Design in the future tense starts here.

MISSION:

The masters degree in strategic communication (STCM) lives and breathes within a learning culture shaped by collective creativity, fueled by design thinking, and focused on innovation that transcends the divide between technology and design. Our mission is to transform our students into professionals who will lead us into the future by leveraging the power of design to solve problems.

Located in a state-of-the art studio in the heart of Boulder's entrepreneurial tech community (Twitter is our upstairs neighbor; TechStars is across the street), STCM's new culture of learning explores the potential of design as a critically useful tool for humanity in a world that is changing more rapidly than ever before. Our positioning is timely and encouraging. Recent figures indicate that design is the fastest growing sector within the creative industries worldwide and it is also increasingly playing a key strategic role in an evolving global economy.  

Our graduate design program is entirely project-based and our students learn in a dynamic studio environment. Entering students choose a primary path in either brand design or experience design, providing a throughline which focuses and prepares them to hit the ground running qualified for current industry design positions in branding and UX.

All students enroll in RE, our product-based open studio that combines entrepreneurial design and critical making. RE is where we prepare our students to think and act as designer-founders, who imagine, design, develop, make, and launch  products which have the potential to become design-driven startups. To learn more about designer founders, read this: https://www.fastcompany.com/3033468/how-to-be-the-next-great-designer-fo....

And all students will also develop their individual portfolios for industry positions in BookLab, our creative laboratory whose purpose is to evolve student project work within a professional portfolio that captures and expresses an original, individual vision that can guide a successful career in design.

We perennially attract and encourage applicants with entrepreneurial aspirations and ambitions. They make their way to our studio from diverse cultural backgrounds and geographies, including Brazil, South Africa, India, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, China, and throughout the United States. There is also diversity in our students' undergraduate academic training, with degrees ranging from fine arts to engineering, advertising, business, environmental design, humanities, film, and social sciences.

The common thread is that all of our entering students  recognize the power of design as an adaptive  tool to realize their creative potential as professionals. As a matter of course, our graduates go on to become design-based leaders in a variety of positions in top creative companies.

 

Here's a short list of positions our graduates have taken:

Product Designer - Client

Brand Designer - Client

Product Manager - Client

Producer - Agency

Creative Technologist - Agency

Strategist- Agency                                                                                      

Account Planner – Agency 

UX Strategist – Client

UX Designer - Client or Agency

UI Designer - Client or Agency

Web Designer - Client or Agency

Visual Designer - Client or Agency

Brand Manager - Client or Agency

Design Researcher - Client or Agency

UX Researcher - Client or Agency

 

And here are additional areas our more recent graduates are trending toward: 

Production Designer

Graphic Designer

Concept Artist

3D Designer

Environment Designer

Animator

Experience Designer

CX Designer

Information Architect

Experience Strategist

Visual Interface Designer

Mobile App Designer

Art Director

Creative Director

Digital Designer

Prototype Designer

Front-End Engineer

Installation Designer

Systems Designer

Wherever our students go after graduation––client side, agency,  or startup––, they take with them a distinct point of view focused by design thinking, collective creativity, and an empathic, user-centered  approach to problem solving that makes them effective leaders. They also become part of an exceptional creative industry network comprised of our graduates working at top companies, including Apple, Uber, RG/A, Google, Crispin, Deutsch LA, Dropbox, Pinterest, Wieden+Kennedy, Spotify, Airbnb, 72 and Sunny, to name a few. 

How to Apply

Students can apply for either a one-year or two-year degree path to graduation. What is the difference? In summary, students in the two-year program take the Design Foundations curriculum in their first year followed by the Specialization & Design Leadership curriculum in their second year. Students already possessing the skills learned in the Design Foundations curriculum can qualify for placement in the one-year advanced program: Specialization & Design Leadership. Please review the CURRICULUM below to determine which degree path you qualify for before applying to the degree program.

Design Foundations––year one of the two-year graduate program––gives students the foundational tools and concepts they need in order to be a multi-disciplinary designer with a focus on visual design, experience design, and technical implementation. In the two-year program, this first year focuses on key skills and tools, but almost exclusively in the web/app world––providing a more holistic and in-depth equivalent to programs offered by Galvanize and General Assembly, for example.

