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Drawing Emphasis

Visual Arts Department

As a tool of visual investigation and expression, drawing is the two-dimensional study of form and space, the exploration of drawing media, graphic elements, and visual dynamics. It is an essential discipline for all artists, as it provides the fundamental visual skills required to determine a personal style and idiom. Coursework in the BA and BFA program encourages students to explore the field of drawing through accepted technical, aesthetic and conceptual approaches.

Students are encouraged to combine drawing and painting as a degree emphasis. This combination of the two idioms can provide students with new ways of thinking and seeing in color and form.

Students work under the guidance of a faculty of active teachers/artists who are masters of their craft and are exhibited in art galleries and museums across the country. Courses proceed with greater intensity and complexity with students at the advanced level working independently with faculty guidance and support. The culmination of the student’s course of study in the BFA emphases results in the Senior Thesis Exhibition which demonstrates visually and in writing their abilities as a practicing artist.

To learn more about the Drawing program at CU Denver and to see student work, please visit our portfolio website:​

To Prospective Students (freshmen & transfer): 

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for a Fall semester start (the Visual Arts Department accepts Fall applications only). This is due to the fact that the majority of the first-semester courses are offered in Fall semesters only.  The Visual Arts majors are highly sequenced and pre-requisites are strictly enforced.  Students who begin in the Spring and Summer semesters may find that their required courses are not offered until the Fall semester.

Education for Future Professionals…BA vs BFA...
A BA in Fine Arts is a liberal arts-based program designed for the student who desires significant breadth of experience and understanding rather than a professional specialization. Upon graduation, students possess a developed visual sensitivity, the ability to conceptualize observations and some familiarity with the works and intentions of the major artists and movements of the past and present, as well as the nature of contemporary thinking in art. All students pursuing a BA in Fine Arts must complete the 27 credits of Visual Arts Foundation Courses and then select an emphasis area, in this case Drawing, consisting of 21 credits. Students interested in pursuing a double emphasis (e.g., emphasis in drawing and painting) are encourage to consult a CAM advisor to discuss required courses.

The BFA in Fine Arts is the professional degree in art. With a BFA, students can choose to further their education by earning the terminal degree in Fine Arts-the Master of Fine Arts degree. In addition to the 12 required classes for a BFA in Fine Art, Drawing emphasis students will take a standard range of core academic and foundational art classes such as drawing foundations, 2 and 3-dimensional design, color theory, art seminar, art history survey. Then they will select from a list of Drawing emphasis courses consisting of 39 credits.

To learn more about the opportunities awaiting you in the drawing BA or BFA program, please contact a College of Arts & Media advisor.

Educating and Encouraging...
The Visual Arts faculty is comprised of artists and historians who understand the importance art applications both in and outside of the classroom. For this reason, your instructors strive to be the bridge between you and the professional world. With the encouragement and efforts of faculty, students are able to involve themselves with the Denver Art Museum, the Emmanuel Gallery, and with various visiting artists, galleries and museums across the front range.

The faculty’s active participation in their field ensures that students receive both a traditional and a cutting-edge education. To learn more about the Visual Arts faculty, please visit the faculty home page.

The Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Arts Degrees...
Students pursuing careers in Drawing receive a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Arts (BFA) from the Department of Visual Arts in the College of Arts & Media, a degree awarded by the University of Colorado Denver.

For more information on admission procedures​ for this degree program please contact a CAM advisor at

Going Places...
As a Drawing graduate from the Visual Arts program, the career opportunities available to you are as limitless as your motivation and imagination. Here are just a few of the options available to this program’s graduates.

Studio Art
Sketch Artist
Storyboard Illustrator
Private Art Instructor
Product Design

Students who wish to transfer to the College of Arts & Media from another college or school at the University of Colorado Denver must formally apply to the College of Arts & Media. Students will be considered for admission on either their overall GPA in applicable coursework from CU and all previous institutions, or on their last 15 credit hours. Applicants with less than a 2.0 GPA in related courses (from CU or other institutions) and an overall CU GPA of less than 2.0 will be denied admission even though they may meet other requirements for consideration.

Please contact CAM advisor for more information. ​​