FAQ

  • While BDW has an acclaimed graduate program, we are not a school. BDW is a postdigital studio within the ATLAS Institute and College of Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.

    We prefer the overall designation of BDW as a studio because we are project driven and while learning and innovation threads through everything we do here, “schools” are typically where people prepare themselves before they head into the real world. BDW is the real world, developing real projects for real clients that solve real problems. Students in the BDW graduate program are taught by top industry talent, have an exceptional portfolio when they graduate, and are connected to an outstanding network of industry professionals before they graduate.

  • A studio environment provides the best learning environment for BDW’s unique culture of experimentation that combines thinking and doing in a collaborative environment. Studio seemed like the best word to convey the designer-maker, DIY sprit that infuses how we do everything that we do here. And we call ourselves post-digital because our projects tend to bridge physical and digital environments. Everything is digital now.

  • BDW does not currently offer a degree. We offer a graduate certificate, for two reasons:

    -Reason One. As a non-degree program we can change our curriculum as quickly as the world changes—often faster. A disposition to lifelong learning is crucial for success in a world of permanent beta. The real-world value of a traditional education has radically declined. When a formal degree program can be as cutting edge as what BDW does now, we’ll offer a degree program.

    -Reason Two. We embrace a new culture of learning that is most often the opposite of traditional systems of education. BDW is a remix culture that recognizes the importance of tinkering and experimentation in learning and innovation. Degree programs typically focus on the importance of acquiring accepted knowledge only. It’s not that we’re anti-education; we are, however, pro-learning and much of what is practiced in today’s educational systems is the opposite of learning, irrelevant, and disconnected.

  • We receive applications from a wide range of people, from MBAs to artists to engineers. We purposely accept a mix of people with varying backgrounds, and we pay particular attention to intangibles, such as motivation, eagerness to learn, and a passion for changing the world through digital technologies. We essentially combine creative thinking with technology to generate innovate learning and business models for the 21st-century global economy.

  • If you are planning to work while attending BDW, the graduate program is not for you. It is a 50-week accelerator, intense and immersive, which is a major reason why it works so well. It is entirely focused on building your digital portfolio under the guidance of the top digital pros from the industry. In the end, you will have an enviable network to promote your finished book. Some of our students do sometimes work part-time and/or freelance. We direct students to inquiries we receive via our internal job posting system. But the program demands total commitment.

  • We’ve made an old idea really new for the 21st century. Modeled after a classic apprenticeship, BDW students work closely with a master in their chosen area to get hands-on training that extends their work at BDW throughout the third and final semester of the BDW postgraduate program. This experience takes them vertically into the details and practices of a particular area of expertise.

  • BDW essentially makes creatives more technical and technologists more creative via projects that develop everyone’s abilities to generate innovative business models and take them to market. Because we mix creatives with technologists, entering students fall into two categories technically--familiarity and proficiency. Those who are “familiar” know what a technology is for, how it works, and can perform basic operations and executions using that technology. Proficiency is not mastery but suggests having the technical capability to build, test, and release projects. While the tech capabilities range widely among beginning students, all graduating students leave BDW proficient in the technologies appropriate to their interests and career path.

  • Yes. BDW is administered through the University of Colorado’s College of Continuing Education, so while you are not a degree-seeking student you will have a CU student identification card, CU email account, full use of the library, access to the recreation center, and various student resources. Also, as a student of The ATLAS Institute you will have access to their state-of-the-art facilities.

  • Work in a cutting-edge agency, work in a digital business, start your own company—BDW students want to have impact and be with A-List companies. From our board to our faculty and partners, BDW has an exceptional network of professionals that our students interact with to explore employment opportunities. Across the creative industries our grads now work as Producers, Strategists, Designers, Art Directors, Developers, User Experience Designers, Creative Technologists, Entrepreneurs, and more.

  • As long as it needs to be. BDW isn’t a traditional program, and our class schedule reflects that. But we know you have a life and need to plan your time accordingly. The program is intensive, with hours of interactions Monday — Friday. Our expert faculty and the needs of mastering a specific area drive our courses. The focus is on learning, experimentation, and mentorship, not filling time.

  • We encourage international students to apply. And they do––currently from Asia, South America, Canada, South Africa, and Western Europe. We have graduated international students from Brazil, South Africa,Canada, and India. Because an international focus is key to our worldview at BDW, we actively recruit non-U.S. students.

  • Because BDW’s graduate program is a University of Colorado program, prospective students are eligible to apply for private financial aid from a variety of banks and organizations. Please visit our financial aid section for more information on financial aid options. There are workable options for both US citizens and international students.

  • Thought leaders and doers in the 21st-century who are eager to help shape the minds of the next generation of leaders. Our students learn how to lead from exceptional leaders––local, national, and global. If you are interested in teaching, please send us an email.

  • There are multiple ways to cultivate and recruit talent from the BDW graduate program––from sponsoring individuals to projects to engaging as teaching fellows, guest lecturers, mentors, and more. If you have an idea, contact us. .Sponsors, for example, have multiple opportunities, if desired, to work closely with BDW graduate students and gain an inside track for recruiting. Contact us to start the conversation.

  • BDW is located at 3390 Valmont Road Building #3 in Boulder, Colorado. There is a good reason why some of the most talented and innovative people in the creative industries live and work here. You’ll wake up every day to breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, and participate in outdoor sports––from biking to ice climbing, kayaking, skiing and more. You’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors all year round—and it’s sunny over 300 days a year.

  • We’re pleased to welcome visitors to BDW who are interested in discovering first hand what we do, how we do it, and essentially who we are. Contact us via email to arrange for a tour of the BDW studio and/or the ATLAS Institute on the CU campus. We promise that you’ve never seen anything like us.