Also, it is possible for a person in the two-year program to leave after year one with a portfolio and get a job as a designer (apps or visual). So at the end of year one, students who decide not to continue but have completed all 24 hours of required work for Design Foundations will receive a graduate certificate. Students that continue into year two to pursue their masters degree will enter Specialization & Design Leadership, joining students in the advanced accelerated one-year program, which is geared to people who are already app or visual designers but want to go to the next level and catch up with emerging trends and/or move into a leadership role. At successful completion of Specialization & Design Leadership, students graduate with a masters degree in strategic communication (STCM).

Our Two Year program is designed for students with no previous experience in design. This program will build the students foundational design skills and then evolve them from a designer to a design leader. Year one focuses on foundational skills with software and design basics. If you feel you already have foundational design skills, you can look at our One Year, accelerated program option.

Year One:  Design Foundations

Total number of credit hours:   24

Year One gives students the foundational tools and concepts they need in order to be a multi-disciplinary designer. Students will learn the foundations of visual design, experience design, and technical implementation.

 

Fall Semester (Tools & Concepts) - 9 hrs

Brand Design 1: Visual Design Tools and Concepts - 3 credit hours

Course  objectives:

° Develop student proficiency with the current, critical software for visual design

° Develop students understanding of the core concepts of visual design: color, typography, layout etc.

Experience Design 1: XD Tools and Concepts - 3 credit hours

Course objectives:

° Develop student proficiency with current, critical software for interaction design

° Develop students understanding of core concepts of experience design:  HCI paradigms, user flows, basic research, screen design fundamentals

Critical Making 1: Web Tools and Concepts - 3 credit hours

Course  objectives

° Develop student proficiency in current, critical front-end web technologies: html, css and Javascript

° Develop students understanding of core concepts behind web technologies: web app architecture, the cloud, APIs

 

Spring Semester (Foundational Application) - 12 credit hours

Brand Design 2: Introduction to Branding & Workflows - 3 credit hours

Course objectives

° Develop students understanding of the strategies and approaches to branding.

° Deepen students understanding in re critical tools and how to apply them in an effective and efficient workflow from design to delivery.

Experience Design 2: App Design & Workflows - 3 credit hours

Course  objectives

° Develop students proficiency in the design of screen-based applications.

° Deepen student understanding of UX design process and design-thinking.

° Deepen students understanding to critical tools and how to apply them in an effective and efficient workflow from design to delivery.

° Develop students ability to develop prototypes and use them to gather feedback

and insights.

Critical Making 2: Advanced Web - 3 credit hours

Course objectives

° Develop student understanding of current, critical backend web technologies -

node.js, sql, mongodb, php.

° Develop student understanding of fundamental code structures and approaches such as variables, loops, functions etc.

Booklab 1: Portfolio - 3 credit hours

Course objectives

° Students develop a digital portfolio of their year one work.

 

Maymester - 3 credit hours

Design Sprints - 3 credit hours

Course objectives

° Students apply their skills in 3 week-long design sprints with industry partners.

Year Two: Specialization & Design Leadership

Total number of credit hours:   39

In Year Two of the degree program students evolve from designers to design leaders and will gain advanced skills needed to lead teams, build strategy, and influence business leaders. Students will deepen their skills in screen-based design, but extend themselves into new areas by designing and building products beyond the screen that challenge existing conceptual and executional norms.  

Upon entering Year Two, students select a focus area, specializing in either Brand Design or Experience Design. This drives the mix of classes they take during the year.

Note that Year Two is a full calendar year consisting of Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Maymester, and Summer Session D, beginning in August of one year and ending in August of the next. It is immersive, accelerated, and transforms students into design leaders within a single calendar year.   

 

Fall Semester - 15 credit hours

Brand Design Specialization Courses

Brand Design 3: Brand (R)evolution - 3 credit hours

Course  Objectives

° Deepen student understanding of visual design concepts, tools, and systems to evolve and extend brand identities and values beyond core offerings into disruptive visual systems.  

Special Topics in Brand Design 1: Brand Cultures - 3 credit hours

Course  Objectives

° Develop students ability to apply design skills to a range of specialized focus areas within the cultures of various brands––both new and enduring.  Students will work with current industry partners within the STUDIO network to solve problems and leverage opportunities for growth of existing brands.

Experience Design Specialization Courses

Experience Design 3: Service Design - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to apply design-thinking and experience design

process to the development of service-based products.

