News & Events / Blog

Introducing the Art of Game Design MFA »





Laguna College of Art + Design’s (LCAD) Art of Game Design MFA is a 2-year terminal Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) degree that explores the design and development of games as a creative practice. The program offers a unique, multidisciplinary approach that bridges the gap between theory and practice in game design. The Art of Game Design MFA curriculum is centered on the processes of both the creation and the development of games. The program acknowledges that games are responsible for providing much more than mere entertainment; they also are meaningful products of a thriving global economy. Games illuminate truths about our world, our societies and ourselves.

The Art of Game Design MFA is dedicated to the exploration of game design as a creative practice and of games as a cultural art form. LCAD’s motto is “Great Art Matters.” By extension, LCAD’s Art of Game Design MFA champions the notion that “Games Matter.”


Games give rise to interactive worlds where people from all walks of life can come together to create thriving global communities. We meet inside games’ narratives to collaborate, to communicate and to create shared experiences. Games provide us the privilege to interact freely, unencumbered by real-world divisions.


Games engage our imaginations and invite us to explore new ways of thinking. The worlds of games are forces of positive disruption with the potential to change cultures.
LCAD’s Art of Game Design MFA addresses the importance of game creation and development becoming more ethically and socially relevant, both in design and in economic relevance in the medium of video games. As such, LCAD’s Art of Game Design MFA is structured in such a way that will empower designers with both the knowledge base and the skill sets to ensure that their own meaningful game design enterprises are economically impactful and sustainable.


Select program candidates will create a graduate level game development environment, replicating that which reflects the current industry model, nurturing advanced skills in design, research and development, leadership and marketing in the creative art of game design. One of the program’s goals is to develop the creative skills and to enhance the potentials of the next generation of game designers, developers and entrepreneurs. LCAD’s Art of Game Design MFA seeks to advance the art, science and culture of play by creating a context for advanced study and innovative work.




Admission to Laguna College of Art and Design’s (LCAD) MFA in Art of Game Design is limited to the top ten applicants. Candidates from a range of professional and educational backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Professional game experience that demonstrates a high level of talent, creative insight, and competence in one or more areas relating to game design, game production, and game scholarship is desired. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required.

LCAD’s MFA in Art of Game Design is a two-year program. The program’s first year consists of evening and weekend classes ending in a six-week intensive at the LCAD campus in Laguna Beach, CA. Housing is included in the cost of tuition. The second year of the program requires the application of theoretical studies to the production cycle for MFA thesis games.

The MFA in Art of Game Design’s online application must be accompanied by the required academic documentation, test scores, letters of recommendation and supporting credentials.

Application Checklist:

•   A two-page personal statement that includes your professional goals and what interests you most about games. Share your personal vision for how you see yourself making an impact in the field of Game Art/Design. For example, you could speculate on what you might create for your thesis (a year-long, usually collaborative project). You also could discuss why you selected your intended area of focus. Elaborate on what makes you a strong candidate for the program.

•   A Critical Analysis of the mechanics of any game (No more than 1 page in PDF format.)

•   One or two Projects which could include digital games, non-digital games, game-related websites, visual designs, writings about games, or other creative projects. For submission details, please contact Lisa Pelt at for submission details.

•   A 1-page Design Statement (in PDF format) must accompany each project. The Design Statement summarizes and outlines the intentions of each project, reveals your personal contribution(s) (if it is a group project) and includes a statement about what you learned from the project. Following the body of the Design Statement, please include a list of all project files provided.

•   Résumé

•   Official undergraduate transcripts mailed to Laguna College of Art and Design, c/o Laura Patrick, Registrar, MFA in Art of Game Design Graduate Submissions, 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, CA, 92651

•   Two letters of recommendation
§ 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, or the American Language Institute (ALI) proficiency examination (at any campus that offers the test). We do not have a minimum required score, but your test scores will be considered during the review process.

Portfolios (including links to websites) should be submitted by email to Sandy Appleoff, Chair of MFA in Art of Game Design,

For information about tuition and summer housing, please contact Lisa Pelt at

Application deadline is June 01, 2015.

Deadline for scholarship consideration is April 30, 2015.



* Pending WSCUC (WASC) approval.

* Pending NASAD approval