Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media & Game Design (MFA)

Master of Fine Arts
A student designs a character for his IMGD project

Develop your creative practice and personal voice as an artist in IMGD. The Master of Fine Arts program offers a terminal degree through WPI’s renowned IMGD program where our academic approach, resources, and connections will refine your artistic practice and innovate using new creative technologies with WPI’s new MFA in IMGD.

This art- and studio-based master’s program gives students space, time, and resources to develop their creative practice. As a terminal degree, this three-year MFA program helps independent artists establish their creative voices. Integrated into the degree are career-development opportunities including training in teaching methods and networking with industry and academic leaders through a regular colloquium.

Professionals who hold an MFA in interactive media & game design have a focus that’s expanded above game design MFA concepts and are prepared for tenure-track academic roles, teaching positions, and also for careers the wide variety of industries that rely upon professional design sensibilities including corporate and cultural organizations, experience-based product corporations, or full-body immersive game experiences. WPI is an institutional partner with the Worcester Art Museum and the Worcester Center for Crafts, and has extensive connections with established industry organizations and startups.

Global Industries and economies rely on professional design sensibilities. WPI’s new master of fine arts in interactive media & game design is focused on filling that industry need and preparing students for myriad design opportunities and careers.

IMGD MFA

Curriculum

The MFA in interactive media & game design is a 51-credit hour program. Courses are studio-based, classroom-based, and career-focused. A final project requires students to show a game in a public setting—a full portfolio is required for degree completion. The range of skills required for the final project is broad and based on the chosen project. Potential IMGD MFA projects could range from digital games to interactive theatre, so each academic plan is customized to the student.

Requirements for the MFA in interactive media & game design:

  • Design studio (12 credits)
  • Core courses (21 credits)
  • Professionalization (6 credits)
  • Elective courses (3 credits)
  • Project (9 credits)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Portfolio

Research

Students in the MFA program will work with IMGD faculty members and industry partners to produce a distinct body of work and to develop a personal artistic style.

Our faculty expertise spans these diverse research areas:

  • animation
  • 3D modeling
  • artificial intelligence
  • computer graphics
  • figurative painting
  • networking and multiplayer games
  • illustration
  • electronic music and music composition
  • artistic / musical robotics
  • interactive museum exhibits
  • location-aware media
  • procedural content generation
  • mobile gaming
  • serious games
  • virtual and augmented reality

As a studio-based degree program, students in WPI’s MFA program have access to resources in the Worcester Art Museum and the Worcester Center for Crafts. WPI offers an ideal combination of arts education with cutting-edge interactive media & game design resources.

If art, gaming, experience design, and creative computing are among your passions, this program will give you the freedom to develop your personal artistic style while gaining the professional acumen to be successful in academia, the game industry, and other industries. Not quite ready to pursue an IMGD MFA? Explore our Interactive Media & Game Development master of science. This technical master’s in game development has an emphasis on design, technology, and the development of interactive environments.

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Joshua Rosenstock
Professor-Arts, Communications, and Humanities, Humanities & Arts

Born to an artist mother and a musician father, Josh was destined from a young age for a life in the arts. An early interest in black and white darkroom photography and art-house cinema led him to study film and video art at Brown University. Fortuitously stumbling on a new course in multimedia art in his last term as an undergraduate, his zeal for digital media was unleashed. The next formative episode in Josh's career found him designing interactive exhibits, such as the claymation studio at Zeum, a hands-on, multimedia arts and technology museum for kids in San Francisco.

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Farley James Chery
Associate Professor of Teaching, Interactive Media & Game Development

Farley Chery specializes in simplifying artistic and technical concepts. Having a multidisciplinary background, he works with students in his specialized area of Technical art and other areas of experimentation like storytelling, and experimental game mechanics. Systems he created have been used in multiple games and films and are a core component of Epic games character pipeline and the basis for ART tools. His courses fuse representation, world-building, and character design; preparing students to be highly productive production artists.

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Gillian Margaret Smith
Associate Professor-Computer Science, Computer Science

Gillian Smith, an award-winning game designer, joined WPI in 2017. Her interdisciplinary work merges technical research in AI and HCI with creative practice in textiles and games, with a view towards addressing social issues and broadening participation and perspectives on computing. Their research interests are in computational creativity, game design, computer science education, and the intersection of traditional crafts and computation.

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Jennifer deWinter
Professor-Arts, Communications, and Humanities, Humanities & Arts

Jennifer deWinter has long been interested in how culture (which is local) moves internationally. She has spent a number of years analyzing anime, comics, and computer games as part of global media flows in order to understand how concepts such as "art," "culture," and "entertainment" are negotiated. In 2003, Professor deWinter joined the Learning Games Initiative, a group of scholars and game designers dedicated to the general study of games and the use of games to teach concepts and skills in particular.

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Charles Davis Roberts
Assistant Professor, Computer Science

My research examines human-centered computing in digital arts practice. I designed and developed a creative coding environment for the browser, Gibber (http://gibber.cc), that I use both for educational research and audiovisual performances. Gibber is used to teach computational media to middle school, high school and university students in locations around the world, and I've performed with it throughout the US, UK and Asia in the experimental performance genre known as live coding.

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Edward R. Gutierrez
Assistant Professor- Humanities, Humanities & Arts

Edward R. Gutierrez comes to WPI from a long and illustrious career in the animated feature film industry; having worked on films such as The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Lion King (1994) and many others. With degrees in both 2D Traditional Animation and 3D Animation and Visual Effects he has transitioned into independent filmmaking and dedicating his life to sharing his knowledge, love, and passion for drawing with new generations of students interested in drawing and storytelling.

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Earn a BS in Game Development Beforehand

Need to complete your bachelor of science degree first? Check out our BS in IMGD at WPI. We also offer an artistic bachelor’s degree in game development which challenges students to reinvent and create forms of media. Do you want to gain a technical understanding of IMGD without completing a full degree program? You can choose to minor in IMGD to understand the basic technical concepts of interactive media & game development. Whether you’re looking for a technical BS, artistic BS, or a minor in game development, we are here to help steer you in the direction most suitable for your future career.