Design and Development of Digital Games MA

Master of Arts in Design and Development of Digital Games


The M.A. program in Design and Development of Digital Games is a 32-33 point program that prepares students to design, develop, implement and evaluate digital games and closely related technologies (such as mobile apps, interactive media, virtual and augmented reality) for learning and social impact in both formal and informal educational settings. This program is unique in that the curriculum is structured to examine game design from a combination of social, cultural, cognitive, and affective perspectives. Students who are studying the design and development of games for education as a concentration need the degree to reflect this area of study, which is not only optimal but necessary for their intended goals.

Games and closely related technologies are increasingly important for learning and for professional education and training in schools, medicine, business, entertainment, and other domains.  Rapid changes in these technologies are reshaping the ways we create, evaluate, reflect, reason, and learn. The interdisciplinary nature of game design has led to more creative approaches in teaching and learning in both informal learning contexts (such as museums and homes) and formal learning contexts (classrooms, schools, and workplaces). 

The skills involved in designing, developing and studying games are relevant to a wide variety of careers, for instance: instructional design, coding, web and app development, project management, user experience (UX) design, illustration, and 3D modeling, and so on.  Whether you wish to pursue a career specifically in games (commercial or educational game design) or want to use games as a means to other endeavors, this program is an exciting and modern platform for your career journey.

Courses in the M.A. degree program provide a solid foundation in both theoretical and practical aspects to the design of educational technology (of which games are a part), which are very relevant to the design of games that target learning—what are often called educational games. Similarly, the development of educational (or other) games depends upon the ability to program such games, or, at very least, to have enough programming knowledge to be able to communicate appropriately with programmers who will develop games based on design specifications. Therefore, courses on game development, for example, complement the required programming course sequences that teach programming skills that can be applied to games.



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Admissions Information

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 32
  • Entry Terms: Spring/Summer/Fall

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): Rolling
* For details about rolling deadlines, visit our admission deadlines page.

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • None

Course Requirements

Master of Arts in Design and Development of Digital Games

Design and Development of Digital Games (TEDG)

The M.A. program in Design and Development of Digital Games is a 32-33 point program that prepares students to design, develop, implement and evaluate digital games and closely related technologies (such as mobile apps, interactive media, virtual and augmented reality) for learning and social impact in both formal and informal educational settings. This program is unique in that the curriculum is structured to examine game design from a combination of social, cultural, cognitive, and affective perspectives. Students who are studying the design and development of games for education as a concentration need the degree to reflect this area of study, which is not only optimal but necessary for their intended goals.

Games and closely related technologies are increasingly important for learning and for professional education and training in schools, medicine, business, entertainment, and other domains.  Rapid changes in these technologies are reshaping the ways we create, evaluate, reflect, reason, and learn. The interdisciplinary nature of game design has led to more creative approaches in teaching and learning in both informal learning contexts (such as museums and homes) and formal learning contexts (classrooms, schools, and workplaces). 

The skills involved in designing, developing and studying games are relevant to a wide variety of careers, for instance: instructional design, coding, web and app development, project management, user experience (UX) design, illustration, and 3D modeling, and so on.  Whether you wish to pursue a career specifically in games (commercial or educational game design) or want to use games as a means to other endeavors, this program is an exciting and modern platform for your career journey.

Courses in the M.A. degree program provide a solid foundation in both theoretical and practical aspects to the design of educational technology (of which games are a part), which are very relevant to the design of games that target learning—what are often called educational games. Similarly, the development of educational (or other) games depends upon the ability to program such games, or, at very least, to have enough programming knowledge to be able to communicate appropriately with programmers who will develop games based on design specifications. Therefore, courses on game development, for example, complement the required programming course sequences that teach programming skills that can be applied to games.


Minimum Point Requirement

A minimum of 32 points of coursework is required for completion of the degree. Course credits from previous, non-Teachers College work cannot be transferred in to count toward the 32 points required for the M.A. degree.

Required Core Courses (10 points)

  • Required courses:
    • MSTU 4000: Core Seminar (1 point)
    • MSTU 4088 Introduction to Learning Sciences and Educational Technology (3 points)
    • MSTU 4083: Instructional Design of Educational Technology (3 points)
  • For the remaining points, choose between:
    • MSTU 4020: Social and Communicative Aspects of ICTs (3 points)
    • MSTU 4005: Equity, Ethics and Social Issues (3 points)
      OR
      MSTU 4504: Ethical Issues in Technology Design (3 points)

Requirements in the Major Area (15 points)

  • 6 points of a programming course sequence:
    • MSTU 4031: Object-Oriented Theory and Programming I (3 points) AND MSTU 5031: Object-Oriented Theory and Programming II (3 points)
      OR
      MSTU 5003: Theory and Programming of Interactive Media I (3 points) AND MSTU 5013: Theory and Programming of Interactive Media II (3 points)
    • Other programming courses approved by academic adviser
  • For the remaining 9 points, choose any combination of the following courses:
    • MSTU 4039: Game Design Fundamentals: Theory and Practice of Game Design (3 points)
    • MSTU 4040: Mobile Learning (3 points)
    • MSTU 5000: Virtual, Augmented, Mixed Reality and Games as Learning Tools (3 points)
    • MSTU 5015: Research/Programming in Serious Games (3 points)
    • MSTU 6000: Advanced Design of Educational Games (3 points)

Elective Courses (1-3 points)

1-3 points of additional MSTU courses.

Breadth Requirement: (6-9 points)

All students must complete a minimum of 6 points at Teachers College outside of the Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design Program (that is, courses with a prefix other than MSTU).

Integrative M.A. Project

Candidates for the M.A. degree are expected to culminate their work with an integrative project. Projects vary but share the common following features:

  • Empirically based and grounded in the research literature
  • Address a problem or phenomenon of the student's interest and area of study
  • Provide a solution to the problem

Some examples include:

  • Design of a new game, app, virtual reality experience or other form of interactive media
  • Case study analysis of a trend in the field of game-based learning
  • Development of new models, curriculum, and/or lessons integrating technology
  • On-site field study and recommendations for teachers

Specifics of the integrative project are determined through discussions with the students' advisors.

For students completing only the M.A. degree, this project should be related to their career goals and should provide tangible evidence of their skills and strengths.

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