This program is not being offered in 202324. Please check back for future updates.

Every other year, this unique, studio-centric MFA in experience design (XD) admits a cohort of eight to twelve talented students from varied backgrounds, including all areas of design, art, architecture and engineering. Students in the XD program form a studio collective to complete an array of XD projects under the direct guidance of CU faculty and professionals in the field, many who provide project content. As a result of this industry involvement, and the students own self-exploration, XD graduates are prepared to enter the field of experience design.

The MFA in XD also exposes students to new ways of seeing the reality around them, new ways of creating, resolving problems, expressing ideas and telling stories. Essentially, the MFA in XD is a course of study in using new languages. 

The program also features a summer "design center" where students and faculty can accept real-time XD problems posed by outside entities (including some contracted projects with commercial firms) and solve them via a collaborative, studio approach. The work of this center provides a service to various communities and is a practical extension of learning for students. 

While the MFA in XD advances a collaborative studio environment where teamwork is held in high regard, we consider it a mission of the program to foster the individual talents, visions, and interests of each student in the program. The program will make every effort to provide an environment where individual students may gestate their own concepts, allowing them room to explore, test and innovate with the support of the studio, other students, faculty and industry professionals.

Connections to Industry

Some of the program's professional advisors, endorsers and participants include:

  • Jim Doyle of WET Design, makers of the famed Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas
  • Dave Cooperstein and Al Cross of PGAV Destinations, designers of Sea World and the NASA Space Museum
  • Electrosonic, makers of the live video projection technology for Disney's Magic Kingdom Castle
  • Adam Bezark, Phil Hettema and Steve Ryan, commercial producers of live experiences with credits at Disney, Universal and Landmark Entertainment
  • Drew Campbell, Creative Director at International Resorts in Singapore
  • Baam Productions
  • Nassal
  • Super 78
  • Bolder Interactive, Technology Designers for Themed Experiences
  • Stantec, Experiential Architecture Firm


Application Process

The professional MFA in experience design admits a new cohort of 8–12 students every other fall semester. Applications will be accepted on a rolling deadline for entry in a fall semester beginning in July of the previous year.

Required Courses and Credits

TDXD 5005Design Theory3
TDXD 5105Collaboratory in Experience Design 13
TDXD 5500Experience Design Atelier 1: Design Evolution and Expression3
TDXD 5700Experience Design Atelier 2: Introduction to Design Graphics3
TDXD 5805Professional Portfolio 16
TDXD 6105Collaboratory in Experience Design 23
TDXD 6210Storytelling for XD3
TDXD 6500Experience Design Atelier 3: Packaging the Design Presentation3
TDXD 6555Experience Design Technology3
TDXD 6805Professional Portfolio 26
TDXD 6901XD Implementation and Engineering3
TDXD 6910The Experience Design Center6
Total Credit Hours51-54

Plan(s) of Study

 Sequence is subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
TDXD 5005 Design Theory 3
TDXD 5105 Collaboratory in Experience Design 1 3
TDXD 5500 Experience Design Atelier 1: Design Evolution and Expression 3
TDXD 5805 Professional Portfolio 1 3
 Credit Hours12
Spring Semester
TDXD 5700 Experience Design Atelier 2: Introduction to Design Graphics 3
TDXD 6105 Collaboratory in Experience Design 2 3
TDXD 6210 Storytelling for XD 3
TDXD 5805 Professional Portfolio 1 3
 Credit Hours12
TDXD 6500 Experience Design Atelier 3: Packaging the Design Presentation 3
TDXD 6805 Professional Portfolio 2 3
TDXD 6910 The Experience Design Center 6
 Credit Hours12
Year Two
Fall Semester
TDXD 6555 Experience Design Technology 3
TDXD 6805 Professional Portfolio 2 3
TDXD 6901 XD Implementation and Engineering 3
Electives 6-9
 Credit Hours15-18
 Total Credit Hours51-54