Experience Design Special Topics 1: Advanced Research Methods - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Deepen students skills in UX research and synthesis methods

About Product Lab

As part of the College of Media, Communication, and Information at CU Boulder, STUDIO lives at the intersection of academe and industry. It provides an intellectual and physical space where technology and design professionals and CU Boulder researchers work together to redefine the boundaries of product and service design through collective creativity, design innovation, and to explore the possibilities of digital transformation to shape the future together. All students enrolled in Year Two of the degree program are required to take the following classes in Product Lab.

Entrepreneurial Design 1: Product Innovation - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students understanding of the product development lifecycle

° Apply skills in research and analysis to explore problem spaces and develop actionable product insights.

° Develop students understanding of how design fits into and can influence business strategy and the larger business structure.  

° Develop students understanding of product management & product strategy process and approaches.

Booklab 2:  Designing for Influence -3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students understanding of their role as a designer and team leader.

° How to work with, manage, and creative direct teams.

° How to give and receive feedback

° Provide focused critique of student work to help them better apply their growing skill sets.

° Support students in continuing to develop their portfolio

Critical Making 3: Beyond the Web and Emerging Technologies - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to think and create beyond the web with emerging technologies like VR, AR, 3D Printing

° Develop students skills in current, critical software to develop in VR

° Deepen students understanding of code structures and approaches

° Develop students skills in current, critical software for 3D printing

 

Spring Semester - 15 hrs

Brand Design Specialization Courses

Brand Design 4: Brandscapes - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Deepen student understanding of visual design concepts and tools

° Design and manifest brand identities in urban environments, locally, nationally, and globally

Brand Design Special Topics 2: Making Meaning and Embedding Value in Branded Objects - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to apply developing skills to a range of specialized focus areas, including exposure to industry partners

Experience Design Specialization Courses

Experience Design 4: Emerging Interfaces - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to apply design thinking and experience design processes  in the development of products for emerging interfaces - voice, AR, VR, Web of Things.

Experience Design Special Topics 2: Critical Tactics - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Deepen students skills in critical areas of experience design

° Explore tactical topics such as accessibility, typography, animations, micro-interactions, and prototyping,

Product Lab

All Year Two students in the studio program are required to take the following classes in our Product Lab:

Entrepreneurial Design 2: Product Innovation - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students understanding to the product development lifecycle

° Apply skills in design, business strategy, prototyping, and branding to develop a launchable product

Booklab 3: Ethics, Issues and the State of Design - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to think critically about design as a discipline, with the ability to understand and analyze industry trends and issues and develop and communicate informed opinions.

° Continue to guide and support students in the development of their portfolios. Class structure includes open discussion, debate, and analysis among guest speakers, faculty and students.

Critical Making 4: Advanced Product Development - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Deepen students abilities to bring products to life by providing instruction and guidance in support of the products being developed in Entrepreneurial Design 2.

 

Maymester - 3 credit hours

Design Sprints - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Students apply their skills in 3 week-long design sprints with industry partners.

[Note that first-year students participate in design sprints with outgoing second-year students.]

 

Summer Session D - 6 credit hours

Entrepreneurial Design 3: Product Innovation - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Complete program capstone project by finalizing, pitching and launching the product that has been developed over the course of the year.

Booklab 4: Portfolio - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Finalize the development of student portfolios in preparation for graduation and job search.

Year One - 24 hrs

 

Experience Design

Brand Design

Critical Making

Ent. Design

Booklab

Fall

9 hrs

XD 1 - XD Tools & Concepts

BD 1 - Brand Design Tools & Concepts

CM 1 - Web Tools & Concepts

   

Spring

12 hrs

XD 2 - Advanced App Design & Workflows

BD 2 - Advanced Branding & Workflows

CM 2 - Advanced Web

 

Booklab 1 - Portfolio

Maymester- 3 hrs

Design Sprints

       

Year Two - 39 hrs

 

Experience Design

Brand Design

Critical Making

Ent. Design

Booklab

Fall

15 hrs

XD 3 - Service Design

XD Special Topics 1 - Advanced Research Methods

BD 3 - Brand (R)evolution

BD Special Topics 1 - Brand Cultures

CM 3 - Beyond the Web - Emerging Technologies

 

Ent D 1 - Product Innovation

 

