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Game Design M.A.

JAN. 9, 2023

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Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours

Become a Professional Game Designer

The Master of Arts degree in Game Design, offered by the College of Creative Arts, is for emerging game designers who would like to expand and build upon their conceptual, production, and project management skills, as well as to further their professional credentials. You will learn game design, game theory, and game production, and will develop a specialized, advanced set of skills. All courses are online, except for an optional three-day residency that brings all students and faculty together for a dynamic games conference and game jam. For the capstone project, each student develops a functional and playable game prototype. Graduates are qualified for employment with game development companies, and a wide range of employers from banks to educational software developers.

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Learning Formats

Online Courses

Start Date

January 9, 2023
August 16, 2023

Curriculum developed and taught by faculty from

College of Creative Arts

Degree Awarded: Master of Arts in Game Design

Program Details

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The MA in Game Design is a 30-credit program for emerging game designers seeking to expand and build upon their conceptual, production, and project management skills, as well as to further their professional credentials. With half the credits dedicated to the conception and creation of the capstone game project there is a strong emphasis on each student graduating with a strong portfolio of work.

The curriculum includes a 3-course foundational sequence that addresses game design, game theory and game production. In addition, a series of 1-credit micro-courses (ART 507 Focus Module) allows each candidate to advance a specialized skill set. All courses are only available online, however an optional campus residency component (ART 506 Residency) brings all students and faculty together for a dynamic games conference and game jam.

Early in the degree course sequence a capstone project is conceived and planned out for which the candidate designs and develops a functional and playable game prototype, in order to complete the degree. For the capstone project each candidate is simultaneously the director of their project while working in a production role in their specialization for a peer’s capstone project. The final requirement of the program is that each student present their capstone game project.

Our selective enrollment ensures regular individual contact with dedicated, diverse faculty who are committed to a sustained professional exchange with each student. Students must be able to apply and communicate a diverse body of knowledge of historical, cultural, contemporary, and aesthetic issues to their professional practice. Students are expected to articulate and defend their capstone project proposal and final prototype within the context of the contemporary game field.

Currently only 14% of employees in this industry have advanced degrees, consequently a master’s degree in Game Design will give a graduate a competitive edge for promotion and advancement. In addition, upon program completion the graduate will have a completed game prototype that demonstrates their capabilities to show to a future employer.

Graduates are qualified for employment with large game development companies such as Tencent, Sony, Microsoft, and Apple, as well as smaller companies such as Citadel Studios, GSN Games, and Little Arms Studios. Graduates are also qualified to work in the gamification industry which has a wide range of employers from banks to educational software developers.

Curriculum Program Website


Graduate Application Process

Step 1
Apply online

  • Upload your transcripts, resume, and letter of intent
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Pay application fee

Step 2
Submit your portfolio to the WVU School of Art & Design

Portfolio includes up to 5 representative samples of your work with a total viewing duration of no longer than 60 minutes, including interactive projects, game prototypes, game components, graphic imagery, virtual environments, virtual character studies, photographs, or video documentation of the same.

Applicants may be required to take additional course work after careful review of undergraduate transcripts.

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Estimated Tuition and Fees

Game Design M.A. requires 30 credit hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $667.

Total Degree Cost

$20,010 – Residents and Non-Residents

Cost Breakdown by Credit Hours

Credits Cost
1 $667
3 $2,001
6 $4,002
9 $6,003

Meet Kelly Legg

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Phone: (304) 293-0112
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“I am a graduate of the WVU John Chambers School of Business and Economics with a degree in business administration. I am here to service, support and simplify the enrollment process. Our online programs are the perfect opportunity for working individuals to pursue another degree.”

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Financial Aid

WVU provides a comprehensive approach to helping you finance your education. Learn more by visiting the Student Financial Services website.

Students are encouraged to:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by the March 1 deadline to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827; and
  • Check with your employer to see if they provide financial support for earning your graduate.

Career Paths

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Master of Arts degree in Game Design may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.

Video Game Designer
Projected Growth: 8% or higher *Bright Outlook

Special Effects Artist and Animator
Projected Growth: 3-4%

Software Developer
Projected Growth: 8% or higher *Bright Outlook

Producer and Director
Projected Growth: 8% or higher *Bright Outlook

Art Professor
Projected Growth: 5-7% *Bright Outlook

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

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