University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Art & Design BFA - Digital Studio Practice

BFA - Digital Studio Practice

Digital Studio Practice (DSP) centers on the study and use of digital technologies in direct relation to traditional visual art. All DSP students take courses in image-based, interactive and electronic media, and choose a secondary focus in order to combine these techniques with another of Art and Design's areas: Ceramics, Fibers, Design & Visual Communication, Metals, Painting, Photography, Printmaking or Sculpture. They incorporate audiovisual and computer strategies into more established art materials, in order to create new forms. The DSP program is committed to the underlying philosophies that:

  1. Digital technologies are now essential to all arts practices. We provide courses that engage with new media for painters, printmakers, sculptors, etc, as well as those who use computers as a primary medium.
  2. Digital arts must move off screen, connecting ideas, people and places. We encourage our students to work not only with Internet spaces such as Facebook, Wikipedia and Second Life, but in galleries and museums, in schools, on the street, and in other public venues.
  3. It is more important to be of value than it is to be "new." The most essential innovation of our curriculum is that of the secondary focus, where students learn to combine various concepts, materials and media, new and old. Want to be an interactive artist? You should understand the history of design, participatory art and installation. Kinetic sculptor? Learn to work with wood and clay. Wearable artist? Fibers and metals. And digital image makers should work with painting, printmaking or photography. We teach students that media art has always moved alongside and within all contemporary arts practices and trajectories.

Digital Studio Practice trains professional artists who wish to be a part of the contemporary visual arts community, exhibiting material and digital art work that engages in cultural practices in museums and galleries, and furthering the field at large. In addition to careers as full-time artists, graduating seniors have gone on to work as commercial or experimental designers, museum technicians, exhibition coordinators or artistic directors. Many hone their practice further through MFA and PhD programs.


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



Digital Studio Practice incorporates several labs for its introductory and elective courses. Its core and advanced classes utilize a multimedia lab equipped with high-end desktops and various video and interactive applications, as well as a hardware and electronics lab for work with sensors and motors. We also utilize space and equipment from the Sculpture, Metals and Printmaking areas, including the new Digital Craft Fabrication Lab, with 3D printers, a laser cutter, and a CNC router. Students in DSP courses have access to video, lighting and sound equipment, projectors, HD screens and media players, as well as interfaces for infrared, bluetooth and USB programming, including kinects, Wiimotes and more.


In addition to the aforementioned undergraduate facilities, graduate students in Art and Technology have access to dedicated DV and DSLR cameras and a projector for sign out, as well as a graduate student only high-end desktop with Final Cut Studio, Max/MSP+Jitter and the Adobe Suite. A high-lumens, outdoor projector is also available for special events or guerrilla art, and printing facilities can be accessed through the Printmaking and Design & Visual Communication areas.

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

All DSP students undergo a portfolio review upon completion of Art 212, after which they will either be able to declare the major, or get feedback on their work before a second review. They digitally submit 5 works, or documentation of works, in any media; a one page research statement; and a PDF of their unofficial transcript, to their 212 instructor. Your instructor will go over these requirements in more detail during class time.

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


Dr Nathaniel Stern
Associate Professor & Head, Digital Studio Practice
(414) 229-4200