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    Jun 23, 2024  
American University Catalog 2015-2016 
American University Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Game Design (MA) [SOC]

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Game Design

Offered jointly by the School of Communication  and the College of Arts and Sciences , the Master of Arts in Game Design is a unique, multi-disciplinary 36-credit hour program focused on game theory, game design and game engagement mechanics intended to influence non-game contexts and challenges. The program is designed to develop the intellectual capacity of students as designers, developers, consumers, and games administrators. Beyond traditional game design and development, students learn to tailor play design for distinct education purposes.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the last 60 hours. Applications will be submitted to the School of Communication and reviewed jointly by SOC and CAS, with both schools agreeing on student admission. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required. International students whose first language is not English are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to demonstrate proficiency in written as well as spoken English. Previous gaming experience is not required, but all students must meet baseline competencies in specified technical areas as determined by the program director. Students who do not meet such competencies will be required to take a non-credit summer course with a separate fee. The program director will determine if the student has met the baseline competencies after the summer course and will make a determination about whether the student will be allowed to matriculate. All applicants must submit a 1,000-word essay on the applicant’s commitment to pursuing study in the program, and two letters of reference evaluating academic performance, professional experience, and suitability for graduate study in game design. If available, a portfolio or previous work may be submitted.

A limited number of graduate fellowships and assistantships are awarded on the basis of merit as well as school and program needs.

Degree Requirements

  • 36 credit hours of approved graduate coursework with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 and a grade of B or better in each of the required courses.
    • Requests for the transfer of a maximum of six graduate credit hours will be considered in exceptional cases.
  • Capstone experience: COMM-702 Master’s Portfolio Capstone  (6) with a grade of B or better.

Course Requirements

Electives (9 credit hours)

9 credit hours in additional graduate-level courses as approved by the program director. Students may build their own concentration with advisor and director approval. Examples of concentrations include:

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