Applying for the Serious Games Graduate Certificate

If you are not an MSU student, and would like to enroll in the Serious Games Graduate Certificate, that’s great!  You must have completed a BA or BS degree.

Here’s how to apply:

Applying for the certificate program if you are not an MSU graduate student resembles a badly designed game.  Our apologies for the tortuous instructions.

Things in GREEN are things you do need to do in the application process.  Things in RED are things the system will ask you for, that YOU DO NOT NEED to do.  Please pay attention or you will end up doing much more than is needed.

After you start your application, you will need to have your undergraduate transcript sent directly from the college or university where you graduated to MSU. The undergraduate transcript is required even if you have completed a PhD.

Have questions about the Serious Games Graduate Certificate?

Certificate Tuition and Fees

Visit this page for an estimate on tuition and fees.  Choose the current semester.  Graduate Student costs approximate what graduate certificate students would pay.  Choose in-state (Michigan) or out-of-state, and International or not.  Enter the total number of credits for the program (9).

How to Apply

You DO NOT need to take the GREs.

If you are an international student and English is not your first language, you will need TOEFL scores (submitted electronically).

All three graduate certificate courses can be taken as fully online classes.   In order to enroll in these classes and earn the certificate, prospective international and domestic students will need to enroll in Michigan State University as “graduate certificate” students and to enter the program code 1497 for the Graduate Certificate in Serious Game Design and Research.

Here are the details of enrolling in our certificate program.

Go to and apply as a “graduate certificate” student.

On the Application & Request Info page, choose your status (Domestic or International) and choose Graduate Certificate. Complete application and submit with $50 payment.  Be sure to enter the program code “1497 Graduate Certificate Program in Serious Game Design and Research” (it will appear in a popup list under Other Information on about page 3 of the application.

IMPORTANT: The application form currently includes many fields that are not required. If you are a distant student who does not intend to move to campus, it is OK to skip or leave the following blank:

  • When it asks for Current Visa Application, say “On-line certificate
  • When it asks for intended visa classification for study at MSU also say, “On-line certificate
  • There is no need to enter the name of the parent or guardian nor their address
  • For your major preference say 1497 (that’s the code for serious game design)
  • You do not need to enter the number of credits for your prior degrees.
  • You do not need to answer whether you have taken or planned to take any courses in any college before entering MSU.
  • You do not need to answer how many college credits will you have attempted before entering MSU.
  • You DO NEED a personal statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell the M.A. Director and Director of the Serious Game Graduate Certificate program about yourself, your background (e.g., cultural, ethnic, etc.), your passion and professional interests and aspirations including why you are interested in the serious game design and research graduate certificate program. In addition, this is the opportunity to communicate to the M.A. Committee any factors that may have contributed to any prior academic underperformance and you would wish for the M.A. Committee to take into consideration during the review of your application.

  • You DO NEED an academic statement

Your academic statement should indicate that you are applying to the Serious Games Graduate Certificate, and why you believe this certificate is a good fit to the professional goals and career paths of interest.

  • You do not need to enter dependent information

After you have completed your Admissions application, you should automatically be taken to GAMS (Graduate Admissions Management System), where you will create an account, select the Serious Games Graduate Certificate code option, and fill out the GAMS app as instructed.

Note that, like the university admissions form, there is a prompt asking students to submit letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are NOT required for admission into the Serious Games Graduate Certificate  program.  As a workaround, please click the optional statement “letters sent to the Department directly” which will override that part of the application.