We are seeking passionate and talented applicants for our Game Design MFA. Applicants may come from a wide range of professional, personal, and educational backgrounds. Professional game experience is not required, although the successful applicant will need to demonstrate a high level of talent, creative spirit and competence in one or more areas relating to game design, game production, and game scholarship. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required. The Game Design program is two years long – full-time study only.
The 2020 application is now closed.
The 2021 application, for the Fall 2022 intake, will be live in September.
This year, we will continue using Slate, an application platform where you will upload your required academic documentation, testing, letters of recommendation, and supporting credentials. You will also be uploading your creative portfolio through Slate (more details on the portfolio below). For information about tuition, housing, and more visit the Tisch Graduate Admissions page: http://tisch.nyu.edu/admissions/graduate-admissions.
Academic Application Requirements
To complete the academic portion of your application, you must include the following:
- Your official undergraduate transcript(s) attached as a PDF or mailed to Tisch Graduate Admissions, c/o Game Design, 726 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10003
- Two letters of recommendation, submitted directly through Slate from your letter writers. We recommend you ask professors you have worked with, former professional colleagues or supervisors, or mentors.
- We do not require the GRE or any other standardized test scores, but these can be submitted if they support your overall application. If you decide to submit a GRE score, please use school code 2357 and no subject code when requesting GRE score reports from ETS.
- International students must submit proof of English Language Proficiency, the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination, the Duolingo exam, or the American Language Institute (ALI) proficiency examination (at the NYU campus or any U.S. campus that offers the test). We do not have a minimum required score, but your test scores will be considered during the review process. You can submit your score using our institutional code (9633) through the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Competitive applicants will receive a total score of 100+ on the TOEFL and its equivalent on the IELTS.
- If you have questions about the academic requirements of the application, please email email@example.com
Creative Portfolio Details
Your creative portfolio uploaded to Slate must contain the following:
A 1-page resume, listing projects (game-related or otherwise) you have worked on, as well as all relevant work experience.
A personal statement of no more than 2 pages, in PDF format. In the personal statement, please tell us what interests you most about games and share your personal vision for how you see yourself making an impact in this field. For example, you could speculate on what you might create for your thesis (a year-long, usually collaborative project). You could also discuss an area of focus for your studies and what you feel you can best contribute to group projects. What makes you a strong candidate for the program?
A critical analysis of any game, of no more than 1 page, in PDF format. It should be a thoughtful and insightful analysis of one or more aspects of the game. We are not looking for a description of the game but instead you should demonstrate some insight into how the game works.
One or two projects, which could include digital games, non-digital games, game-related websites, visual designs, writings about games, or other creative projects. While you are welcome to submit more than one project, especially if you’d like to showcase diverse talents, we recommend that you curate your portfolio carefully and show only your best work. Please upload your pieces individually – zipping your files is heavily discouraged.
A 1-page design statement (in PDF format) must accompany each project that summarizes the project, outlines the intentions for each project, your personal contribution (if it is a group project), and a statement about what you learned from the project. At the end of the design statement, please list all of the files you are providing that are associated with the project.
- If a project is a digital game or software application: Detailed instructions for installation and interaction, including platform requirements, must be included. You will not be able to upload any game files, so please provide a link to your online game or downloadable game files, and include the link in your design statement.
- If a project is a board game, performance, game event, or other physical project: Include detailed documentation of the project, such as photographs, a short video, script, rules of play, etc.
- If a project is a visual artwork or series: Include detailed visual documentation of the project (up to 10 images and/or up to 10 minutes of video).
- If a project is a video: You may include still images as well as a link to the video itself.
- If a project is a written paper or essay: Please upload the paper itself in PDF format. Include at the start an abstract or summary of the essay.
- If a project is a website or other online-accessible project: A link to the online project is sufficient.
- If your project does not fit into any of these categories and you do not know how best to submit or document the project, contact the Game Center at firstname.lastname@example.org directly for advice.
- FOR ALL PROJECTS: A maximum of 10 images can be submitted per project. For video projects, submit a maximum of 10 minutes of video per project. Remember to include at least one visual for all projects that are not purely written or audio in form. See the file formats below for what kinds of files you can upload.
- Remember: a maximum of two projects can be submitted. You must include a separate design statement for each project
What file formats are acceptable? Please stick to the following file formats:
- Images: jpg, png, gif – up to 5MB each
- Videos: mov, smv, flv, mp4 – up to 60 MB each
- Audio files: MP3 – up to 30 MB each
- ALL written materials (this includes your personal statement, project design statement, and critical analysis): PDF only – up to 10 MB each
Which projects should you select? The one or two projects that you submit should reflect your past skills and experiences, but also the strengths that you will bring to your individual and collaborative work at the Game Center. Which projects do you feel best represent you as a potential member of the Game Center MFA community?
If you have additional projects you want the Game Center to know about, you can mention them in your personal statement or on your resume. For questions regarding the creative portfolio, please contact email@example.com. For more details about the program, read the overview or the FAQ.