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The University of Texas is launching a new gaming curriculum for undergraduates interested in a career in the games industry.

The University of Texas Game Development and Design Program builds on existing curricula, adding new game design courses to its Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies and additional coursework in coding for games and visualization at the Department of Computer Science. Both departments will offer minor degree programs with a curriculum that blends computer science and design.

“We see a strong market need aimed at expanded skill sets for students interested in pursuing careers in the gaming industry, and we are determined to offer the best curriculum and experiential learning opportunities possible
here at The University of Texas at Austin,” said Bruce Porter, the computer science professor chairing the joint committee developing the program.

“We are growing the gaming offerings at UT and investing heavily in game design,” said Bruce Pennycook, chair of the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies. “We are aggressively recruiting practitioners with substantial industry experience and aim to double the number of faculty in game design by 2020. By working with industry leaders, we’re able to add additional classes that give students the hands-on experience they need to pursue careers in the industry.”

The collaborative curriculum is designed with a strong focus on industry partnerships and opportunities for students to interact with gaming studios and gaming professionals. UT undergraduates will have unprecedented opportunities to obtain the skills they need to pursue successful careers in the gaming and visualization industries. A community of industry professionals will support the Game Development and Design Program, ensuring that the curriculum tracks respond to trends in the gaming industry.

“Industry partners tell us consistently that they want graduates who are technically fluent, creative problem-solvers skilled at working collaboratively within and across teams,” said College of Fine Arts Dean Doug Dempster. “We’ve
created a responsive program that gives students the skills they need to launch their careers while adapting over a lifetime to the rapid pace of change in the booming gaming industry.”

Texas is a growing hub for game development. The state is home to almost 20,000 games-related jobs, with a 10% growth expected over the next eight years.