View Full Version : Guildhall at SMU offers Masters Degree now
04-14-2005, 09:20 PM
Just officially announced today: Guildhall at SMU (http://guildhall.smu.edu) now offers both a Masters Degree in Interactive Technology and a graduate level certificate in game development.
04-14-2005, 09:58 PM
Yeah I'll have a Master Degrees, a double cheeseburger and some fries with ketchup please.
Yes, that'd be all. Thank you.
On a more serious note: AWESOME. Too bad I'll never be able to go :P
04-14-2005, 11:42 PM
For some reason i just feel like these game degrees are expensive scams for n00bs who really enjoy their DBZ drawings and think they can get in the biz. I have looked at the portfolios of people who attend several of these schools and they seem to be of very low grade and mediocre at best. I do however come across nice portfolios every now and then. Anyone actually go through SMU after spending tons of money and actauly land the job they wanted? Please post your story, thanks!
I went to ais and now I have a career in the bizz.
04-15-2005, 02:11 AM
Steady - we're the last of a dying breed - people who get a skilled job with no relevant qualifications. There are very few other jobs which pay as well and have projects with as much riding on them that don't require qualified people.
I'm glad that the schools offering these courses have people with the experience and contacts of people like Paul to guide them.
04-15-2005, 04:38 AM
What type of Masters is it under?
Can it be continued to doctorate level?
04-15-2005, 06:01 AM
oXYnary: Its a new degree called a Masters of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development. It's supported by two colleges at SMU, the engineering college and fine arts college. I'm certain that Guildhall eventually would like to have a doctoral program in that area. But that's still in the future.
steady: roughly 70% of the class that graduated in mid December is working either full time or as contractors in the game industry. Most of the companies doing the hiring are of the AAA, familiar name sort ... like id, Nerve, Gearbox, NCSoft, Ritual, EA, Liquid, and Activision.
Edit: and regarding your comment about "DBZ drawings" I know exactly what you mean. I'm on the student intake review committee for art and I do my best to guide people like that into traditional art programs where they can be trained as artists first. It's asking way too much of both student and faculty to turn an untrained art n00b into a game artist in 21 months.
04-15-2005, 07:34 AM
I think this is great news. While I give a nod to the concern being expressed that college is never a guarantee of skill; it never was a guarantee.
What matters imo is that we are getting to a point where people in the position i was at the school leaving age, have options like this rather than no courses in game development.
The nonexistance of any game development courses when I left school meant that I did not go to college, instead I have taken longer to learn things 'on the job' or 'on my time'.
I doubt the self taught game developer tag will die out though, there will always be driven, obsessive types that teach themselves in any creative medium and that will show in their portfolio.
What college will ensure is that those who need a little help to blossom will have it, and those who don't need so much help, will have the chance to work with their peers and gain access to the latest apps.
Congrats Paul, you must be proud to be contributing to something so worthwhile.
04-15-2005, 11:27 AM
Sounds cool Paul. Wish there was such a program around when I went to college. What is the background of the professors? Are they industry pro's?
04-15-2005, 11:48 AM
Nearly all of the professors have some industry experience. I think the adjunct faculty person who teaches life drawing these days does not. But all the others came from some kind of RECENT game industry situation. Some are still actively working at game companies, as is the case of Doug Service, a senior level programmer at Ritual. The other thing to note is that game developers from a number of companies actively participate in the teaching AND that many students have been placed in internships with local companies (and have credits in games like Doom 3 and Band of Brothers). The program is changing (as of this summer) to better accommodate internships as a part of the program.
04-15-2005, 12:49 PM
So is it more a catch all? Meaning its for the Game Designer? (the Masters). Versus individual paths for all areas. The amount of programming I can do is limited to simple scripting in Lingo (Director). What kind of entry is needed? GRE? Art Portfolio? Previous Companies? Self made Games?
Is it a full 2-3 year program? (Many masters are 3 year programs these days(
04-15-2005, 12:51 PM
As i recall, Pak started at AIS with DBZ drawings...LOL
04-16-2005, 08:33 AM
I have always said if I find myself in the area with large amounts of cash I will be paying the guild hall a visit. I am glad to hear you guys have set the bar higher again in game developemnt education. Like Ror said I hope those going in know its not a grantee of skill, spend X amount of money get Y job because X was spend.
For so long people have been flying by the seat of thier pants and it shows in the industry. Sometimes in a good way, most times not. Having a centeral leader in game development education should help reduce the fly by night development. It looks like an amazing program! I wish you and the others the best of luck with it!
With an ever changing technology will this degree have an exparation date?
" Like Ror said I hope those going in know its not a grantee of skill, spend X amount of money get Y job because X was spend. "
-schools will hope that applicants will think otherwise.
Yes I can't buy my way into a job! (see IT ind. /images/graemlins/frown.gif )
04-16-2005, 11:11 AM
My experience is that whatever you study it is all up to you whether you'll make it or not. If you focus on enhancing what you're good at - And also make sure you know what it takes to get them jobs you want after finishing the course, then you'll stand a chance. It demands full dedication on your behalf and of course you need to have some talent.
04-16-2005, 02:32 PM
The masters degree requires an undergrad degree and a relatively high GPA. GRE not required. Each of the disciplines has it's own entrance requirements. An artist has to show a portfolio and a sketchbook.
Students still focus on one discipline, but its possible to take a more academic approach to the study as opposed to a simply practical one.
No degree guarantees a job in other industries, but the Guildhall teaches a mix of practice and theory that should prepare a student to walk from the classroom directly into the development studio.
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