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M.A. Game Design

Turn your game ideas into reality. Develop your own playable game prototype while learning design, theory and production to deepen your game design knowledge with real-world application.

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Understand the gaming world from the inside out. WVU’s online Master of Arts in Game Design will level up your conceptual thinking, production knowledge and project management skills. You’ll craft a playable game prototype as part of your thesis, showcasing your game design skills to potential employers.

10 Online Courses

You'll take 10 fully online asynchronous courses and there are zero in-person commitments. Tailor your schedule to balance work, life and school. Plus, it’s completable in one year.

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You’ll have the option of a three-day, in-person game jam where you’ll meet your fellow classmates, attend industry talks and build a game with your peers.


You’ll graduate with a fully developed game that you’ll be able to add to your portfolio and show future employers you know you’re a master at game design.

Total cost < $23k

It's a world-class program taught by leading experts at half average cost of our competitors.

Why WVU?

Ready to turn your game ideas into reality? Our Master of Arts in Game Design will equip you with the skills and experience to become a leader in the industry while providing the flexibility of online learning. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, you'll have access to top-notch academic training and professional skill development.

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What You'll Learn

Students who earn the Master of Arts in Game Design will develop the following:

  • The ability to analyze the structure of a game to address theory, narrative, character, environment, and sound elements.
  • The ability to produce functional game prototypes based on theoretical insight, factual observation, iterative processes, and a game design document.
  • The ability to develop executive leadership, project management, and team management abilities to organize and manage a production pipeline in a remote team-based environment.
  • The ability to develop competence in usability testing for game quality control.

Game Design Focused Curriculum

To earn your Master of Arts in Game Design, you will take 10 courses in topics ranging from game theory to project launch.

Game Design

This course breaks down the building blocks of game environments, teaching you how to design interactions that keep players hooked. You'll master core skills like concepting, prototyping, pitching your ideas and identifying your target audience. Plus, learn practical skills like iterating on your designs and ensuring top-notch quality in your finished games.

Game Theory

This course dives deeper, exploring games as cultural artifacts with rich storytelling, design, and immersive experiences. We'll analyze player behavior and delve into research methods to understand the impact of games. Get ready to explore visual storytelling techniques, historical contexts (from classics to online worlds) and frameworks for dissecting the magic of games across disciplines.

Game Production

This course takes your game ideas and turns them into reality. Learn the coding, game programming and audio production skills needed to bring your game to life. You'll get hands-on experience using multiple game engines as you work through real-world development projects. You’ll bridge the gap between theory and practice and be equipped with the skills to make your dream game.

Project Launch

This course is the first step to turning your thesis concept into a playable prototype. You'll follow your game development plan, building a digital game and incorporating faculty feedback. Get ready to showcase your skills by presenting your finished game at a game conference – an exciting chance to impress the industry!

Let's Chat

We're here for you every step of the way ... we'll answer your questions, help with your applications for graduate school and financial support, schedule your classes, provide tech support, welcome you for graduation and keep in touch once you cross the finish line.

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Application Steps

  • STEP 01

    Know what you need to apply.

    IIn order to pursue WVU's master's degree in Game Design, you must have completed a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited institution. As part of the West Virginia University Graduate Application, you'll submit a personal statement, résumé and two letters of recommendation. The personal statement is a short essay outlining professional preferences, goals, and aspirations. You will also submit your official academic transcripts. The GRE/GMAT is not required for admission. However, International students must provide TOEFL or IELTS Scores. You will also submit your portfolio to the WVU School of Art & Design, which will include up to 5 representative samples of your work.

  • STEP 02

    Request official transcripts.

    Academic transcript requests can sometimes get delayed, so it's best to go ahead and get the ball rolling! Contact your prior academic institution(s) and request that official academic transcripts be sent (via postal mail or electronic delivery) directly to:
    WVU Office of Graduate Admissions
    One Waterfront Place
    PO Box 6510
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6510
    Phone: 304-293-2121

    NOTE: If you earned your Bachelor's degree at WVU, you do not need to request these transcripts as they are already on file.

  • STEP 03

    Login to the application portal.

    Login to the WVU Graduate Admissions portal. You don't have to complete your application all at once - use this login anytime to continue the app or submit additional materials.

    NOTE: If you are a current WVU student, you should create a new account as this site does not use your WVU login credentials.

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