Cleveland Video Game Design Masters Degrees

A game design masters degree combines the creative aspects of designing video games with the technical know-how of execution. Comprehensive courses not only work to teach the basics of programming, but how to attract an audience. Classes in gaming analytics and psychology could help keep your users interested and coming back for more! And, courses in artificial intelligence and virtual reality might place you at the forefront of the gaming industry. Whether you’re new to the field or returning to sharpen your digital skills and knowledge, there could be a perfect masters in video game design program out there for you!

game design masters degree

Earning a Game Design Masters Degree

Earning a masters degree in game design could be a great choice to either flesh out current design skills and knowledge, or start fresh! Even if you already have a game design degree, you could be tackling new, advanced topics that expand your potential. The gaming industry is moving forward at a break neck pace. It’s constantly churning out new games, new consoles, and new programs. Pursuing a masters in game design could be a great way to stay current and on top of the onslaught of new material.

Potential Masters in Game Design Curriculum

Game designers may need to know how to do a list of tasks in order to create for their medium. Not only do they need to be computer literate, but they may also be asked to perform quality assurance and manage a team. Of course, being creative doesn’t hurt either! i To cover these bases, masters programs teach a combination of design principles, audience engagement tactics, and programming basics. This way, classes not only cover how to make a game, but also how to interest possible consumers.

Masters in game design courses could include some of the following subjects.

  • Creating AI
  • Programming
  • Datamining
  • Game Analytics
  • Gaming Psychology


These are only a few examples of classes you might take. Be sure to speak with your potential school for more information.

Specializing Your Coursework

A game design masters may act as an umbrella term covering designing for multiple consoles, systems, and platforms. And with new technology constantly popping up, learning to design for these innovations might be a great way to flesh out your masters education. Depending on your institution, you may be able to branch out into the following game design fields.

Mobile Application Creation

With the evolution of smart phone technologies, more game designers are showing interest in mobile application development. Unlike previous phone generations, new operating systems may now support intense games you’d previously only find on consoles. Game design masters degree programs could help prepare you to take advantage of these advancements. Classes might cover new audience engagement strategies, multi-system development, and mobile application business tactics.

Virtual Reality

Gaming consoles are beginning to move into the 3-D world, thanks to the increasing availability of virtual reality technology. Classes in the masters of video game design might help students develop skills and knowledge to work with these systems. Subjects could include 3-D model rendering, user perception and interaction, and intuitive gameplay.

Programs vary, so check with your preferred schools to see if these options, or other specialties, might be available.

Designing Your Own Game

In addition to coursework, a masters program in video game design could provide the opportunity to create your own game. Often, it’s a requirement! This is useful for two reasons. First, you could have the chance to make a game in the newest engines available. And, you might have a professor help you each step of the way - from conceptualization to revision. Their professional opinion might be the final polish your game needs to go from good to great.

Second, your completed game could be added to your professional portfolio. That way, when you graduate, you have a solid demonstration of your design skills. Of course, you could always just play it yourself in your free time!

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Game Design Masters Degree?

Considering game development and required curriculum, earning a masters in game design could take 2 years depending on the program. Program length may differ by institution.

Masters in Video Game Design Admissions

Game design masters degree admissions are often a two-fold process. First, students are generally required to submit a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, in addition to GRE scores. This demonstrates your ability to handle post-secondary academics.

Second, students are typically requested to submit a creative portfolio. This could include some of the following.

  • Completed Games
  • Websites
  • Computer Information Development


Don’t worry if you’re new to game design! These examples demonstrate your current understanding of design and might not limit you from attending a masters program. Some programs offer additional courses to get you up to speed. Schools vary so check with potential programs for a list of their specific admission requirements.

How Could I Earn My Masters in Game Design?

Masters in game design programs may be offered either on campus or online. Schools understand that modern students may have obstacles when earning their degree. Some have family obligations, a career, or other priorities. Plus, each student may have their own unique learning style and preferences. To accommodate these, schools offer different program formats.

On Campus Format

Masters in game design schools may be a great choice for students looking for a more traditional and interactive graduate experience. In the physical classroom, you could have the chance to apply your skills and knowledge beside your peers. And, those same peers could offer you immediate feedback! Your classmates might be a great resource to test your game and provide a fresh set of eyes. Few developers work alone in the real world. Who knows? You might find a great programming partner that complements your gaming style!

In addition to your peers, schools may also provide access to innovative technologies. For example, classrooms may be equipped with newer hardware like virtual reality headsets. While current costs for students to buy these systems might be prohibitive, your school may have an equipped lab for you to experiment in! This could be a great opportunity to develop for newer tech and get hands on experience.  

Online Format

Since so much of game design takes place digitally, a masters in game design degree lend itself extremely well to the online format. This experience isn’t much different from the on campus, except that you could earn your degree from the comfort of your home. Online masters in game design programs could allow students to tackle coursework at their own pace. This could be great for current professionals because they could log into their classes as their time allows.

And, you might not miss out on the valuable feedback from your fellow students and professors. You could still have access thanks to email and instant messaging. This way, you could connect with students all over the country, or the world! 

Next Steps to Earn a Game Design Masters Degree

To press start on your game design masters degree , browse the sponsored listings on this page. You can also filter your results using the menu bar. For a brief description about a program, click its associated link. While there, click “request info” to receive more details from the school itself. Good luck jumping into the digital world of masters in video game design!

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