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

Our 2015 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 of Art dates back to 1932 when it was called The Academy of Art. Home to around 150 students, the school consists of 10 departments led by an Artist or Designer-in-Residence. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include an MFA in Graphic Design. The program, which places strong emphasis on studio work time and group critique, is offered through the 2D/graduate graphic design department.

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Our 2015 list of the Top 25 Public Graphic Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia (Top 1% of schools considered)

Established in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is home to more than 31,000 students enrolled in around 226 certificate and degree programs across 13 schools and one college. The School of the Arts is home to the Department of Graphic Design. The Department offers two programs for aspiring graphic designers. Students may choose between the BFA in Graphic Design or the MFA with a Concentration in Visual Communications (Graphic Design).

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Our 2015 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. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

DePaul University was established in 1898. It is the nation’s largest Catholic university with a student population of 23,799 students enrolled in more than 300 programs through 10 colleges and schools. The College of Computing and Digital Media offers several programs for aspiring game designers including BS and MS degrees in Computer Game Development with Concentrations in Game Design, GamePlay Programming, and Systems Programming.

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 Our 2015 list of the Top 50 Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. 1. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Valencia, California (top 5% of schools considered)

Established in 1961, California Institute of the Arts is home to 1,489 students enrolled in more than 70 programs at all degree levels. The nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts, CalArts attracts a large population of aspiring filmmakers and animators. Around 26.9 percent of the schools population is enrolled in the School of Film/Video. The School offers a BFA degree in Character Animation, and BFA and MFA degrees in Experimental Animation.

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Our 2015 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 (UCLA), Los Angeles, California

Founded in 1919 as the Southern Branch of the University of California, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is home to 43,239 students enrolled in more than 220 programs across five schools and 109 academic departments. UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television is home to the Animation Workshop.

Founded in 1948 by Disney Animator William Shull, the Animation Workshop is a three-year MFA program that accepts just 12 new students each year. Before applying to the program, students typically earn a BA in Film and Television. The BA program gives future MFA students the opportunity to study all facets of Digital Media, Film, and Television, as well as a full year of Animation studies, followed by an internship. 

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Our 2015 list of the Top 50 Private Animation School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.


11. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Valencia, California

Established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney, CalArts is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. Home to 1,489 students, with 26.9 percent enrolled in the School of Film/Video, CalArts offers a BFA degree in Character Animation, and a BFA and MFA in Experimental Animation.

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Wisconsin Illustration

Most creative industries today require the expertise of someone who can sketch/illustrate/ draw. Just a few include publishing, TV, film and video, advertising, graphic design, animation, fashion, and architecture. Many other industries such as legal, medical, and science and technology routinely hire technical illustrators as well. What this means is today’s illustrator must be talented, versatile, and well trained. Fortunately, most art programs at colleges and universities offer illustration and drawing programs, or a significant amount of illustration/drawing coursework may be part of a larger program such as animation or graphic design.

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Wisconsin

Did you know that around 67 percent of U.S. households play video games and kids no longer dominate the gaming world? According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), in 2010, just 25 percent of gamers were under 18. The average age of a gamer is actually 34, and the most frequent game purchaser is often around 39. Further, around 49 percent of gamers are 18-49 years of age and twenty-six percent are over 50. Finally, around two out of every five players are female. 

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Film Wisconsin is an innovative non-profit organization and public-private partnership that was created to assist the state’s film, TV, and video game industries. The organization helps attract a variety of major productions, post-production studios, and professionals by offering incentives, easy access to locations, and a hassle-free approval process. Films such as Transformers 3 (2011) and Public Enemies (2009) have filmed here as well as The Amityville Horror (2005) American Movie (1999), The Deep End of the Ocean (1999) and A Simple Plan (1998). Productions such as these have helped put Wisconsin on the map in the film and video industry

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Our 2015 list of the Top 25 Private Graphic Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island (Top 1% of schools considered)

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) was founded during the 19th-century Industrial Revolution, when the textiles and jewelry manufacturing industries were beginning to take off in Providence. Since 1877, this private, not-for-profit, four-year art school has taught art and design to thousands of students and it has educated the general public “about the intrinsic value of the arts to society.” Today, the school is home to 2,014 undergraduate students and 435 graduate students from across the U.S. and 57 other countries. This co-educational art school offers 32 degree programs, with graphic design leading the pack. Degree offerings include a BFA in Graphic Design and a two- or three-year MFA in Graphic Design.

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