College of Arts and Communication

Media Arts and Game Development

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Making interactive content and engaging with others is at the heart of the Media Arts and Game Development program at UW-Whitewater — or MAGD, as we call it on campus.

This degree combines classes from communication, art, music, computer science and other academic areas, and it also provides the in-depth technical education today’s media jobs require.

This versatile degree will prepare you to take on a number of roles including multimedia producer, game developer, usability engineer, motion graphics artist, interface designer, 3D artist and animator, and mobile app developer.

What’s more, is that concepts and skills learned in media arts and game development can apply to everyday life — and a variety of career paths.

4-YEAR PLAN

CAN WE BRAG A LITTLE?

Why study Media Arts and Game Development at UW-Whitewater?

Our program is a collaboration between several departments and programs on campus, and that means the Media Arts and Game Development degree is extremely flexible.

We often see students combine majors, minors and bachelor’s degree programs into a unique package targeted just toward their career goals — such as adding the MAGD minor to a degree in computer science, graphic design, electronic media, or film studies.

To help you focus your degree, you’ll choose from one of three emphasis areas:

Media Arts
Learn to produce original, creative digital content for interactive computer games, animation, special effects, 3D, motion graphics and more.

Communication/Gaming
Gain practical skills in audio, video, and writing for digital media while also exploring the role games and emerging technology have in today’s culture.

Gaming Technology
Hone the programming and software development expertise needed to work with real-time interactive graphics and game development.

UW-Whitewater students Katherine Stull, left, and Andrew Condon demonstrate the interactive game they created based on the writings of Edgar Allen Poe at the MAGD Expo on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.  Also involved in developing the game which they named "A Dream Within a Dream," was Jeremy Behreandt, not shown.  Stull said the students worked about 14 weeks on the game, which could be used in schools at the middle school level to supplement a unit on Poe.

Other reasons to study Media Arts and Game Development at UW-Whitewater:

  • Choose a minor or second major to supplement your education and expand your career opportunities.
  • Hear from industry experts at our annual expo; past speakers included designers and studio heads representing games and films such as God of War, Baby Driver, Transformers, Madden, Assassin's Creed and more.
  • Compete for scholarships and other awards, such as the Best in Show Prize at the MAGD Expo or regional game design expos and competitions like M-Dev.

What our Media Arts and Game Development students do

Graphic of white controller on a blue background.

Learn video game development

White graphic of a computer on a green background.

Hone multimedia storytelling and design skills

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Solve problems as they participate in research projects

Campus opportunities

As a Media Arts and Game Development major at UW-Whitewater, you can take part in many hands-on learning opportunities, including creator, production, and leadership roles at campus media outlets.    

Study abroad and exchange program

We’re proud to offer an exchange program with the game development program at HAN University in Holland. Throughout the academic year, we collaborate with HAN students on a team game project and then travel to Holland in the spring to complete the game with them.

Undergraduate research

Many MAGD students participate in UW-Whitewater’s Research Apprenticeship Program, or work on their own projects and creations under faculty mentors.

Internships

You have the option to complete an internship as part of the MAGD program, whether it’s on campus in the Digital Media Lab or off campus for a media or production company.

Student organizations

GAMED — Game and Media Entertainment Developers — is a student organization for students interested in designing their own games.

The hallmark of GAMED is Game Jams: a “hack-a-thon” type event where students receive a theme on Friday, break into teams and, by Sunday, create a game. This weekend-long challenge allows our students to extend their creativity, build coding knowledge and learn to work effectively in teams.

Other video game development and related campus groups include:

  • Esports
  • Anime
  • Smash Bros.
  • Gaming Group of Whitewater (board games)
  • Animation Club

Our facilities

The program includes four dedicated teaching labs — with a combination of PCs and Mac computers and drawing tablets.

Our Motion Capture Studio is open to all students and faculty members and features an Optitrack system optimized just for our location.

The program also has additional equipment and facilities available for student use:

  • Laser cutter/etcher
  • 3D printer
  • Large-format printer
  • Video and audio studios and equipment

We also have a room with gaming consoles that serves as a meeting space for our student organization, GAMED, and our weekend-long game jams.

What our graduates do

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Game and mobile app developers

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Multimedia producers and usability engineers

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Motion graphics artists, interface designers, 3D artists and animators

Game Development jobs: Career success

Our graduates are doing — and making — exciting things. Here are a few positions and organizations recent Media Arts and Game Development majors found after graduation:

  • Graphic designer – Image 360
  • UX (user experience) engineer – Concurrency
  • Community manager – Human Head Studios (now Bethesda)
  • QA Tester – Raven Software
  • Game engineer – Filament games
  • Software engineer – PerBlue
  • Graphic designer – iCombat Equipment
  • Operations associate – Bird
  • Production designer – Obsidian Entertainment
  • Composer/sound designer – Filament Games

Media Arts and Game Development majors also go on to graduate school, such as at UW-Whitewater’s Master of Computer Science program.

Our MAGD faculty

On our Media Arts and Game Development faculty members are from across disciplines and bring a wide range of career and life experience. They’re also creators themselves: composers, authors, designers and musicians.

Faculty research interests include:

  • motion graphics
  • motion capture in conjunction with 3D modeling
  • installation work
  • digital fine art
  • film and video game soundtracks
  • game research
Meet our MAGD faculty »

Want to learn more about earning a degree in Media Arts and Game Development at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater? Contact us »

UW-Whitewater offers the following Media Arts and Game Development degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts — Media Arts and Game Development
  • Bachelor of Science — Media Arts and Game Development
  • Minor in Media Arts and Game Development

MAGD majors can choose from three emphases:

In addition to UW-Whitewater’s general education requirements, all Media Arts and Game Development majors will take a set of core courses, including:

  • Intro to Media Arts and Game Development
  • Visual Imaging for Digital Media
  • Drawing for Digital Media
  • Web Development, Game Development and/or Interactive Communication
  • Senior Capstone Project


The rest of your required and elective courses will vary based on your emphasis area, personal interests and career goals. MAGD students have access to an incredible amount of courses from across programs and departments at UW-Whitewater, from communication and computer science to art and music. Here are just a few course titles you might explore:

  • Electronic Music and Sound Design
  • Intro to Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Structures
  • Motion Graphic Animation Studio
  • Video Games and Learning
  • Intro to Modern and Contemporary Art
  • Screenwriting
  • Game Studies and Design
  • Technical and Scientific Writing

To apply, you’ll complete the UW-Whitewater application for admission and indicate your interest in the Media Arts and Game Development degree.

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