Apr 20, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Digital Design Emphasis, Fine Arts BFA

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Please click here  to see general Visual Arts information.

The digital design emphasis integrates aesthetic, creative and critical thought with expertise in electronic media and graphic design. Configured as an interdisciplinary arts and design laboratory, digital design offers a hands-on education combining new art technologies and design research to promote an understanding of the cultural impact and use of digital technology to solve human, social and business problems. Through this interdisciplinary approach combining arts and communication, digital design strives to produce artists and designers who will use technology in innovative ways in both commercial and artistic spheres.

Program Delivery

  • This is an on-campus program.

Declaring This Major

  • Click here  to go to information about declaring a major
  • Students who are applying for entrance into the digital design emphasis must submit a portfolio, as described below. The digital design emphasis accepts applications only once a year. Students who meet the requirements and are accepted will be able to register for upper-division digital design courses.


The student has completed, or is in the process of completing, the following courses with a grade of C (2.0) or better in each:  

FINE 2405 and 2415 are both offered in the fall at CU Denver.


To properly prepare the application, refer to the digital design website for detailed instructions. Applications are due by November 1 at 5:00pm (Mountain Time) or on the following business day if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday. 

Applications are only accepted online via the Canvas course portal and must be formatted to the specifications listed on the digital design website. The portfolio samples should consist of images and video links. Written work should be integrated into the submission. It is VERY important for students to visit the submission page early and begin uploads two weeks before the due date. Late submissions due to technical difficulties on the part of the applicant will NOT be accepted.

Application Portfolio

Your portfolio must include a Design Project and 5 additional examples of your work. The Design Project asks for multiple images and writing, these do not count towards your 5 examples of your work. Details about choosing those 5 images are below.

Your complete application must be comprised of the following:

Follow all instructions to complete the Design Project. Writing is important, make sure that you include the required written elements of the design project (no more than 400 to 500 words in length). Your writing should demonstrate your critical thinking skills regarding your work, process, design choices and your ability to address the assignment in a notable way. Refer to the Digital Design Portfolio Rubric on the Evaluation Process page for requirements, guidance, and criteria.

1 project or exercise from FINE 2405 Introduction to Digital Design (or equivalent for a transfer student). Label the image with the project/exercise name and class.

2 projects or exercises from FINE 2415 Typography (or equivalent for transfer students). Label the image with the project/exercise name and class.

2 additional creative works. They can be your original design, drawing, sculpture, photography, installation, painting, video (no longer than 2 minutes in length), freelance design work or additional projects/exercises from design or other courses. All pieces will need to be in digital format.

Portfolio Submission

Current CU Denver students must submit their portfolio application through the Canvas course. Transfer students will submit by emailing a multipage PDF to Bryan Leister, at bryan.leister@ucdenver.edu by the Application Deadline. Late submissions due to technical difficulties on the part of the applicant will NOT be accepted.

For more portfolio information, please contact CAM@ucdenver.edu, Visual Arts Chair, Michelle Carpenter at michelle.carpenter@ucdenver.edu or Associate Chair, Bryan Leister at bryan.leister@ucdenver.edu

General Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.

Program Requirements

  1. A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required for each course applied toward a College of Arts & Media major, minor or certificate requirement. A grade of C- (1.7) or lower will not fulfill a major, minor or certificate requirement. A grade of P is acceptable for courses in which the only grade available is Pass or Fail.
  2. All upper-division visual arts courses must be taken at CU Denver unless approved otherwise by Department of Visual Arts faculty.
  3. At least 27 semester hours of visual arts credits (at any level) must be taken at CU Denver.
  4. At least 24 semester hours of total visual arts courses must be upper-division.

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