The MFA in Game Design is for creative visionaries intent on producing socially, culturally, and emotionally substantial work. The degree prepares students to advance the frontier of games by exploring emerging theories and applying them to practice. The games students create throughout their degree will be challenged by peers and faculty in critiques. Graduates of the program will be equipped to define and realize their authentic, thriving professional lives. An MFA is also a terminal degree that opens opportunities to teach at the university level and enter an academic tenure-track career.
DePaul’s game design programs are nationally recognized.
The Princeton Review ranked our graduate program #17 on its list of the Top 25 Graduate Schools to Study Game Design in 2018, and
Animation Career Review ranked DePaul #7 nationally in their Top 50 Game Design Schools of 2018.
MFA Game Design students showcase their games that advance the medium including VR, tabletop, and digital games at the
Chicago Toy and Game Fair. Additionally, there are two annual events—a public showcase and a private showcase for industry professionals—where students exhibit games they’ve developed as thesis projects.
Brian is the author of
Avant-garde Videogames: Playing with Technoculture, and the director of the Virtual and Augmented Design Lab. Most recently, he co-curated the “Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture” exhibit at the Chicago Design Museum.
Doris is a game designer, researcher, and play aficionado who directs the Deep Games Lab. Her work and research focuses primarily on games that reflect the human experience and can be used for mental health activism.
Peter’s research focuses on the ways that players make sense of and interpret games. He has worked on several large-scale games with funding from the MacArthur Foundation and NSF, and his work has appeared in
Games & Culture,
The American Journal of Play, and
Analog Game Studies.
Allen is the former Lead Designer and Game Director at Wideload Games/Disney Interactive Studios. He is a faculty mentor for the Interdisciplinary Design program, a partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority.
Our newest game lab VAD hosts classes and projects to research and develop experimental games on emerging platforms. Current lab works includes AR development with Apple pushing the affordances of the ARKit on iPhone, and a VR game project exploring deformable virtual surfaces via hand and foot trackers.
Game Designer in Residence Anna Anthropy hosts this semi-monthly board game tea social, open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
This monthly symposium is held at DePaul. Local game professionals from industry give talks, share games in development, and critique each other’s work.
Game Design students and faculty participate in a wide range of exhibitions, including “Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture” at the Chicago Design Museum, which ran from October 2017-March 2018.
This biennial trip takes students to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagoya on tours of Japanese game and animation studios, galleries, and cultural sites.
Housed in CDM, the Deep Games Laboratory focuses on the design, research, and assessment of games that explore the human experience. Students and faculty in the lab create games that reflect social struggles.
The graduate application process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts and submitting any supplemental material (e.g., letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.). To learn more about your program specific requirements, visit our
Graduate Admission page.
Contact Graduate Admission
Tuition & Financial Aid