Graduate Orientation

Letter from IGM Director

Welcome new students to the School of Interactive Games and Media (IGM) within the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS). The faculty and staff in IGM are looking forward to working with you during your graduate study career. You are joining an exciting and demanding college that provides the education that will help you meet the expectations and opportunities you will encounter in your career and throughout your life. We hope that your academic career at RIT will prove to be fruitful and challenging.

To start your career at RIT off on the right foot we encourage you to visit the Office of Graduate Studies ( Their program is separate from the New Student Orientation program for undergraduate students.

We will continue to provide just in time communication to incoming students on this page. Also, please consider following us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@IGMRIT) to stay connected with the latest IGM related news and events. Finally, please check your RIT email account for future correspondence from IGM. If you have trouble accessing your email account, contact Information & Technology Services (ITS) at or 585-475-4357.

Additional information about getting prepared for your first semester at RIT is below. You can also call our main office at 585-475-2763 if you have additional questions.

We look forward to meeting you in the fall!

With Best Wishes,

David I. Schwartz
Director and Associate Professor
School of Interactive Games and Media

Graduate Program Staff

  • Dr. Jessica Bayliss, Associate Director of IGM and Associate Professor


Office Phone Number: 585-475-2507

Office Location: GOL-2153



  • Jill Bray, Administrative Assistant to the Director



Office Phone Number: 585-475-7657

Office Location: GOL-2161


Fall 2018 Courses for All First Year MS GDD Students

Core Courses


You will be automatically signed up for all core (required) MS courses that first year students take in their fall semester at the end of July. These courses are the following and will account for seven of the nine credits required for full time status as a graduate student:


IGME 601 Game Development Processes: This course examines the individual and group roles of the development process model within the game design and development industry.  Students will transform design document specifications into software and hardware needs for developers, testers, and end users.  Students will examine team dynamics and processes for technical development, content development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.  Students will explore the design process through the deconstruction of the game industry's software lifecycle model.


IGME 602 Game Design: This course presents students with core theories of game design, informed by research results from media theory, narrative methods and models, theories of ideation, and the nature of games, play and fun. Specific emphasis is placed on the examination of historical successes and failures, along with presentation of ethical and cultural issues related to the design of interactive software.  Students will engage in formal critique and analysis of media designs and their formal elements.


IGME 695 Colloquium in Game Design and Development: This required colloquium will introduce students to a range of emerging topics and themes in the field of game design and development. Students will attend lectures by and discussions with RIT faculty and visitors, complete related readings, and offer both oral and written responses to readings and presentations.





Students will be signed up for their first year elective after filling out an online survey to be done by JULY 2nd. Please look for an email with the survey link.


IGME 622 – Game Balance: This course is an in-depth exploration of the sub-field of game design known as balance. Topics include: transitive mechanics and cost/power curves; economic systems in games; probability and the psychology of randomness; pseudorandom numbers; situational balance; level/XP curves, advancement and pacing; tuning; statistics, metrics, and analytics; intransitive mechanics, game theory, and payoff matrices; and the applied use of spreadsheets.


IGME 670 – Digital Audio Production:  Technologies and techniques for producing and manipulating digital audio are explored. Topics include digital representations of sound, digital audio recording and production, MIDI, synthesis techniques, real-time performance issues, and the application of digital audio to multimedia and Web production.


IGME 760 – AI for Gameplay: This course explores artificial intelligence concepts and research through both a theoretical perspective and a practical application to game development.  In particular the course focuses on AI concepts and paradigms such as search and representation, reasoning under uncertainty, intelligent agents, biologically inspired computing and machine learning to real-time situations and applications as relevant to the field of entertainment technology and simulation.


IGME 796 Topics in Game Design (Level Design): This course introduces level design theory and construction. Students will learn by exploring levels from various genres. They will analyze and contrast each genre, and explore differences between single and multiplayer levels. Students will learn various aspects of level design theory, including how to use landmarks, verticality, how to make the game world feel expansive, quest design, and how to guide the player through a level. They will enhance their understanding of level design principles by creating their own game levels. Students will also research specific level design elements that interest them, and present their in depth findings to the class.


Orientation Week Information

Keep your eyes peeled for more information regarding RIT’s New Graduate Student/ International Student Services Orientation, which centers around all incoming first year graduate students on campus. You will receive emails and/or hard copy communication from the Office of Graduate Education or from the International Student Services Office, with further details.

 Office of Graduate Education website:

International Student Services website

Please note: for domestic MS GDD students, some of the information found on the International Student Services websites is pertinent to your academic career too! Please take a look around at the provided links.


Move In Day

Date: Saturday, August 18, 2018


Arrival Details and How You Can Prepare:


International Student Services Orientation Information

Please refer to the following link for updated details:


School of IGM Graduate Student Orientation Details

Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Location: Golisano Hall; Room #1610 (aka GOL-1610…you will see as GOL on RIT campus maps)

Timing is as follows:

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: All new MS GDD students ONLY for an introduction to the School of IGM

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm: All new BS/MS and MS GDD students for an introduction to faculty and a catered lunch

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm: tour of facilities


Summer Checklist for First Year Graduate Students

Things to do before arriving at RIT:

Employment Opportunities and Co-op Experience

Employment Opportunities at RIT: 


  • Student Employment Office (SEO):

  • School of Interactive Games and Media Labbie or TA: The school hires both lab workers and teaching assistants to work roughly 10-20 hours a week.

    • Contact Ann Warren ( to fill out an application for the next semester

  • Co-op / Internship: students can work over the summer as part of their education (this counts as CPT for international students). This has to be registered at RIT through the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education.

Technical Resources

We know that you are anxious to get a jump start on preparing for RIT. The number one question we receive regarding technical needs is: What PC/Laptop/Tablet do we recommend for purchase to an incoming student?

The answer is that we do not recommend that incoming students of any level purchase a laptop or desktop prior to arriving at RIT!

Surprised? The reason behind this is that students will acclimate to the environment for what works best for them. For example, a tablet for taking notes, a desktop in their room, a laptop that does both, etc. We provide adequate facilities with all the software needed for students to meet their curricular needs (and it lets you get to know your fellow students!). Additionally, current students sometimes receive educational discounts that they would not obtain prior to their arrival at RIT.

For more information about the technical resources available to IGM students: & Tech Sheet PDF (215 KB)

Additional RIT Resources

Office of Graduate Education:

Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships:

RIT Center for Campus Life:

Off-Campus Housing Information:

International Student Services:

Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education:

Office of Graduate Admission and Part-Time Enrollment: