game developers work between a video screen

Game Design, Development & Innovation Master of Engineering

A New Way to Level Up

There are many roles to play in the game industry.

At Duke, we prepare our graduates to play the game they choose by becoming game designers, developers, and leaders of dynamic production teams.

We will empower you with the skills industry leaders are looking for, such as proficiency in programming—including C# and C++—and how to apply these skills to the leading game engines. You will also learn design principles for gameplay, art, user experience and storytelling.

Our faculty takes innovation seriously.  While at Duke, our students bring elements of game design to critical areas such as health care, education and training simulations. With campus connections to top programs in medicine, the humanities, business, policy and more, we go beyond gaming.

Regardless of your skill set, we will help you level up to a multi-skilled leader and take control of your career in the game industry.

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Advance your career at Duke | Graduate in 4 semesters

The Duke Difference

Ernesto Escobar"We welcome you, no matter your level of experience. We will transform you into a multi-faceted leader, one that is able to use technology to design, develop and innovate. You'll be prepared to join an AAA or an indie studio and to create serious games in fields like education, health care, and science. Join us!"

Ernesto Escobar
Executive Director

 Dynamic Curriculum

Comprehensive and industry-focused

Course Schedule

Fall 1

  • Programming for Game Development
  • Fundamentals of Game Design and Development
  • Critical Analysis of Video Games

Spring 1

  • Software Engineering and Systems for Game Development
  • Advanced Game Design and Development
  • Management of High-Tech Industries

Summer 1

  • Required internship—with an AAA studio or another relevant organization

Fall 2

  • Internship Assessment
  • Business Fundamentals for Engineers
  • Elective 1
  • Elective 2

Spring 2

  • Hands-On Capstone Project

Elective Options

  • Computer and Information Security
  • Mobile Application Development
  • AI in Games
  • Advanced Asset Creation
  • User Interface and Experience in Games
  • Motion Capture and Animation
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Emerging Topics in Game Design

 Games and Beyond

Best-in-class student experience

  • Hands-on: Learn and be challenged by doing authentic industry-sponsored work
  • Multi-disciplinary: Learn from faculty and students from history, art, medicine, business, psychology, physical education, engineering and others—all while working on fun and meaningful projects
  • Explorational: Innovate with serious games as a solution path to societal challenges

 Connected to Industry

In a region bursting with industry leaders

  • Interact with AAA and indie studios in the growing Research Triangle Region—including Epic Games, Insomniac Games, Red Storm Entertainment (Ubisoft), Virtual Heroes, Squanch, Funcom, Elephant Mouse, BitMonster, Prologue, Puny Human, Spark Plug, iMagic, Mighty Rabbit, Imangi Studios, and more
  • Build a strong professional portfolio: Work on industry-sponsored projects and create industry-quality work. Build a portfolio to show potential employers
Rob Denton

"The game industry has seen tremendous growth, including rapid expansion across new platforms and diverse markets. There is a critical need now for well-trained and experienced talent. Game development requires a complex mix of creative and technical abilities. This graduate program provides a foundation of skills and hands-on experience to create a talent pipeline well-positioned to thrive in this complex ecosystem."

Rob Denton, Duke Engineering Graduate
TitleCo-Founder & COO, Loric Games
Founder & President, Broadsword Online Games

Developers can earn a $108,000 salary in the fast-growing $2 billion games industry.

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