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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.


Spring 2021 Portfolio Submission Deadlines

Portfolios are to be submitted electronically to by Friday, February 26, 2021 at midnight. Application opens Sunday, February 7, 2021.

Applicants will be notified via their email accounts of their acceptance status no later than Friday, March 12, 2021.

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 Class Workshop #1 – open to all students
Thursday Feb. 4th 8:30-9:00, During CDES 2225
Microsoft Teams: click this link  
Or ask Lisa Abendroth  

In Class Workshop #2 – open to all students
Tuesday, February 9th, 9:30 - 10:30am, During CDES 2602
Microsoft Teams: click this link  
Or ask Shawn Meek 

Open Workshop – open to all students
Microsoft Teams: click this link 
Wednesday, February 8th, 11am – 12pm
Or ask Kelly Monico 

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

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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