Art & Design at UW-Milwaukee develops creative thinkers, artist professionals, and cultural leaders through a cross-disciplinary curriculum that balances innovation, traditional craftsmanship, critical thinking, and scholarly civic engagement. Committed to Milwaukee’s diverse urban communities, our programs emphasize activism and thinking with the arts. Our faculty is comprised of active artists who promote collaborative, interdisciplinary, and entrepreneurial thinking and practice across the department, university, community, and beyond!

Graduate Requirements

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

Undergraduate Requirements

Laptop Requirement

Laptops are required for all Art & Design programs. The goal of the Peck School of the Arts laptop requirement is to provide the opportunity for students to work extensively and intuitively with the most significant contemporary tool for their work so that they will excel not only in their courses but also in their profession after they graduate.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Studio Art)

This undergraduate degree prepares students for entrance into professional art fields. Once students meet the 36-credit Art-Intended requirements, they are admitted to the Art & Design program. In addition to satisfying the core curriculum, art students select studio courses from both 2D and 3D disciplines, take required art history courses, choose studio electives, and begin satisfying the requirements of their declared art area concentration.

A choice of curricula is offered to permit students to concentrate in Ceramics, Digital studio practice, Fibers, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Painting and Drawing, Photography and Imaging, Print and Narrative Forms, or Sculpture. Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits in their area of concentration but may take more by choosing additional studio electives in their area.

In order to graduate, students must complete two 3-credit critical thinking courses and a 4-credit capstone: ART 604 and ART 605. Students must complete a total of 85 credits of art to graduate with a BFA (Studio Art).

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (Studio Art) degree requires a total of 130 credits for graduation distributed as follows:

University Core Curriculum (includes 12 credits Art History and 9 credits PSOA Arts Distribution)45
First Year Program15
Art and Design Courses63
Critical Thinking6
BFA Exhibition1
Total Credits130

Note: PSOA Arts Distribution is 9 credits that the student must take within PSOA, outside of Art & Design, in 3 of the 4 other departments in PSOA: Dance, Music, Theatre, or Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Studio Art) in Design and Visual Communication

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Visual Communication degree requires a total of 130 credits for graduation distributed as follows:

University Core Curriculum (includes 12 credits Art History and 9 credits PSOA Arts Distribution)45
First Year Program15
Art and Design Courses63
Critical Thinking6
BFA Exhibition1
Total Credits130

Note: PSOA Arts Distribution is 9 credits that the student must take within PSOA, outside of Art & Design, in 3 of the 4 other departments in PSOA: Dance, Music, Theatre, or Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Art Education)

The Art Education program requires a total of 130 credits for graduation distributed as follows:  

University Core Curriculum (includes 12 credits Art History, 9 credits Education, and 6 credits PSOA Arts Distribution) 145
First Year Program15
Required Studio Courses 239
Critical Thinking3
Art Education Courses28
Total Credits130

Bachelor of Arts (Art)

The Bachelor of Arts (Art) degree requires a total of 120 credits for graduation distributed as follows:

University Core Curriculum (includes 12 credits Art History and 9 credits PSOA Arts Distribution)45
First Year Program15
Art and Design Courses18
Directed Electives30
Critical Thinking6
Professional Practices3
BA Project3
Total Credits120

Note: PSOA Arts Distribution is 9 credits that the student must take within PSOA, outside of Art & Design, in 3 of the 4 other departments in PSOA: Dance, Music, Theatre, or Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres.

Area of Concentration Requirements and Enrollment Management

In order to maintain the highest quality of service to our students, all areas (Ceramics, Digital Studio Practice, Fibers, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Painting and Drawing, Photography and Imaging, Print and Narrative Forms, Sculpture, Design and Visual Communication, and Art Education) may select their own enrollment management mechanisms. Options available to areas include portfolio review, gateway courses, registration prioritizing (ex: "seniors only" and/or "majors only" courses), higher GPA for the area of concentration, or other appropriate mechanisms. Students who successfully matriculate as BFA degree candidates should make themselves familiar with the requirements of their chosen area (as outlined in the undergraduate catalog). Students also should discuss area requirements with area faculty to ensure that they understand fully what will be required of them.

Art & Design Graduate Admission Requirements

Each graduate program has admission requirements in addition to the general Graduate School admission requirements.  Refer to Graduate Admission and Cost for the graduate school’s admission requirements, and to the specific program for the program’s admission requirements.

Art & Design Undergraduate Admission Requirements

To be admitted in good standing, applicants (incoming freshmen and transfer students) must meet general University requirements. After being admitted to UWM and indicating Art as your chosen major, no further steps are required for acceptance into the Department of Art & Design.

