B.S. in Computer Game Development

Explore Lamar University's Game Development Degree

Image of computer game

The B.S. in Computer Game Development degree at Lamar University is the only dedicated 4-year degree program at a Texas public university that prepares graduates for careers in game programming.  Graduates of the program are also well qualified for work in related fields such as simulation and serious-games (computer game software not intended solely for entertainment purposes). 

Computer games are created by teams with specific skills including programming, art and design.  Typically, members of a game development team will be an expert in only one of these three areas and are not required to have expertise in the others.  For this reason, preparation for industry careers most effectively targets each of these areas individually.  The best game programmers are highly knowledgeable in both theory and practical aspects of computer science.  The program at Lamar University recognizes this.  Lamar credits the industry with driving their program to adopt this computer science-intensive approach to preparing students for careers in game programming.

Game development salaries

In Texas, several universities have sought to attract students with bachelor’s level games-related degrees in art and technology.  The common feature of these degrees is they focus heavily on art and design and do not contain the core components typically found in a traditional computer science degree.  Students graduating from these programs do not necessarily have the preparation necessary to land jobs as game programmers.

Job prospects for game programmers are very good.  For example, jobs website Monster.com typically lists over 1,000 job listings for “game programmer.”  Another source for game development jobs is the Texas Film Commission’s Job Hotline.

Texas is a leading state in the nation for computer game development and is home to over 180 publishing and development companies including Bethesda Game Studios, BioWare, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Epic Software, Gearbox Software, iD Software and Zynga.  For students seeking both education and a chance for in-state internship opportunities, Texas is the place to be.  According to the Entertainment Software Association, the U.S. games industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors with sales exceeding $30 billion annually.

Image of Lamar students

The B.S. in Computer Game Development degree is similar to Lamar’s B.S. in Computer Science Degree (BSCS).  Both degrees train students in software development techniques.  The primary difference between the two is the game degree requires eight courses not required by the BSCS degree.  The courses are:

For more information contact the Lamar University Department of Computer Science at cs@lamar.edu.

Recommended program of study in Game Development

FIRST YEAR

FALL SPRING
COSC 1336 Fundamentals I COSC 1337 Fundamentals II
COSC 1173 CS I Lab COSC 1174 CS II Lab
COSC 1172 Thinking, Speaking, Writing ENGL 1302 | 1374
COSC 1324 Intro Game Dev Language, Phil and Culture
ENGL Composition 1301 Creative Arts Elective
History (3 hours) History (3 hours)

SECOND YEAR

FALL SPRING
COSC 2336 Fundamentals III (Data Structure) COSC 2372 Assembly & Org
COSC 2324 Mobile Game Dev MATH 2413 Calculus 1
COSC 2375 Discrete Structures POLS 2302
POLS 2301 Lab Science
Lab Science

THIRD YEAR

FALL SPRING
CPSC 4380 3D Modeling CPSC 4381 3D Animation
COSC 3306 C++ Programming CPSC 3325 Law & Ethics
COSC 3308 Programming Languages CPSC 4317 Networks
COSC 3304 Algorithms COSC 3302 Theory
MATH 3370 Prob & Stat MATH 3328 Linear Algebra

FOURTH YEAR

FALL SPRING
COSC 4324 Game Dev 1 COSC 4325 Game Dev 2
COSC 4302 Operating Systems COSC 4310 Computer Architecture
COSC 4319 Computer Graphics CPSC 4360 Software Engineering
Communication (3 hours) CPSC 4370 Artificial Intelligence
 Soc/Behav Science COSC 4272 Senior Assessment I
Academic Elective (1 hour min.)

Notes (120 total hours):

(1) A grade of B or better is required in COSC 1336 before taking COSC 1337 . A grade of B or better is required in both COSC 1336 and COSC 1337 before COSC 2336.

(2) Communication : 1315 | 1321 or DSDE 1371 or FREN 1311 or SPAN 1311

(3) Two semesters of US or Texas history from among : HIST 1301 | 1302| 2301

(4) Soc/Behav Sciences are : ECON 1301 | 2301 | 2302, PSYC 2301 , SOCI 1301 , BULW 1370 , COMM 1375

(5) Creative Arts Electives are : ARTS 1301 | 1303, DANC 2304 , PHIL 1330 , MUSI 1306 and COMM 1375

(6) Lab Science : choose from the following : BIOL 1406 | 1407 , PHYS 2425 | 2426 | CHEM 1311 & 1111 | CHEM 1312 & 1112(6 hours are used as core requirements and 6 hours are used as major requirements)

(7) Language, Phil and Culture Electives are: ENGL 2300 | 2310 | 2322 | 2326 | 2331 | 2371 | 2376 or PHIL 1370 | 2306

(8) Academic Elective must be at least 1 credit hour.