Game Theory Graduate Degree Programs

The study of game theory at the graduate level is offered as an individual course through mathematics or economics departments. The content in these graduate classes is applicable to business, the social sciences, and computer information programs, as it prepares students to research, analyze, and apply risk assessments and managerial principles. Studying game theory in a graduate program requires a solid foundation in mathematics and statistics while opening up a wide array of career options.

Graduate Degrees Including Game Theory Courses

While there aren't programs specifically in game theory, there are several graduate degree programs that include courses in game theory. Check out a few below.

Masters of Applied Mathematics and Computational Science

A master's degree in applied mathematics and computational science prepares students to work in research-based, academic, or industrial fields where large-scale calculations are applicable. Courses in this master's program are designed to provide students with the foundations of mathematics, specifically courses like game theory. This course allows students to participate in games and simulations in order to apply mathematical models, experience cooperation and non-cooperation scenarios, and consider zero sum outcomes. Students may also pursue an internship in a lab where they pursue these practices and theories as they relate to specific research interests.

PhD in Economics

Many graduate degrees in economics include coursework in game theory that allow students to study the subject in-depth. Advanced economic theory courses in particular often touch on components of game theory, like evolutionary game theory and dynamic games. Students generally need to have appropriate transcripts, letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, a statement of purpose, and appropriate test scores to study economics at the doctoral level. Students do not need to have a degree in economics, but a strong background with economics and mathematics is recommended.

PhD in Managerial Economics & Strategy

A PhD in managerial economics and strategy is an interdisciplinary degree that brings together economics, mathematics, and management courses to train students in analytical thinking, data modeling, and research-based analysis. This program emphasizes different theories and methods related to strategy and decision-making, including game theory. It seeks to train students for careers in economic policy, law, and organization management. A program lasts about five years, beginning with fundamentals and building toward an individual's specific interests, skills, and research focus.

Career Opportunities For Those With Game Theory Educational Experience

Game theory can be applied to financial markets, business and operational management practices, economic research and analysis, and other fields that require problem-solving skills, mathematical proficiency, and informed decision making. Below are some careers where these skills are needed.

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts research, analyze, and report on market trends in order to assess product demand, availability, and pricing effectively. Market research analysts also present this information to businesses and other marketplaces using visuals such as charts, graphs, and tables. A graduate degree with game theory courses would help a market research analyst develop techniques to assess qualitative and quantitative data as they structure potential business plans and develop marketing campaigns.

Operations Research Analysts

Operations research analysts analyze statistics and other data to identify and rectify business, logistical, and management problems to clients, business, or organizations. Operations research analysts provide feedback to managers and administrators, offering recommendations about decision-making and problem-solving. Given the wide array of problems that an operations research analyst may be tasked to address, a background in game theory could provide this analyst with many methods to employ as they examine and evaluate possible solutions.

Mathematicians and Statisticians

Mathematicians and statisticians use mathematical theories and principles to solve problems, analyze data, and answer questions related to sports, economics, business practices, marketing, and education, among other topics. Mathematicians and statisticians present their findings to clients, an academic community, or organizations, as necessary. They are skilled data-collectors and researchers and, with a background in game theory, can apply specific models to how decision-makers function on an intellectual level.

Financial Analysts

Financial analysts specialize in assessing investment possibilities and recommendations, assessing consumer markets and business planning, and studying trends that influence a company's or a client's economic interests. Financial analysts may work in a specific industry or geographical location and, with respect to game theory, will employ models and theories to their data in order to facilitate effective and prosperous financial decisions.


Economists employ economic models, theories, including game theory, and practices to questions, issues, and problems related to issues of finance, market behavior, healthcare, monetary exchange, or other fields as needed. Economists can work with specific companies, in governmental departments or organizations, or in academia. Economists research and collect data in order to understand economic trends in the past as well as to try to make future projections.

Studying game theory opens students up to techniques and models applicable to economics, business, social sciences, and mathematics while offering the tools necessary to research and analyze data with great detail. Graduate degrees in game theory do not exist, but one can find graduate degrees with game theory courses.

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