Art & Design Undergraduate Incoming and Transfer Student Scholarship Portfolio Submissions

Applicants to the Art & Design program (including Art Education) are strongly encouraged to submit a portfolio of artworks and additional supporting materials, as described below, for review by the Art & Design Scholarship Committee:

  1. Art & Design Incoming Portfolio Scholarship Application Form. Complete the online form here.
  2. Portfolio of artworks. Provide 8 – 10 examples of artwork from the past two years. If including drawings, we recommend at least three from observation (not from photographs). Identify each image by media, size, and year of completion in a separate document. JPEG files at 2000 px max preferred. 
  3. As a part of the online application you will provide a personal statement that relates to your interest in Art & Design and how your work at Peck School of the Arts will help you achieve your career goals.

Art & Design awards Incoming Scholarships based on this incoming portfolio. Admitted students interested in applying for scholarship aid should do so by December 15 for priority consideration. Portfolios will be accepted after this date but may not be considered for scholarships.

General information: art-admission@uwm.edu; https://uwm.edu/arts/art-and-design/.

Advancement to Major

Students accepted into the Art & Design program receive priority registration over non-art majors. To advance to the Art & Design major, students must complete the requirements outlined below:

  1. Complete First Year Program courses (15 credits; see course list below)
  2. Oral and Written Communications Competency Part A (OWC-A)
  3. Quantitative Literacy Competency Part A (QL-A)
  4. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  5. Students pursuing the Design and Visual Communication BFA have additional requirements: complete ART 124ART 221, and ART 223 with a B- or better; and pass the Design and Visual Communication Portfolio review.
  6. Students should complete the above to advance to major within the first 45 credits.
ART 101Drawing I3
ART 106Art Survey: Creative Practice, Culture and Context3
ART 1082D Studio: Concept, Color and Composition3
ART 1093D Studio: Form, Idea and Technique3
ART 118Digital Arts: Culture, Theory, Practice3
Total Credits15

Appeal Process

An appeal process is established for students who do not meet the department's criteria for classification, GPA, and area of concentration enrollment management requirements. The appeal process will provide an opportunity for individual students to request advancement to the art major or enrollment into courses as exceptions to the department's enrollment policies based on defined, pre-determined conditions. All appeals are to be directed to the Undergraduate Advisor or PSOA advisor, who will forward the appeals to the department chair or appropriate appeals committee. The department chair or appeals committee will consult with the First Year Program Director, area head, faculty, advisors, and student if necessary before making a decision.

Art Education Advancement to Major

See the Art Education, BFA page for the Art Education advancement to major requirements. 

Art Education Certification Requirements

Following admission to the Art Education Program, and successful completion of the specified Art Education course of studies, a student seeking recommendation for teacher certification must successfully fulfill the following requirements:

  1. fulfill all degree requirements;
  2. fulfill the field experience requirement;
  3. maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA or higher while being in the program;
  4. maintain a 3.0 or higher in content area courses (Art & Art History) or pass the Praxis II Art Content Exam;
  5. successfully complete student teaching; and
  6. demonstrate mastery of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for a career in the field of art education through the use of a Teaching Portfolio (see description below):
    The Art Education Area and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction require that students compile a teaching portfolio that demonstrates teaching proficiency. The required reflections, artifacts, statements, and assessment composing this portfolio will be compiled mostly as a part of their major two art education methods classes (ART ED 327 and ART ED 328). Fewer documents will be produced during their student teaching capstone classes (ART ED 425 and ART ED 426). Some of the documents that this portfolio includes are: copy of current resume, teaching philosophy, reflections on the Ten Wisconsin Teaching Standards, artifacts supporting the reflections showing your work as a teacher and your students’ work, lesson plans written and taught in field experiences, field experience assessments, and clinical assessments during student teaching.
  7. Teacher Performance Assessment, EdTPA (see explanation below):
    This is a performance-based test in which student teachers plan, instruct, and assess a visual arts lesson plan for K-12 following the requirements outlined in the EdTPA Handbook. Among these requirements student teachers must show strong curriculum based on four types of objectives, the use of academic language derived from the research of art content and contexts, and cohesive sequencing of art appreciation, artmaking, and art critique. Along with all this, students should demonstrate a theoretical use of visual art learning theory, elaborated skills in the documentation of in-progress and finalized student work, and an ability to reflect on their own teaching, as a way to inform the following steps in their instructional sequence.

Program-to-Program Articulation Agreements

The Department of Art & Design has Program-to-Program Articulation Agreements with several regional and international institutions, including the following agreements with the Milwaukee Area Technical College's (MATC) Graphic Design Associate Degree Program, Waukesha County Technical College's (WCTC) Graphic Design Associate Degree Program, and with the Hubei University of Technology in Wuhan, China.

MATC Graphic Design Associate Degree and UWM Bachelor of Arts (Art) in Design Studies Degree Program

MATC students who have successfully completed the Graphic Design AAS degree will be granted junior status in the UWM PSOA A&D BA in Design Studies program.

Laptops are required for the BA in Design Studies program.

Students need a 2.50 GPA from MATC and need to complete the OWC-A and QL-A requirements for UWM while at MATC. It's advisable that students also complete the Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Cultural Diversity GER requirements as part of their MATC Graphic Design Associate Degree. Students should select from approved GER courses (SS, NS, NS+, CD/&). Students need to complete the UWM Foreign Language proficiency: two years of the same Foreign Language in High School, or two semesters of Foreign Language at MATC or UWM.

MATC students will enter the Department of Art & Design with up to 72 credits, and will take 58 credits minimum to complete the BA in Design Studies.

Program-to-Program transfer courses/credits are accepted only for the program/degree specified in this agreement. A change of major/degree/program invalidates these courses/credits for transfer unless they are approved within another Program-to-Program Articulation Agreement for a different major/degree/program at UWM.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 3
FallCredits
ART 106 Art Survey 3
ARTHIST 101 Ancient and Medieval Art and Architecture 3
ART 101 Drawing I 3
ART 422 Design Methodologies: Process, Communication & Theory 3
Art Studio Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ARTHIST 102 Renaissance to Modern Art and Architecture 3
ART 124 Design Survey 3
ART 324 Web Design 3
Art Studio Elective 3
Art Studio Elective 2
 Credits14
Year 4
Fall
Advanced Art History choice 3
ART 309 Issues in Contemporary Art: 3
ART 325 Web Design II 3
ART 524 Professional Practice in Design: 3
Art Studio Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ART 427 Advanced Design Workshop: (Design Studies BA Supervision) 1
ART 505 BA Project 3
ART 604 Professional Practices 3
Advanced Art History choice 3
ART 509 Art & Design Seminar: (subtitle) 3
Art Studio Elective 3
 Credits16
 Total Credits60

WCTC Graphic Design Degree and UWM Bachelor of Arts (ART) in Design Studies Degree Program

WCTC students who have successfully completed the Graphic Design AAS degree will be granted junior status in the UWM PSOA A&D BA in Design Studies program.

Laptops are required for the BA in Design Studies program.

Students need a 2.5 GPA from WCTC and need to complete the prerequisite to OWC-A (801-195) and QL-A ( 804-118) requirements for UWM while at WCTC. It’s advisable that students also complete the Social Sciences requirements as part of their WCTC Graphic Design Associate Degree. Students should select from approved GER courses (SS). Students need to complete the UWM Foreign Language proficiency: 2 years of the same Foreign Language in High School, or 2 semesters of Foreign Language at WCTC or UWM.

WCTC students will enter the Department of Art & Design with up to 67 credits, and will take 56 credits minimum to complete the BA in Design Studies.

Program-to-Program transfer courses/credits are accepted only for the program/degree specified in this agreement.  A change of major/degree/program invalidates these courses/credits for transfer unless they are approved within other Program-to-Program Articulation Agreement for a different major/degree/program at UWM.

Four-semester course sequence for completion of the WCTC/UWM BA in Design Studies at UWM:

Plan of Study Grid
Year 3
FallCredits
ARTHIST 101 Ancient and Medieval Art and Architecture 3
ART 108 2D Concepts 3
ART 106 Art Survey 3
ART 422 Design Methodologies: Process, Communication & Theory 3
ENGLISH 102 College Writing and Research 3
 Credits15
Spring
ARTHIST 102 Renaissance to Modern Art and Architecture 3
ART 124 Design Survey 3
ART 109 3D Concepts 3
GER Natural Science 3
 Credits12
Year 4
Fall
Advanced Art History choice 3
ART 309 Issues in Contemporary Art: (Visiting Artist Lecture Series) 3
ART 325 Web Design II 3
GER Natural Science Lab 3
Art Studio Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ART 427 Advanced Design Workshop: (Design Studies BA Supervision) 1
ART 505 BA Project 3
ART 604 Professional Practices 3
Advanced Art History choice 3
ART 509 Art & Design Seminar: (subtitle) 3
Art Studio Elective 3
 Credits16
 Total Credits58

HUBEI 3+1 Bachelor of Arts (ART) Degree Programs

The Department of Art & Design and the Hubei University of Technology in Wuhan, China, have created a unique program for the students at Hubei University to finish their BA degree at UWM. There are two 3+1 BA tracks: Design Studies and Digital Fabrication and Design.

Laptops are required for both 3+1 BA programs. The goal of the Peck School of the Arts laptop requirement is to provide the opportunity for students to work extensively and intuitively with the most significant contemporary tool for their work so that they will excel not only in their courses but also in their profession after they graduate.

