SMU Guildhall academics: Excellence in game design

SMU Guildhall merges solid academic curriculum with practical, real-world preparation. We equip the next generation of game creators with the technical skills and instincts required to drive the evolution of gaming. We currently offer two full-time, 2-year programs:

Master of Interactive Technology (MIT) in Digital Game Development: Consists of game-related coursework, cross-disciplinary team game production, directed individual work in the student's chosen area of specialization, and a Master’s thesis.

Professional Certificate in Digital Game Development: Mirrors the MIT program, minus the thesis.

Teamwork & specialized learning: The core of our curriculum

The 150 graduate game design classes we offer annually combine lecture, lab, and studio to prepare students for the video game industry via both independent work and team projects. Students are admitted in cohorts and move through the program together, studying game design, history and industry trends, leadership, teamwork, professional development, and ethics. Each student takes the following courses:

  • 3 game design courses
  • 3 game studies courses
  • 5 team game production courses
  • 2 professional development courses
  • 10 specialization-specific courses
  • 1 ethics course
  • 5 courses that focus on research to advance the field of game design (Master's students only)

Sample schedule 

Specialized Learning

SMU Guildhall is the only program that offers specializations in all four cornerstones of video game development: ArtDesignProduction (MIT only), and Programming. Students develop their skills and instincts in specialization-specific classes and complete independent work and research to inform their Master’s theses and Directed Focus Studies. They apply these skills to their team game projects.

Team Game Projects

In team game production courses, students work in cross-disciplinary teams to develop three or more professional-grade 2D and 3D games in the style and pace of the industry. Guildhall games have won many awards, and several have gone on to be further developed and published post-graduation.

Learn more about our student work and games

SMU Guildhall Research



Southern Methodist University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Baccalaureate, Master's, Professional, and Doctoral degrees. Southern Methodist University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).