Booklab 2 - Designing for Influence

Spring

15 hrs

XD 4 - Emerging Interfaces

XD Special Topics 2 - Critical Tactics

BD 4 - Brandscapes

BD Special Topics 2 - Making Meaning and Embedding Value in Branded Objects

CM 4 - Advanced Product Development

 

Ent D 2 - Product Innovation

 

Booklab 3 - Ethics, Issues & the State of Design

Maymester 3 hrs

Design Sprints

       

Summer

6 hrs

     

Ent D 3 - Product Innovation

Booklab 4 - Portfolio

1 Year Program Curriculum

Total number of credit hours:   39

Our One Year, accelerated program option is for students who feel they already have foundational skills in design software and the basics of design. These skills may be from previous professional or educational experience.  You can still apply for the One Year program if you do NOT have those skills, however, you will be expected to learn the basics as part of your advanced course work. The One Year program does not provide explicit instruction on those skills. In our Two Year option, you receive more explicit instruction building the foundation of software and design basics.

In the one year program, students evolve from designers to design leaders and will gain advanced skills needed to lead teams, build strategy, and influence business leaders. Students will deepen their skills in screen-based design, but extend themselves into new areas by designing and building products beyond the screen that challenge existing conceptual and executional norms.  

Upon entering the program, students select a focus area, specializing in either Brand Design or Experience Design. This drives the mix of classes they take during the year.

Note that the One Year Program is a full calendar year consisting of Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Maymester, and Summer Session D, beginning in August of one year and ending in August of the next. It is immersive, accelerated, and transforms students into design leaders within a single calendar year.   

 

Fall Semester - 15 credit hours

Brand Design Specialization Courses

Brand Design 3: Brand (R)evolution - 3 credit hours

Course  Objectives

° Deepen student understanding of visual design concepts, tools, and systems to evolve and extend brand identities and values beyond core offerings into disruptive visual systems.  

Special Topics in Brand Design 1: Brand Cultures - 3 credit hours

Course  Objectives

° Develop students ability to apply design skills to a range of specialized focus areas within the cultures of various brands––both new and enduring.  Students will work with current industry partners within the STUDIO network to solve problems and leverage opportunities for growth of existing brands.

Experience Design Specialization Courses

Experience Design 3: Service Design - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to apply design-thinking and experience design

process to the development of service-based products.

Experience Design Special Topics 1: Advanced Research Methods - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Deepen students skills in UX research and synthesis methods

About Product Lab

As part of the College of Media, Communication, and Information at CU Boulder, STUDIO lives at the intersection of academe and industry. It provides an intellectual and physical space where technology and design professionals and CU Boulder researchers work together to redefine the boundaries of product and service design through collective creativity, design innovation, and to explore the possibilities of digital transformation to shape the future together. All students enrolled in the one year degree program are required to take the following classes in Product Lab.

Entrepreneurial Design 1: Product Innovation - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students understanding of the product development lifecycle

° Apply skills in research and analysis to explore problem spaces and develop actionable product insights.

° Develop students understanding of how design fits into and can influence business strategy and the larger business structure.  

° Develop students understanding of product management & product strategy process and approaches.

Booklab 2:  Designing for Influence -3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students understanding of their role as a designer and team leader.

° How to work with, manage, and creative direct teams.

° How to give and receive feedback

° Provide focused critique of student work to help them better apply their growing skill sets.

° Support students in continuing to develop their portfolio

Critical Making 3: Beyond the Web and Emerging Technologies - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to think and create beyond the web with emerging technologies like VR, AR, 3D Printing

° Develop students skills in current, critical software to develop in VR

° Deepen students understanding of code structures and approaches

° Develop students skills in current, critical software for 3D printing

 

Spring Semester - 15 hrs

Brand Design Specialization Courses

Brand Design 4: Brandscapes - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Deepen student understanding of visual design concepts and tools

° Design and manifest brand identities in urban environments, locally, nationally, and globally

Brand Design Special Topics 2: Making Meaning and Embedding Value in Branded Objects - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to apply developing skills to a range of specialized focus areas, including exposure to industry partners

Experience Design Specialization Courses

Experience Design 4: Emerging Interfaces - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to apply design thinking and experience design processes  in the development of products for emerging interfaces - voice, AR, VR, Web of Things.

