Program Description

The BFA in Computer Game Design enables students to focus on the artistic components of computer game design while providing them with the technical skills prerequisite to the field.  Required courses include computer science, art and visual technology, music, the humanities, and computer game design. The required internship provides students with practical experience that enhances their employability post-graduation. Students study both the sciences and the arts, all in a revolving-role team-based, project-based new pedagogical environment.

What it costs

The cost for this program is $546.50 per credit hour for VA state residents or $1,523.50 per credit hour for Non-VA residents. See the Cost tab below for a breakdown of tuition and fees. All of Mason’s tuition rates and fees can be found on our Student Accounts site.

Application Deadline

Please note that the Computer Game Design department requires all applicants to complete a writing sample portfolio in addition to the admission application. For application information and deadlines, see the Admissions website.

Request Info

Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Game Design

Degree: Undergraduate

College/School: College of Visual and Performing Arts

Credits: 120 total

The Computer Game Design Program is accredited with commendation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Who should apply?

The Computer Games Design degree seeks students interested in studying both the sciences and the arts in a collaborative, problem-solving environment. Students who desire to enter a career that incorporates the artistic components of game design with computer science and technology, should consider this program.

Why choose George Mason?

  • The Computer Game Design BFA is ranked as one of the best Game Design Bachelor’s degrees in the U.S. by College Choice. The curriculum is drawn from computer science, visual arts, digital arts, computer music, and a new gaming design area of study.
  • Our students benefit from the Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI) , which exists to support Mason’s Entrepreneurial and Innovation goals by cultivating and supporting Mason-founded startups, rapid prototype development, high-value knowledge job creation, and regional economic development through serious game technology discovery to improve the human condition. Learn more about several of our current and historic projects here.
  • Computer Game Design students have the opportunity to serve as mentors in the Mason Game and Technology Academy (MGTA) . Founded in 2013, MGTA provides students of all ages the rare opportunity to engage with university professors and students, through challenging enrichment courses that combine all of the STEM core competences within immersive technology, the arts, and entrepreneurship. MGTA inspires students to pursue advanced studies in STEM fields of the future, and prepares them for success.
  • Another plus: the Computer Game Design program hosts the only U.S. Serious Game Institute, which focuses on game-related applied research and innovations.

Program requirements are subject to change; please refer to the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Transfer credits are accepted for many general education (Mason Core) courses that have been completed at a regionally-accredited institution of higher education. Please use the Transfer Search Engine to check course equivalency.

Requirements: 120 credits total

  • 21 credits Mason Core
  • 19 credits non-specific Mason Core
  • 53-54 credits major core
  • 12 credits digital media electives
  • 6-8 credits visual arts electives
  • 6-9 credits general electives

Major Core Requirements

  • AVT 104: Two-Dimensional Design and Color (Mason Core) (4 credits)
  • CS 112: Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core) (4 credits)
  • GAME 210: Basic Game Design (3 credits)
  • GAME 230: History of Computer Game Design (3 credits)
  • GAME 231: Computer Animation for Games (3 credits)
  • GAME 232: Online and Mobile Gaming (3 credits)
  • GAME 250: Music for Film and Video (3 credits)
  • GAME 300: Portfolio Preparation (1 credit)
  • GAME 310: Game Design Studio (3 credits)
  • GAME 330: Computer Game Platform Analysis (3 credits)
  • GAME 331: Consumer Gaming Platform Analysis Lab (1 credit)
  • GAME 332: RS: Story Design for Computer Games (3 credits)
  • GAME 367: Writing and Editing Music and Sound (3 credits)
  • GAME 398: Advanced Game Design Animation (3 credits)
  • GAME 410: Advanced Game Design Studio (3 credits)
  • GAME 489: Pre-Internship Seminar (1 credit)
  • Six credits of GAME 490: Senior Game Design Capstone (Mason Core) (Must be taken twice for 3 credits each)
  • GAME 491: Internship (3-4 credits)

More information on course requirements for the Computer Game Design program can be found in the University Catalog.

Tuition (2021-2022)

Virginia Resident$408.15
Non-Virginia Resident$1,415.00
Mandatory Student fee$150.25
Total Cost Per Credit for Virginia Residents$558.40
Total Cost Per Credit for Non-Virginia Residents$1565.25
Undergraduate New Student fee $350.00 for new students, $275 for transfer students (non-refundable, one-time fee charged to all students)

Please Note: In addition to the tuition and fees described above, various course and lab fees may be assessed depending on the course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees.

Financial Aid

For information on how to apply to scholarships, see the Mason Scholarship page.

For information on other loans, scholarships, and other types of financial aid, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.

This degree prepares students for employment in the computer gaming design and development field, within the commercial and federal sectors. This degree’s curriculum is designed to reflect the gaming industry’s demand for an academically rigorous technical program coupled with an understanding of the artistic and creative elements of the evolving medium.

In preparing for careers, Game design students also have the support of the VSGI, which works to support students’ Entrepreneurial and Innovation goals by cultivating and supporting Mason-founded startups, rapid prototype development, high-value knowledge job creation, and regional economic development through serious game technology discovery to improve the human condition.

Every year, the VSGI partners with government agencies, and for-profit and nonprofit companies to develop innovative and cutting edge applied research projects. Areas of expertise include MedSim, VR/AR diagnostic and training solutions, mobile and wearable game technologies, EdTech Game platform development, and Cyber-Game education. Learn more about VSGI projects here. The partnership between VSGI and the Computer Game Design Program has created a pipeline of talent for all resident companies, and internship opportunities for students every semester.

Academic AdvisorJeremy Tuohy
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Phone: (703) 993-2041
Online Program ContactSang U. Nam
Phone: (703) 993-4362
Program Website

Application Materials

  • Apply to George Mason through the Common Application or visit the admissions site for more information.
  • Two writing samples
  • Optional submission of artwork samples

For more information on applying and submitting samples, visit the Computer Game Design Admissions site.