Game Development (MFA)

Game Development (MFA)

The MFA Game Development program allows students to further their careers by synthesizing traditional art and design fundamentals with today’s groundbreaking technologies. Students level up their skill through hands-on prototyping of game mechanics and art creation, followed by creating a thesis project and an industry-quality portfolio.


Master of Arts (MFA) Degree

Available Online

Major Classes

GAM 601 Elements of Video Games Major/3
GAM 602 Game Design Principles Major/3
GAM 605 Scripting for Video Games 1 Major/3
GAM 606 Rapid Game Development Major/3
GAM 607 Action Adventure and RPG Level Design Major/3
GAM 608 Drawing Bootcamp for Games: The Human Figure Major/3
GAM 631 Thesis Project Preparation Major/3
GAM 651 Prototype Game Development Major/3
GAM 655 Scripting for Games 2 Major/3
GAM 778 Professional Portfolio and Career Development Major/3


Unit Requirements

Major Coursework Units
Major 30
Directed Study 18
Electives 6
Graduate Liberal Arts 9
Total 63

Degree Requirements


  • Successful completion of Final Thesis Project.
  • Minimum grade of C in all required 63 units.
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and the following Academic Study requirements:
    1 Art Historical Awareness & Aesthetic Sensitivity course
    1 Cross Cultural Understanding course

Additional Information

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

MFA Thesis Project

  • Present an original thesis concept worthy of the MFA degree
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of the thesis project
  • Create a thesis project that demonstrates a professional-level achievement in specialty

Visual Communication

  • Critically evaluate the aesthetics, meaning and effect of imagery


  • Demonstrate mastery of the tools and technology related to area of specialty

Presentation Skills

  • Present their ideas and solutions in a visually compelling cogent manner using industry standard vocabulary and professional quality presentation materials

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

  • Create project schedules and milestones and manage resources to meet project goals
  • Research and generate workable solutions under a deadline

Professional Readiness

  • Produce a professional demo reel or portfolio which meets industry standards
  • Work cooperatively and effectively in a production environment

Specialty Skills: Game & Level Design

  • Communicate abstract ideas using game design documents and 2D maps
  • Create playable games with 3D technology

Specialty Skills: Environment Modeling

  • Translate visual research and reference to create 3D environments in which models, texture and light demonstrate a thorough understanding of organic, architectural, and industrial form

Specialty Skills: Character Modeling

  • Translate visual research and reference to create, sculpt, model and texture in three dimensions that demonstrate a thorough understanding of human, zoological anatomy, and appropriate for the artistic style of the project

Specialty Skills: Concept

  • Follow an industry-standard process, from thumbnails through final render to generate concept designs
  • Apply visual research to Concept art
  • Demonstrate an understanding of movement, proportion, and functionality of designs through effective orthographic or perspective drawings

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
  8. Engage with a variety of communities beyond the classroom through internship opportunities, study abroad programs, athletics, student interest clubs as well as collaborative, civic and pro bono projects.

*Semester plans are subject to change at any time. Semester breakdowns displayed are suggested and additional options are available to help customize your educational experience. Speak to an admissions or student services representative for more information. Please see our catalog for more details at:

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