Experience Design Special Topics 2: Critical Tactics - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Deepen students skills in critical areas of experience design

° Explore tactical topics such as accessibility, typography, animations, micro-interactions, and prototyping,

Product Lab

All  students in the one year program are required to take the following classes in our Product Lab:

Entrepreneurial Design 2: Product Innovation - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students understanding to the product development lifecycle

° Apply skills in design, business strategy, prototyping, and branding to develop a launchable product

Booklab 3: Ethics, Issues and the State of Design - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Develop students ability to think critically about design as a discipline, with the ability to understand and analyze industry trends and issues and develop and communicate informed opinions.

° Continue to guide and support students in the development of their portfolios. Class structure includes open discussion, debate, and analysis among guest speakers, faculty and students.

Critical Making 4: Advanced Product Development - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Deepen students abilities to bring products to life by providing instruction and guidance in support of the products being developed in Entrepreneurial Design 2.

 

Maymester - 3 credit hours

Design Sprints - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Students apply their skills in 3 week-long design sprints with industry partners.

[Note that first-year students participate in design sprints with outgoing second-year students.]

 

Summer Session D - 6 credit hours

Entrepreneurial Design 3: Product Innovation - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Complete program capstone project by finalizing, pitching and launching the product that has been developed over the course of the year.

Booklab 4: Portfolio - 3 credit hours

Course Objectives

° Finalize the development of student portfolios in preparation for graduation and job search.

 

One Year Program - 39 hrs

 

Experience Design

Brand Design

Critical Making

Ent. Design

Booklab

Fall

15 hrs

XD 3 - Service Design

XD Special Topics 1 - Advanced Research Methods

BD 3 - Brand (R)evolution

BD Special Topics 1 - Brand Cultures

CM 3 - Beyond the Web - Emerging Technologies

 

Ent D 1 - Product Innovation

 

Booklab 2 - Designing for Influence

Spring

15 hrs

XD 4 - Emerging Interfaces

XD Special Topics 2 - Critical Tactics

BD 4 - Brandscapes

BD Special Topics 2 - Making Meaning and Embedding Value in Branded Objects

CM 4 - Advanced Product Development

 

Ent D 2 - Product Innovation

 

Booklab 3 - Ethics, Issues & the State of Design

Maymester 3 hrs

Design Sprints

       

Summer

6 hrs

     

Ent D 3 - Product Innovation

Booklab 4 - Portfolio

Students must successfully complete 39 credits, including all required courses. Attendance is mandatory for every scheduled class meeting, along with completion of every assignment on deadline. Students must participate actively in class discussions, collaborative projects and create an original body of work represented in their portfolios––which must pass a final critique. Graduation depends on a final approval of student’s portfolio by the critiquing board of professionals. Documentation of approval of final portfolio projects must be on file in the APRD department to be eligible for degree conferral.

  • Students must satisfactorily complete their degree within contiguous semesters one, two, Maymester and semester three, unless given an official extension by the dean of CMCI. 
  • Students are required to remain in good academic standing, per the requirements of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado. 

Please note: Requirements are subject to review and change by the executive director, when such change is warranted.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling admissions basis for the STCM masters degree. What this means is this: We evaluate applications as they are completed, which means acceptances are meted out on a first-come, first-served basis for each prospective student. 

Once an application is complete with all supporting documents, we review it through the online form and get back to you within three weeks from the completion of your application.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2019-2020 academic year. We will continue to review applications on a rolling basis until the cohort is full.  The final calendar deadline for the 2019-2020 academic year is February 15, 2019.  

Applicants to the Strategic Communication Design master's degree program (STCM) are expected to hold a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from an accredited college or university, and to have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75.

How to Apply

Your application will be listed under Strategic Communication Design on the Graduate School site. The online Graduate School application is available here

Required forms that are linked to in the application, are as follows:

  • Personal Statement
    ​Please indicate which studio (Brand Design, Experience Design, or Critical Making) you would like to apply to, and provide a link to your online portfolio. ​This statement is an essential part of your application. In a maximum of 1500 words, please supply long-form answers to the following questions:
  • What attracts you to the program at this time? What do you envision as the most compelling opportunities for you as a designer and also a future leader?
  • What particular experiences––personal or professional––have prepared you for work in design?
  • Why is interaction design important to you and how would you use it to change the world?
  • Three letters of recommendation
    These should come from professionals and/or professors. No personal recommendations please. 
  • Unofficial transcripts 
  • Writing Sample
    Submit a sample of your writing that you feel is exemplary and representative of your writing abilities.
  • Portfolio
    All applicants must also submit an online portfolio of relevant work by February 15, 2019. The portfolio should represent your competence in any studio-based field, e.g., graphic design, creative advertising, environmental design, film, fine arts, and so on. Applicants are encouraged also to include examples of passion projects (e.g. not executed for a client). that demonstrate their thinking and problem-solving approach. The portfolio is the single most important component in your application.
  • International applicants must have a TOEFL score of at least 600 (IBT 100).

