University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Inter-Arts Degrees & Admission
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When: December 16, 2015
Location: Kenilworth Square East, 1925 E. Kenilworth Place
Time: 6pm – 9pm
More info at

Free and open to the public.

Transforming three floors into a dynamic and interactive gallery space this event features works in a wide variety of mediums, from digital prints to time-based media, sculptures, and installations. These works investigate the role that evolving technologies play in our culture, psychology, and creative practices, as well as examine the continued influx of technologically mediated reality into our lives. Come explore and engage in a kinetic world of light, sound, and illusion.

Inter-Arts BFA -
Interdisciplinary Arts & Technology

What is Interdisciplinary Arts and Technology?

Interdisciplinary Arts and Technology, (IAT or Arts/Tech), focuses on interdisciplinary art-making at a crossroads where technology meets visual and time-based media, sound and movement. Students combine software, hardware and programming with physical materials, digital media and the performing arts. They explore contemporary artistic practices across courses in the Visual Art, Music, Dance, and Film departments.

What Will You Do?

Arts/Tech trains professional artists to be flexible and innovative learners in dynamic fields of today and the future. Graduates of the program work in sound, video, installation, interactive and networked art and/or multimedia theatre, performance, live music performance and composition. Our graduating seniors have also gone on to be curators, critics, exhibition technicians, artistic directors and experimental designers. Many hone their practice further through MFA and PhD programs. The IAT track is a collaboration between the Departments of Visual Art, Film, Music and Dance. Associated programs include the programs in Film Studies and Digital Arts and Culture in the College of Letters and Sciences and programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Students are encouraged to combine the IAT degree with the Digital Arts and Culture (DAC) Certificate Program. The certificate adds additional depth in the study of the history, cultural context and impact of digital technology.

What Are the Technology Requirements for IAT?

All IAT students are required to have a laptop with Microsoft Office and the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite (Design Premium). Individual courses may require additional hardware, such as a webcam or microcontrollers, or software. In cases where more expensive software is required for class work - for example, Final Cut Studio, After Effects or Jitter - purchase is optional; these will be available in on-campus, 24-hour access labs.

Minimum Technology Requirements:

MacBook Pro - 15-inch (base model or better)
AppleCare Protection Plan (3 years)
Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium software (includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Flash)
Microsoft Office software (includes Word, Excel, and Powerpoint)

UWM Tech Store Online

Student Discounts on Software

UWM Apple Store

Arts Tech FAQ

Download the Arts Tech FAQ

For More Information

Program Coordinator:
David Witzling

Interdisciplinary Arts & Technology - Requirements

Students planning to pursue the IAT track of the Inter-Arts degree must meet the admission and degree requirements of the Peck School of the Arts. After completing the Inter-Arts/IAT core (12 cr.) and the Pre-IAT Studios (12 cr.), IAT track majors will have their portfolio reviewed for approval by the IAT Review Committee.

Requirements Credits
University Core Curriculum 45
Inter-Arts/IAT Requirements 66*
General Electives 9
  120 Credits Total

* Portfolio Review: After completing the Inter-Arts/IAT Core and Pre-IAT Studio requirements, students are required to submit a portfolio for review.

* 12 credits in Inter-Arts Core courses are required as part of the core requirement for the IAT track.

University Course Requirements for the BFA Degree in Inter-Arts (IAT Track)

Interdisciplinary Arts & Technology - Curriculum

IAT Requirements

(generally completed in students' first 3 semesters):
Inter-Arts/IAT Core: 12 cr. (included in University Core Curriculum)
Art 118
Film 116
Music 220
Dance 321
Digital Arts: Culture, Theory, Practice
Experimentation with Media
Introduction to Computers and Music
Alexander Technique for the Performer
Pre-IAT Studios: 12 cr.
Art 218
Film 222
Film 255
Music 327
2D Design Strategies
Basic Elements of Video
Introduction to Digital Arts
Analog and Digital Syntheses I

Portfolio review: After completing the Inter-Arts/IAT Core and Pre-IAT Studio requirements, students are required to submit a portfolio for review consisting of:

  1. three projects: two projects from different IAT studio courses and one project in any medium.
  2. a completed application form
  3. a copy of their academic transcript

The IAT Review Committee will consider the artistic strength of the portfolio projects, performance in classes and overall GPA. All materials must be received by the posted deadline at the end of fall and spring semesters.

