Video Game Courses And Degree Programs Hit All-time High At U.S. Colleges In All 50 States

Aug 23, 2012, 10:24 ET from Entertainment Software Association

Nearly 400 Schools Offer Courses and Degrees in Game Design, Development and Programming

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A record 381 colleges, universities, art and trade schools across the country offer courses, professional certificates, undergraduate or graduate degrees in video game design, development and programming, according to new research from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). For the first time, schools in all 50 states will be preparing students for a career in the video game industry.  

"The expansion of higher education academic programs across the nation reflects the growing importance of our industry to the way Americans live, work, learn and play," said Michael Gallagher, president and CEO at ESA. "These programs prepare tomorrow's creative and innovative minds for jobs of the future that will continue to revolutionize our entertainment experiences and benefit science, education, health and business."  

Students interested in video game careers can choose from an array of academic and geographic options. Schools offer a variety of courses on video game-related topics and confer degrees ranging from professional certificates and associate's degrees to master's degrees and Ph.D.'s. This year's list includes such well-known schools as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, University of Southern California and Carnegie Mellon University. 

California continues to be the state with the most schools on ESA's list, with 70 institutions of higher learning. Other leading states include Texas (24), Florida (23), Illinois (23), Massachusetts (20), New York (20), Pennsylvania (18), Minnesota (17), Maryland (12), Michigan (11) and Washington (11).

Making the list for the first time this year are Wyoming (3), Maine (2), Mississippi (2), Alaska (1) and Arkansas (1).

The growth of video game courses and degree programs coincides with the continued growth of the video game industry, the expansion of new technologies such as mobile game platforms, and the increasing role of video games in industries beyond entertainment. According to ESA's 2012 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, 49 percent of all American homes have a video game console and more than 30 percent of gamers said they play games on their smartphones, compared to 20 percent last year. In addition, research from The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop found half of K-8 teachers say digital games have become a regular and beneficial part of today's classroom.

The complete list of schools offering video game courses and degree programs can be found at:

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SOURCE Entertainment Software Association