Critical Game Design, Co-Terminal Program, M.S.

Program Overview

The M.S. in Critical Game Design will focus on the transformative capacity of games—whether in industry, the academy, or society-at-large—through the completion of an applied thesis project, most likely in the form of a critically informed game prototype. Armed with the practical skills needed to design and build games, students will learn how to apply insights from critical work directly to the production of new types of game designs.

The M.S. in Critical Game Design represents a new kind of practical and theoretical curriculum that leverages the interdisciplinary strengths of Rensselaer. Through the program, students will explore the growing literature in the field of game design in order to inform the design of games that respond  to the issues that arise out of these texts and curricular investigations.



To be accepted as a co-terminal student, applicants must be current Rensselaer students and submit a completed application by January 30 of their junior year.

Program Outcomes

The goal of the curriculum is to:

  • Enable students to transform the medium of games and the games industry through building games
  • Prepare students to take leadership roles in newly created Ph.D. programs in game design across the world
  • Provide a platform for GSAS faculty and Rensselaer to contribute to an emerging, cutting-edge field, represented by programs at peer and aspirant institutions

After Graduation

Through fostering a myriad of practical skills and ways of thinking, graduates of the M.S. in Critical Game Design are entrepreneurial, savvy game developers who work to change the face of games research and the games industry either by directly entering the games industry, by joining independent game development spaces, or by continuing their education at the doctoral level.


Watch the MS in CGDS Info session here. 


The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 5304, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-6575

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