Explore the processes and products of digital sound and music. In the age of Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, we are soaked in the visual, and develop strong visual literacy muscles. Yet most people also perceive the world through hearing. Sonic Arts develops these oft forgotten muscles—think robotic instruments, sound engineering, and sound design for every screen and environment.


  • Sound Designer
  • Experience Designer
  • Sound Engineer
  • Game Audio Generalist
  • Sound Editor

What is an emphasis?

In the second year, BFA-EMA students will select two emphases (undergraduate specialty areas). Each emphasis consists of a minimum of four courses. Sonic Arts is one emphasis option. The chart below shows how an emphasis makes up one part of the emerging media curriculum.

Course RequirementsCredits

Major Requirements

Core 48
Emphasis 1 12
Emphasis 2 12
Interdisciplinary Concentration 9
Total 81
Electives 9
ACE 30
Total in Degree 120
Detailed Curriculum and Degree Information Sample 4-Year Plan

Sonic Arts Emphasis Courses

The Sonic Arts emphasis consists of the following courses. These courses will be taken in addition to the core courses, a second required emphasis, an interdisciplinary concentration, electives, and general education (ACE) courses. See detailed degree and curriculum information at go.unl.edu/bfa-ema.

Media Sound Design I (EMAR 360)

Students learn the creative use of sound, both as its own artform, and in support of other emerging media arts. Students will also learn ‘composing’ for non-composers.

Media Sound Design II (EMAR 464)

Building on what students learned in Sonic Media I, studentswill further develop their skills in synthesis, sampling, mixing & remixing, coding and programming, analog and digital electronics, field recording, multichannel installations, public interventions, and gain a theoretical grounding in the concepts of immersion and acoustic ecologies and ecosystems.

Spatial and Interactive Audio (EMAR 463)

Students explore sound as an emerging media art through the design, implementation and presentation of unique projects and installations, acquiring skills in designing interactive and spatialized sound environments.

Smart Environments (EMAR 345)

Introduction to smart environments and the Internet of Things, sensors, smart lighting, smart sound, geospatial projection mapping.

Other Areas of Emphasis

Application to this program

Students considering Emerging Media Arts must complete the required 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