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Prepare for a career in game design, broadening your understanding of the social, cognitive, emotional, and cultural issues of integrating games for learning. In this master of science program, you will create, use, and evaluate digital games in both formal and informal educational settings through course work, research, and hands-on work experience. You'll also have the option to pursue internships in the games industry. 

Official Degree Title

Master of Science in Games for Learning



Application Deadline

Spring Start:
October 1
Fall Start:
February 1

Plan Code





Full-time or Part-time

What We Look For in an Applicant

We seek students:

  • With a passion for education and with creativity, vision, and commitment.
  • Who have a clear vision of how and why they want to contribute to enhancing learning through games.
  • Who have ambition and capability to innovate education in bold initiatives.
  • Who experiment, invent, and push the possibilities of games as a learning tool for knowledge, skills, emotional outcomes, and 21st century skills.
  • Who have shown talent, ability, or potential in one or more of the following areas of focus: learning game design, game development, game research, education, psychology, or related areas.
  • Who want to do more than simply acquire a job in the games for learning industry.

We are committed to creating a diverse community of learning game designers in our student body. We work with organizations such as the National Council for Women in IT (NCWIT), Women in Games International, the International Game Developers Association, and other organizations and associations related to education, as well as local and global groups, to ensure that we recruit a balanced and diverse student population.

How to Apply

These instructions and requirements are for all applicants. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, please read the special instructions for international applicants.

Your application will require the following items. The following are acceptable document types for uploads: .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .doc, .docx, and bitmap.

1. Prepare Your Application


You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

Statement of Purpose

You are required to upload a typed, double-spaced, two- to three-page statement explaining your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this particular program as part of your application. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.

Letters of Recommendation

Submit two letters of recommendation. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. Read detailed instructions on submitting letters of recommendation.


Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended or are attending. Make sure to request them in advance of the deadline.

If you completed or are completing a degree at an institution outside of the US or Canada, you are required to provide a WES or ECE evaluation. Please review our requirements for translation and a course-by-course evaluation of your transcripts.

See detailed instructions on submitting transcripts.


Not required.

Proficiency in English


Although not required, you may submit a link to your portfolio- with examples of relevant writing, original media or technology projects, research or education endeavors, as part of your application. You may email materials to If you have any questions, please contact the Games for Learning program office at

2. Apply


Start your application now

After you fill in and upload the required information, you can submit your completed application. Your application must be completed, dated, electronically signed, and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST of the stated deadline.

Application Fee

You will be prompted to pay a $75 application fee, payable by major credit card only. After submitting your payment, you will see your application status change from “saved” to “submitted.” Please print this screen for your records, as it confirms that your application has been successfully sent to our school. If you have problems submitting your payment, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. Learn more about our fee waiver policy.

Mailing Additional Items

If any application materials need to be mailed to our office, mail the materials to NYU Steinhardt, Office of Graduate Admissions, 82 Washington Square East, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003-6680.  Please do not mail your materials in binders or folders. Any mailed materials must be received by, not postmarked by, the stated deadline. Only completed applications will be considered and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Due to high volume, we are unable to confirm receipt of mailed materials.

Application Policies

Application deadlines are "in-office" deadlines, not postmark deadlines. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline, and we reserve the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. Should a deadline fall on a weekend, the in-office deadline will be the next business day. We advise you to apply early.

Please check the online system to confirm that you have successfully submitted your application. Due to the volume of applications and related materials received, the Office of Graduate Admissions will only contact you if your application was successfully submitted and is deemed incomplete because of missing required materials. Otherwise, you will hear from us when the admissions committee has made its decision.

Deferral policy: NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, by the application deadline.

3. Receive Your Admission Decision


You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late November for Spring semester enrollment and in late March or early April for Summer or Fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.