You are here: American University Game Center Master of Arts Degree Requirements

Program at a Glance

Offered Part-Time
Start Date
Late August or Early January
2 Years
Credit Hours
36 Credits
Calculate based on current cost per credit hour
Application Requirements
Statement of purpose
Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institution
Two letters of recommendation
Portfolio (optional)
How to Apply

The catalog copy below including program and application requirements are updated once per year. For clarification and questions, email

Highlighted Courses


This course develops foundations in theory and skills in understanding the social sciences of play. Students analyze, critique, and design interactive experience and games. The understanding and design of fun and play is informed by a variety of disciplines that include psychology, art, and science. Offered to undergraduates and graduates in GAME-550 and graduates only in GAME-600. 

Offered: Spring Credits: 3


This course serves as an introduction to game production and develops theoretical foundations, methods, and skills of building games. Students learn how contemporary computer games are constructed, applying standard techniques for developing ideas, testing prototypes, identifying assets, communicating design, and developing a small scale playable demo.

Restriction: Game Design (MA), Film & Media Arts (MA) or Film and Electronic Media (MFA)

Credits: 3


This course provides a comprehensive survey of the intersection of play, games, and society and lays a foundation for designing, developing, and evaluating games used for social impact, education, or other purpose-driven goals. The course combines academic readings from a variety of disciplines and encourages students to embrace an interdisciplinary view of the topic.

Restriction: Game Design (MA), Film and Media Arts (MA), Film and Electronic Media (MFA)

Offered: Fall Credits: 3


This course facilitates a thorough understanding of research techniques, best practices, and evaluation for purpose-driven game design. Through critical reading of late-breaking research, discussion, and analysis, students learn to accurately assess the efficacy of a game design, construct design play studies, and assess the value of specific research claims. Students also design their own study to be evaluated by their peers. 

Restriction: Game Design (MA)
Offered: Spring Credits: 3


Students create 2D digital art in a variety of styles and practice techniques for contemporary digital art making with professional art tools and software. Work is integrated into graphic presentations such as posters, videos, and interactive environments. Students are exposed to a variety of tools and develop the ability to identify solutions that best meet needs. 

Offered: Spring Credits: 3


This course introduces students to computer game development, techniques, implementation, and programming. While much of the course focuses on technical and programming skills including key game algorithms, artificial intelligence, graphics, and interface design, students are also exposed to the artistic and production-oriented aspects of game development. Working in small groups, students design and develop a game. 

Restriction: Game Design (MA)
Offered: Spring Credits: 3


The focus of this course is the construction and evaluation of effective argument through play. Students apply foundations of game design and effective arguments construction. Students identify audience, medium, distribution, and production as they design and develop two games of rhetoric. 

Prerequisite: GAME-605 and GAME-615
Offered: Fall Credits: 3


Advanced Game Development (3) Advanced game development, including procedural content generation. This course gives students the tools and inspiration to create new types of computer games. The course exposes students to problems typically faced in game development and then explores solutions. Students create two prototypes and a final project employing emerging practices in game development. 

Prerequisite: GAME-615
Offered: Fall Credits: 3


Students create 3D graphics environments and objects and practice specific techniques for contemporary digital art making. Work is integrated into graphic presentations such as posters, videos, and interactive environments. Students are exposed to a variety of 3D tools and develop the ability to identify software solutions that best meet needs. 

Offered: Spring Credits: 3


In this course students utilize principles of animation in 3D art to create 3D characters and bring them to life within 3D games, films, and other productions. Through a series of character modeling and animation projects, students learn not only professional-level animation software, but also the workflow for 3D character creation and animation. 

Prerequisite: GAME-612
Offered: Fall Credits: