Jul 16, 2019  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Science MSS

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►  Graduate School Rules  apply to this program

Requirements for Admission

General rules for admission into the Graduate School  apply to admission into the MSS program in addition to the following:

  • evidence of a bachelor’s degree
  • two official copies of transcripts from all community colleges, colleges, and universities attended
  • overall GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.0
  • a writing sample
  • three letters of recommendation (at least two from academic sources)
  • appropriate undergraduate training or professional background, or indicators that supply evidence of ability to pursue the MSS degree
  • a typed statement specifying the goal of advanced study in the social sciences expressed in clear, correct and effective English
  • standardized test scores are not required, but will be considered if submitted

After meeting all other requirements for admission, applicants may be required to have an interview to discuss their interest in the program and their plans for study. For out-of-state applicants, an appropriate substitute for the interview may be determined by the director.

Provisional Admission:

Applicants may be admitted as provisional-status graduate students if their complete record indicates a high probability of success.

Non-degree Students:

Potential applicants may take graduate-level courses as nondegree students (unclassified student with a bachelor’s degree) if they:

  1. Wish to strengthen their record in order to demonstrate that they can successfully complete courses in the program
  2. Wish to start courses in the program prior to completing their application. Up to 12 semester hours taken as a nondegree student may be accepted by the program once a student has been admitted into the program (the 12-hour limit also includes graduate work from another university).

For further information on non-degree graduate student status, see the Information for Graduate Students  section of this catalog.  In the case of CU Denver graduate students transferring to the MSS program, previous course work may be accepted as appropriate to the MSS plan of study.

International Students:

International students must also meet CU Denver requirements for international admission. See the Information for International Students  section of this catalog or call 303-315-2230 for further information.

Degree Requirements

The MSS is a 36-semester-hour program, of which 30 hours must meet all specifications of the Graduate School  . Throughout their work toward the MSS degree, students must maintain at least a B (3.0) average in all courses. A grade below B- will not be counted toward the degree.

Students may pursue courses around any coherent theme with the approval of MSS program directors and advisors. In addition to the unlimited self-structured options, there are five focus areas from which students can select: Women’s and Gender Studies, International Studies, Social Justice, Society and Environment, and Community Health Science.

Three Required Core Seminars

Total: 9 Hours


In addition to the 9 credits of required coursework, students must complete a total of 21-24 semester hours comprising a coherent selection of courses from a variety of disciplines. All courses for the self-structured portion of the program must be selected with the approval of one of the MSS program directors.

A total of two independent study courses and two 4000-level undergraduate courses taken while enrolled in the program may count toward the degree. All independent study contracts must be approved by one of the program directors. The remaining coursework must be 5000/6000-level courses offered through various departments.

Students completing a project take 24 hours of electives, while thesis students complete 21 hours of electives.

Total: 21-24 Hours

Thesis or Project

In order to proceed with a thesis or project, all students must submit a proposal approved by three faculty members (and approved by one of the program directors in cases where one of the directors is not serving on the committee). Students must also pass an oral comprehensive exam to graduate. Total hours required are: 3 hours of project and 6 hours of thesis.

Total: 3-6 Hours

Oral Exam

An oral exam defending the project or thesis before a committee of three faculty members must be passed in order to graduate.

Degree Total: 36 Hours

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