Computer Science (Game Development)

University of Southern California

12 months
2005 USD/credit
2005 USD/credit
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The goal of the M.S. in Computer Science (Game Development) program offered at University of Southern California is to graduate students with a core in computer science, an engineering- oriented game development core, and a concentration in one of the key research directions in game development infrastructure, cognition and games, immersion, and serious games.


Infrastructure is researching and developing the software and hardware infrastructure necessary for the development of the future of interactive games and large-scale simulations; massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) and simulation networks; game engines and tools; instant games; wireless and mobile games and infrastructures; next generation consoles.

Cognition and games is developing theories for modeling and simulating computer characters and story; developing methods for modeling, simulating and displaying human emotion; analyzing large- scale game play; developing theories for infusing pedagogy with game play.

Immersion is researching and developing the technologies to engage the mind of the game player via sensory stimulation; reading the human emotional state and providing that as an input to the game; emotionally adaptive game software architectures.

Serious games and simulations is developing a theory for the deployment of games and simulations for purposes of education and training, health, public policy and strategic communication; game evaluation; serious game development; human performance engineering.

University of Southern California students graduating from this Computer Science (Game Development) program will be capable of engineering next generation games and simulations and their required technologies immediately upon graduation in the entertainment and serious game fields. Additionally, graduates from this program will be able to further their education in graduate programs in game development and computer science. 

The long-term goal with this MS degree is to establish research and development directions that create a science of games, and an accompanying archival literature that improves game development for both serious and entertainment purpose.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Analysis of Algorithms 
  • Foundations of Artificial Intelligence 
  • Web Technologies 
  • Database Systems 
  • Native Console Multiplayer Game Development
  • Game Engine Development 
  • 3-D Graphics and Rendering.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines




32 alternative credits


On Campus, Online

Academic requirements

GRE admission requirements GRE® The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. It contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • An undergraduate degree in engineering, math or hard science from a regionally-accredited university.
  • Applicants whose background is not in computer science may consider the M.S. in Computer Science (Scientists and Engineers).
  • Satisfactory cumulative undergraduate GPA (grade point average).
  • Satisfactory GRE test scores. 

Tuition Fee

  • International

    2005 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2005 USD per credit and a duration of 12 months.
  • National

    2005 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2005 USD per credit and a duration of 12 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Computer Science (Game Development)
University of Southern California