USC to offer undergrad games degree

SoCal University joining growing list of major institutions offering higher-education degrees in games.

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High school students now have a legitimate reason for setting down their schoolbooks and picking up their joysticks: they're getting ready for college.

The University of Southern California, renowned for its film and television programs, will soon be offering degrees in another form of mass media--games. The Daily Trojan, USC's official student daily, reported yesterday that three departments--the School of Fine Arts, the School of Cinema-Television, and the Information Technology Program--are working together to create a game-centered program inside USC's School of Engineering.

USC's goal is to make a minor in game development and production available to undergrad students by fall 2004. Core curricula will include modeling, animation, programming, development, and production. "I personally hope our students will be creative thinkers and help develop the compelling video games of the future," said ITP director and professor Anthony Borquez.

While many art and design colleges have game-development programs, USC is one of the first major universities to offer an undergraduate degree in the subject. DePaul University in Chicago already offers a minor and soon will be offering a major in game development. The Georgia Institute of Technology currently offers a PhD in digital media, while Southern Methodist University in Dallas recently began a 18-month master's program in video game design.

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