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Digital Arts and Experimental Media

Program Overview

207 Raitt

The processes of inquiry encompassing imagination, exploration, discovery, and reflection are universal among artists, scholars, scientists, and engineers. All seek to uncover new knowledge through innovations that improve our lives and communicate new ways of understanding ourselves and the universe. The Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) is a creative research convergence zone for intrepid artists and scholars who are pioneers of an unfolding new era in the arts.

The DXARTS program embraces an expansive range of arts practice, theory, and research across multiple disciplines. The center is home to its own graduate degree program, but welcomes into its facilities and courses many who are not directly affiliated with this program. Faculty and students at DXARTS may focus their work in a particular area of experimental arts (digital video, digital media art, computer music and sound art, computer animation, design computing, mechatronics, and so on), or they may pursue areas of creative research that have no media allegiance overlapping with and drawing from several or many different areas. Whatever the case, artists and scholars working at DXARTS engage in teaching, learning, and research within the synergistic, multidisciplinary setting of the center's labs, studios, and classrooms.

A common thread running through all of the work at DXARTS is the implicit maxim that to discover new knowledge we must challenge all assumptions. DXARTS is a place where the ideas and outcomes of creative arts research are in an ongoing state of becoming.

Undergraduate Program

207 Raitt Hall, Box 353414
(206) 221-6085

The DXARTS program offers the following program of study:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in digital arts and experimental media
  • Minor in digital arts and experimental media

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Program Admission Requirements

Not currently accepting new students.

Admission is once a year. Application, normally during the sophomore year, is made during winter quarter for admission in spring. Admission is competitive. A minimum 2.50 GPA guarantees consideration, but the GPA of accepted applicants is normally considerably higher.

All applicants, regardless of background and proposed course of study, are expected to show a significant level of computing skill and general technology literacy.

Students must enroll in DXARTS 200 autumn quarter. Based on performance in DXARTS 200, students are selected to continue in DXARTS 201 winter quarter. Students enrolled in DXARTS 201 are eligible to submit an application and supplemental materials to be considered for admission spring quarter. Supplemental materials include an electronic portfolio, a statement of interest in the program, and a proposed course-of-study plan. For details, see the program's website. Students must complete the following prior to application:

  1. CSE 142
  2. PHYS 114 or PHYS 121
  3. MUSIC 120
  4. ART H 203
  5. Mathematics proficiency through the pre-calculus level. Proficiency may be demonstrated by completion of MATH 120 or equivalent, a minimum score of 68% on the UW Advanced Mathematics placement test, a minimum score of 2 on the mathematics AP exam, or completion of a college-level calculus course.

Major Requirements

In addition to the courses required for admission as described above, major requirements include the following:

  1. 64-74 credits of DXARTS courses, as follows:
    1. DXARTS 202 (5 credits)
    2. Three quarters of DXARTS 400 (9 credits total)
    3. DXARTS 461, DXARTS 462, DXARTS 463 (15 credits)
    4. Completion of one of the following four DXARTS sequences (15 credits): DXARTS 441, DXARTS 442, DXARTS 443 (3D Motion and Graphics); DXARTS 451, DXARTS 452, DXARTS 453 (Video); DXARTS 471, DXARTS 472, DXARTS 473 (Mechatronics).
    5. Completion of a third core sequence as listed above or one of the following fundamentals courses dealing with a third content area (5 to 15 credits): DXARTS 440, DXARTS 450, DXARTS 460, or DXARTS 470.
    6. Senior thesis in the form of 15 credits of DXARTS 491, DXARTS 492, and DXARTS 493, including the completion and exhibition of a B.F.A. thesis project that is a significant and original contribution both aesthetically and technically.
  2. 20-30 credits in additional DXARTS courses, or courses from a list of approved electives in other areas, to bring total major credits to 94. See department website or advising office for a list of approved electives.
  3. A minimum 2.0 grade in all DXARTS courses counted toward the major. A cumulative 2.50 GPA in all DXARTS courses and approved electives.
  4. For complete information about the B.F.A. program visit the program's website.


Minor Requirements

Minimum 30 credits of digital arts and experimental media courses (DXARTS) to include:

  1. DXARTS 200 (5 credits)
  2. 25 additional credits from DXARTS courses
  3. Minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA for courses applied to the minor

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The program goal is to create opportunities for entering artists to discover and document new knowledge and expertise. Unlike other BFA degrees, which offer initial professional studio art education, this BFA is primarily a pre-graduate, research-oriented degree, signifying that an individual is professionally qualified to investigate fundamental problems in the nature and practice of digital arts and experimental media. Graduates are prepared to pursue original creative and technical research in the field and contribute to the development of knowledge and its consequences in society and culture.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: DXARTS houses extensive laboratories and advanced research studios with state-of-the art computing, imaging, sound, networking, mechatronics, and electronics equipment to support a wide range of experimental art.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors). With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Some areas of research and professional opportunities within DXARTS include digital video art, computer music composition, website design and programming, 3D animation, motion graphics design, user interface design, sound design, interactive media production, multimedia art, electronic stage and set design, authoring of electronic online publications, special effects design, virtual environment design, sound art, and installations art (in galleries, public, and virtual spaces).
  • Department Scholarships: Limited in number with competitive application processes. See adviser for details.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: None.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
207 Raitt Hall, Box 353414
(206) 543-4218

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctoral education in Digital Arts and Experimental Media creates opportunities for artists to discover and document new knowledge and expertise at advanced levels. Creating new art is at the center of all activities in the program; the PhD degree prepares artists to pursue original creative and technical research in digital arts and experimental media and to pioneer lasting innovations on which future artists and scholars can build.

Admission Requirements

  1. Master's degree or equivalent in a discipline or field related to the proposed doctoral work
  2. Portfolio of artistic work
  3. Statement of purpose
  4. Competence in computing, general technology literacy, and skill and imagination in the applicant's areas of interest
  5. One copy of the Graduate School's Application Form
  6. One sealed official transcript from each collegiate institution attended
  7. A digitally-based portfolio of artistic work including any other documentation that can help the admissions committee make its evaluations. The portfolio should be thoughtfully organized in a digital format (CDROM, DVD, URL, etc.) that best represents the applicant's work. Non-digital supplemental materials should be included in the index on the digital portfolio.
  8. A complete curriculum vitae and narrative biography
  9. Three letters of recommendation from instructors or professors familiar with the applicant's academic qualifications
  10. International applicants submit TOEFL and TSE scores

Degree Requirements

90 credits

  1. Prior to the general examination, six quarters of full-time study (minimum 10 credits per quarter). DXARTS 500 required every quarter.
  2. 60 credits of DXARTS approved courses (not including DXARTS 800 credits). At least 30 credits at the 500 level. At least 30 in graded 400- and 500-level courses.
  3. Minimum 3.00 GPA in DXARTS courses
  4. General examination
  5. Final project - a substantial and original contribution in both artistic and technical domains. Minimum 27 credits of DXARTS 800 over a period of at least three quarters before taking the final doctoral examination
  6. Two-part final examination. Registration as a doctoral student is required during the quarter the examination is taken.