9 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Game Design

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Updated: March 11, 2024, Reading time: 16 minutes

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If you’re a skilled and talented art or design student who dreams of combining your traditional art and design skills with the latest and most innovative cutting-edge technologies, then it’s best to consider earning an online master’s degree in game design.

There are many reasons to earn a Master’s in Game Design online. Maybe you’re a video game enthusiast wanting to go full-time in the field. You are not alone. Many interested video game development enthusiasts who want to do more!

Thankfully, there are different master’s programs in Video Game Design today designed for those who plan to become leaders in game development companies or for people who love to create games or stories.


In Game Design, you can earn three types of degrees: Master of Arts, which gives you more freedom in the course electives; Master of Fine Arts, which focuses more on artistic practices; and Master of Science, which concentrates on your choice of electives.

Some of the popular titles of master’s degree programs in game studies include:

An online master’s in game design is designed primarily to allow students to continue working and doing other life commitments while simultaneously earning a program that offers convenience and flexibility to study from their workplaces or at home.


We have listed the country’s best online graduate degree programs for game development, which are designed specifically for students who are looking for affordable and convenient top-rated schools.

Each of these online master’s graduate degree programs in Game Design in this list made it to our top picks based on these factors:

Read our Methodology to find out more about our undergraduate degree ranking process.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

9 of the Best Online Master’s in Game Design Programs

9 of the Best Online Master's in Game Design Programs

Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, California

Master of Fine Arts in Game Development

The MFA Game Development program at the Academy of Art University is perfect for students who wish to further their careers by synthesizing design fundamentals and traditional art with today’s technologies.

The Academy of Art University is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design-accredited. It also received its regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 2007.

Standout Features:

This online program is a perfect choice for a future game designer because students will engage in various communities outside the classroom through study abroad programs, internship opportunities, student interest clubs, and athletics, as well as civic, collaborative, and pro bono projects.

Did you know?

The Academy of Art University is still one of the country’s biggest private art and design schools in the US.

Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University

Charles, MO

Online Master of Arts in Game Design

Lindenwood University offers an online master’s degree in game design for post-graduate students who wish to explore more advanced degrees and topics in game design and development.

Lindenwood University is Higher Learning Commission-approved.

Standout Features:

Students have the chance to earn their graduate degree in game design in just one thru Lindenwood University’s fast-track program. This is a flexible program that requires 30 credit hours and allows students to combine traditional classroom and online courses in a schedule that works for them.

However, students who will consider the Fast Track option must hold an undergraduate degree in a field of specialization or any related area with extensive coursework. They should also have a 3.5 GPA in their coursework and must submit GRE test results.

Did you know?

Lindenwood University offers an extensive range of scholarships to support student success. According to the NCES or National Center for Educational Statistics, 88% of the total school population, both in undergraduate and graduate programs, at Lindenwood receive scholarships.

Full Sail University

Full Sail University

Winter Park, FL

Online Master of Science in Game Design

This is an online master’s degree with coursework that focuses on project management, production, design, and user experience research.

This graduate education has course highlights, including:

Full Sail University Winter Park is Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Collegesa-approved.

Standout Features:

Project Lunchbox, a Full Sail program, is offered at the school and is designed to provide students with the most powerful technologies to help them create their projects. The student’s multimedia creations, files, and coursework, can easily be accessed any time of the day.

Did you know?

Both undergraduate and graduate programs at Full Sail University Winter Park are offered at a faster pace than conventional schools so that students can easily adapt to the nature of their chosen industries. They will learn more in a shorter period, thus allowing them to start out their professional path earlier.

DePaul University

DePaul University - College of Computing and Digital Media

Chicago, Illinois

Online Master of Science in Game Programming

The online master’s in Game Programming at DePaul University is ideal for those who are interested in being adept in game development programming at the highest level. This includes computer graphics, real-time computing for game studios, and professional retooling for the game industry.

DePaul University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Standout Features:

This game programming curriculum is designed to address the current needs of the industry. Specialized and hands-on experience in software development, software methodologies, and parallel computing architecture. All these will give students a huge competitive edge in today’s job market.

Did you know?

DePaul University introduces the DePaul Esports Gaming Center open to all DePaul students. This is a perfect place for students to flex their competitive edge in different esports titles. Whether they are seasoned veterans or just new players, the center is where they can find all esports-related games.

