PLANO, Texas - June 11, 2007 - The Guildhall at SMU's graduate video development education program Cohort 9 class starting July 9 will be one of the largest and most diverse ever according to officials at the school.
The school has come a long way since it first opened its door to students for what they called Cohort 1 in June of 2003.
"We will have students from 18 states, Austria, Canada, China, France and South Africa, "said Dr. Peter Raad, founder and executive director of the program. "And 14 percent of the class is female, up from our historical 8-10 percent rate. That's a number that we really want to see increase."
This year was a number of firsts for the program. In March, SMU graduated the first ever class of master's degree students in video game development. The school also recently announced a special program for computer science and art students that will allow them to receive their bachelors in computer science and fine art and a master's in interactive technology in only five years.
In addition, several industry related technology companies have turned to the school for research and product development. Many companies see the school as a living research laboratory for video game development and technology.
School officials also report nearly 90 percent of their students who graduated in late March are placed in the video game industry.
"Our historical rate for placement is 95 percent at about six months after graduation, "Raad said. "It looks like this year we are a little head of schedule. But that doesn't surprise me considering the tremendous demand for qualified professionals needed in the video game industry. We now have 155 graduates working at more than 60 video game companies around the world."
Raad said when he asks industry officials what is the one thing The Guildhall at SMU needs to do to improve its program their answer is to "get more students."
About The Guildhall at SMU: The Guildhall at Southern MethodistUniversity is the premier graduate video game education program in the United States. The program offers a graduate certificate and Master's of Science degree in interactive technology.
The purpose of the school is to prepare professional artist, level designers and programmers for the video game industry. Many of the school's advisors are industry icons. In addition, industry veterans make up the faculty. More information about The Guildhall at SMU is available at http://guildhall.smu.edu.