Best Online Master’s in Game Development & Design

Find top-ranked online master’s in game development degree programs to help students advance in their current careers or take on new roles as computer network architects, multimedia animators, game developers, and graphic designers.

Best Online Master’s in Game Development & Design

Frequently Asked Questions About Game Development Degrees

How long does it take to get a master’s in game development?

In as few as two years, students can earn a master’s degree in game development online or on campus. Consisting of about 30-45 credits, this degree challenges students to mix innovation, technology, and theory.

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What will I learn while getting a master’s in game development?

Through courses like 3D graphics and renderings, game engine development, and game design workshops, students will be able to explore the creative elements of game design while also deepening their understanding of computer programming and engineering. Some programs may also require students to complete a portfolio or capstone project as a way to showcase their technical skills and creativity.

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What can I do with a master’s in game development?

Graduates from this program can advance in their current careers or take on new roles as computer network architects, multimedia animators, game developers, and graphic designers.

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Learn more about what you can do with a master’s in game design.

Best Online Master's in Game Development Degree Programs

How do we determine the best online game development master's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for a inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Online Master’s in Game Development / Design Degree Programs

  1. #1

    DePaul University

    #483 institution's historical influence
    #308 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    19K

    Chicago, IL

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Software Engineering

    Concentrations

    • Entrepreneurship And Technology Leadership
    • Real Time Game Systems
    • Software Architecture
    • Software Development
    • Required Credits: 52
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Game Programming
    • Required Credits: 52
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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  2. #2

    Savannah College of Art and Design

    #2150 institution's historical influence
    #945 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/24

    Savannah, GA

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Arts

    Concentrations

    • Interactive Design & Game Development
    • Required Credits: 45
    • Completion time: 6 months
    • Format: Online
    MFA in Arts

    Concentrations

    • Interactive Design & Game Development
    • Required Credits: 90
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    University of Houston–Victoria

    #5385 institution's historical influence
    #612 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1009/18

    Victoria, TX

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Interdisciplinary Studies

    Concentrations

    • Digital Gaming
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Lindenwood University

    #2487 institution's historical influence
    #1325 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/22

    Saint Charles, MO

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    Online Degrees

    MA in Game Design
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

    #3099 institution's historical influence
    #574 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    Bloomsburg, PA

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    Online Degrees

    MS in Instructional Design and Technology

    Concentrations

    • Learning Experience Designer
    • Instructional Technology Specialist
    • eLearning Specialist Certificate
    • Instructional Game Design Certificate
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And in many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Prospective Grad Students