Oct 20, 2018  
2011-2012 CU Denver Catalog 
2011-2012 CU Denver Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Digital Design Minor

The digital design program emphasis integrates aesthetic, creative, and critical thought with expertise in advanced electronic media.  Configured as an interdisciplinary arts and design laboratory, digital design offers a hands-on education combining new art technologies and design concepts in a concentrated theoretical framework that promotes an understanding of the cultural impact and uses of digital technologies.  Through this interdisciplinary approach of 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.


Students who are applying for an entrance into the digital design emphasis or the digital design minor are required to submit a written statement, a designed portfolio, and transcript(s) (official or unofficial) from CU Denver and all previous higher education institutions.  The digital design course sequence starts in the fall semester.  Students who meet the following requirements may apply.  Upon acceptance students can register for upper-division digital design classes.

University of Colorado Denver Students

  • You have completed, or are in the process of completing, the following foundation studio classes:  ,  ,    and  . (  and   should be taken after a student’s freshman year and are offered only in fall.)
  • A cumulative fine arts/art history GPA of 2.70.

Transfer Students

  • You have completed, and are transferring, a minimum of 24 credit hours from a previous institution.
  • You have completed, or are in the process of completing, the equivalents of the following foundation studio classes:  ,    and  .
  • A cumulative fine arts/art history GPA of 2.70.


Properly prepared application packets must be uploaded to http://designucd.com by 5 p.m. on November 1 or on the following business day if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday.  Students should register and create a page one week prior to uploading so that they understand how to format and prepare work.

Applications are only accepted online and must be formatted to the specifications listed on http://designucd.com/portfolio.  The portfolio samples should consist of images (jpgs) and embedded video.  Written work may be in .PDF format or integrated into the submission.  It is VERY important for students to visit the submission page early and begin uploads one week before the due date.  Late submissions due to technical difficulties on the part of the applicant will NOT be accepted.


The Evaluation Process

  • A committee of digital design faculty members reviews the application packet.  The decision for admission into the digital design program is based on the portfolio, written statement and grades/GPA.  For acceptance, the committee looks for a high level of skill and sophistication in studio, written and presentation skills. 
  • If not admitted into the digital design program, a student has the choice of attempting the review process again the following year or selecting another program.  Students not admitted into the digital design program are encouraged to schedule a meeting with a digital design faculty member to learn of ways to improve portfolios for future admissions.

Portfolios are evaluated based on organization, craft, quality, creativity of ideas, compositional skills, concepts and consistency.  Additional evaluation is based on the applicant’s statement and overall fine arts performance to date. 

The application is evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Presentation - Is the portfolio well crafted and well organized in content and presentation?  Are all of the required components included?
  • Visual Literacy - Does the portfolio reflect sensitivity to design concepts and visual logic, and does it demonstrate fundamental compositional understanding?  Does the work communicate effectively?
  • Technical Skill - Does the portfolio reflect a strong knowledge of tools and materials and a strong aptitude for digital design skills?
  • Conceptual Skills - Do the portfolio and written statement demonstrate analytical thinking as it applies to visual art and design?  Is there a developing conceptual exploration of the digital medium?
  • Written Statement - Does the statement reflect an understanding of digital design and explain your goals as a student in the digital design program?  Are potential strengths and weaknesses addressed clearly?
  • Academic Performance - Do your grades reflect a commitment to learning and growth?


  • The portfolio must include 10-12 electronic examples of your creative work.  At least four portfolio works must be taken from Intro to Digital Design or Typography.  Additional works may comprise design, drawing, sculpture, photography, installation, painting, video, etc.
  • All artwork must include a corresponding brief explanation of the concept and creative process behind each piece.


The written statement should address all of the following in a clear, detailed and accurate essay no more than two pages in length.  The content of the answers has significant impact on the committee’s decision whether to offer admission to the digital design program.

  • The applicant describes why he or she would like to be a designer in the digital design program and what goals and expectations the applicant has regarding design as a career.  Include any special considerations that would be useful for the committee in making a decision, such as a high GPA, art-related extracurricular activities or relevent professional experience. 
  • The applicant reflects on the artists and designers who have influenced his or her artistic interests.  Use at least two examples of their work, discussing both form and content.
  • The applicant identifies their creative strengths and areas that need further development.  How will the applicant best utilize strengths?  How does the applicant plan to resolve any deficiencies in work and performance?

Course Transcripts

These may be official or unofficial transcripts from CU Denver and previous post-secondary institutions.


Please contact CAMadvising@ucdenver.edu for program and portfolio information, or contact the digital design area head, Brian DeLevie, at brian.delevie@ucdenver.edu.

Those applying to the minor (and not the major) are not required to complete the following courses or their college-level equivalents:

However, students must show equivalent studio work in their application portfolios.


Additional Information about the Minor

All courses for the minor must be taken at CU Denver unless approved otherwise by the digital design faculty advisor.  Each course must be completed with a C (2.0) or better.  Students pursuing a BA in fine arts (art history emphasis) may use up to 9 semester hours to fulfill major and minor requirements; the remaining semester hours must be taken in addition to major requirements.  Students pursuing a major in any of the studio arts may not pursue a digital design minor.  Consult a CAM advisor for further details.