MURRAY, Ky. — In an effort to continue meeting the needs of current and prospective students, Murray State University is expanding its undergraduate program offerings to include specializations in game development and design as well as unmanned aerial systems.
“Our colleges and departments constantly seek ways to innovate and make available new academic opportunities for our students and our communities,” said Dr. Renae Duncan, associate provost for undergraduate education.
Murray State students now have the opportunity to pursue a distinct degree track in game development through the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business. In addition to establishing a base foundation in computer science principles, the new track covers a variety of interdisciplinary subjects, such as computer-based graphical rendering, programming, creative writing, graphic arts, mathematics, physics and audio/video production. Graduates of this track will be well-prepared for careers with both indie and well-established game development companies. Students in other majors may choose to complete a minor in game development as well.
The College of Humanities and Fine Arts is also offering an undergraduate certificate in game design to help prepare students for entry-level positions in the video game industry. The curriculum covers technical areas in game programming languages in addition to focusing on learning the necessary design skills in animation and illustration, computer graphics, computer science and creative writing. As students make their way through the certificate program, they will encounter opportunities to create two- and three-dimensional graphics to bring their games and stories to life.
“Beyond programming, there are career opportunities in game development involving story writing, graphic arts, cinematography, dialog production, sound effects, production and marketing,” said Dr. Robert Pilgrim, associate professor in computer science. “The computer games industry earned more than $100 billion in 2017 with sales of newly released games exceeding the gross receipts of blockbuster movies.”
The Hutson School of Agriculture and the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology, as well as other academic units, are also partnering to offer a certificate and minor in unmanned aerial systems.
Participating students will focus on learning how to use drone technology: operating the software, interpreting and mapping data, completing FFA certification training and much more. The new program will also allow students interested in pursuing careers in agriculture or earth and environmental sciences to use drone and mapping technology to see and understand areas of land as they determine crop health, examine soil types and elevation and more. As the drone industry continues to develop, other areas of study will benefit as well. Criminal justice, occupational safety and health, construction, journalism, engineering and art have drone applications that enhance the student experience and career preparation at Murray State.
“There are many exciting and evolving career opportunities involving unmanned aerial systems,” said Dr. Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture. “It is our goal to provide an education that will afford our students with hands-on training in drones and drone technology that will place them at a competitive advantage in the career market.”
Visit murraystate.edu/programs to learn more about undergraduate and graduate offerings at Murray State University.