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ASU Adds Computer Game Development Certificate Program

November 17, 2010

Angelo State University’s Computer Science Department has added a new Computer Game Development Certificate program starting in the spring 2011 semester.

The curriculum for the program consists of four upper-level courses, including Computer Game Development I (CS 3371), Handheld Game Development (CS 3372), Computer Game Development II (CS 4371) and Artificial Intelligence (CS 4318). Students completing the program will be certified computer game developers, and the certification will appear on their permanent ASU transcripts. However, the program is designed to be an additional credential, not a substitute for a university degree.

“We continue to believe the best degree for a student hoping to get into the game development industry is a bachelor’s degree in computer science,” said Dr. Tim Roden, head of the ASU Computer Science Department. “A general degree gives a graduate more flexibility when looking for a job. On the other hand, companies want to know a graduate has had some experience actually developing computer games. That is what the certificate program is about. It demonstrates that a graduate has that specialized experience.”

The certificate program is recommended for computer science majors and minors who plan to enter the game development industry. It is open to all ASU students, regardless of major, but students majoring in disciplines other than computer science will still have to pass the prerequisite courses to be eligible.

ASU’s computer game development program was named one of the 2010 “Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs” in the U.S. and Canada by the Princeton Review. Overall, the Computer Science Department is the fastest growing department on campus, with a 38 percent increase in majors from 2009 to 2010.

According to the 2010-11 edition of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, computer science ranks No. 1 among the fastest growing occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree. Texas is home to the third-highest number of computer game development companies in the U.S., and starting salaries for game developers with bachelor’s degrees average about $60,000 a year.

For more information on the new certificate program, contact the ASU Computer Science Department at 942-2101.

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