Skip to Content
The MSTCM program takes a full calendar year to complete, consisting of Fall Semester, Spring Semester, and Summer Session D. Accelerated and transformative, the program begins in August of one year and ends in August of the next. The degree program is immersive and, as a result, is repeatedly successful at turning students into design leaders within a calendar year.
In order to graduate, students must successfully complete 39 credits of required courses in the structured degree program. As a professional program, attendance is mandatory for every scheduled class meeting, along with completion of every project assignment on deadline. Learning in a professional environment, students must participate actively in class discussions, contribute successfully on collaborative projects and create an original body of work represented in their portfolios which must successfully pass a final portfolio critique that takes place prior to graduation. Graduation will depend on the final approval of each student’s portfolio during a critique by our board of industry professionals. Documentation of approval of final portfolio projects must be on file in the APRD department within CMCI––the College of Media, Communication, and Information––to be eligible for degree conferral.
Students must satisfactorily complete their degree within contiguous semesters: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, and Summer Session D, 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.
View MSTCM on the university catalog
Applications are reviewed on a rolling admissions basis for the MSTCM professional master’s degree. We evaluate applications as they are completed, which means acceptances are provided 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 follow up within a matter of days from the completion of your application.
Our rolling admissions process provides applicants with a brief wait time from completed application to notice of acceptance for the year-long masters program. We take no more than 18-24 students per year into the program in order for our classes to maintain a student to teacher ratio of no more than 12:1.
Once an application is complete with all supporting documents, we review it through the online form and get back to applicants within two weeks from the full completion of their application.
We will continue to review applications on a rolling basis until the cohort is full. Once a cohort is full we then continue to accept students for the following cohort. This rolling admission process allows students to have substantial time to make plans well in advance for their immersive year-long masters program.
Please note that all applicants to the strategic communication design master's degree program (MSTCM) are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and to have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75. In certain circumstances, we will consider students who discovered design after an unexceptional experience with an ancillary degree like pre-law or business. This is where you write and explain your discovery and path to design.
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. This is sometimes a confusing experience for applicants. We are available to help prepare with the process.
The graduate program (MSTCM) is situated within CMCI STUDIO. Located in downtown Boulder, CMCI STUDIO is a collective of designers, researchers, and entrepreneurs whose work transcends the divide between technology, business, and design. It is dedicated to learning, innovation, and exploration across disciplines to reimagine possible alternative futures for a rapidly changing world.
As a result, CMCI STUDIO lives at the intersection of academia and industry. providing an intellectual and physical space where technology and design professionals 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 newest 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 Made by Many, Google, Uber, Apple, RGA, Arity/Allstate, and Future Partners, to name a few.
CMCI STUDIO’s efforts range from a nontraditional graduate design program (MSTCM) 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.
CMCI 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.
Rather than a single static deadline, we have a rolling admissions policy. This allows us to examine and accept applications as they are received rather than 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.
Enrollment varies depending on the quality of applicants but we accept no more than 24 students each year. It’s important that we keep our student-teacher ratio to no more than 12:1.
All classes take place in our state-of-the-art facility CMCI Studio, located in downtown Boulder. Students have 24/7 access to the CMCI Studio including showers, lockers, and a bike room for secure storage.
Some students manage to successfully do free-lance projects but working full-time is not advised
Thanks for your interest in CU Boulder’s College of Media, Communication and Information. We welcome your questions or comments and will respond as quickly as possible.