The Peck School of the Arts includes five departments: Art & Design, Dance, Film, Music, and Theatre. Curricula are available for students interested in careers in the arts or in teaching at the elementary, secondary, or college level.

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Arts Animation, Art, Dance, Music, Theatre

Bachelor of Fine Arts Art, Art Education, Dance, Film, Music, Music Education, Theatre

Master of Arts Art

Master of Fine Arts Art, Performing Arts (Dance and Film)

Master of Music (including Music Education)

Master of Science Art Education 

Departments and Programs

Graduate Requirements

Refer to individual graduate program pages for specific requirements. For the Graduate School’s requirements, please refer to Graduate School Policies

Undergraduate Requirements

Laptop Requirement

Preparing for a future defined by digital technology is an important step in developing artists. Our digitally integrated curriculum helps you achieve a professional level with leading art-related software and practices.

Laptop ownership is strongly recommended for all undergraduates. However, it’s required for the programs below. For more information please visit the Peck School of the Arts admission page

  • Art & Design (BA and BFA Programs)
  • Dance (BA and BFA Programs) 
  • Film, Video, Animation & New Genres (BA and BFA Programs)
  • Music (Composition & Technology Program)
  • Theatre (BFA Production and BA Theatre Education Programs)


New Freshmen

New freshmen must meet the general University admission requirements in addition to specific department requirements. Admission to all music programs requires an audition and a theory placement examination. Admission to the Musical Theatre track of the Inter-Arts degree program requires a live audition interview. A portfolio of artworks is required by the Department of Art & Design. For details, please refer to the individual department sections of this catalog.

Transfer Students

Transfer students from other universities and colleges or UWM units are accepted by the Peck School of the Arts provided they meet the UWM admissions criteria and have a 2.0 cumulative GPA (on a 4-point scale). They must also meet the specific departmental audition requirements described above. Although a portfolio is not required for acceptance into the Department of Art & Design, the submission of a portfolio is helpful in evaluating a student's work for advanced placement.

Second Bachelor's Degree Candidates

Students with good scholastic records who wish to earn a second bachelor's degree in the Peck School of the Arts must obtain the recommendation of the Peck School of the Arts department in which they wish to major before they can be accepted. Upon acceptance, students must earn in residence a minimum of 30 credits beyond the studies for the first degree and must satisfy all curriculum requirements.

New Major Program

By choosing this program, students who have completed baccalaureate degrees at UWM or other accredited institutions may earn an additional major only. It is not necessary to complete all requirements for an additional baccalaureate degree or to observe the 30-credit-in-residence regulation. At present, the Departments of Art & Design, Dance, Film, and Music offer majors through this option.

Degree Requirements

Students must earn their last 30 credits in residence at UWM. Of this total, a minimum of 15 credits must be in advanced major subjects. Under extraordinary circumstances, a student may receive permission to earn a maximum of 9 credits of the last 30 credits at another college/university but must obtain the written approval of the Director of Student Services prior to enrollment in such courses.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Animation, Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre

Requires a total of 120 credits. To receive this degree students must:

  1. Attain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for all university-level work;
  2. Fulfill all the curriculum requirements of the School and of the departmental major, and the University's General Education Requirements;
  3. Meet the specific departmental standards; and
  4. Fulfill the residence requirements as detailed above.

See the individual department sections in this catalog for additional information.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Art, Dance, Film, Music, or Theatre

Requires a total of 120-130 credits. To receive this degree students must:

  1. Attain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for all university-level work;
  2. Fulfill all the curriculum requirements of the School and of the departmental major, and the University's General Education Requirements;
  3. Meet the specific departmental standards; and
  4. Fulfill the residence requirements as detailed above.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with Teacher Certification in Art or Music and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre with Teacher Certification

The BFA degree in Art Education or Music Education requires a total of 130 credits; the BA degree in theatre with teacher certification requires a total of 120 credits. To receive these degrees students must:

  1. Attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75;
  2. Fulfill all curriculum requirements of the School, of the departmental major, and the University's General Education Requirements;
  3. Fulfill the certification requirements in human relations (see School of Education section of this catalog), developmental reading, and exceptional education (see Teacher Certification Program description below for details and admission requirements);
  4. Fulfill the Act 31 certification requirement regarding "specific attention to the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands located in this state" through selected coursework. Consult with the Director of Student Services for specific courses; and
  5. Fulfill residence requirements as described above.

Post-baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program

Offered in art, music, and theatre. All applicants should consult the appropriate department chairperson concerning requirements in these programs.

Teacher Certification Program - Peck School of the Arts

Requirements for Employment, Licensing, or Professional Organizations

Students should be aware that some professions, occupations, and employers are subject to licensing and/or bonding requirements. When a course of study includes clinical or field training, practice teaching, internships, or the like, students may be subjected to a check of criminal conviction records, prior to acceptance of a student by the placement site. Students are responsible for obtaining the information necessary for them to become knowledgeable about these requirements and plan their studies accordingly. Please contact the appropriate department or program office for further information.

All PSOA teacher education students (art, music, theatre) are required to keep a portfolio of evidence to document satisfaction of PI 34 standards. Portfolio content is defined, evaluated, and reviewed by individual programs. Passing scores on the Praxis I and successful completion of K-12 required classes are required before admission to student teaching. Art, music, and theatre teacher education students are also required to pass the content test (Praxis II) prior to student teaching. See specific program for more information.

Admission Requirements

All students should submit an application to the Director of Student Services and confer with the education area head of their department.

Art education students may apply to the program upon completion of 30 credits if they have fulfilled the freshman year foundation courses in art and the requirements listed below.