Hubei 3+1 BA in Design Studies

Students will enter UWM with 90 credits towards the BA in Design Studies (see sequence for Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years above). The Senior year sequence of courses at UWM for the Hubei 3+1 BA in Design Studies follows:

Plan of Study Grid
Year 4
SummerCredits
Optional: 1  
EAP course (3 cr.)
 
Art Directed Elective (3 cr.)
 
 Credits0
Fall
EAP 118 Advanced College Writing in English as a Second Language/English 101 3
ART 309 Issues in Contemporary Art: (Visiting Artist Lecture Series) 3
ART 321 Design and Visual Communication I 3
ART 324 Web Design 3
ART 604 Professional Practices 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGLISH 102 College Writing and Research 3
ART 212 Introduction to Digital Studio: A/V Strategies 3
ART 427 Advanced Design Workshop: (Design Studies BA Supervision) 1
ART 505 BA Project 3
ART 509 Art & Design Seminar: 3
ART 524 Professional Practice in Design: 3
 Credits16
 Total Credits31

HUBEI 3+1 BA in Design and Digital Fabrication

Students will enter UWM with 90 credits towards the BA in Digital Fabrication and Design (see sequence for Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years above). The Senior year sequence of courses at UWM for the Hubei 3+1 BA in Design and Digital Fabrication follows:

Plan of Study Grid
Year 4
SummerCredits
Optional: 1  
EAP course (3 cr.)
 
Art Directed Elective (3 cr.)
 
 Credits0
Fall
EAP 118 Advanced College Writing in English as a Second Language/English 101 3
ART 309 Issues in Contemporary Art: (Visiting Artist Lecture Series) 3
ART 378 Industrial Processes and Fabrication 3
ART 578 Research in Digital Fabrication and Craft: (subtitle) 3
ART 604 Professional Practices 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENGLISH 102 College Writing and Research 3
ART 478 Digital Fabrication and Craft 3
ART 505 BA Project 3
ART 509 Art & Design Seminar: 3
ART 612 Senior Project in Digital Studio Practice 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits30

Art Courses

Art Education Courses

NameRankDegreeSchoolGraduate FacultyEmeritus Faculty
John Balsley Professor MFA Northern Illinois University, DeKalb No Yes
Kimberly Beckmann Associate Professor MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art Yes No
Adream Blair Associate Professor MA, MGD North Carolina State University Yes No
Marna Brauner Professor MFA California College of Arts and Crafts No Yes
Robert Burkert Professor MS University of Wisconsin- Madison No Yes
Kyoung Ae Cho Professor, Chair MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art Yes No
Allison Cooke Senior Lecturer MFA University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee No Yes
Kimberly Cosier Professor, Associate Dean PhD Indiana University Yes No
Christopher Davis-Benavides Professor MFA University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Yes No
Raoul Deal Senior Lecturer MA National School of Plastic Arts, UNAM (San Carlos) No No
Lee Ann Garrison Associate Professor MFA University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee No Yes
Robert Grame Associate Professor MFA Kansas State University Yes No
Karen Gunderman Professor MFA University of Michigan- Ann Arbor No Yes
Rolf Hickman Professor MEd No Yes
Yevgeniya Kaganovich Professor MFA State University of New York at New Paltz No No
Kay Knight Associate Professor MFA Washington University, St. Louis No Yes
Charles Kraus Professor MFA Southrn Illinois University, Carbondale No Yes
Frank G. Lutz Professor MFA University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee No Yes
Jessica Meuninck-Ganger Associate Professor MFA Minneapolis College of Art and Design Yes No
Lisa Moline Associate Professor MFA University of Wisconsin - Madison Yes No
Joseph Mougel Associate Professor MFA University of New Mexico Yes No
William Nichols Professor MFA University of Illinois- Urbana No Yes
Josie Osborne Senior Lecturer MFA University of Wisconsin - Madison No No
Narendra Patel Professor MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art No Yes
Stephen Pevnick Professor MFA Washington University, St. Louis No Yes
Adolph Rosenblatt Professor BFA Yale School of Art and Architecture No Yes
Stephen B. Samerjan Associate Professor MFA University of California- Santa Barbara No Yes
Denis Sargent Professor MFA University of Iowa- Iowa City No Yes
William Smith Professor PhD No Yes
Nathaniel Stern Associate Professor PhD New York University, Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) Yes No
Leon Travanti Professor MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art No Yes
Leslie Vansen Professor MFA University of Colorado Yes No
Christine Woywod Associate Professor PhD Northern Illinois University, Dekalb Yes No
Glenn Williams Associate Professor MFA University of Northern Iowa No No