Games and Interactive Media (MFA)
Offered by the School of Communication, the Games and Interactive Media (MFA) develops leaders in the creative practice of engagement through interaction. Students bridge divides and use the power of playful engagement to further the goals of other disciplines. Through implementing games in the game lab studio and independent work, the program stretches students' capacities as designers, developers, consumers and administrators.
Admission to the Program
Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for graduate study. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) grade point average in last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. International students whose first language is not English should take the TOEFL examination to demonstrate proficiency in written as well as spoken English. The Graduate Record General Examination (GRE) is required, but may be waived by the division director.
An undergraduate degree in one of the visual media or game design is desirable, but applications from candidates who have majored in other fields will also be considered. Applicants with prior experience in the visual media should submit a portfolio illustrating relevant professional experience. Students without prior experience in film, video, photography, or digital media production or who do not demonstrate through their portfolio a level of minimum proficiency in media production will need to reconcile their deficiencies with additional coursework.
Official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a 1,000-word essay on the applicant's commitment to pursuing graduate study in the program are submitted with the application.
Incoming students must complete the summer "boot camp" courses of COMM-610 Principles of Video Production and COMM-663 Techniques and Aesthetics of Editing. The faculty committee retains discretion over student advancement to fall courses even if they pass either, or both, of the required courses.
Applicants with prior experience in visual media, who wish to be considered for a substitution of the required COMM-610 Principles of Video Production and/or COMM-663 Techniques and Aesthetics of Editing courses, should submit a written request illustrating relevant coursework or professional experience. Those requesting a substitution of either or both of these required courses will be required to take and pass an exam. Students granted substitutions for either, or both, of these required courses take advanced coursework in the field in order to fulfill those academic credits.
Qualified undergraduate students may apply to a combined bachelor's/master's program and utilize up to six credit hours of 500-level or select 600-level cross-listed coursework to satisfy the requirements of both degrees.
- 54 credit hours of approved graduate work
- COMM-610 Principles of Video Production (3) and COMM-663 Techniques and Aesthetics of Editing (3), or other approved courses, completed with grades of B or better
- Capstone Experience: production of a portfolio of original creative work in the areas of scriptwriting, film, or electronic media production under the supervision of a faculty committee and in conjunction with COMM-702 Master's Portfolio Capstone (1-6), with grade of B or better
- Minimum 3.00 GPA maintained during all work toward degree
Boot Camp (6 credit hours)
Complete 6 credit hours from the following, or other approved courses, with grades of B or better:
Required (33 credit hours)
- COMM-602 Digital Media Literacy and Skills (3)
- COMM-620 Topics in Mass Media (1-3) (3 credit hours required)
- COMM-711 Teaching Seminar in Communication (3)
- GAME-601 Game Prototyping (3)
- GAME-605 Games, History, and Society (3)
- GAME-610 Game Research Methods (3)
- GAME-615 Game Development I (3)
- GAME-620 Making Meaningful Games (3)
- GAME-625 Game Development II (3)
- GAME-691 Internship in Game Design (1-6) (6 credit hours required)
Capstone (6 credit hours)
- COMM-702 Master's Portfolio Capstone (1-6) (with grade of B or better)
Electives (9 credit hours)
Complete 9 credit hours from the following, or other graduate level courses approved by program director:
Note: Students are encouraged to work with their advisor to choose a related set of electives that will help cohesively position them for thesis work in a given area.
- COMM-603 Web Portfolio (3)
- COMM-604 Dynamic Content (3)
- COMM-620 Topics in Mass Media (1-3)
- COMM-639 Political Communication (3)
- COMM-642 Strategic Communication Leadership and Management (3)
- COMM-653 Web and Mobile Development (3)
- COMM-654 Motion Graphics and Effects (3)
- COMM-735 Communication Theory (3)
- GAME-596 Selected Topics: Non-Recurring (1-6)
- GAME-600 The Design of Play (3)
- GAME-612 Digital Art Tools and Techniques (3)
- GAME-672 3D Modeling for Games (3)
- GAME-682 3D Animation (3)
- GAME-696 Selected Topics: Non-Recurring (1-6)