Students in the Engineering track take game engineering classes that focus on the technical aspects of video games including game engines, graphics, artificial intelligence, and novel input devices.


First Year


C++ for Game Programming (3 credit hours)

Rapid Prototyping (4)

Design I (3)


Game Engineering I (3)

Projects I (4)

Design II Directed Elective (3)


There are no EAE classes offered during the summer, you are strongly encouraged to pursue an external internship

Second Year


Game Engineering II (3)

Projects II (4)

Directed Elective (i.e. Virtual Reality, Graphics for Games, A.I.) (3)


Engineering III (3)

Projects III (4)

Directed Elective (3)

C++ for Game Programming

This is the beginning masters level game programming course.  We begin with a C++ refresher/review section to discuss the language including: source code management techniques; programming fundamentals; and basic memory management models.  The class then delves deeply into how to use C++ to write highly performant game engine code including: efficient memory manipulation; performance tradeoffs of C++ language constructs; when templates and containers can and should be used in game engines; hidden costs of assorted data structures; etc.  By the end of the course students will understand how and why C++ is used to write high performance code, specifically targeting video game engines.

Game Engineering I

Students will learn selected topics as applied to building a game engine. Topics will include: mathematics for games, data structures and algorithms for games, asset database systems, game pipeline processes, design patterns common to industry, and debugging systems used in the industry.

Game Engineering II

This course is a continuation of Game Engineering I and will be project driven.  Students will learn selected topics by dissecting given game engines and applying them to the game engine built in Game Engineering I.  Topics will include: high performance computing, GPU/parallel programming, low-level algorithm analysis, and cross platform development, and memory management.

Game Engineering III

This course is a continuation of Game Engineering II. Topics will include: code optimization, hardware, I/O devices, technical project management, game project architecture, industry standards and norms, shader programming, and networks for games.



  • Must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited University (If you’re not sure what this means, contact us at info@eae.utah.edu)
  • GPA of 3.0 or greater



Please upload your student copy of your transcripts for the admissions evaluation. (please enter GPA as it is stated on your transcript even if this number is not a GPA from the 4.0 system used in the U.S.) Arrange to have official transcripts and degree certificates sent directly to the Admissions Office Graduate Admissions Division: The University of Utah 201 S. 1460 E. Room 250 S SSB Salt Lake City, UT 84112  NOTE: If your transcripts are too large to upload, please use adobe and make your pdf shrink to fit.


2-3 pages (double spaced). This document should discuss your background, why you want to go into games, and what you hope to do in the game industry when you graduate.


A sample of critical writing (from any discipline). This may include a research paper or published article from an academic journal. These papers should be pulled from past academic or professional work. Please do not send creative writing pieces or papers with editing marks or grades on them.


Strongly suggested (the University of Utah’s GRE code is 4853).


During the online application process you will need to provide the names and email addresses for each person writing a recommendation letter for you. We encourage you to “waive the right” to see your letters because most evaluators consider letters submitted in confidence to be more valuable in evaluations.


Most recent Resume or CV


We also require a code sample from you. Email these items to info@eae.utah.edu

  • The code samples should consist of:
    • any non-scripting language is acceptable (preference to C++, C# and Java)
    • working code that you developed, but does not need to be a complete buildable/compilable system.
    • some topics that would be useful to demonstrate include understanding of modularity, object-oriented concepts, macros, operators, etc.
    • your code should help show that you have an understanding of algorithms and data structures.
    • please include at most two different code samples – maximum of 1000 lines of code.
    • source code only.

Additional Information:

  • You will be applying for the Master’s of Entertainment Arts & Engineering with a Game Engineering emphasis.
  • EAE does not require the GRE for engineers, but it is recommended. The University of Utah’s GRE code is 4853.

Make sure your first and last name is on all supporting documents. Also, include your last name in all correspondence.



Game Design and Development I

Game design is the very core of the game development process. While the term “game designer” appears in various forms of game writing, design is frequently an eclectic and collaborative process. All participants in the EAE:MGS study game design, so that they may both have an opportunity to participate in the creative direction of games and so that they can better understand the design process. Additionally, game design is a burgeoning academic field, and scholarly inquiry into both praxis and theory are now available to those interested in game design

This is the first of two seminars a student will take designed to educate students about the video game industry, common practices within the industry with an emphasis on how games are designed and produced. Design I focuses on a ludological approach to games, focusing on game mechanics, production processes, and game theory. Students will read works covering game history, ludology, as well as current practices in game development. Students will both learn about and write pitches in addition to other types of pre-production documentation.

Game Design and Development II

Game Design and Development II is the second seminar in which students study and design games as well as investigate the process of game creation. This requirement may be met by taking one of a variety of courses offered and can focus on the final stages of game design and production, narrative approaches to games, user experiences, or ethics in games. Students will learn about critical perspectives, genre development, elements of game genres, traditions, and trajectories, as well as game post-production. Students will learn how to conduct and write a postmortem in addition to a game critique.


Rapid Prototyping

This class is the first course of four in the EAE:MGS game projects sequence. This section focuses primarily on rapid prototyping. Students will work in teams to pitch, prototype, and present games every four weeks, resulting in a better more refined game pitch and prototype. Each prototype sprint students will work on a different team. Additionally, a different design, aesthetic, of technical directive will define each sprint. Design requirements may vary from creating educational games, to specific genres. Teams will be made up of at least one producer, artist, and engineer. Four or five games will be prototyped using a variety of game engines and techniques.

Game Projects I

Game Projects I begins the three section team-based major game project. Students will work in teams to pitch, prototype, and begin development of their master’s game project. Instructors will meet regularly with students to both offer advice and criticism as the game progresses.

Game Projects II

Students will work in teams to finish development of their master’s game project and submit it to contests of festivals should they see fit. Instructors meet regularly with students to both offer advice and criticism as the game progresses.

Game Projects III

Students will continue to work with their team to polish and publish their master’s game project, as well as fill out their individual portfolio projects. Instructors continue to meet regularly with students.