Important Information

Applications for the 2022-2023 Academic Year are now closed. Applications for the 2023-2024 Academic year will open mid-August 2022.  

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.

View a Sample 4-Year Plan
Learn About Applying to This Program

Requirements for the BFA in Emerging Media Arts (BFA-EMA):

Core (42 hours - includes 5 ACE courses)
Emerging Media Arts Electives (24 hours)
Transdisiplinary Specialization (9 hours)
Electives (30 hours)
ACE=Achievement Centered Education (15 additional hours; 15 hours are included in the EMA Core)

Emerging Media Arts Electives

Click on the areas below to learn more about each one.

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Core (42 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

History of media arts: A critical history of emerging media studies.

sound labThis 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 existing courses offered by the College of Business and Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program.

Third Year Core Courses

Innovation Studio: 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.

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.

Fourth Year Core Courses

Capstone: Students can choose a semester or 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.

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Transdisciplinary Specialization (9 hours)

Storytelling is at the heart of the Emerging Media Arts program, 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 curated area of focus outside of the BFA-EMA for their transdisciplinary specialization.

Some examples include:

Ethnic Studies
ETHN 100 Introduction to Ethnic Studies
ETHN 200 Introduction to African American Studies
ETHN 201 Introduction to Native American Studies

Energy Science
ENSC 110 Energy in Perspective
ENSC 220 Introduction to Energy Systems
ENSC 230 Energy and the Environment

Human Rights
ANTH 476 Human Rights, Environment, and Development
POLS 362 Globalization, Human Rights and Diversity
POLS 470 International Human Rights

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Electives (30 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.

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ACE=Achievement Centered Education (30 hours)

These are the required general education credits in every Nebraska degree. Several of the BFA-EMA courses are designed to satisfy ACE requirements, leaving students with only 15 additional ACE credits to take to equal the 30 hours required.

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Careers

  • Filmmaking
  • Film Production Design
  • Film Visual Effects
  • Game Designer
  • Virtual Reality Designer
  • Theme Park Experience Design
  • Animation
  • App Designer
  • Robotics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Sound Designer
  • Innovation Designer
  • Creative Technologist
  • Wearables/Physical Computing
  • Writer
  • …and whatever is now and next

Additional application for the EMA program (REQUIRED)

Students considering the Emerging Media Arts major must complete an additional program application. This application applies to both incoming freshman and transfer students and is used to evaluate a student’s suitability for the Emerging Media Arts program. The application information is also used for awarding scholarships
(individual awards vary).

Read more about application

Sample 4-year Plan

This represents a sample plan for completing the BFA in Emerging Media Arts degree. Actual course selection and sequence may vary and will be discussed individually with your academic advisor. Your advisor can also help you plan other experiences to enrich your undergraduate education such as internships, education abroad, and undergraduate research. 

Year 1

Semester 1 · Fall
CourseCredit Hours
IGNITE Colloquium 0 cr
Story Lab I (ACE 7) 3 cr
Visual Expression Studio I (ACE 2) 3 cr
Computation and Media Studio I(ACE 3) 3 cr
Games, Play and Performance 3 cr
ACE 5 (Humanities) 3 cr
Total Credits 15
Semester 2 · Spring
CourseCredit Hours
IGNITE Colloquium 0 cr
Story Lab II 3 cr
Visual Expression Studio II 3 cr
Computation and Media Studio II 3 cr
Ethics of Emerging Media Arts (ACE 8) 3 cr
ACE 4 (Sciences) 3 cr
Total Credits 15

Year 2

Semester 1 · Fall
CourseCredit Hours
IGNITE Colloquium 0 cr
Sound Lab 3 cr
EMA Elective 3 cr
Transdisciplinary course 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
Total Credits 15
Semester 2 · Spring
CourseCredit Hours
IGNITE Colloquium 0 cr
History of Media Arts 3 cr
EMA Elective 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
ACE 1 (Written Texts) 3 cr
Total Credits 15

Year 3

Semester 1 · Fall
CourseCredit Hours
Entrepreneurship course option 3 cr
EMA Elective 3 cr
EMA Elective 3 cr
Transdisciplinary Course 3 cr
ACE 9 (Global/Human Diversity) 3 cr
Total Credits 15
Semester 2 · Spring
CourseCredit Hours
Innovation Studio (theme based atelier) 3 cr
World Ready 3 cr
EMA Elective 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
Total Credits 15

Year 4

Semester 1 · Fall
CourseCredit Hours
EMA Elective 3 cr
EMA Elective 3 cr
Transdisciplinary Course 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
ACE 6 (Social Sciences) 3 cr
Total Credits 15
Semester 2 · Spring
CourseCredit Hours
Capstone (ACE 10) 3 cr
EMA Elective 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
Elective cr
Total Credits 15