Savannah College of Art and Design


Savannah, GA

Online MA in Interactive Design and Game Development; Online MFA in Interactive Design and Game Development

Savannah College of Art and Design, a nationally renowned for its degree programs related to creativity and the arts. Through its graduate-level eLearning degrees, it offers two game design master’s programs: the Master of Arts in Interactive Design & Game Development, and the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interactive Design and Game Development.

Savannah College of Art and Design is Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges-recognized.

Standout Features:

Students have the freedom to choose their coursework within the curriculum according to their career goals and personal interests. This can be achieved through a capstone project.

Did you know?

Savannah College of Art and Design offers GRADpath@SCAD, a program that allows incoming freshmen to earn their undergraduate and graduate programs in a continuous and accelerated program of study. By using summer quarters, students in this program can complete a BFA and MA in just four years, or a BFA and MFA in just five.

University of Advancing Technology

University of Advancing Technology

Tempe, Arizona

Online Master of Science – Game Production and Management

The University of Advancing Technology offers an online MS in Game Production and Management primarily dedicated to helping graduate students develop and hone their management skill sets that set them apart from others.

The University of Advancing Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Standout Features:

This program provides immersion in an innovative culture and intellectual atmosphere where multidisciplinary minds design and thrive and where innovation is a must for each student’s educational goals.

Did you know?

Through skill-based and innovative learning modules, the University of Advancing Technology came up with a program that allows graduate students to take modules toward a degree. They can take these modules independently, as a certificate, or combined with more modules to afford them the degree options most suited to their passion.

University of Missouri-Columbia

University of Missouri - Online

Columbia, Missouri

Online Master of Science in Learning Technologies and Design

This online master’s degree is designed to help students develop the skills and knowledge usually needed to design learning systems.

The University of Missouri-Columbia is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Standout Features:

This online course requires 30 credit hours to complete. Federal financial aid is also available, and military and veteran students are eligible for a 10% reduced rate on their base tuition.

Did you know?

The University of Missouri System is a multi-billion enterprise with a massive statewide reach, composed of four universities, an extension division, and a health system, together with numerous business incubators, research parks, affiliates, health centers, and more.

University of Southern California

University of Southern California - Viterbi

Los Angeles, CA

MS in Computer Science – Game Development

The University of Southern California is a Western Association of Schools and Colleges-approved institution.

Standout Features:

For international students, this online master’s program will qualify them for the OPT STEM extension, a program where students are eligible for a 24-month extension of their work authorization, provided that they have earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctoral degree in a STEM field.

Did you know?

Since 1912, USC has been the only institution in the world to have a gold medalist athlete in every Summer Olympiad. The school excels in nearly all aspects of college, from community involvement to sports and international relations.

Brandeis University

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

Online Master of Software Engineering

Students who are interested in game design should understand that software engineering is the foundation of becoming a great game designer. At Brandeis University, their 30-credit online master of software engineering program is designed to help students keep up with the ever-constant changes in the software engineering sector.

Brandeis University New England Commission on Higher Education or NECHE-accredited.

Standout Features:

Students in this master’s degree have the chance to declare a concentration in cybersecurity using their chosen elective courses.

Did you know?

Brandeis University is not the first institution to be the home of its present location. The place was the home of Middlesex University, a medical and veterinary school. Also, the school used to have a castle until it was completely renovated in 2016.

Careers in Game Design Master Degree Holders

With a master’s degree in game design, your goal, obviously, is to secure a job as a game designer. However, like with most careers, there are various levels you need to move through before finally reaching the top. Below are some of the possible jobs you will qualify for if you hold a master’s degree in game design.

Best Grad Schools with Online Master's in Game Design - fact

Common Courses Required in a Master’s Degree in Game Design and Development

Level Design: Students will learn this course by studying example games throughout history and by creating their level designs. By assessing different game levels from different various genres, students can easily discern what makes a successful level design.

Virtual World Building: This course provides students an extensive knowledge of game design; from materials to texture to common methodologies. They will use various methods in building an entire virtual world as they work within a game engine.

Computer Animation: This is where students will gain more skills in technical programming. They will learn how to properly use different algorithms usually used in the gaming industry. Students will also work on behavioral systems and programming motion within a game setting.

User Experience Design: When developing games, it’s crucial to always keep the user experience in mind. Thus, students in game design and development should learn how they can implement human-centered designs. They should learn how to assess how user-friendly a product is and also focus on various human-centered design strategies.

Key Takeaways

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