Frequenty Asked Questions
The Minor in Technology, Arts and Media is for you, if you intend to pursue a career in creative computing and media arts. Please be aware that the Minor will take at least four semesters to complete if all the class are available. Most students take at least 5-6 semesters to complete the minor. Ideally, students should begin the Minor in their Sophomore year.
The smaller Certificate in Digital Media (9 credit hours) is intended for students who just want to learn more about creative technology and computing, but don't intend to pursue a career in this field. The Certificate takes a minimum of 2 semesters to complete.
All Technology, Arts & Media Programs are open to students from any College or School on the University of Colorado at Boulder Campus.
University degree programs are often supplemented by certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. The CU-Boulder campus has developed several undergraduate certificate programs that allow students to explore an interdisciplinary area or topic not covered by an existing major. The Certificate in Digital Media (CDM) is one of these interdisciplinary programs, and offers a rare opportunity to experience course offerings in multiple schools and colleges. Completion of the Certificate in Digital Media is noted on your transcript, and indicates that you have completed an academic program beyond your major and that you have interdisciplinary breadth in multimedia design.
Our programs are designed for motivated and creative students who are interested in the intersections of Technology, Arts and Media. We have developed our programs so that no prior computing skills are required, but our programs do require dedication and a willingness to devote time outside of the classroom to making your experience count. We will teach you the basics, and our faculty are always available to answer questions, but we encourage students to learn how to explore technology and discover answers on their own, as this is what makes life-long learning possible.
To sign up for any of our programs, contact the TAM advisor, Dave Kalahar to schedule a meeting. During this meeting, Dave will talk with you about the specific requirements of our programs and answer any questions that you may have. If one of our programs sounds like a good fit, you may fill out the TAM Declaration Form indicating your intent to pursue the Certificate in Digital Media (CDM) or the Minor in Technology, Arts and Media (MTAM). We suggest that you take your time deciding if the TAM Program is right for you, but be aware that the introductory course for both the Minor and the Certificate, ATLS 2000, "The Meaning of Information Technology", cannot be registered for until you have submitted the TAM Declaration Form.
Dave Kalahar is the Curriculum Advisor for the Technology, Arts & Media Program. He is available for walk-in meetings and questions, but appointments are recommended. Dor an appointment, e-mail Kalahar@colorado.edu. Dave's walk-in office hours are Monday–Thursday, 8:00am–4:00pm. If he is in the office and not meeting with another student, he will be happy to speak with you.
We recommend that you check in with the TAM advisor at least once a semester, even if you are not currently taking TAM courses. This helps us keep up with your progress, and ensures that your contact information is up to date in our files. When you are scheduling TAM courses, the advisor will ensure that you are on track for completing TAM requirements in a timely manner. It is especially important that you see the TAM advisor during the semester prior to your graduation to verify that you have fulfilled all the program requirements.
The ATLAS advising and instructor offices are located off Room 225 (2nd floor, northeast corner) in the ATLAS Building at 1125 18th Street, at the heart of the campus next to the Visual Arts Complex. map
An idea of your tentative course schedule for the upcoming semester and an idea of your tentative graduation date. Remember, the Minor in Technology, Arts & Media and the Certificate in Digital Media are not majors, so you must confer with your major advisor concerning requirements of your major.
The official communication method at CU is now e-mail, so this is how you should expect to receive all communications from your instructors and advisor within the TAM Program. Plan to check your campus e-mail regularly. It is recommended that you create and ATLAS e-mail folder, where you can store ATLAS-related correspondence for future reference. Also, be sure to stay under your email storage quota. On rare occasions the TAM office may attempt to contact you by phone, if you have a current phone number on file in the TAM office.
Each fall and spring semester there is a Registration Open House 1–2 weeks prior to continuing student registration. TAM students will sign up for 800-section ATLS courses they would like to enroll at this Registration Open House. If you are away on study abroad, you may contact the TAM advisor by e-mail. Students attending the Open House will be approved for a course or section based on meeting the pre-requisite requirement, and prioritized by the date they completed the TAM Declaration Form. Students that miss the Open House, or who declare the program after the Open House will be considered for enrollment on a space available, first-come first-served basis. After the enrollment cap is met, the remaining students will be waitlisted for the following semester.
The Technology, Arts & Media philosophy is to provide a well-rounded education, informed by critical thinking about the impacts of information technology on the individual and on society. Technical certification is provided in many venues, and we do not wish to duplicate what is already available elsewhere. Instead, we encourage students to sample courses in departments and fields that they normally would not know, to take risks as they explore career possibilities that they did not anticipate, and to delight in exposure to new information, points of view, and methods of problem-solving. In short, we encourage you to benefit from your membership in a University, a community of scholars dedicated to examining a broad spectrum of interests and concerns.
Courses listed as part of the TAM Program have been selected by a multidisciplinary committee of CU-Boulder professors (The Technology, Arts & Media Program Steering Committee) for their appropriateness to both the content and spirit of the program. A number of courses were developed specifically for TAM with the help of ATLAS funding; many other courses were nominated for inclusion by faculty or students. You may appeal to the TAM Steering Committee to request consideration of other courses for elective credit, but be aware that such exceptions are rare. If you would like to launch a credit appeal process, please see the advisor to obtain the necessary paperwork.
Because TAM was created to be a multidisciplinary program, it is important that you receive instruction and interact with colleagues from a variety of disciplinary areas. You must, therefore, be sure that your Critical Thinking in Technology, and Invention & Practice courses are each listed in a different department. You may take more courses in each area if you wish, but only one is required in each area for TAM certification. Note that this rule applies only to your two elective courses, and excludes the ATLS core courses (Meaning of Information Technology, Digital Media 1, Digital Media 2, Fundamentals of Digital Design, and Capstone Projects). Where available, you may also select ATLS course work for one or both of the electives.
