College of Fine Arts adds two new degree options

Kayla Meyertons

The College of Fine Arts opened registration for two new undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Science in arts and entertainment technologies and a Bachelor of Arts in design, for incoming freshmen and transfer students Thursday.

The degrees combine hands-on interdisciplinary work and creative problem-solving skills to help prepare students for the creative economy, according to the College of Fine Arts website. 

“I think the new AET program is very cool because it links new technologies with art and helps to provide new ways to approach and interpret art,” design sophomore Duo Xu said. 

Fine arts dean Doug Dempster said the college created these degree programs in response to employers and the demands of a high-tech industry.

“It’s really obvious that this is needed now because everything in our world suggests that we need art and entertainment and culture every day,” Dempster said. “These are the kind of programs that will produce students in high demand out in the marketplace.”

The arts and entertainment technologies degree is the first B.S. degree offered by the College of Fine Arts. Using creative technologies, students study project-based coursework specialized around three areas: music and sound, new performance technologies and game and mobile media applications. Students finish the degree with a capstone thesis project.

The second new degree, the Bachelor of Arts in design, works in conjunction with the existing B.F.A. in design in the Department of Art and Art History and gives students the option to pursue a liberal arts degree in the College of Fine Arts or a simultaneous major in a complementary area.

In response to these new programs, the Center for Art and Entertainment Technologies is partnering with the UT Libraries to build the Foundry, a creative workspace that will be available to all UT students and faculty in the Fine Arts Library. 

The Foundry will consist of various labs designed to support a wide array of academic disciplines, such as audio recording, game design, 3-D printing and fiber arts. 

Travis Willmann, UT libraries communications director, said the Foundry will help students of all different academic fields come together and innovate creative ideas and solutions.

“We want to give UT students access to these sort of tools that they’ll need to be successful and to build skill sets that are going to help them once they’re out of college,” Willmann said. “Anything’s possible once you start opening this up and see cross-pollination within these academic disciplines.”