IAT Post-Portfolio Core: 15 credits

Art 316
Dance 415
Art 318
Fine Arts 313
Music 680
Interactive Installation & Performance
Movement & New Media
Physical Computing
Programming for Artists
Special Topics in Music: Interactive Audio

IAT Electives: 21 cr.

Art 224
Art 293/493
Art 317/517
Art 319
Art 324
Art 325
Art 326
Art 327
Art 350
Art 402
Art 427
Film 380
Film 420
Film 460
Music 301
Music 328
Music 420
Music 680
Dynamic Typography
Digital Printmaking/Advanced Digital Printmaking
3D Imaging I/II
Hybrid Sculptural Forms: (Subtitled)*
Web Design
Multimedia Design
Video & Audio Strategies for Artists & Designers
Digital Media Workshop: (Subtitled)*
Color Photography
Visual Art Workshop: (Subtitled) *
Advanced Design Workshop: (Subtitled) *
Media Arts Module: (Subtitled) *
Intermediate Media Arts Module: (Subtitled) *
Advanced Media Arts Module (Subtitled) *
Music Theory for Interdisciplinary Studies
Digital Synthesis and Systems II
Advanced Computing and Music
Special Topics in Music *
* (topics as approved on list maintained by IAT Coordinator)

Theory+Context: 6 cr.

Electives (300-level or above - from approved list)

Capstone Courses: 12 cr.

FineArt 410 IAT Junior Project 6
FineArt 510 IAT Senior Project 6
Students must complete the projects in good standing and present their work in a public exhibition/screening at the end of the semester.

General Electives: 9 cr.

Total Inter-Arts/IAT BFA Degree Credits: 120 cr.

Interdisciplinary Arts & Technology - Portfolio Review Criteria

adopted May 21, 2010

Portfolio Elements

There are five elements to submit for portfolio review: three creative projects, a written statement, and an unofficial transcript.

Three Creative Projects
Submit three creative projects developed in at least two different Pre-IAT Studio courses:

  • Art 218 / 2D Design Strategies
  • Film 222 / Basic Elements of Video
  • Film 255 / Introduction to Digital Arts
  • Music 327 / Analog and Digital Synthesis I

Select projects that represent your best artistic work, and that reflect the range of your work and interests. Projects should be tightly focussed, communicate a clear concept to the viewer, and reflect a spirit of experimentation. They should be exploratory in nature, seeking to transcend or critique the conventions of commercial and vernacular forms. (Advertising, music videos, and pop songs will not be considered).

Time-based projects may be narrative, in which case the theme of the work, and the relationship between form and content, will be critical to the success of the project. Or they may be abstract, in which case values like formal design, shot framing/sound design, sound-image relationships/musical counterpoint, editorial pacing, and rhythm will be most important. Please limit each time-based project in your portfolio to four minutes or less.

Evaluation of two-dimensional projects will be based upon concept, composition, use of color, demonstration of proficiency with the tools and media used, and other design criteria.

Written Statement
Write one paragraph per portfolio project describing the conceptual issues you chose to address, your creative process for the project, and interesting problems or challenges you encountered and resolved in the course of the work.

Write a one page statement of intent which discusses your artistic goals, your educational objectives, and the themes and ideas which connect your current and recent art projects. Additionally, discuss which classes you plan to take within the upper-level Arts/Tech curriculum, and how you expect to relate the content of those courses to your artistic practice.

Unofficial Transcript
Please use PAWS to generate an unofficial transcript, and include it in your portfolio submission.

Submission Format

All of your digitally-based projects should be submitted on optical media - a single CD-ROM or DVD-ROM containing files for review is preferred; multiple audio CDs/video DVDs/CDROMs are also acceptable. Please test your files and your optical media prior to submission to make sure that all discs are readable and all media files play correctly. Any interlaced video should be de-interlaced for presentation.

