Profiles of Schools/Colleges in Wisconsin (WI) Offering Animation, Design, Gaming, and Media Related Programs

Our 2017 list of the Top 50 Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California (top 1% of schools considered) 

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, the school is home to 1,449 students enrolled in more than 70 programs across six schools including the School of Critical Studies, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, the School of Art, the School of Film/Video, The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, and the School of Theater. The School of Film/Video is the largest school at CalArts, accounting for nearly 30% of the student population. Programs offered include a BFA in Character Animation and BFA and MFA degrees in Experimental Animation.

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Our 2017 rankings of the Top 10 game design schools and colleges in the Midwest. 

We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois 

The College of Computing and Digital Media CDM at DePaul University houses three schools—the School of Design (SoD), the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), and the School of Computing (SoC). CDM SoD and SoC offer several programs for aspiring game designers. SoD options include a BS in Game Design, MFA in Game Design, and Minors in Game Design and Game Programming. SoC offers BS and MS degrees in Game Programming and Minors in Game Design and Game Programming. The Minors are jointly offered by CDM SoD and SoC. 

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Our 2017 list of the Top 25 public Game Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (top 2% of schools considered) 

University of Utah (The U) was founded in 1850. The school is home more than 31,000 students enrolled in close to 200 academic programs. The U houses 17 colleges and schools, and nearly 100 departments. The College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts manage the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Master Games Studio (EAE:MGS). 

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Our 2017 list of the Top 50 Game Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California (top 1% of schools considered) 

University of Southern California (USC) was established in 1880. The school is home to 44,000 students enrolled in over 500 degree programs across 18 colleges and schools. Program options for aspiring game designers are available through Viterbi School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, Interactive Media & Games Division. Dornsife programs are offered in in conjunction with the School of Cinematic Arts. 

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The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee is the state’s second largest institute of higher education and features an enviable list of notable departments, faculty, and alumni. Among the gems that stand out to us here at ACR is its Design and Visual Communications program (DVC) which finds a home in one of the top fine arts schools in the nation- UWM’s Peck School of the Arts.

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Our 2016 rankings of the top graphic design schools in the Midwest.

We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.


1. Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Top 1% of schools considered)

Cranbrook Academy began “informal art education” in the late 1920s. The Academy consists of 10 programs/departments including 2D Design, 3D Design, Architecture, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Print Media, Photography and Sculpture. Per the Academy, “each department is led by a full-time Artist or Designer-in-Residence who is the sole faculty member and head of the department. Each department has an enrollment of approximately 15 students, who are selected by the Artist-in-Residence.” Programs are “free of the formal course structure typical of most art schools and universities. Instead the studio environment is the core of the curriculum with emphasis on developing an individual body of work.” 

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Our 2016 list of the Top 25 Public Graphic Design School Programs in the US. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1.  North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Raleigh North, Carolina (Top 1% of schools considered)

North Carolina State University at Raleigh (NC State Raleigh) is “the school of 100+ startups and spinoffs.” Founded in 1887 and home to more than 34,000 students, the school offers 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through 65 departments and 12 colleges. The College of Design is home to the Graphic Design program which offers two degree paths—a Bachelor of Graphic Design and a Master of Graphic Design.  The College has recently established a PhD in Design/Information Design Concentration as well. The undergraduate and graduate degrees are NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design) accredited and the PhD program is set to receive NASAD approval after graduating its first class. 

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Our 2016 list of the Top 50 Public Animation School Programs in the US. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is home to the Animation Workshop of the School of Theater, Film and Television. Founded in 1948 by William Shull, a Disney animator, the UCLA Animation Workshop is a three-year MFA program (MFA in Film, Television, and Digital Media) that accepts just 12 new students each year.

Students applying to the MFA program come from a variety of backgrounds; some have earned a BA or BFA in art or film studies, applicants also come from English, engineering, architecture, psychology, communications, and more. Animation graduates have landed positions at Pixar Animation Studios, and every major animation studio in Southern California; they have gone on to direct features such as The Simpsons Movie and Monster House and have directed with Tim Burton producing (the feature film 9). 

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Our 2016 list of the Top 50 Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California (top 1% of schools considered)

Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. With a population of 1,489 students enrolled in more than 70 programs at all degree levels, CalArts attracts a large population of aspiring filmmakers and animators. Around 26.9% of the student body is enrolled in the School of Film/Video, which offers BFA degrees in Character Animation and Experimental Animation. An MFA in Experimental Animation is also available.

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Our 2016 rankings of the Top 15 game design and development programs in the Midwest. 

We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University (MSU) is home to approximately 50,543 students. enrolled in more than 200 programs across 17 colleges. Programs for aspiring game designers are offered through the College of Communication Arts and Sciences’ Media and Information (MI) Department. Program offerings include a BA and a BS in Media and Information with a Game Design and Development Specialization, a BS in Computer Science with a Game Design and Development Specialization, and a BA or BFA in Studio Art with a Game Design and Development Specialization.

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