Master of Fine Arts Game Design

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. We are a 2021 Top Game Design School according to both The Princeton Review and Animation Career Review.

Student Showcases

girl using AR set

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.

Game Design Student Reel

DePaul CDM Game Student Reel 
  • Brian Schrank

    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.

  • Lien Tran

    Lien is an award-winning designer who has serious fun breaking down real-world complexity into interactive systems, including social justice. Her design portfolio includes online and game-based tools for organizations such as Open Society Foundations, World Bank, and United Nations and a variety of interactive and game-based tools with collaborators in health education, human rights law, and geography/GIS.

  • Mike DeAnda

    In his research, Mike studies the communication of queer lived experiences and modes of knowledge production through games. He uses game design as research praxis, and designs games that comment on structures of gender and sexuality, envisioning possible interventions to the social injustices uncovered through his research

  • Caleb Foss

    Caleb is a media artist whose work combines a spectrum of old and new media devices with a focus on how their mechanics reflect and impact social and political structures. Drawing from a fascination with amusement park rides and magic tricks, these projects take an imaginative approach to everyday technologies.

students using AR 

Virtual and Augmented Design Lab

Our Virtual and Augmented Design 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.

Tea and Consequenes logo  

Tea & Consequences

Game Designer in Residence Anna Anthropy hosts this semi-monthly board game tea social, open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

busy downtown Chicago near DePaul CDM campus  

Indie City Games

This monthly symposium is held at DePaul. Local game professionals from industry give talks, share games in development, and critique each other’s work.

visitors engaging in a fun interaction at an exhibit 

Student and Faculty Exhibitions

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.


Japan Study Abroad

This biennial trip takes students to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagoya on tours of Japanese game and animation studios, galleries, and cultural sites.

three students around a table working 

DePaul Originals

DePaul Originals is a game development studio located on our Loop campus. Its focus is the production of high quality game experiences that are delivered on commercial platforms.

Application Deadlines

Enrollment QuarterDomestic Student DeadlineInternational Student Deadline
Fall (Priority Deadline)December 15December 15
Fall (Final Deadline)June 15June 15

Admission Process

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.

Admission Requirements

Contact Graduate Admission

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