  • A nonrefundable application fee of $60 is also required ($80 for international).

Below are frequently asked questions from applicants. If you have any additional questions, please send those to us. See our “Contact” information below. 

You have a rolling admissions policy? What is that? 

Rather than a single static deadline, we have a rolling admissions policy.  Here is the how and why: we examine and accept applications as they are sent in, instead of waiting to judge all applications concurrently. Schools with rolling admissions can be great for finding out early on whether or not you are accepted, so you can plan accordingly. 

How many students do you accept? 

It can vary annually depending on the quality of applicants but we typically accept no more than 24 each year.

The degree is in Strategic Communication Design.  What does that mean?

Students apply to the STCM program overall but you must indicate on your application what your primary focus will be.  You have two options––either Brand Design or Experience Design.

You have a two-year version and a one-year version of the degree program. How does that work?

Students can apply for either a one-year or two-year degree path to graduation. What is the difference? In summary, students in the two-year program take the Design Foundations curriculum in their first year followed by the Specialization & Design Leadership curriculum in their second year. Students already possessing the skills learned in the Design Foundations curriculum can qualify for advanced placement in the one-year advanced program: Specialization & Design Leadership.

Where are classes held? 

All classes take place in our state-of-the-art STUDIO located in downtown Boulder. Students have 24/7 access to the CMCI STUDIO. The Studio also has showers, lockers, and a bike room for secure storage. 

Can I work full-time while I take the program? 

Some students manage to successfully do free-lance projects but working full-time is not advisable.   

I’m really interested in the program but I don’t think that I currently have the skillset to be ready for the classes I want to take.  Should I apply anyway? 

We accept students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds who are passionate about design as a tool for solving problems and impacting the world we live in. That said, students can choose to apply for either a one-year or two-year degree path to graduation. What is the difference? In summary, students in the two-year program take the Design Foundations curriculum in their first year followed by the Specialization & Design Leadership curriculum in their second year. During their first year, students in the two-year program build the necessary skillsets to succeed in the Specialization & Design Leadership year of the program. Students already possessing the skills learned in the Design Foundations curriculum can qualify for advanced placement in the one-year advanced program: Specialization & Design Leadership.

See the STCM program handbook for more information.

The contact person/email for your application is: Matt Laszewski, Graduate Program Assistant. Feel free to email him

STUDIO is a collective of designers, researchers, and entrepreneurs whose work transcends the divide between technology and design. We are dedicated to learning, innovation, and exploration across disciplines to reimagine possible alternative futures for a rapidly changing world.

STUDIO lives at the intersection of academe and industry. It provides an intellectual and physical space where technology and design professionals and CU Boulder researchers work together to redefine the boundaries of product and service design through collective creativity and innovation by design.

In all of our R&D efforts, we explore the possibilities of digital transformation in business and education––to shape the future together.

An outgrowth of CMCI––the new interdisciplinary college at the University of Colorado Boulder––we focus on the power of design to leverage the possibilities of a world increasingly shaped by rapid and constant change driven by new technologies.  Our studio is located in the heart of downtown Boulder. We leverage our location to interact with the thriving Boulder startup community. But we also work with creative companies worldwide, including Uber, Made By Many, Google, Apple, RGA, Arity/Allstate, Future Partners, to name a few.

STUDIO’s  efforts range from a nontraditional graduate design program (STCM) to executive workshops, innovative short courses, industry-sponsored projects, ongoing advanced research groups, new product development, and an array of public-facing events from experimental art to performance, music, interactivity, media showcases, popups, and openings.

STUDIO is positioned to serve as a bridge from industry to academe;  together we embrace disruption, challenge disciplines, and cultivate risk in a creative learning culture that encourages innovation to address the challenges and realities of the 21st century global creative economy.