Arts and Entertainment Technologies (AET) is the first Bachelor of Science degree offered by the College of Fine Arts in the School of Design and Creative Technologies at The University of Texas at Austin. In this interdisciplinary major, creative expression merges with technological innovation. AET foundational courses deliver creative coding fundamentals, an introduction to a wide range of creative production software and a colloquium series of guest speakers. Students advance to projects-based coursework drawn from four emphasis areas: Game Design, Digital Visualization, Performance, Lighting and Interactivity (PLAI) and Music and Sound. In addition to completing the university’s core curriculum, students will also complete a secondary field of study in a complementary area, such as Business Foundations, Elements of Computing, Integrated Design or Studio Art. Graduates of AET will be prepared to create digital content, lead production teams and develop new applications of technology in the evolving entertainment industry.
Game Design courses connect students through team-based projects to develop 2-D and 3-D games for mobile, online and social technology platforms. Building on AET foundations in 2-D and 3-D digital production art, students learn game aesthetics, animation, game scripting and modding. Many students in this program elect to complement their studies with the Computer Science Elements of Computing certificate. Students graduate ready to design, develop and provide leadership for the growing gaming industry.
Potential job opportunities upon graduation: Level designer, technical artist, gameplay scripter, game producer, UX designer, VFX artist.
Digital Visualization courses provide a pathway for students pursuing careers as visual content providers for a wide range of activities including game design, 3-D projection, character animation, world building, AR/VR and many areas of commercial art pursuits such as motion graphics and digital video editing. Through foundational courses in imaging and visualization, digital drawing and 3-D modeling, students are introduced to industry-standard software like Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk Maya and Unity. Students are encouraged to collaborate with all the other AET emphases and with other creative disciplines across the College of Fine Arts and beyond.
Potential job opportunities upon graduation: 2-D production artist, 3-D production artist, animator, motion graphics artist, concept art developer, art director.
Projection, Lighting, and Interactivity (PLAI)
PLAI converges lighting, projection, digital media, gaming technology and interactive systems to enable new performances and allow students to develop and design digital live experiences. PLAI equips students to utilize digital imagery, lighting, projection and creative coding to create engaging immersive and interactive live environments. Common applications are found across a broad spectrum that includes themed entertainment, promotional events, e-sports, EDM, music concerts and architecture of public spaces. Students will learn methods for entertaining and communicating with audiences through established and emerging techniques such as 3-D projection mapping, motion tracking, generative imagery and interactive entertainment control systems. Students will also work collaboratively to produce dynamic visual displays for live events such as music concerts and sports events to provide them with experiential learning that prepares them for a successful career after graduating.
Potential job opportunities upon graduation: Lighting programmer, media programmer, interactivity designer, lighting designer, media designer, interactive systems developer, 3-D mapping specialist.
Music and Sound
Music and Sound courses explore the hardware, software and creative practices of computer-generated music and sound design. An overview of processing, synthesis and sampling prepares students to utilize virtual instruments, MIDI and Logic Pro to create their own sound for film, games, advertising and live events. Additional courses are also offered in popular music styles, commercial music and music programming.
Potential job opportunities upon graduation: Sound designer for theatre, film or games, AR representative, film music composer, game music composer, sound/live sound engineer, songwriter-performer, commercial and brand music composer.
Secondary Area of Study
Students in the Bachelor of Science in Arts and Entertainment Technologies may not declare a second major, but all students in the program are required to fulfill a Secondary Area of Study to complement their degree plan. Several minors and certificate programs have been identified to help you determine the best fit.
The interdisciplinary nature of AET lends itself to many career paths. Students will customize their studies through minors, certificates and internships added to their chosen blend of AET curriculum. Learn more about career pathways through AET.
Fine Arts Career Services offers access to professional development including career advising, workshops and internship opportunities with commercial and corporate partners. Integrated advising encourages students to explore career and internship resources as early as sophomore year.