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Program at a Glance

Format
Weekday
Offered Part-Time
Yes
Start Date
Early August
Duration
3 Years
Credit Hours
54 Credits
Tuition
Calculate based on current cost per credit hour
Boot Camp
Summer
Application Requirements
Statement of purpose
Resume
Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institution
Two letters of recommendation
GRE scores
Portfolio (optional)
How to Apply

The catalog copy below including program and application requirements are updated once per year. For clarification and questions, email GradComm@american.edu.

Games and Interactive Media (MFA) [SOC]

The MFA In Games and Interactive Media offers a highly focused education in the practice of interactive media focused on the power of playful engagement. As an MFA, its aim is to develop leaders in the creative practice of engagement through interaction. The program model stretches students' capacities as designers, developers, consumers, and administrators. Students are required to bridge the divide between other disciplines strengthening the goals of such work through the application of games and interactive media. A substantial amount of time and effort is spent implementing games through participation in the Game Lab Studio and through independent creative work.

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 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 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 have additional coursework.

Applicants with prior experience in visual media, who wish to be considered for a waiver of the required Principles of Video Production and/or Principles of Photography courses, should submit a written request illustrating relevant coursework or professional experience. Those requesting a waiver of either or both of these required courses will be required to take and pass a waiver exam. Students granted waivers for either, or both, of these required courses can take advanced coursework in the field in order to fulfill those academic credits.

Official transcripts, two letters of recommendations and a 1,000-word essay on the applicant's commitment to pursuing graduate study in the program should be submitted with the application.

Degree Requirements

  • 54 credit hours of approved graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 and a grade B or better in each of the required courses
  • 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

Course Requirements

Core (38 credit hours)

  • COMM-602 Digital Media Literacy and Skills (3)
  • COMM-610 Principles of Video Production(3)
  • COMM-630 Principles of Photography (3)
  • COMM-633 Techniques and Aesthetics of Editing (3)
  • COMM-711 Teaching Seminar in Communication (3)
  • COMM-723 Writing Across Media
  • GAME-601 Game Design and Art Pipeline Production (3)
  • GAME-605 Games and Society (3)
  • GAME-610 Game Research Methods (3)
  • GAME-615 Game Development (3)
  • GAME-625 Advanced Game Development (3)
  • GAME-691 Internship

Capstone (6 credit hours)

  • COMM-702 Master's Portfolio Capstone (1-6) (6 credit hours required)

Electives (9 credit hours)

  • 9 credit hours in additional graduate-level courses as approved by the program director. Students may build their own concentration with advisor and director approval.