B.S. Degree in Game Design and Development

Flash Frozen wins national E-3 video game competition

The world is going digital. Entertainment is no exception. Sales of computer and video games have grown consistently over the past ten years and the industry is predicted to expand even more. Serious games feature the use of interactive game technologies within non-entertainment sectors for training, advertising, simulation or education. This is the future. Do you want to be a part of it?

Modern games are among the most demanding of computer programming applications, requiring knowledge of advanced mathematics and physics which form the basis of the 3D graphics, artificial intelligence and game engines that make up the game programs.

Using core skills in art and design such as drawing, digital imaging and animation, game artists create the visual elements necessary for the game including heads-up interface components, 3D environments and 3D characters.

To be successful in the industry, you must be skilled in your area of expertise (computer science or art), be able to work with your counterparts and apply those skills to creating games.

The Game Design and Development curriculum is based on a firm foundation of both computer science and art. Students will develop deeper skills in either art or computer science before joining back together in the three capstone advanced project courses. These courses simulate industry by creating games using a team environment.

Preparing for UW-Stout

High school preparation should include four years of English for all students. For the Computer Science concentration, four years of mathematics, a physics course and as many computer science or other science classes as possible are recommended. For students preparing for the Art concentration, three years of mathematics and as many art courses as possible are recommended.

In addition to the UW-Stout admission requirements, Art concentration applicants must submit a portfolio and essay to be reviewed by a committee of Game Design and Development faculty, who will determine admission into the major.

Computer Science concentration applicants must meet all of the following requirements: rank in the top 40 percent of their class (or for high schools that do not rank, earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale), have a minimum ACT composite score of 23 (or SAT equivalent), have a minimum ACT math score of 24 (or SAT equivalent), and submit an essay to be reviewed by a committee of Game Design and Development faculty, who will determine admission into the major.

Students not selected for admission to the program may choose to enter the University as "undeclared" and apply for a change of major in subsequent semesters. Acceptance of change of major may be dependent upon available openings in the program.

Starting Out

During your first semesters at UW-Stout, you'll enroll in a combination of general education and major courses. General education courses, including English composition, speech, science and others, are required of all students at UW-Stout. Your schedule will include introductory major courses in computer science, art, mathematics, physics and game design and development. To discuss your academic progress and future course work, you'll meet regularly with your adviser. Together you'll develop an academic plan for graduation to help you achieve your career objectives. Good student-faculty rapport is a UW-Stout tradition, and you'll get to know your teachers during your first year.

As You Progress

After you complete introductory courses in the major, your schedule each semester will include core courses in game design and development along with course work in the area of your concentration.

Co-op and internship experiences are encouraged and become an integral part of your education. They will give you hands-on experience in industry, allowing you to acquire an appreciation of career expectations and an understanding of the relevance of your academic course work. You'll develop communication and interpersonal skills while obtaining valuable work experience in your field. In addition, these are salaried positions so the experience helps to pay your educational costs.

Rewarding Careers

In 2008, computer and video game software sales hit approximately $11 billion, a 26 percent increase from 2007. Non-entertainment industries such as education, government, health, military, science, corporate training, first responders and social change are also embracing the game technology.

The game entertainment industry is the typical choice for careers, but game development skills are also used for serious purposes, such as military training, education, personal medical assistance and business simulations. The knowledge and skills from the Computer Science concentration are applicable in any software development position.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Career Guide to Industries for 2009 states that, "Employment in the software publishing industry has more than doubled since 1990. As firms continue to invest heavily in information technology, and as the demand for specialized software rises, employment in software publishing is projected to increase by 32 percent from 2006 to 2016."

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development predicts a 37.8 percent increase in the number of computer software applications engineers and a 14.4 percent increase in the number of multimedia artists and animators from 2006–2016.

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Accredited ABET Computing Accreditation Commission 

UW-Stout's Game Design and Development program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET

National Recognition

Top Undergrad Game Design Program, 2013, The Princeton Review

UW-Stout's B.S. in Game Design and Development program has been named one of best in U.S. by Princeton Review. Read more...

Flash Frozen screen captureFlash Frozen screen capture

Senior Project » Flash Frozen