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SMU Offers New Bachelor/Masters Video Game Program

The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University and SMU’s School of Engineering have launched a new degree program to offer both a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in video game development achievable within five years.
The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University and SMU’s School of Engineering have launched a degree program to offer a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in video game development within five years. SMU also plans to offer a similar program from the university’s Meadows School of the Arts soon where students will receive a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s degree in video game development. Students in the program first come to the SMU main campus to complete their general education curriculum requirements and their major requirements within the School of Engineering, then move to the Plano campus to join The Guildhall at SMU in the last semester of their senior year. While at the Plano campus, students concurrently finish their undergraduate degrees and start the master’s program by replacing their senior electives and some cultural formations credits with their coursework at The Guildhall at SMU. Dr. Maggie Dunham, professor of computer science, uses games to keep topics relevant in her engineering classes, but said students quickly learn that earning a degree in software engineering requires more than simple play. At the undergraduate level, students learn all aspects of computer science. Upon moving to The Guildhall at SMU, teams focus on game design and work together to complete projects. While students generally enjoy games, Dunham said the program requires knowledge and work. Lecturer and Undergraduate Adviser Mark Fontenot in the School of Engineering said incoming students already know about the program and ask about it during advising appointments. He said program candidates do not need a background in gaming, but they should have an interest in game design. While other schools do offer undergraduate courses in game design, Fontenot said SMU offers the best program because it is not wholly focused on game development. Since students earn a complete bachelor of science in computer science degree, Fontenot said they experience “a better body of knowledge” to carry with them into their careers. For more information about the bachelor’s of science in computer science from a great engineering school and the master’s in interactive technology, visit The Guildhall at SMU.

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