Yes, you must take ATLS2000, "The Meaning of Information Technology" first, followed by ATLS 3010, "Digital Media 1," then ATLS3020, "Digital Media 2". ATLS 3030, "Fundamentals of Digital Design" may be taken concurrently with ATLS 3020 or ATLS 4010. It is strongly recommended that you take ATLS4010, "Capstone Projects" during your final semester. Some electives may also have prerequisites. Also be aware that you must submit an application and be accepted into the Minor Program before you can enroll in ATLS3020, Digital Media 2, and/or ATLS 3030, Fundamentals of Digital Design.
Due to the Technology, Arts & Media Program's popularity, we require that all students wishing to complete the Minor in Technology, Arts & Media submit an application before they will be allowed to enroll in ATLS3020, Digital Media 2. The application consists of some basic information, an online portfolio, and a statement of intent. Most students submit the application mid-semester during ATLS3010, Digital Media 1, so that they can enroll for ATLS3020, Digital Media 2 the following semester. If you are not accepted into the Minor, you can re-submit your application the following semester, or alternatively opt to complete the Certificate in Digital Media.
The Minor in Technology, Arts and Media will typically take four semesters (excluding summer session). However, we cannot guarantee an ATLS course will not have a time conflict with a course required for your major, which could delay your completion nor that seats will be available for all desired courses and sections. Additionally, if you miss the Registration Open House, your completion could be delayed. TAM is a very popular program, thus our courses are in high demand. Being pro-active with advising and registration instead of re-active, and attending the Registration Open House will go far in completing the Minor in four semesters. We also find that many students like to take additional TAM courses beyond the initial requirements. Therefore we suggest that students start the program in the Sophomore year to get the most from the Minor Program.
The Certificate in Digital Media takes a minimum of two semesters. The first semester you would take ATLS2000, "The Meaning of Information Technology." The second semester you would take ATLS3010, "Digital Media 1" The Critical Thinking in Technology and the Invention and Practice Elective requirement could be taken concurrently with either ATLS 2000 or ATLS 3010, as long as the pre-requisite is met.
For the Certificate, when grades are final and posted, the TAM advisor will forward your student information over to the Records Office in Regent Hall. Someone there will enter the text, "Awarded the Certificate in Digital Media" followed by the commencement date, which will reflect on your transcript. For the Minor in Technology, Arts and Media, students must include the Minor Completion Form (MCF) in their college graduation packet. Minor students must schedule a 5-minute meeting with the TAM Advisor to review the MCF, then sign and date. We will also contact you with details about the ATLAS Graduation Commencement, held in fall and spring of each year. At this occasion, you will receive your Certificate in Digital Media or the Minor in Technology, Arts & Media.
All students who satisfy MTAM curriculum requirements receive a Minor in Technology, Arts & Media at the ATLAS Graduation Commencement, held each semester, and completion of the Minor is noted on their permanent transcripts. The G.P.A. for TAM is calculated as the average of grades in the seven courses taken for the basic completion of the Minor. If you have taken more than one course in any elective category, we will count the higher grade for that category (as long as it is not a second course from the same department). All TAM students with a G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher in all TAM courses will graduate with Honors. Honors designations for Minor Programs will not appear on your official CU-Boulder transcript.
The ATLAS Labs are private lab spaces that exist for declared TAM students whose course fees fund the equipment and software. Anyone who is using this lab has the same rights and privileges as you do, and the same obligation to protect the equipment and to maintain a clean and safe environnment for all of us. Due to the extensive outside-class time that TAM courses require, only the students who are currently enrolled in an ATLAS course will have lab access for the given semester. At the beginning of the semester, your instructor will distribute the ATLAS Card Access Contract to enrolled students, which will give you lab access via your BuffOne Card. As a TAM student, you are eligible for additional access to building spaces. The ATLAS Card Access Contract also gives you access to the Curriculum Cluster (ATLS 225) and Group Design rooms. TAM Students also have access to free equipment rentals (link).
Check the home page for current building and lab hours. Course schedules for each semester will be posted on the lab door and in the ATLAS Student Lounge (ATLS 225: Curriculum Cluster). If you are a qualified student, and would like to work while another class is meeting, be sure to ask the instructor's permission before the course lecture begins. See our lab policies page for more details
To be sure that you are kept "in the loop" while abroad, contact the TAM Program Advisor before your departure to touch base and provide the best way to contact you in the foreign country. At the present time, we do not accept credits for courses you take at overseas universities, but if you feel a specific course should qualify as elective credit, you may submit a petition that the TAM Faculty will consider. We also recommend that you keep in touch with the TAM Program advisor concerning your plans to ensure that there is no break in your progress upon your return. For instance, it is possible to be placed on course sign-ups or waiting lists while you are still studying abroad.
Currently, the TAM program is open only to enrolled undergraduate students at CU-Boulder. Note: Summer TAM Courses may have seats available to Continuing Education Students.
Graduate students who are interested in the TAM Program should check with his/her program advisor to see if any TAM courses are applicable to his/her specific graduate degree requirements. Some graduate degrees will count a certain number of upper-division undergraduate courses as elective credit.
The ATLAS (The Alliance for Technology, Learning & Society) Institute is an organizational unit that explores the impact of technology on the University and the world. The ATLAS Institute is unique in that it is a degree granting institute, whereas most academic institutes focus on research. The Technology, Arts & Media Program is one of the degree granting programs that is housed within the ATLAS Institute.