As an alternative to submitting optical media, you may upload files to Pantherfile, and send links to the portfolio coordinator for review. Projects not in a digital medium should be presented as appropriate; please contact the portfolio coordinator in advance to arrange submission of these materials.

Your written statement should be typed; both written statement and unofficial transcript should be submitted as PDF files.

Don't worry about making the physical submission of your portfolio attractive or artistic in its own right; generally speaking, the review committee reviews submissions without ever seeing the physical presentation of the portfolio.

Evaluation Criteria

Ambition - the portfolio work should:

  • demonstrate the pursuit of challenge through unusual or unfamiliar forms, provocative content and a display of curiosity and innovation.
  • demonstrate the student's ability to think and work fluidly with various media.
  • involve conceptual innovation leading to original expression.
  • innovatively explore a topic or subject matter in a manner that stimulates new ways of thinking.
  • reflect the development of a student's personal artistic voice.
  • reflect a willingness to aggressively pursue technical competencies and the capacity to solve artistic and technical problems.
  • demonstrate an attentiveness for and engagement in the theoretical, social and artistic influences and consequences of digital technologies in a global culture.
Form - the portfolio work should:
  • demonstrate the development toward an understanding of formal qualities that add up to original expressive content.
  • display an informed artistic expression that engages process, experimentation, editing, and organization.
  • reflect a concern for structural forms that support communication.

Technical competencies - the portfolio work should:

  • reflect a willingness to explore and an active curiosity about technology and its use in artmaking.
  • reflect a consideration and exploration of how content and form are embedded in the technological manifestation of an artwork.

Some shortfalls to avoid:

  • Failure to pose a question, perception, or situation to explore, learn about, or account for.
  • Failure to develop a point of view.
  • Presentation in a generic, conventional, prescriptive or derivative manner.
  • Sound, image, text, or their interactive relationships that are too arbitrary, or too literal and redundant.
  • Superficial use of technical effects.
  • Pacing that fails to establish and develop a clear and convincing form.

Portfolio Frequently Asked Questions

Which courses should I take to help me put together my portfolio?
Start with the "Inter-Arts/IAT Core" courses: Art 118, Film 116, Music 220, and Dance 321. Then, take the "Pre-IAT Studio" courses: Art 218, Film 222, Film 255, and Music 327. All three projects must have been developed in these four courses; include projects from at least two different courses in your portfolio.

Are the portfolio requirements the same as the final project requirements for pre-portfolio classes?
No - the criteria that your instructors use to grade these works are not necessarily the criteria listed above for the portfolio review. If you know that you want a class project to serve as part of your portfolio, you should plan from the very beginning of the project to address the criteria presented here. (You'll also have to plan to meet your instructor's requirements for the class). The two sets of criteria are almost always compatible, but they are not the same.

When should I submit my portfolio?
You should be able to submit your portfolio after three semesters; transfer students may be able to reduce that time in some circumstances. Students who have passed portfolio review gain access to all the Arts/Tech upper-level course offerings — as soon as you complete the Inter-Arts Core and Pre-Portfolio classes, you'll want to submit your portfolio so you can continue your studies in the Arts/Tech program.

Please note that students who have not passed portfolio review will be administratively dropped from the Arts/Tech Junior and Senior Project courses.

How can I get help with my portfolio? Who do I go to with additional questions?
As of Fall 2012, David Witzling ( is coordinating the portfolio review process; he is available to answer any questions you may have about the portfolio process, and can provide you with counselling and critique prior to your submission. The instructors of your pre-portfolio classes will also be happy to help you develop projects with the portfolio review in mind.

Can I use sampled or copyrighted material in my work?
Please obtain permission from the author or rights holder for any copyrighted material included in your portfolio submissions. Make sure that your use of such material is transformative, looking at it from a new perspective or in a new context from its original use. Portfolio works should represent a statement of your authorship and creativity.

What happens if I don't pass portfolio review?
Your notification from the portfolio review committee will provide advising, recommended coursework, and a specific set of requirements for resubmission, tailored by the committee to your specific case.