How Long Does Game Programming School Take?

Game programmers are responsible for developing code for video and computer games. Since the development of these games is highly collaborative by nature, game programmers can focus on various aspects of the work. They can concentrate on any of the different areas, such as audio programming, artificial intelligence or special effects and graphics.

Although there are some game programmers who, driven only by their sheer love of the industry, have learned how to create code for games on their own, many employers do prefer game programmers who have obtained formal training from a game programming school. A bachelor’s degree in computer science is an acceptable preparation but there are now bachelor’s degrees specifically in game programming. These typically take four years to complete.

Let’s take a look at some programs. DeVry University offers the Game and Simulation Programming degree program which gives students the opportunity to become proficient at coding languages and visual design principles, among others. For students to graduate from the program, they need to complete 127 credit hours. The program can be completed by students in eight semesters if they study fulltime.

Champlain College also offers a degree in Game Programming. This program can be completed in four years. Champlain College features what they call as the “Upside-Down Curriculum” which basically lets students take six courses required for their Game Programming major by the time they are done with their first year. This makes them have an early start on their skills in this field. In their first year, students already take courses like Introduction to Programming, Game Technology I, Advanced Programming and Matrices, Vectors and 3D Math.

University of Advancing Technology (UAT) in Tempe, Arizona also offers a Bachelor of Science in Game Programming degree which lasts for 120 weeks as well as an Associate of Science in Game Programming degree which takes half that time to complete. Upon finishing the program, the graduate is expected to know how to use common tools, languages and software to make and launch original games as well as come up with the architecture or infrastructure necessary to bring a game project to completion.

If you prefer a shorter program, Full Sail University offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Game Development which takes nine months to finish. The program teaches gaming enthusiasts concepts like foundations of computer programming and artificial intelligence so that they can develop a complete game. Collaboration is also encouraged.

The Art Institutes also offers a Bachelor of Science in Game Programming at its campus in Los Angeles. It is a 180-credit course that can be completed in 132 academic weeks or twelve 11-week quarters. A Bachelor of Science in Visual and Game Programming degree is also offered in various campuses of The Art Institutes. It takes the same amount of time to complete.

In addition to going to formal game programming school, another way to hone the skills of game programmers is by attending open source software development programs. They should also keep abreast of the latest developments in the game programming sphere.

Career Spotlight: Game Programmer

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