Turn Your Love of Gaming into an Exciting Career with a Major in Game Programming & Development
Southern New Hampshire University's Bachelor of Science in Game Programming and Development can take you beyond simply playing games to actually making the next big video game sensation. This BS program balances a solid foundation in IT fundamentals with advanced training in the tools and techniques used by industry professionals today.
Students learn and apply principles used in writing code, developing artificial intelligence, working inside of game engines and designing realistic physics for video games. Courses mirror the industry-standard workflow pipeline used in the production of games across multiple platforms - from web to console, PC and mobile - so that when you graduate, you're ready for your new career as a game programmer.
Inkwell Interactive Studio
Looking to level up your portfolio? SNHU’s Inkwell Interactive Studio on campus can help you gain the experience you need to break into the industry. Modeled after a real-life work environment, Inkwell connects you with internal and external clients to fully design and implement projects – from virtual tours and games to medical simulators and more.
See Yourself Succeed with a Major in Game Programming & Development
Creativity, critical thinking and technical skills all come together in this in-demand undergraduate program. You'll emerge with the skills you need to enter an industry that is as fast-paced as it is exciting.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission - to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of majoring in game programming and development at SNHU include:
- Supportive community. Join the SNHU campus community of students who are closely connected with faculty and staff dedicated to your success.
- Affordability. SNHU is one of the most affordable private, nonprofit universities in New Hampshire, and students who qualify could receive up to $20,000 in grants and scholarships. (This scholarship amount is only for students who do not need a visa to study in the U.S.)
- Innovative programs. Save time and tuition with our three-year degree programs, or study abroad at little or no extra cost.
- Accessible faculty. Learn from highly credentialed faculty who are experts in their fields and interact with you in the classroom, dining hall, fitness center and the stands.
- Opportunity. Tap into our nationwide network of alumni and strong connections with employers for internship and career opportunities.
- Campus experience. Enjoy more than 50 student clubs, champion Division II athletics and fun events on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, New Hampshire, named a "Best Place to Live" by Money magazine
Internships & Outcomes
The game design industry in the United States continues to grow, with industry revenues topping $30.4 billion in 2016 according to the Entertainment Software Association. Skilled game programmers are consistently in demand and SNHU’s major in game programming and development prepares you well for positions such as Game Programmer, Physics Programmer, Tools Engineer, Game Engine Programmer, and UI Programmer.
In addition to faculty with industry experience, this undergraduate program helps you develop deep connections with other professionals. Students have opportunities to complete internships with game development companies, interact with industry professionals who regularly speak on campus and join a vibrant community of game developers in the game design club.
Most importantly, students work on teams to develop publication-quality games as part of GameJams and other competitions held throughout the school year. We want to make sure that when you graduate, you have connections in the industry and a rich portfolio of work to show prospective employers.
Coursework includes requirements from our core undergraduate general education and business programs. You'll then add courses to satisfy the major requirements, such as interactive animation, 3-D modeling, artificial intelligence and more.
Faculty will push, inspire and encourage you to realize your full potential as a game programmer. At Southern New Hampshire University, we keep classes small, allowing you to connect with faculty who are there to support you on your journey. Take Professor Ed Brillant, for example - a former Art Director at Seven45 Studios in Boston with over 10 years of experience in the game industry, having worked on games for companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Sony. Students are consistently connected with faculty members who really know what it takes to be successful in the industry.
Courses To Prepare You For Your Career
SNHU's bachelor's in game programming and development program includes:
- General education
- Degree-specific courses
General Education Program
Our programs are designed to equip you with the skills and insights you need to move forward. In recent years, employers have stressed the need for graduates with higher order skills - the skills that go beyond technical knowledge - such as:
- Problem solving
All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes. Through foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|BS in Game Programming & Development|
|Courses May Include|
|BS in Game Programming and Development Campus|
|GAM 110||Game Programming I||Students will learn the basis of computing as well as the fundamentals of programming. Students will be taught the correlation between math and programming languages and how they are used in games. Students will get a firsthand introduction on how C# and C++ are used in game engines. A student will be introduced to scripting languages, object oriented languages and functions. Students will have an understanding of multiple types of classes that include base, abstract, and concrete, as well as class hierarchies.|
|GAM 220||Game Programming II||Students will learn advanced programming topics to further enhance their abilities to implement software solutions to problems. Object oriented design, data abstraction techniques, and data structures like linked lists, vectors, maps, stacks and queues will be introduced and developed. More advanced uses of functions, such as function pointers and recursion will be discussed. Students will also be introduced to various algorithms used for searching and sorting data. All topics will be introduced and discussed with a focus on how they are used to build interactive games.|
|GAM 312||Gameplay Systems Development||This class builds on the programming fundamentals learned in previous courses, and covers topics relating to technical systems for video games. Students will learn how to create complex game systems using scripts and will learn advanced scripting techniques. The technical aspects of common gameplay systems will be explored and implemented in various projects.|
|GAM 345||Algorithms and Data Structures for Games||Students will learn advanced algorithms and data structure topics to further enhance their abilities to implement software solutions to problems. Linked lists, doubly linked lists, vectors, maps, stacks and queues will be reviewed and developed. Graphs, binary trees, and quadtrees will be discussed and implemented. Common algorithms used for searching and sorting data stored in the various types of data structures will be covered. Runtime and memory analysis for all data structures and algorithms will also be discussed.|
|GAM 350||Multiplayer Video Game Development||This class looks into the techniques required to develop multiplayer game experiences. The course will start with the basics on how to develop video games with multiple player controlled objects using various input devices, shared and split-screen experiences, as well as designing asynchronous and asymmetric games. During the second half of the semester, online networking topics will be introduced which will include peer to peer and client server networking models. Topics such as syncing game objects between networked clients, remote procedure calls, and persistence will also be discussed.|
