Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt

The Master of Science Program in Games for Learning (G4L) is a 36-credit program that prepares students to create, use and evaluate digital games for the specific purpose of learning in formal and informal settings.


Course and Credit Requirements

Content Area



Learning Foundation (Required)
(6 credits)
EDCT-GE 2174 Foundations of Cognitive Science


EDCT-GE 2175 Foundations of the Learning Sciences


Design Foundation (Required)
(12 credits)
EDCT-GE 2500 Video Games and Play in Education


EDCT-GE 2505 Designing Simulations and Games for Learning


EDCT-GE 2510 Narrative, Digital Media and Learning


EDCT-GE 2520 User Research Methods 



(12 credits)

Electives for your Area of Study, by Advisement (see options below)


Thesis / Terminal Project (Required)

(6 credits)

EDCT-GE 2095 Research in Educational Communications and Technology


Students are required to take 6 credits in learning foundations, 12 credits in design foundations and 6 credits in their final capstone project.  Students may also participate in an optional 3-credit internship. 

In addition to the required foundation courses, students can specialize in one of four areas of study.

Areas of Study

Students also pursue one or more of the following four areas of study, based on their selection of electives (students are permitted to choose courses from more than one area of study).  It is recommended that students choose one area of study in which they take at least 12 credits, but modifications may be made (i.e., choosing 12 credits from two different areas of study) or a new area of study may be selected.  Both of these options must be exercised under the advisement, supervision, and approval of program faculty.

Game Design: Focus on design principles and problems, as well as historical factors, related to commercial and educational game design.

Game Development:  Focus on game development skills, such as programming, graphic design, 3-D development and audio design.

Game Research: Focus on research approaches and methods (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods) as related to game and media evaluation and development.

Other Areas of Study:  With special permission from program faculty, a student can elect another area of study as applicable through independent study, through selection of courses from multiple areas of study as specified above, or other courses offered at the university.

Sample Areas of Study

Areas of Study (A minimum of 12 credits: courses chosen by advisement)
Game Design ElectivesEDCT-GE 2017 Learning Environment Design


EDCT-GE 2015 User Experience Design


DM 6153 Game design studio seminar (School of Engineering)


ITPG-GT 2261 Narrative Lab (Tisch)


ITPG-GT 2272 Game Design (Tisch)


ITPG-GT 2454 Big Games (Tisch)


ITPG-GT 2602 Advanced Game Seminar (Tisch)


Game Development Electives
(Programming, Graphic Design and Audio)
CSCI-GA 2110 Programming Languages (Courant)


CSCI-GA 3033 Motion Capture for Gaming and Urban Sensing (Courant)


DM 6133 3D STUDIO SEMINAR (School of Engineering)


MPATE-GE 2604 Audio for Games and Immersive Environments (Steinhardt/Music)


MPATE-GE 26133D Audio (Steinhardt/Music)


Game Research ElectivesEDCT-GE 2075 Digital Video Ethnography


EDCT-GE 3311 Content Seminar: Research in Instructional Technology


MCC-GE 2420 Visual Culture Methods (MCC/Steinhardt)


ITPG-GT 2766 Game Studies (Tisch)


Other ElectivesEDCT-GE 2197 Media Practicum: Field Internships


EDCT-GE 2300 Independent Study


MCC-GE 2450 Video Game Theory (MCC/Steinhardt)


MCC-GE 2295 Values Embodied in Information Technology (MCC/Steinhardt)


TCHL-GE 2018 Games and Curriculum (TL/Steinhardt)


ITPG-GT 2868 Games and Art (Tisch)


Other electives are permitted by advisement from departments and programs such as:

  • Media Culture and Communication (Steinhardt)
  • Music Technology (Steinhardt)
  • Teaching and Learning (Steinhardt)
  • ITP (Tisch)
  • Game Center (Tisch)
  • Computer Science (Courant/ GSAS)
  • Computer Science and Engineering (School of Engineering)


Total Credits


Thesis Capstone Project

Working under the supervision of the program director and a faculty mentor, students apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their core courses and design electives to an independent learning game design project. This work culminates in a final integrative project (e.g., a publishable quality research thesis, learning game design document and game prototype, learning game usability, playtesting, or evaluation study).


Residency and Transfer Credit

Of the 36 credits required for the Master of Science degree, students are required to take 24 credits in residency, defined as courses taken at NYU. A maximum of 30% of the 36 credits required for the degree may be considered for transfer from other universities; such courses must be evaluated by faculty advisers to establish whether they meet criteria established by the Steinhardt School.


Tenure of Matriculation

The Steinhardt School requires students to complete requirements for the Master of Science degree within six (6) years of matriculation, defined as the first semester of enrollment for courses leading to the degree. The clock stops only during official leaves of absence. This applies to both full-time and part-time students. Regardless of matriculation, the validity of courses towards a degree expire after 10 years.

From the Steinhardt Graduate Bulletin: "A candidate has a six-year period following the date of matriculation for the completion of all requirements. If continuous matriculation has not been maintained, a reevaluation of credentials is necessary, and only those courses completed within the last 10-year period will be credited."


Scholastic Average

Master of Science students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in Games for Learning courses and in their overall academic record.


Maintenance of Matriculation

Students must maintain "active status" throughout their studies, beginning with the first semester of matriculation and including the semester in which they intend to graduate. To do so, Master of Science students must complete at least three (3) graduate-level credits each fall and spring semester (not summer). If students cannot enroll in course work in a given fall or spring semester, they must register for Maintaining Matriculation (MAINT-GE 4747), for which they pay a non-credit bearing maintenance of matriculation fee.

Registration for Maintaining Matriculation entitles students to use the libraries and other facilities, consult members of the faculty, participate in University activities, and use student health services and the Coles Sports Center. This option may be used during the semester in which students intend to graduate, if they are completing incomplete course work but taking no additional course work. Students may register for MAINT-GE 4747 only after they have been enrolled during one academic year for a minimum of three (3) credits and with permission of a faculty adviser. Students may register for MAINT-GE 4747 for up to a total of two (2) years within the six-year period allowed to complete the degree.


Course Selection

Students should select their classes in conjunction with their academic adviser. Please meet with your adviser to discuss courses, and once your adviser has approved your selections, you can sign up for courses online in Albert. After the department enters your adviser clearance (typically within 1-2 business days), you can sign up for courses online in Albert.

There is a guide to planning your courses available.