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Portfolio Requirements for BFA in Communication Design

Portfolio Review and Admission

All students entering the Art Department as majors are admitted under either the B.A. in Art or the B.A. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism. After completing the foundation courses and one other course in ART, CDES, or ARTH, those wishing to pursue the B.F.A. in Art, B.F.A. in Art Education or the B.F.A. in Communication Design will be required to pass a formal portfolio review for admittance.

Portfolio submissions must be completed by the end of the 6th week of the fall and spring semesters. Faculty will conduct reviews and students will be notified of the results in time to make registration decisions for the following semester. Refer to portfolio submission deadlines below.


Fall 2020 Portfolio Submission Deadlines

Portfolios are to be submitted electronically to by Friday, September 25, 2020 at midnight. Application opens on Sunday, September 6, 2020.

Applicants will be notified via their email accounts of their acceptance status no later than, Friday, October 9, 2020.

BFA CDES Guidelines

BFA CDES Portfolio Evaluation Rubric


CDES Portfolio Submission Workshops:

Students interested in learning more about the Communication Design portfolio submission process are encouraged to attend one of the following workshops or arrange an individual advising appointment with their advisor; Kelly Monico, Peter Bergman, Shawn Meek or Lisa Abendroth. If you don’t know who your advisor is please email the Department of Art office at

In addition to the following, all students enrolled in Typographic Syntax CDES 2225 and CDES 2602 will participate in an in-class workshop.

In Class Workshop #1 – open to all students
Monday Aug 31, 9:00-10:00
During CDES 2225
Microsoft Teams:  (Links to an external Teams site.)
or ask Lisa Abendroth <> for it.

In Class Workshop #2 – open to all students
During CDES 2602
Microsoft Teams:  (Links to an external Teams site.)
or ask Shawn Meek <> for it.
Tuesday, September 1st, 9:30 - 10:30am

Open Workshop – open to all students
Microsoft Teams: (Links to an external Teams site.) 
or ask Peter Bergman <> for it.
Tuesday, September 1st, 11am – 12pm 

Contact Peter Bergman, CDES Program Coordinator
with questions:


Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Communication Design

MSU Denver’s Communication Design program challenges students to become informed, thinking designers. Through specific course work that fuses semantics, pragmatics and syntactics, students discover how to design for the people and contexts that require communication while learning to craft effective and culturally appropriate messages in a broad range of design media. The program positions five pedagogical pillars as significant to our mission: making meaning, furthering function, pursuing process, mediating messages, and fostering form. These pillars are underscored by a contemporary practice that integrates design fundamentals with emerging media, research, and history/theory.

Consistent with the Department of Art, student learning outcomes are designed around three assessable themes: research, execution, and articulation.

Graduating students earning the B.F.A. in Communication Design should be able to:

  • show evidence of intellectual inquiry and curiosity in design research;
  • convey ideas that are consistently reinforced through the execution of cohesive work(s) that are the result of the process of making;
  • effectively articulate oral, written and visual design processes and concepts.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design

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