University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Art & Design BFA - Ceramics

BFA - Ceramics

The ceramics program offers undergraduates a broad technical and conceptual experience. Students are encouraged to experiment with a range of approaches to the medium: sculptural and functional, non-traditional and traditional.

Beginning and intermediate level courses introduce a variety of ceramic processes and considerations including hand building, wheel throwing, glaze technology and the role of ceramics in world cultures. Courses with specific focus such as mold making, the figure, wood firing and a workshop on gas and electric kiln firing are offered on a regular basis.

Advanced level courses emphasize the development of a personal direction in ceramics and building a portfolio geared toward professional opportunities in the field. Exploring relationships and intersections of ceramics with other studio disciplines of the student’s interest is emphasized throughout the curriculum.

Regional resources such as exhibitions and lectures at the Milwaukee Art Museum, John Michael Kohler Art Center and RAM (Racine Art Museum) are integrated into the curriculum. Ceramics students have an active organization, CASA, through which they participate in community based projects such as the Empty Bowls fundraiser for Milwaukee area food pantries, and write grants to fund visiting artists and travel to professional conferences such as NCECA (the National Council on Education in Ceramic Arts) which takes place annually in different regional locations.

Ceramics faculty, Christopher Davis-Benavides and Karen Gunderman, regularly offer a summer study abroad course in Peru, an interdisciplinary art and culture program, with travel and study in distinct geographical areas of the country.


For a list of current faculty and staff with contact information and biographies please visit the Art & Design Faculty & Staff page.


A well-equipped undergraduate facility is located in the campus Art building. Three classroom areas with worktables, electric and kick wheels, slab roller and extruder allow exploration of a range of ceramic work. The facility includes a clay mixing room, well-equipped glaze room with spray booth, and a separate mold making area.

The undergraduate facilities house two kiln rooms with four large Bailey downdraft gas kilns ranging from 28-48 cu. ft. in capacity, five electric kilns ranging from 7-16 cu. ft. in capacity, and a raku kiln. A course in wood firing is offered annually at the university’s collaborative wood kiln site at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha Field Station in Waterville, Wisconsin, a short distance west of Milwaukee. The wood kiln is a 120 cu. ft. Anagama design. The kiln site also includes a small bourry box wood/salt kiln.

For a list of all facilities offered within the Peck School of the Arts - Art & Design departments please visit the Art & Design Facilities page.

Admission Requirements

For a list of Peck School of the Arts admission requirements please visit the UWM Undergraduate Catalog

Course Descriptions

For a complete list of current offered courses please visit the UWM Peck School of the Arts Undergraduate Catalog


For updated curriculum please visit the curriculum section of the UWM Peck School of the Arts Undergraduate Catalog


For more information:
Christopher Davis-Benavides