Champlain College Announces a New Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Game Programming

BURLINGTON, Vt.--One year after rolling out New England’s first bachelor’s degree in Electronic Game and Interactive Development, Champlain College in Vermont is launching another innovative gaming major. Starting in Fall 2006, a new bachelor’s degree in Electronic Game Programming will offer a deep selection of technology courses for students who want to focus on the coding side of this growing industry.

“This program allows students to combine their love of games and game theory with their passion for the challenge of programming,” said Champlain College professor John Rogate, director of the program. “With the video game industry growing at an incredible rate, well-educated and expertly trained programmers are in peak demand.”

The new program builds on Champlain’s existing game major, which offers tracks in Game Design and Art & Animation. With the new programming major, Champlain College now offers a deep, three-pronged approach to educating future game designers, artists and programmers. Students choose their major according to the role that they want to play in the game development industry. They then dive deeply into their chosen field while being exposed to all aspects of the game development cycle and working in teams that mirror the game industry.

The new program also takes advantage of the College’s well-established Software Engineering program. Students will study C++ and assembly language programming, in addition to new courses that include: Console Programming, Game Architecture, Real Time Systems, Artificial Intelligence and Graphics Programming.

Rounding out the new curriculum are courses in math and physics, literature, history, psychology, communication, fine arts, as well as conceptual development, player-driven game design, game history and playability testing.

In a number of classes, Electronic Game Programming students will work alongside students who are studying to be creative designers and artists. In others, students will be teamed with software engineers and developers. The program will culminate with two senior team project courses, where all members of a game development team will work together in the creation of a final project.

“This program is designed to integrate the creative side of the industry with the technical side,” Rogate said. “It will be unique in that it will provide a programmer with experience with the full spectrum of the design and art team--a huge savings in on-the-job training.”

The new curriculum was designed according to game industry needs with the help of an advisory board with representatives from companies such as Electronic Arts, Nokia, Radical Entertainment and Ubisoft. However, the program does not limit students to that industry alone. Graduates will have the education and experience to prepare them for traditional programming careers as well as simulation and imaging careers in fields such as aviation, aerospace, health care, film and the military.

Admission to the Electronic Game Programming major is expected be highly competitive and time sensitive. Visit http://www.champlain.edu or call (800) 570-5858 for more information on the program, admissions deadlines and requirements.

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