Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year are due January 15, 2024. 

Your academic preparedness will be considered along with the materials you submit here. For those still in high school, this includes a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Students enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution must have both a cumulative and last term GPA of 3.0 or better at the time of application. These will be taken from your Nebraska admissions file.

Due to the unique content and sequencing of the EMA courses, students should expect to be enrolled full-time for four years after acceptance to complete the program, regardless of the amount of credit previously earned. This includes students transferring from another institution or UNL major.

Admission for this program is highly competitive. It is important that applicants present their best work and that their materials are complete.

Questions about the EMA program, application guidelines or application materials should be directed to (402) 472-2615 or

Application Steps

  1. Apply for admission to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln at the Undergraduate Office of Admissions website.
  2. Indicate "Pre-Emerging Media Arts" as the First Choice Major.
  3. Complete the application to the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts and submit the required materials to the Slideroom web portal.

See below for more guidance on what to submit.

Application Checklist

  • Your Story (500 words)
  • A Review of a Creative Piece (250 words or 1 minute video or audio recording)
  • Creative Work (3 pieces)
  • Resume (1 page)
  • Reference Letters (2)

Required Application Tasks

We’re asking you to submit five things:

1. Your Story

Telling stories, making robots, augmenting reality is about creating and conveying messages, thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and impacting the world around us. We don’t care if you’ve never made a film or video before, or written a line of code. You will learn that here. What we’re interested in, is getting to know who you are, what you’ve been exploring and tinkering with, what you’re passionate about.

In no more than 500 words, tell us your story. We want to know who you are, what you love to do, your goals, experiences and values. We want to hear about the bravest thing you’ve ever done, how your background and experiences have shaped who you are, what you want to say or what problems you want to solve.

We are looking for evidence of your commitment to pursuing a career in the emerging media arts. We are also looking for examples of the challenges you’ve overcome to get where you are, and evidence of how your experiences have so far prepared you for study.

There is no incorrect way to complete this task! We encourage you to approach this in whatever way you feel will allow you to demonstrate your creativity, while giving us a strong sense of who you are and why you want to study emerging media arts.

As examples you could structure your piece in any of the following ways:

  1. As a dramatic narration of your life to date, concentrating on some of the challenges you’ve overcome.
  2. Describe an event in your life and how it changed you or someone else close to you – the event could be dramatic and/or comedic. It could be major and/or minor.
  3. It could be aspirational – telling us what you would like to achieve and the impact you want to have on the world.

What We’re Looking For

Selection Criteria Assessed

  • Evidence of your potential as a creative storyteller / artist / producer / collaborator.
  • An idea about what inspires you to be an emerging media artist, and why you’re motivated to come to the Carson Center.
  • Examples of the challenges you’ve overcome to get where you are.
  • A commitment to a career in the emerging media arts and what it takes to get there.
  • Creative thinking.
  • A capacity for study.

2. Review of a Creative Piece

250 words / 1 minute video or audio recording

Consider a work of storytelling which has strongly resonated with you – positively or negatively.  You might choose a novel, film, game, play, painting, album, or something else – and review it!

You might want to review the theme of the work, or perhaps you want to discuss specific features of its production such as editing or scriptwriting, or game-play.

This is a review, not a summary of the work. We are interested in what you think and feel about it. We are interested in YOUR unique perspective!

What We’re Looking For

Selection Criteria Assessed

  • An ability to communicate your thoughts and feelings about stories.
  • Curiosity and passion about culture.
  • A specific and clearly-expressed argument.


  • An ability to produce and communicate thoughts and feelings about a piece of creative work.
  • A capacity for study.

3. Your Creative Work

We want to see something you made – that shows your skills, creativity and curiosity. This can be your artwork, a video, it can be writing, programming, a contribution to GitHub, it can be a podcast, a DIY project, an event you organized, a song, a play, a YouTube mashup, a poster, or a piece of music. And we want to know a little bit about it – for example, if it was a collaboration, we want to know which bits you contributed.

We encourage you to submit three examples of your creative work. Writing samples should be no more than 5 pages, and video/audio samples, no more than 2 minutes in length.

What We’re Looking For

Selection Criteria Assessed

  • Your creative abilities.
  • Your creative point of view.
  • Curiosity.
  • Creative thinking.
  • An ability to be able to produce and communicate.
  • A capacity for study.

4. Your Resume

This is where you list your accomplishment­s so far. We want to see details of your education, activities, awards, achievements, your part-time jobs, internships, volunteer experiences etc.  Don’t forget to list any additional skills or hobbies that tell us more about who you are: a second language, what software packages you know, whether you contribute to fanfiction or have a channel!

What We’re Looking For

Selection Criteria Assessment

  • Evidence of your potential as a creative storyteller / artist / producer / collaborator.
  • Evidence of how your experiences so far have prepared you for study.
  • A commitment to a career in the emerging media arts and what it takes to get there.
  • A capacity for study.
  • A capacity for collaboration.


5. Reference Letters

We want to hear from people who know you, why you would be a great fit for the BFA in Emerging Media Arts. These people could be your teacher, boss, family friend, pastor, coach etc. Please note that only one letter should be from an instructor at your school or college.

Transfer Students

Transfer students should also submit copies of their college transcripts.