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Students who want to study game programming in Illinois have several degree programs from which to choose, including undergrad, graduate and certificate programs. Most of these programs focus on an area of concentration, such as game design, game art, sound design and systems programming. Some game programming-related courses may be available online. Overviews of five public and private, non-profit schools in the state offering programs are provided below, along with a table showing tuition and school information.
Bradley University in Peoria provides a game design major in its interactive media bachelor's program. This concentration requires completion of 15 credits of coursework, including three core courses and two electives. The three required courses are game design concepts and storytelling, computer game design and a computer game capstone project. Concentration-specific electives include game engine programming, computer game modification, digital animation and sound design. Students choosing to study the Bachelor of Science in either Computer Science or Computer Information Systems can opt for a concentration in computer game technology, or do a minor program in game design or game development. This school also offers a computer game technology concentration as part of its Master of Science programs in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems. The concentration requires students to take computer game design and computer game modification as well as one elective course, such as game engine programming.
College of Lake County
The College of Lake County offers a game development certificate program that requires students to complete nine courses for a total of 28 credit hours. These classes include 2-D and 3-D game development, design strategies, C++ programming and game development math.
Columbia College - Chicago
The Chicago campus of this college has three bachelor's programs that can prepare students for careers in the video game industry. Students in all programs complete core courses in interactive media that cover topics like game culture, navigational interfaces, computational media development and basic game development. Game design students can select from concentrations in game art, game development or sound design. The Bachelor of Science in Game Programming focuses on programming and math, providing students with a background for jobs in the game software engineering field. On the other hand, the Bachelor of Arts in Game Programming emphasizes game simulation.
Chicago's DePaul University offers a bachelor's and a master's program in game programming. The undergraduate program provides courses in game design and game scripting. Students must earn 192 credit hours and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 to earn the bachelor's degree. DePaul University also has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation program with a game art concentration that provides courses in game development, as well as a game modification workshop.
The master's program requires students to complete at least 52 hours of coursework and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. Core and elective courses include game engine programming, graphics development, object-oriented programming and computer game artificial intelligence, to name a few. Some graduate courses are available online.
University of Illinois at Chicago
This large, public university in Chicago offers a video game design and development course as part of its computer science program. This course is available to students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate computer science programs. The video game design and development course involves students designing and constructing their own games.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Game Programming Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Bradley University||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsized city|| Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media with a game design major,
Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media with a game design major,
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with minor in game design or game development, or with computer game technology concentration,
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems with minor in game design or game development, or with computer game technology concentration
Master of Science in Computer Science with a computer game technology concentration,
Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with a computer game technology concentration
|College of Lake County||2-year, public; large suburb||Game Development Certificate||$3,612 in-district; $8,358 in-state; $11,046 out-of-state*|
|Columbia College - Chicago||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Game Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Game Programming,
Bachelor of Science in Game Programming
|DePaul University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Computer Game Development,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation with a game art concentration,
Master of Science in Programming
|University of Illinois at Chicago||4-year, public; large city||Video Game Design and Development Course||$13,664 in-state; $26,520 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator