Students learn to create media across a continuum from filmmaking to game design, virtual reality, experience design, special effects sensory media, sonic art and data.
Requirements for the BFA in Emerging Media Arts (BFA-EMA):
Students choose to specialize in two areas of emphasis starting the second year. Each emphasis consists of a minimum of four courses, which can be augmented by electives.
Emphases in Emerging Media Arts
Click on the emphasis area below to learn more about each one.
- Cinematic Arts: filmmaking
- Virtual Production: animation, motion graphics, 3D modeling
- Immersive + Interactive Media: games, VR, AR, XR, interactive and immersive environments
- Story: writing for emerging media arts
- Experience Design: designing projects and experiences that synthesize the virtual and the real
- Sonic Arts: Sound design
- Sensory Media: Physical computing, wearable technologies, human computer interaction, hardware and software
- Data+ Art: generating art with AI, data and the Internet of Things
Core (48 hours)The core of the BFA-EMA emphasizes experiential and project-based learning, through studio and laboratory experiences with close faculty mentoring. Students learn a foundational knowledge of storytelling, visual expression, technologies and computation, while gaining an understanding of the historical and ethnical context of emerging media arts.
First Year Core Courses
Story Lab (2 semesters): This course examines the fundamentals of narrative story forms in traditional and emerging media. Students will actively develop projects that can be translated into meaningful story worlds by designing for different media and considering how the audience will interact with the work in its final form.
Visual Expression Studio (2 semesters): Students will use traditional and digital imaging methods to explore the conceptual, aesthetic, and formal qualities that inform how ideas and impressions are expressed on a two-dimensional plane and in three-dimensional space. They will learn how meaning is constructed and communicated through visual images.
Computation and Media Studio (2 semesters): In this year-long laboratory of exploration, students will develop a diverse digital toolkit as they learn the fundamentals of human computer interaction, computer programming, Arduino, digital modelling, fabrication, electronics, web languages, and the manipulation of images, audio and the web. Unlike traditional computer science courses, students will learn these skills within the context of the emerging media arts.
Games, Play and Performance: This course introduces students to core skills in improvised theatre, interactive design and game mechanics, including conceptualizing interactive systems, playtesting and an iterative design process that ensures meaningful experiences for users. Interactivity is a participatory art forum, and this course introduces students to audience / participant centric design methodology.
Ethics of Emerging Media Arts: This course will help students apply critical thinking to the ethical issues of emerging media arts.
Second Year Core Courses
From Greeks to Geeks: A critical history of emerging media studies. Sound Lab: This course explores sound design for emerging media arts across all platforms and experiences. Students will also explore the use of sound in physical installations and the application of sound to sonify data sets.
Entrepreneurship: Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and business creation through an existing course offered by the College of Business.
World Ready: Students will learn about the Emerging Media Arts industries and how they work. They will learn the business models and economics of emerging media arts and speculate what they could be in the future – internet based streaming, virtual and augmented reality, mobile apps, blockchain technologies, etc.
Third Year Core Courses
Innovation Studio (2 semesters): Students will actively apply their growing skillset through this team-taught theme-based course. Each year, faculty, students and industry partners will collaborate to select a unifying idea or theme and conduct a series of projects, readings, and field trips that relate to this theme. This offers students opportunities to consider and address problems – theoretical, conceptual and practical. This depth enables students to apply theories and methods as they learn to synthesize knowledge into advanced reasoning and, eventually, emerging media arts practices that align work across media and methods.
Fourth Year Core Courses
Capstone (2 semesters): In the year-long capstone experience, students will develop a team, create, organize, prototype, and complete a fully realized work ready for distribution via appropriate media. The capstone project will ensure that the student develops autonomy—through a project-based thesis, in which they imagine, pitch, budget, execute, and deliver a project, as an individual or group, meeting deadlines, demonstrating breadth and depth, interdisciplinary thinking, communication skills, professionalism, and mastery of emerging media arts.
Interdisciplinary Concentration (9 hours)
Storytelling is at the heart of the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, and in order for students to be authentic storytellers, they need to write from things they know about and from real life, not merely create facsimilies from stories they’ve read, seen, heard, or played before. To this end, students will be required to take at least three courses in a discipline outside of the BFA-EMA for their interdisciplinary concentration.
Some examples include:
ETHN 100 Introduction to Ethnic Studies
ETHN 200 Introduction to African American Studies
ETHN 201 Introduction to Native American Studies
ENSC 110 Energy in Perspective
ENSC 220 Introduction to Energy Systems
ENSC 230 Energy and the Environment
ANTH 476 Human Rights, Environment, and Development
POLS 362 Globalization, Human Rights and Diversity
POLS 470 International Human Rights
Electives (9 hours)
Electives offer BFA-EMA students the opportunity to take more emerging media arts courses beyond the requirements or to broaden their interdisciplinary knowledge by taking courses outside the major, including the possibility of a minor.
ACE=Achievement Centered Education (30 hours)
These are the required general education credits in every Nebraska degree. Several of the new BFA-EMA courses are designed to satisfy ACE requirements, leaving students with only 12 additional ACE credits to take to equal the 30 hours required.
- Film Production Design
- Film Visual Effects
- Game Designer
- Virtual Reality Designer
- Theme Park Experience Design
- App Designer
- Artificial Intelligence
- Sound Designer
- Innovation Designer
- Creative Technologist
- Wearables/Physical Computing
- …and whatever is now and next