Game design, animation programs best in state, among best in nation

New rankings from two national organizations keep School of Art and Design BFAs in elite company
A student uses virtual reality to experience a student-made game at UW-Stout.
​Jerry Poling | April 11, 2022

Eleanore Falck is ready to take her “game” to the next level, thanks in part to her education in a program at University of Wisconsin-Stout that once again has been ranked among the best in the U.S.

Falck, of Ashland, a senior in game design and development-art, will move to Boston after graduating in May to work for the Molasses Flood, a CD Projekt Studio. She will be a junior environment artist for the national game developer, which recently released Drake Hollow.

I am proud of how hard I worked to quickly improve my skills and get a job I'm really excited about in a highly competitive field,” Falck said.

Eleanore Falck, a senior in the game design and development-art program at UW-Stout.
Eleanore Falck, a senior in the game design and development-art program at UW-Stout. / UW-Stout

Success on a national level is nothing new for game design and development-art program graduates, as well as for those in the animation and digital media program.

New rankings place both of the Bachelor of Fine Arts undergraduate programs, as well as the game design and development concentration of the affiliated Bachelor of Science computer science program, in select company, where they have been for the past decade.

Princeton Review ranked the game design and development-art program:

  • No. 7 nationally among public universities and colleges
  • No. 26 overall in the U.S.
  • No. 1 in Wisconsin

Princeton Review, an educational services company, surveyed 150 colleges and universities with game design majors, including schools in Canada and Europe.

Animation Career Review ranked the animation and digital media program:

  • No. 37 nationally among public universities and colleges
  • No. 17 in the Midwest
  • No. 1 in Wisconsin

The 10th annual rankings by Animation Career Review considered programs at 125 schools.
 

Students work in a School of Art and Design computer lab at UW-Stout.
Students work in a School of Art and Design computer lab at UW-Stout. / UW-Stout

"Despite the challenges and disruptions caused by the pandemic the past two years, our programs continued to maintain our high standards and national profile as a top school in these fields,” said Associate Professor Andrew Williams, director of the BFA game design and development-art program.

Associate Professor Kim Loken is director of the animation and digital media program as well as an instructor in game design and development-art. “The rankings affirm the strength in how we’ve structured the curriculum, wherein students in both programs share core courses, benefiting from a larger pool of faculty, while also gaining depth from dedicated course sequences in their respective areas. This creates a robust community for the students too,” she said.

Animation Career Review also ranked game design programs, with UW-Stout coming in No. 8 in the Midwest, No. 19 nationally among public schools, No. 38 nationally overall and No. 1 in Wisconsin.

Falck said the School of Art and Design at UW-Stout fed her creative abilities by providing a broad-based curriculum and opportunities to network with professionals.

“Stout taught me the foundation of a variety of skills so I was able to discover what I liked the most and focus on those skills. I also had opportunities to meet current industry professionals and practice public speaking by being part of the International Game Developers Association,” Falck said.

When she decided to focus on 3D environment art, she received help from Assistant Professor Joshua Seaver to create an independent study course and dig in deeper to the subject, she said. “It was incredibly beneficial to me,” she said.

UW-Stout’s School of Art and Design has six BFA programs, including graphic design and interactive mediaindustrial designinterior design and studio art. It offers two Bachelor of Science degrees in arts administration and entrepreneurship and video production and a Master of Fine Arts in design.

UW-Stout’s game design and animation lab spaces include a state-of-the-art Vicon Motion Capture Studio.

###


School of Education’s Teach Day gives high school students opportunity to ‘explore teaching in an interactive way’ Featured Image

School of Education’s Teach Day gives high school students opportunity to ‘explore teaching in an interactive way’

Education students help to inspire others to meet the growing need of teachers in Wisconsin
UW-Stout choirs join in sharing musical traditions of Estonia, Poland and Ukraine in concert Dec. 3 Featured Image

UW-Stout choirs join in sharing musical traditions of Estonia, Poland and Ukraine in concert Dec. 3

Highlights include national folk songs, ‘Carol of the Bells,’ Swan Lake Ballet performance
Students give back through involvement at new Boys & Girls Clubs middle school program Featured Image

Students give back through involvement at new Boys & Girls Clubs middle school program

Three students from UW-Stout are helping the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley take its services to the next level.