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.
Our cutting-edge motion capture studio gives students real-world, technical experience.
Gamers from around the region came to campus to compete in and watch WEX 2020, the flagship event of the campus’s Esports Club.
MAGD students worked on a program aimed at helping physical therapy patients regain motion.
The MAGD Expo is an annual juried event, which features interactive entertainment, 3D, 2D, aural, virtual, and animated creative work.
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:
Learn to produce original, creative digital content for interactive computer games, animation, special effects, 3D, motion graphics and more.
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.
Hone the programming and software development expertise needed to work with real-time interactive graphics and game development.
Other reasons to study Media Arts and Game Development at UW-Whitewater:
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.
Many MAGD students participate in UW-Whitewater’s Research Apprenticeship Program, or work on their own projects and creations under faculty mentors.
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.
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:
Cassidy is currently a fifth-year senior student in the Media Arts and Game Development program at UW-Whitewater. Graduating in May '22, she has been a member of the student organization GAMED for 3 years. Majors: B.S. in Media Arts & Game Design, emphasis on Technology, B.A. in Film Studies & English, emphasis on Professional Writing & Publishing, Certificates in Women’s & Gender Studies & LGBTQ+ Studies.
Prue Thomas is majoring in MAGD with an emphasis in Gaming Technology and a minor in Computer Science. His love of video games and art led him to UW-Whitewater.
Adam is a double major with a B.S. in Media Arts and Game Development with a Communication/Gaming emphasis and a B.S. in Computer Science. Adam has always enjoyed making and building projects and when he was young would make board games and card games to share with others.
Lauren Strauss is pursuing a B.A. in Media Arts and Game Development with an Electronic Media emphasis. “I started drawing on a Wacom pad when I was 13. Later I was given the opportunity to attend a technical school for media arts and found my calling. Whitewater was close to home and it offered everything I was looking for in a Media Arts and Game Development program. I really enjoy being in the MAGD community. I feel welcomed and accepted in all of my classes here.”
Cameron is working towards a B.S. in Media Arts and Game Development with a minor in Web Development. Cameron discovered his passion for coding in his sophomore year of high school which led to him coming to UW-Whitewater for MAGD.
Dayne Farris is earning his B.S. in Media Arts and Game Development with an emphasis in Gaming Technology with a minor in Web Development and Administration. His love for computer science and creating video games drew him to the MAGD program.
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:
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.
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:
Media Arts and Game Development majors also go on to graduate school, such as at UW-Whitewater’s Master of Computer Science program.
John Kinzel is an alum of the MAGD program with a B.A. in Media Arts and Game Development with an emphasis in Visual Media Design. About his time at UW-Whitewater he says “It lit a fire underneath me and made me realize that video game development was the only thing I could imagine myself doing.”
Lucas works with the Milwaukee Brewers as a full-time video editor. With a B.A. in Media Arts and Game Development and an emphasis in Visual Media Design, he graduated with knowledge and experience of almost the entire Adobe Creative Suite.
Leah Blasczyk recently graduated in May '21 with a B.S. in Media Arts and Game Development, Computer Science, and Pure Mathematics. Now working as a Game Engineer at Filament Games in Madison, WI she says “Whitewater really helped me gain confidence communicating with others.”
Brandon Korth graduated with a B.A. in Media Arts and Game Development in 2015. Now, Brandon enjoys working as the Art Director at Filament Games in Madison, WI.
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:
Jeff Herriott has a joint position in the departments of Music and Communication, is affiliated with the Film Studies program, and serves as the coordinator of the Media Arts and Game Development Program. Jeff’s primary areas of focus as an academic include music composition, various aspects of music technology, and music and sound for film, television, and video games.
Dr. Rhea Vichot's current research interests include global popular culture, online and fan communities, and media criticism. In particular, she is interested in subaltern groups that have been historically linked with either 'hacker' culture or 'deviant' subcultures.
A. Bill Miller, an Associate Professor of Art and Design at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, earned his MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has exhibited and screened his animated videos, abstract drawings, animated GIFs, and web browser-based compositions nationally and internationally.
Nick Hwang is a composer, sonic artist, and game designer whose work explores connections in art, technology, and interaction. His research interests include live electronic/acoustic instrument performances, laptop ensembles, physical/gestural musical controls, interactive musical systems, and game design in musical settings.
UW-Whitewater offers the following Media Arts and Game Development degrees:
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:
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:
To apply, you’ll complete the UW-Whitewater application for admission and indicate your interest in the Media Arts and Game Development degree.