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Academic programs

College of Arts, Media and Design

Master of Science in Game Science and Design

Master’s Degree

Focusing on the science of game development, in this Northeastern University graduate program you’ll learn the design and technological skills needed to build games for multiple platforms. You’ll tap into the San Francisco Bay Area’s technological and creative energy as you develop a deep understanding of the playability and analytics that make products successful in an increasingly competitive marketplace.


Oakland, California




2 years



Program overview

A rapidly expanding field dependent on diverse technology and collaborative practices, the game industry needs professionals with multidisciplinary skill sets who can meld deep knowledge of development, evaluation methods, and player behavior and psychology. Jointly offered by Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media and Design and Khoury College of Computer Sciences, the Master of Science (MS) in Game Science and Design is a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary program that prepares you to meet this need by weaving together science and design.

Our program gives you a comprehensive understanding of how successful game products for varying platforms are created in a player-centric environment. You’ll focus on the science of game development, learn the design and technological skills needed to build games, and dive into the playability and analytics that make products successful in a competitive market. You’ll also reinforce core business competencies such as systems thinking, teamwork, and project management.

Unique features
  • Graduate with multidisciplinary skills including analytics, systems thinking, entrepreneurial mindset, teamwork, time management, and project management.
  • You’ll have an advisor who will help you select an academic pathway with a cohesive set of electives to support your career goals.
  • This is a STEM-designated graduate degree. 
Program objectives
  • Concept/expression outcome: Conceptualize and create expressive and innovative games, playable experiences, and artifacts, developing a personal style via reflective design.
  • Craft outcome: Hone craft and technical skills in a broad range of mediums and justify the appropriate usage of techniques in the service of creating artifacts.
  • Research outcome: Gather, organize, and articulate relevant research to inform design and analysis.
  • Process outcome: Follow an iterative design process informed by user testing, external and self-critique for producing creative works.
  • Values/context outcome: Analyze the social, political, and cultural theories embedded in games, playable experiences, and artifacts, and articulate ethical reasoning during design and production.
  • Collaboration outcome: Plan and manage the organization of people, timelines, tasks, repositories, and finances for multi-person creative projects, and constructively critique others’ work.


For 100+ years, we’ve designed our programs with one thing in mind—your success. Explore the current program requirements and course descriptions, all designed to meet today’s industry needs and must-have skills.

Experiential learning

Northeastern’s signature experience-powered learning model has been at the heart of the university for more than a century. It combines world-class academics with professional practice, allowing you to acquire relevant, real-world skills you can immediately put into action in your current workplace. This makes a Northeastern education a dynamic, transformative experience, giving you countless opportunities to grow as a professional and person.

Our co-op partners include Demiurge Studios, Greenbrier Games, Harmonix, Hasbro, and Splash Damage Games.

Explore co-ops and experiential learning.

Tuition and aid

Visit the Student Financial Services web page for detailed tuition and fees information for the College of Arts, Media and Design’s graduate programs.

Finance your education

For students interested in pursuing financial assistance or educational loans, additional educational costs, known as Cost of Attendance (COA) components, can be included in the calculation of aid and loan eligibility. Components may include food, housing, books, course materials, supplies, equipment, transportation, personal expenses, and the cost of obtaining a first professional licensure. You can find comprehensive details on the Student Financial Services website. Please keep in mind that COA can vary significantly depending on academic program, enrollment intensity, and individual circumstances.

How to apply

Learn more about the College of Arts, Media and Design’s admissions process and required materials, including deadlines.

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