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Colleges in Texas


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#1 Trob74   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:14 AM

My son is looking into a career in Game Design. He is currently in High School and we have looked into Colleges in Texas that offer some game related courses or degree programs. Please help. Need information on these schools. University of North Texas - Computer Science University of Texas @ Dallas - Arts and Technology Game Design / Development Sam Houston State University - Art computer animation Guildhall/ Meadow School of Art @ SMU -B.F.A. in Studio Art/ M.I.T. Digital Game Development

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7458

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:27 AM

Your son should read these articles:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson25.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson34.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson44.htm

Moving this to Breaking In.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 stonemetal   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:38 AM

SMU is an ok school but it costs an arm and a leg(it is usually in the 80s - 90s in CS program rankings. Looks like they are running about 88 at the moment)
UTD it is the best ranked school on your list, I am sort of partial to it since I am working on my MSCS there. I haven't been over to the Atec building so I can't tell you much about it.
I haven't heard much about UNT or Sam Houston.
I would add UT to the list even if they don't have a game dev program there are several major game developers in town(useful for internships etc.), and they are one of the top rated schools in the nation.
Baylor has a game dev. specialization in their CS program.

#4 Drew_Benton   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1712

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:18 AM

Quote:
Original post by Trob74
University of North Texas - Computer Science


The Mean Green! I've only been around the area once and it seemed like an 'ok' area. I've heard a few things from different people about UNT but nothing so much about their educational programs. It's something that you would have to check out. Their tuition rates are slightly lower than UTDs, but the school is much, much larger, closing in on 40k people. UTD by comparison a little less than half that now, probably around 16k or so.

Quote:
University of Texas @ Dallas - Arts and Technology Game Design / Development


I graduated from UTD in their Software Engineering degree program (2008). Since then, the campus is growing really fast and they are on track to become a tier 1 school in the near future. I love the area, Richardson and Plano Texas are beautiful, clean areas. Of course, I am really biased towards this school since I spent 4 years of my life there, but I would recommend it for anyone going into a CS field. Dallas has a lot of job opportunities and UTD has an extensive network of partnerships with the industry (Gearbox, iD, Raytheon, TI, many more). Finally tuition costs are not that bad for what you get.

Quote:
Sam Houston State University - Art computer animation


If you are going to go to SHSU, it would be mostly for Criminal Justice or your grades are pretty low and you couldn't get accepted anywhere else. Anything else you could certainly find better. The area is around a prison and it's not a particularly 'clean' area. My sister went for 1 year for Criminal Justice (since SHSU has one of the best CJ degree programs in Texas) and ended up going to University of North Texas and changed degrees. I've been there a few times and I really didn't like it myself. I'd strongly suggest you check it out first before considering it.

Quote:
Guildhall/ Meadow School of Art @ SMU -B.F.A. in Studio Art/ M.I.T. Digital Game Development


One of the biggest drawbacks to SMU was the cost and how they quite didn't give out as many scholarships compared to a place like UTD. UTD gives out a lot of scholarships and if you have really good grades and SAT scores, you could get a full ride with a stipend. I've never been on the campus myself or around the area much, so I only know second hand SMU has extensive game related programs via their Guildhall and I have heard good things about it, besides the costs.

The best advice I can give you and your son is to visit each and every one of these colleges to get a feel for the area. Take their guided tours to get an idea if it will work or not. When I visited UTD in 2003, I just knew it was the right school for me because of how it was setup. I was looking for a small school that had a good CS program where I could live in apartments rather a dorm and more of a 'quiet' school and UTD fit that perfectly.

One strategy to look at as well is to find a community college that works in association with the university that your son is looking to attend and consider taking 2 years community to get the core junk out of the way and then transfer into University to finish the last 2-3 years of the degree program. You end up saving a lot of money and if nothing has changed, those community college classes don't affect your GPA since they are transfer credits. This plan is not possible for everyone, but if money is really tight, it's something to be aware of.

Lastly, unless your son is going to be an *artist* by trade, he will need to take a Computer Science related degree. Don't go for the game specific degrees because those are mostly B.A.s and throughly limit your job opportunities compared to having a B.S. in Computer Science/Software Engineering/Electrical Engineering/Computer Engineering/Telecommunications Engineering.

That's what I did in UTD, I went with the intentions of wanting to learn how to do games, but I still did the CS/SE degree and took the Game Development classes as my electives, and as it turns out, game development stuff was just not for me, so now I'm not stuck with a B.A. degree in something game related and limited to what I can apply for, since I got a B.S. degree in something common and took the game related classes on the side. Now, I can do whatever I want.

Quote:
Original post by stonemetal
UTD it is the best ranked school on your list, I am sort of partial to it since I am working on my MSCS there. I haven't been over to the Atec building so I can't tell you much about it.


You should check it out sometime, it is freaking sweet! They have two computer labs in the front as well as some 'gaming labs' behind the big double doors up front that have nice wide screen monitors and have a plethora of games. There should be a scheduled that tells when classes meet and when you can use the lab as a general purpose room. They had just added a motion capture lab a few years ago and that was really cool to see. I really miss UTD myself and would consider going back to work on a masters or doctorate in something or another in the future.

[edit]
For the holiday spirit, taken 12/21/07. I didn't help make this one, but after we got that snow storm, it was quiet fun!
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


[Edited by - Drew_Benton on December 15, 2009 3:18:59 PM]

#5 nilkn   Members   -  Reputation: 960

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 06:58 PM

I've got to put in the good word for my school. [smile]

Rice is an outstanding school with an outstanding computer science department. Rice doesn't offer a game development degree program in and of itself, but if your son is willing to go the more traditional route of computer science, it is definitely worth looking into. The CS department is in the top 20 nationwide. (It looks like it's ranked exactly 20 right now.)

Rice has a lot of distinctive traits. There is a university-wide Honor Code which allows professors to give take-home tests. (Not all tests will be take-home, but most will be.) Very few schools do this; I know Caltech and Harvey Mudd do, but I'm not sure of any others.

It's one of the smallest research universities in the country having just a little over 3,000 undergraduates. (It's not the smallest, though. Caltech is smaller, for instance.)

There are simply countless opportunities for one to pursue research and projects here.

Rice, Harvard, and Yale are the only three schools I know of in the US that take the residential college system seriously. Think of the houses in Harry Potter (without the magic, unfortunately). Upon admission you are randomly assigned to one of eleven residential colleges. Each college is represented physically by a dorm building, a dining hall, etc., but you remain a member whether or not you live on campus. (And in fact most Rice students will usually live off-campus for at least one of their four years.) But the main benefit is that you are linked with a group of several hundred students for your entire time at Rice, so it makes the social aspect of the school easier and more relaxing.

[Edited by - nilkn on December 21, 2009 1:58:53 AM]




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