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UW-Stout's Game Design Program Levels Up

Brian Sheridan

Emily Dillhunt, a senior majoring in game design and development, uses a virtual reality headset while working in a UW-Stout design lab. The game design program has been ranked 21st in the U.S. and Canada by Princeton Review.
Emily Dillhunt, a senior majoring in game design and development, uses a virtual reality headset while working in a UW-Stout design lab. The game design program has been ranked 21st in the U.S. and Canada by Princeton Review.

UW-Stout’s game design and development program has been recognized on a national scale for the fourth year in a row, and it's been named by Princeton Review to be one of the best in North America. Their 2016 game design program rankings were released March 15 and listed Stout at number 21, the the only one from Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Iowa to make the top 50.

In a another Princeton Review ranking of the top 25 graduate schools for video game design, Stout came in at 17. Stout’s Graduate School offers a Master of Fine Arts in design with eight concentrations, including game design.

Stout offers two undergraduate game design programs, a Bachelor of Science program with a focus on computer science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts program with a focus on art. Math and computer science skills are needed to develop computer graphics, artificial intelligence and game engines. Art and design skills, such as drawing, digital imaging, and animation are needed to create interface components, 3D environments, and 3D characters.

A UW-Stout game design student created a video that required many of the skills students learn, including drawing, animation and creating 3D environments and characters.
A UW-Stout game design student-created video requiring many of the skills students learn, including drawing, animation and creating 3D environments and characters.

The rankings from Princeton Review are based on a survey of 150 schools in the U.S. and Canada that offer video game design. Robert Franek, Princeton Review's senior vice president and publisher, called it a “burgeoning” field and said the ranked schools offer “extraordinary opportunities” for students.

"The faculties at these schools are outstanding.” Franek said. “Their facilities are awesome. And their alumni include legions of the industry's most prominent game designers, developers, artists and entrepreneurs.”

UW-Stout’s original game design and development program was approved in 2009 by the UW System Board of Regents. The BFA program was approved in December of 2014.