The Bachelor of Science in Creative Technology and Design is an engineering degree like no other. Encompassing a broad, transdisciplinary course of study, the degree blends creativity and design with a rigorous engineering curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and creative production. Attracting designers, technologists, makers and inventors who seek diverse and adaptable skills, the degree opens doors to a wide range of 21st-century challenges and opportunities.

Industry and Career Paths

Students graduating with a major in Creative Technology and Design and prepared to enter professional positions in the following disciplines:

  • Human-computer interaction.
  • Information design and data visualization.
  • Web design and development.
  • Video and narrative media.
  • Robotics and physical computing.
  • Internet of Things design.
  • Graphic design and visual communication.
  • Game design and development.
  • User-interface and user-experience design (UI/UX)
  • Experience design.
  • Digital sound, audio production and electronic music.
  • Mobile application design and development.

Students who complete the BS degree program are also poised to pursue graduate or advanced degrees in engineering, other technological fields and design.

Hallmarks of the Program

  • Most classes are small, studio-based courses that encourage group work and collaboration.

  • Most classes are greater than 50 percent female-identifying or non-binary students, a percentage well above most engineering and computing programs.

  • The interdisciplinary coursework stresses knowledge, skills and expertise in technology development through both design and engineering.

  • Projects use an iterative creative process from problem finding and ideation through user-testing, implementation and deployment. 

  • Students learn to think critically about the ethical and cultural impacts of emerging technology.

  • Faculty are engineers, designers and artists from diverse fields who are experts in working with students of varied backgrounds, abilities and interests.

Unique

With a solid engineering foundation, the BS in Creative Technology and Design program caters to an emerging generation of hybrid students. Students develop skills that extend beyond traditional engineering disciplines, eagerly producing technical and creative projects that integrate both engineering and design.

Transdisciplinary

The degree program is discipline agnostic, encouraging students to pursue their interests and passions in ways that conform to, as well as transcend, traditional disciplinary fields. By helping students discover, explore and expand these interests, faculty members prepare students for rapid shifts and innovations in tomorrow's technology landscape.

Creative Production and Critical Perspectives

Students are prolific creators who learn to critically and conceptually assess the works they create. Courses are designed on the studio model that integrates faculty and peer critique at every level. Graduates of the program are savvy and resourceful engineers, equal parts creator and critic, artist and theorist.

Requirements

Course Requirements

Students must complete a total of 128 credits in order to graduate with a BS in creative technology and design. The last 45 credit hours of the 128 for the BS degree must be earned via CU Boulder coursework only and while rostered in the College of Engineering & Applied Science.

The minimum passing grade for a course that is considered a prerequisite for another course is C-. A grade of C or better is required in all terminal Foundation, Core, and Capstone courses. A grade of C- or higher is required in all terminal Focus and CPT Electives.

General Coursework (73-75 credit hours)
Writing, Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS)
College-Approved Writing Course 13
H&SS Electives 218
Mathematics Courses and Natural Science Electives
APPM 1350Calculus 1 for Engineers4
or MATH 1300 Calculus 1
or APPM 1345 Calculus 1 with Algebra, Part B
APPM 1360Calculus 2 for Engineers4
or MATH 2300 Calculus 2
Mathematics Electives 36
Natural Science Electives 412
Engineering and Computation Coursework
ATLS 1300Computational Foundations 14
or ASEN 1320 Aerospace Computing and Engineering Applications
or CSCI 1300 Computer Science 1: Starting Computing
or ECEN 1310 C Programming for ECE
or INFO 1701 Programming for Information Science 1
ATLS 2270Computational Foundations 24
or CSCI 2270 Computer Science 2: Data Structures
or INFO 2201 Programming for Information Science 2
GEEN 1400Engineering Projects 73
or ASEN 1400 Gateway to Space
or ASEN 1403 Introduction to Rocket Engineering
or ECEN 1400 Introduction to Digital and Analog Electronics
Free Electives
Free Electives15
BS Program Coursework (55 hours)
ATLS Foundation and Core Coursework
ATLS 1100Design Foundations3
ATLS 2000The Meaning of Information Technology3
or ENES 2020 The Meaning of Information Technology
ATLS 2100Image3
ATLS 2200Web3
ATLS 2300Text3
ATLS 3100Form3
ATLS 3200Sound3
ATLS 3300Object3
Capstone Coursework
ATLS 4000Research Methods and Professional Practice3
ATLS 4010Capstone Projects4
Critical Perspectives in Technology (CPT) Electives
CPT Electives 56
Focus Electives (project-based courses)
Focus Electives 618
Total Credit Hours128

Sample Four-Year Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
ATLS 1100 Design Foundations 3
CSCI 1300
Computer Science 1: Starting Computing
or Computational Foundations 1
4
APPM 1350
Calculus 1 for Engineers
or Calculus 1
4-5
First-Year Projects Course 3
 Credit Hours14-15
Spring Semester
ATLS 2000 The Meaning of Information Technology 3
ATLS 2270
Computational Foundations 2
or Computer Science 2: Data Structures
4
APPM 1360
Calculus 2 for Engineers
or Calculus 2
4-5
Natural Science Course 3 3-4
 Credit Hours14-16
Second Year
Fall Semester
ATLS 2100 Image 3
ATLS 2200 Web 3
ATLS 2300 Text 3
Mathematics Course 4 3
Humanities or Social Science Elective 1 3
Natural Science Course 3 3-4
 Credit Hours18-19
Spring Semester
ATLS 3100 Form 3
ATLS 3200 Sound 3
ATLS 3300 Object 3
Mathematics Course 4 3-4
Humanities or Social Sciences Elective 1 3
 Credit Hours15-16
Third Year
Fall Semester
Critical Perspectives in Technology Elective 5 3
Focus Electives 6 6
Natural Science Course 3 3-4
Humanities or Social Sciences Elective 1 3
College-Approved Writing Course 2 3
 Credit Hours18-19
Spring Semester
Focus Electives 6 6
Humanities or Social Sciences Electives 1 6
Natural Science Course (if needed to fulfill 12 credits hours total of science) 3 3
Free Elective 3
 Credit Hours18
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
ATLS 4000 Research Methods and Professional Practice 3
Critical Perspectives in Technology Elective 5 3
Focus Elective 6 3
Humanities or Social Science Elective 1 3
Free Electives 6
 Credit Hours18
Spring Semester
ATLS 4010 Capstone Projects 4
Focus Elective 6 3
Free Electives 6
 Credit Hours13
 Total Credit Hours128-134

Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, CTD students are expected to be able to:

  • Develop work that addresses complex interdisciplinary problems, applying principles of engineering, computational thinking, and design using industry standard and emerging technologies.
  • Understand the historical, cultural and psychological factors that impact the human experience of design.
  • Engage in research, critical assessment and critique.
  • Engage in iterative design and production to contribute novel functionalities, aesthetics or interactions.
  • Collaborate on a team that effectively demonstrates task management, accountability and makes progress towards common goals.
  • Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities and make informed discernments in applying creative technology solutions.
  • Effectively communicate the functionality, purpose and impact of creative technology solutions in a wide range of professional contexts in a way that is thoughtful and respectful to others.