|GAM 405||Artificial Intelligence for Games||Students get an introduction to AI inside a game engine. Using Action scripting, C++, or C# students will be introduced to Path finding, Crowd Control, Character Control, Non Player behavior, World behavior and Object behavior. Students will also be introduced to game play algorithms designed to create immersive reactive worlds.|
|GAM 415||Graphics Game Engine||Students get an introduction to advanced graphics topics including skeletal animation, ray tracing, particle integration, lighting, shaders and materials. Projects are introduced to implement these important visual effects. The knowledge obtained will be assimilated and applied to a wide range of usages and application. Linear Algebra algorithms will be refreshed and/or introduced specific to the topic at hand. Students will learn the basics of Direct X, Open GL, and Rendering solutions (forward and deferred).|
|GAM 495||Game Programming Capstone||This course integrates previous coursework and practical experience with a focus on authentic demonstration of competencies outlined by the program. Rather than introducing new concepts, students will synthesize and integrate prior learning to develop a capstone project. The course will be structured around this critical task so that students have the appropriate support and resources required to be successful.|
|GRA 202||3-D Modeling and Animation||In this course students will be introduced to 3DS max. It will give them an overview of what max does specifically for games. This course will be focused on modeling. Students will learn the basics of modeling low poly and high poly models. How they are unwrapped and used in conjunction with textures. It will also show a wide range of techniques used in the industry for modeling for mobile, PC and current generation consoles.|
|GRA 210||Fundamentals of Game Design||Many people have ideas for their own video games, but how do you get started making them? This course lays the foundation for students interested in entering the game industry. This is accomplished by learning game mechanics and design theory through hands on work. Using industry standard tools, students work through the process of creating games from start to finish.|
|GRA 211||Interactive Animation||This course focuses on programming capabilities to enhance graphic animations and user interfaces to provide spectacular interactive results. Those benefiting from this course include students in game development, advertising, marketing, education, web development, art and other fields that can benefit from interactive animated graphics helping to convey concepts. The course is intended for those with no programming experience as well as those with some programming background. The use and creation of animations will be covered at a level of interest to both those new as well as experienced. The results can be displayed by a browser from the internet or as standalone results displayable on a range of operating systems. This is a hands on computer based course in which the students create a number of individual projects based on their interests and capabilities, focusing on creativity and programming aspects of interactive animation. The course utilizes emerging technologies in interactive animation.|
|GRA 315||Game Design and Production||This course ties together subjects such as project management, game design theory, and development. Working together in small and randomly assigned teams, students design, document, manage, and develop projects within set time frames. Each student will have the opportunity to experience different roles within a development team including designer, programmer, artist, and producer. All projects are presented to the class each development cycle for feedback and peer reviews before working on the next project. Design and project management methods are lectured and put into practice in each new cycle.|
|GRA 317||Studio Environment||The video game industry relies on professionals who can work together as a team, and understand the functions of their peers. In this class, students are put into teams based on their degree focus to work together in a simulated studio environment. Through this process, students will learn gaming industry business development skills such as project management, marketing, and legal vocabulary. Upon completion of this course, students may apply these skills in a small studio or startup environment, where product creators are often asked to aid in the development of the business.|
|Total Credits: 120|
Minimum Hardware Required Specifications
|Component Type||PC (Windows OS)||Apple (Mac OS)|
Windows 7* or newer
Note: If your computer runs on Windows 7, see the information regarding Windows 7 End of Life below
|Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) or newer
||4 GB or higher
||4 GB or higher
||100GB or higher
||100GB or higher
||Office 2010 Professional or newer
||Office 2011 for Mac
||Required for on campus students. Strongly recommended for online students
||Required for on campus students. Strongly recommended for online students
CD/DVD drive. External hard drive. Extra power cord. Headphones/earbuds
|CD/DVD drive. External hard drive. Extra power cord. Headphones/earbuds
|SNHU Purchase Programs
- Laptop or Desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU, nor does the Microsoft Surface RT. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be utilized for some course functions they cannot be your primary device.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. The following platforms are no longer supported by Office 365:
- Android 4.3 and earlier versions
- Firefox version 5.0 and earlier versions
- Internet Explorer 8-10 on Windows 7 and earlier versions
- Internet Explorer 10 on Win Phone 8.0
- Safari 6.0.4/OS X10.11 and earlier versions
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
- Optional Accessories:
- Many laptops on the market today do not include CD/DVD drives. While SNHU typically does not utilize CD/DVD content, this is a good accessory to have.
- External Hard Drive - it is always a good idea to back up your files and an external hard drive is a great way to do that.
- Extra power cord - if you have a laptop and are frequently on the move, many people find it useful to have a second power cord - one for home and one for your bag.
- Headphones/earbuds - many SNHU courses include audio and video content. These will make viewing and listening easier.
*Windows 7 End of Life Statement for Students
Effective Jan. 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7. What does this mean for you?
As part of the continuing evolution of computer systems, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for Windows 7. Keeping your computer current with security updates helps your computer run better and protect your information. Since Microsoft will no longer release updates, the information on your computer will be more vulnerable and your computer may not function as well.
We strongly recommend you update to Windows 10 at your earliest convenience. You can upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
Have questions? Contact the ITS help desk via the service portal or by phone at 1.855.877.9919. Technical support is available 24/7.
Our Manchester campus aims to keep tuition and related costs low for our students so that you can pursue your degree and your goals. More than 90% of our students receive some form of financial aid, and students who qualify could receive up to $20,000 in grants and scholarships.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.