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University of Colorado Denver

College of Arts & Media

Admission and Portfolio Requirements

Digital Design and Scientific Media Design Programs

Admission to Digital Design, as a major or minor, and the Scientific Media Design major requires a portfolio review.  Two design classes are open to students prior to admission – Intro to Digital Design and Typography.  All other design classes require acceptance into the Digital Design program.  Please contact the CAM Advising office for details and questions about transferring from another school.
Students who are applying for entrance into the BFA Digital Design emphasis (minors and majors) and the Scientific Media Design major are required to submit:
  • a written statement.
  • a designed portfolio
  • unofficial transcript(s) from UC Denver and all previous post-secondary education institutions.
The Digital Design and Scientific Media Design programs are both fall start programsUpon acceptance you will earn exclusive access to upper-division Digital Design and Scientific Media Design classes.


Students who meet the following requirements can apply.
  • You are an enrolled UC Denver student seeking admission to the BFA Digital Design or Scientific Media Design programs.
  • You have completed, or are in the process of completing, the following Foundation Studio courses: FA 1100 Drawing I, FA 1400 2-D Design, FA 2015 Intermedia​ Foundations, FA 2405 Intro to Digital Design and FA 2415 Typography. (FA 2405 and FA 2415 offered in the Fall only).
  • A cumulative Fine Arts GPA of 2.70.

Deadline for Application

Properly prepared application packets must up uploaded to this site by 5:00 P.M. Central Mountain Time on November 1st.
Applications are only accepted online and must be formatted to the specifications listed.  It is VERY important to visit the submission page early and begin your 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 relevant 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 for program and portfolio information, or contact the Digital Design area head, Brian DeLevie, at