school I haven't heard of or overlooked with a Game Programming undergraduate and graduate degree opportunities.
Have you checked the Digital Counselor Course Search?
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:48 AM   #5
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I graduated from Champlain with a software engineering degree. It was great because I was able to take advantage of the resources on campus that were aimed at the game development students, but I still ended up with a degree that I could apply to other fields if I had trouble getting a job in the game industry.

A couple awesome things about the school:
  • There is a center that hires students for paid and work study positions to make serious games for some pretty high-profile clients. This looks badass on a resume, and it pays pretty well if you can get one of the paid spots.
  • The game development faculty have connections in the industry. One of them recommended me for an internship at an educational games startup, which ended up being an really great experience.
  • There are tons of students there for game-related majors, so if you like games, it's easy to make friends.

So basically, I highly recommend Champlain, and I also think it's a great idea to major in something more general, like software engineering or computer science, as long as you're putting in the time to learn game-specific things on the side and network in the game industry. You don't need a game-specific degree to work in the game industry, and a more general degree would make it a lot easier to get a job doing some other kind of software development.

As for graduate school, if you feel like you need a Master's, don't feel like you have to do it at the same school where you got your undergraduate degree. Most of the people I know end up doing it at a different school.

If you have any questions, let me know. I'm happy to answer.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kbaxter View Post
As for graduate school, if you feel like you need a Master's, don't feel like you have to do it at the same school where you got your undergraduate degree. Most of the people I know end up doing it at a different school.
This is very true.

Those postgraduate courses that look really appealing now may lose their reputation or pale in comparisson to similar courses a few years down the line. You can't really know.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:10 PM   #7
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Master's in game programming? That's 10 years isn't it.

I think it's better just to get experience working in the field than studying for it.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:35 PM   #8
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Master's in game programming? That's 10 years isn't it.
In the UK it can take 4-5 years, a BSc with work placements (4 years) and a MSc (1 year).
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:13 PM   #9
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It also depends on the program, the program I'm looking into is 18 months long for the time in Graduate school, first 6 months or so are spent making sure students understand their roles (the system is broken into Programming, Artists, and Production) and then the next year you are split into teams to build a game
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:38 AM   #10
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In the UK it can take 4-5 years, a BSc with work placements (4 years) and a MSc (1 year).
Oh yeah, I was thinking of Doctorates. Master's are usually an additional 3-4 years on top of the Bachelor's.
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