Game design programs move up to 15th in national rankings

Princeton Review also ranks MFA in design program 20th for game design
November 3, 2017
Game design Professor Diane Christie talks with Chancellor Bob Meyer as he tries virtual reality technology at a recent UW-Stout game expo. / Brett Roseman

The game design and development programs at University of Wisconsin-Stout have moved up in a 2017 national ranking, and the Master of Fine Arts in design program also has received national attention.

The university’s two game design bachelor’s programs are ranked No. 15 in North America by Princeton Review, an educational services company known for its annual rankings of colleges, law schools and business schools. The rankings were released Tuesday, March 21.

Last year UW-Stout’s programs were ranked No. 21 in North America.

Students play Everend during a game expo on campus.

UW-Stout again is the only game design program from Wisconsin, Minnesota or Iowa in the top 25 list out of 150 programs reviewed. The No. 1-ranked school is University of Southern California.

UW-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.

In early March, UW-Stout won a national video game competition, taking first place for Best Visual Quality in the Intel University Games Showcase in San Francisco. Just 11 schools nationwide were invited to compete. The UW-Stout entry, Everend, was created by a team of students under the direction of Associate Professor Dave Beck, director of the game design-art program.

Read more about the award here and see a video trailer about the game.

Dave Beck“It is such an honor to be nationally recognized again,” said Professor Diane Christie, director of the B.S. in game design program. “Although we have two separate undergraduate degrees, our game design and development program’s strength comes from the faculty, staff and students in both degree areas to continue to achieve great things by working together and producing games of high quality. The success of our program is reflected in the success of our graduates.”

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 2014.

“Game design is an exciting field, and programs are springing up in colleges all over the world,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review editor in chief. “As we continue to help students find the best program for their needs and interests, we strongly recommend UW-Stout and each of the other schools that made our 2017 ranking lists. These schools have outstanding faculties and great facilities which will give students the skills and experience they need to pursue a career in this dynamic and burgeoning field.”

Princeton Review is not associated with Princeton University and is not a magazine.

MFA program ranked

Princeton Review also released a list of the top 25 graduate programs at which to study game design, and UW-Stout’s Master of Fine Arts in design program came in at No. 20, making the top 20 for the second straight year.

Julie PetersonThe MFA program has eight concentrations, including game design.

No other program from Wisconsin, Iowa or Minnesota made the list.

“I was very excited to see our graduate program ranked for two years now in a row,” said Associate Professor Julie Peterson, program director. “The MFA in design program offers graduate students a chance to focus on the ever-growing discipline of game design. We have a lot to offer our students who want to take their careers to the next level and customize their experiences.”



Second: Students play Everend during a game expo on campus. 

Third: Dave Beck

Bottom: Julie Peterson

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