Music education majors may apply upon completion of 58 credits and junior standing and the requirements listed below. 

Theatre teacher certification students may apply upon completion of the required 32-credit core in the major, junior standing, and the requirements listed below. In addition, theatre certification students must successfully pass an interview with theatre certification faculty.

All students must attain the following before making application to the teacher certification programs in art, music, and theatre:

Grade Point Average. 2.75.

Communication Competency

A grade of C or higher in one of the following: COMMUN 101 or COMMUN 103.

The communicative abilities of students remain under constant review as a factor for retention in the program. Students experiencing communication difficulty may be remanded for remedial work. Students who have satisfactorily completed an interpersonal course at another college or university may request an evaluation of their communication status through the Department of Communication.

English Composition Requirement

The English Composition Requirement is satisfied by earning a grade of C or higher in ENGLISH 102 or its equivalent, or by scoring 637 or better on the English Placement Test (or an appropriate score as determined by the Department of English on the English ACT examination).

Mathematical Skills Requirement

Must be demonstrated by achieving a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test, or by earning at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in MATH 103 (formerly MATH 106), MATH 105, MATH 175, or equivalent courses.

Pre-Professional Skills Requirement (PPSR)

Must earn scores in Reading-175, Math-173, Writing-174. Registration forms are available in the Peck School of the Arts Office of Student Services.

Developmental Reading Course Requirement

All teachers of special subjects (e.g., music, art, theatre) wishing to be certified by the State of Wisconsin (K-12) must complete one course in developmental reading at the elementary or secondary level.

At present, the Department of Teaching and Learning offers CURRINS 343, for those interested in the elementary level, and CURRINS 545, for those interested in the secondary level. Only one of these 3-credit courses is necessary to fulfill the requirement. This course may be applied toward the core curriculum requirement.

Exceptional Education Requirement

Persons applying for an initial license to teach any subject in the elementary and secondary schools of Wisconsin after July 1, 1981, must have completed at least 3 credits or the equivalent study of exceptional education to be eligible for a license. See the Art, Dance, Music, or Theatre Department sections for appropriate course requirements.

Student Teaching

Eligibility for student teaching is determined by admission to the Teacher Certification Program of the Peck School of the Arts, departmental recommendation, and completion of all prerequisite courses and any other departmental requirements.

In general, education methods courses are not transferable from other institutions. These courses must be taken in residence. Other criteria include removal of all incompletes in required courses, compliance with the Human Relations Requirement, satisfactory class standing, health clearance, recommendation by the department, and submission of the student teacher application.

Applications to student teach during the first semester are due March 15; during the second semester, October 15. Application blanks are available in, and must be filed with, the Peck School of the Arts Office of Student Services. No applications will be accepted after these dates.

Teacher's License Applications

Students eligible for graduation are not automatically recommended for certification to the State Department of Public Instruction. They must first be approved for certification by their departments.

After all requirements for the BFA or BA degree with Teacher Certification or a post-baccalaureate degree certification program are completed, and the departmental approval is obtained, a student may apply for a state teacher's license. A Wisconsin Credential Application form is available from:

Peck School of the Arts Office of Student Services
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
126 Langdon Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53702

The Department of Public Instruction conducts a criminal record check of each applicant for a teaching license. Based on this information, an applicant may be denied a license even if recommended for certification by the University.

Declaration of Submajor

In most instances, after two years of basic preparatory courses in the major, students choose an area of specialization within their respective departments, known as a submajor. Students must declare a submajor after they have accumulated 45 to 75 credits in order to assure completion of the appropriate curriculum requirements for graduation.

Graduate Policies and Regulations

The Graduate School policies and regulations can be found at Graduate School Policies. Please refer to the specific program for program policies and regulations.

Undergraduate Policies and Regulations

Academic Regulations

For information on the University-wide Academic Action Policy and honors for scholarship, see Academic Policies.

Semester Credit Load

A full-time Peck School of the Arts student is one who takes a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Normally, Peck School of the Arts students are not permitted to carry more than 18 credits per semester. Students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher may, with the permission of the Peck School of the Arts Office of Student Services, carry up to 21 credits per semester.

Program Changes

All program changes must be signed by the instructor and the Peck School of the Arts Office of Student Services.

No studio or performance courses may be dropped after the second week of classes without the written approval of the instructor and the department chairperson. Certain other courses may require this approval also and these will be indicated in the semester's Schedule of Classes.

Audit Courses

No studio or performance courses may be audited. 

Independent Study

Under special conditions, juniors and seniors are permitted to take courses in independent study. For regulations on independent study, see the departmental advisor.

Special Opportunities

Honors Program

The Peck School of the Arts confers a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honors degree upon those students who complete the University Honors Program. The "Honors" designation appears on both the diploma and transcript.

This program offers seminars and individualized instruction in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural sciences to qualified students who desire more intensive and individualized studies. Application forms and further information are available from the Honors College, Honors House 154, (414) 229-4658.

Foreign Study

The Peck School of the Arts looks favorably upon foreign educational experiences and encourages students to seek study abroad at accredited institutions. Every effort will be made to integrate such courses into a student's major program. Students should consult the departments involved prior to registration at a foreign university.

Periodically, the Department of Art & Design offers credit courses in foreign countries under the direction and instruction of Department of Art & Design faculty members.


Kevin Hartman

Steve Wetzel
Interim Associate Dean

Amanda Obermeyer
Assistant Dean, Business Administration

Louis Molina
Assistant Dean, Student Services

Rebecca Christman
Assistant to the Dean