2021-2022 Academic Catalog

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School/College Specific Policy

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requires the following degree requirements for all graduate degree granting programs outlined below:

All graduate degree programs must follow the Graduate School Policies and Procedures.

The Master’s degree

Minimum credits 30, at least 24 credits must be completed at 5000 level or above.

If the program has a thesis, research paper or internship option as the culminating requirement, the thesis/research paper must count for three to six (3-6) credits, unless specified otherwise by individual programs. Independent study course work cannot exceed 20 percent (6 credits) of the 30 credits of coursework required for the Master’s degree.

The Doctoral degree

Minimum credits 60, 30 must be coursework related and 30 must be dissertation credits. All courses must be completed at 5000 level or higher. (All students should check the specific requirements of their Program, since some Programs have adjusted their credit hour requirement to meet national standards)

The certificate

Graduate certificates require a minimum of 9 credit hours (in any discipline).

No more than 3 credits may be earned at the undergraduate level.

Because a certificate is a CU certification of a student’s specialized knowledge in an advanced subject matter, all courses in a certificate program are expected to be taken in residency at UC Denver.

Minimum GPA of 3.0 with no course below a B- for a graduate certificate

A single course may not fulfill more than two graduation requirements.


Students on the Denver Campus must file an application for candidacy with their graduate school office and complete an intent to graduate application found on the Office of the Registrar’s Web page under Degree Planning between the first day of registration for the term and the last day of drop/add. Check with your school for more information. Students will not be officially certified to graduate until a final audit of the student’s record has been completed, approximately six weeks after the end of the term. After students have been certified to graduate, they must reapply to return to CU Denver.


In early March, informational brochures will be mailed to students eligible to participate in the May spring-semester commencement. In early October, information regarding the December commencement will be mailed to students who graduated in the summer term or expect to graduate in the fall term. Information will be provided about ordering special display diplomas, fittings for caps and gowns and obtaining diplomas and transcripts with the degree recorded. This information is also available at www.ucdenver.edu/student-services/graduation/Pages/Graduation.aspx.