Milwaukee Game Design Colleges with Degree Program Summaries

Jan 22, 2019

The Milwaukee area has 6 colleges that offer programs related to game design. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements at 3 schools within 10 miles of downtown and make an informed education decision.

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Schools in Milwaukee with Game Design Programs

Milwaukee-area students interested in video game design can choose a variety of programs at several schools. Programs in game design, interactive media, animation and software engineering can all be useful since they typically train students to create, develop and test video games. This article examines 3 schools no more than 20 minutes from the city center and at the programs they offer. It includes a table of facts about each school, including school type, size and tuition. At the end of the article is a little information about a few more nearby schools with relevant programs.

  • Approximately a mile from downtown, Milwaukee Area Technical College has an associate's degree program in computer simulation and gaming, which includes 3 concentrations, as well as an associate's degree program in animation.
  • A bachelor's degree program in computer science with a game development concentration is available at Cardinal Stritch University, about eight miles from the heart of Milwaukee.
  • The Milwaukee School of Engineering is less than a mile from downtown. It offers a bachelor's degree program in software engineering, which trains the learner in game development and design.

Comparison of Schools

The following table presents pertinent information that aspiring game design students should consider when choosing a school.

Milwaukee Area Technical College Cardinal Stritch University Milwaukee School of Engineering
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 14,012* 2,355* 2,823*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $4,491, in-state;
$6,174, out-of-state*
$28,844* $39,429*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2017) 73%* 99%* 99%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - open admission 78%* 63%*
Retention Rate (2017) 51% for full-time students;
44% for part-time students*
77% for full-time students;
100% for part-time students*
85% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate 11% (21% transfer-out rate) for students who began in 2014* 45% (44% transfer-out rate) for students who began in 2011* 67% (24% transfer-out rate) for students who began in 2011*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) is a 2-year, public institution with 4 Milwaukee-area campuses, which include Milwaukee, Mequon, Oak Creek and West Allis. The School of Media and Creative Arts offers associate's degree programs for students seeking careers in game design. The programs are offered at the downtown Milwaukee campus.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Simulation and Gaming

The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) program in computer simulation and gaming is designed for students seeking careers in game design, programming, production, 3D art, modeling or animation. The program includes emphases in programming, animation and design. Some of the core courses in this interdisciplinary program include software architecture, design, labs and interactive production. The programming track includes coursework such as game logic, game scripting, data structures and artificial intelligence. Those who choose the design track can take classes in game design, application programming, game logic and interactive simulation. The track in animation focuses on 3D animation and modeling, character expression and development, and timelines; students in this emphasis also complete an animation portfolio.

Associate of Applied Science in Animation

MATC also offers an A.A.S. degree program in animation, which can be helpful for a number of game design areas, such as concept art, game modeling, game animation and effects animation. The program focuses on artistic design in gaming with some required courses including 3D animation and modeling, drawing for animators, character development, 3D simulation and animation acting. Students are required to complete an animation portfolio.

Cardinal Stritch University

Cardinal Stritch University is a private, Catholic school in suburban Milwaukee. The university offers a computer major and minor. Students can choose a game development emphasis.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science with a Concentration in Game Development

Students who are interested in studying game design at this university might want to consider a bachelor's degree in computer science. The major requires 43 credits including two credits of an internship experience. Electives will be chosen within the game development concentration. Courses in game development include interactive software implementation, game programming and game programming.

Milwaukee School of Engineering

The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) is a small, private institution that provides programs in engineering, business and nursing. The school offers a bachelor's degree in software engineering, which is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

The Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (BSSE) degree program at MSOE is primarily about video game development. A BSSE program trains student in software development and the studies are heavily grounded in computer science. Students can take electives to prepare for a career in game design. Some of these courses could include software development, tool and procedures in software engineering and the development of web applications. Senior-year students in the program complete a senior design course, which consists of working on an interdisciplinary team to complete a project. Students must also take a 1-year software development lab course, where students receive intensive professional coaching from instructors.

Other School Options

The Milwaukee area has 3 additional schools with programs with video game design training. Wisconsin Lutheran College is located west of downtown Milwaukee and offers a bachelor's degree in computer science. The school has a 24x7 computer lab that emphasizes C++ programming. A major in media design is available at Alverno College, which is a women's college near downtown Milwaukee. Some of the courses in the interdisciplinary program include 2D design, computer graphic design and interactive media. The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee has a bachelor's degree in computer science with concentrations in artificial intelligence and software engineering. In addition, UW-Milwaukee offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art and Design with a concentration in design and visual communication. Students in the BFA program can also enter the digital studio practice program and gain practical experience using digital technologies in visual art.

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