This certificate is designed to help students from any disciplinary major develop competencies and skills regarding United States civics from diverse perspectives. The certificate provides students with many course options to complete introductory and advanced coursework tailored to their individual interests. Student demand for such a certificate will likely come from students who major in the social sciences, but also from students who have an interest in completing coursework in American civics, public policy, and equity from other disciplines. This certificate promotes civic engagement and participation in the political process.
Students will engage in the following focus areas:
Historical and Legal Context
Courses completed in this area facilitate the development of knowledge and skills related to the American founding, the United States Constitution, American political development, political actors and institutions, constitutional law and the legal system, and the rights and duties of citizenship, among others. Learning objectives for these courses vary depending on the department offering the course selections and the specific courses selected, but students should generally develop broad knowledge of historical and contemporary aspects of American political institutions and civic engagement. While many of these courses employ historical and/or legal approaches to the study of civics, additional or alternative approaches may also be utilized, such as analytical lenses that are theoretical or applied in nature. Courses typically emphasize critical thinking and written communication skills and may also involve independent or collaborative original research projects or experiential learning beyond the classroom.
Courses completed in this area facilitate the development of knowledge and skills pertaining to the formulation, analysis, and critique of public policy. Courses included in this category examine public policy from diverse perspectives using numerous methodological approaches. Individual courses may engage in the study of the primary actors, entrepreneurs, and institutions that formulate public policy, examine policy from a public administration perspective, and/or provide a focused analysis of policy within the context of a specific issue area, among others. Learning objectives for these courses vary depending on the department offering the course selections, but students should generally expect to engage in an immersive study of public policy as outlined in each course description.
Courses completed in this area facilitate the development of knowledge and skills regarding equity in politics and society. Topics of study may include social movements, social justice, political reforms related to protected classes, criminal justice reform, societal inequalities, public goods, and responsible citizenship, among others. Courses may have a historical, contemporary, and/or futuristic focus and may approach the study of equity from theoretical, analytical, practical, critical, or aspirational perspectives, among others. Learning objectives for these courses vary depending on the department offering the course selections, but students should generally develop competencies in their particular area of study with each course addressing political or social equity in some meaningful capacity.
- This is an on-campus program.
Declaring This Certificate
- All prospective students must contact Marjorie Levine-Clark, Associate Dean for Diversity, Outreach, and Initiatives to declare their interest and intent to complete the program.
These program requirements are subject to periodic revision by the academic department, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences reserves the right to make exceptions and substitutions as judged necessary in individual cases. Therefore, the College strongly urges students to consult regularly with their Civics, Public Policy and Equity advisor to confirm the best plans of study before finalizing them.
Students must satisfy all requirements as outlined below and by the department offering the certificate.
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- Students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours, from approved coursework
- Students must complete a minimum of six upper division (3000-level and above) credit hours, from approved coursework.
- Students must earn a minimum grade of C (2.0) in all courses that apply to the certificate and must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. All graded attempts in required and elective courses are calculated in the GPA. Courses taken using P+/P/F or S/U grading cannot apply to certificate requirements.
- Students must complete all credit hours applying to the certificate with CU Denver faculty.
Program Restrictions, Allowances and Recommendations
- Students must complete the specified number of courses from the designated certificate focus areas. Exceptions to the focus area distribution requirements are not permitted.
- Courses completed in pursuance of the certificate may also count toward CU Denver major or minor requirements, however each course may count for a maximum of two graduation requirements.
|Complete two of the following Historical and Legal Context courses:||6|
|U.S. History to 1876|
|U.S. History Since 1876|
|Controversies in History|
|The American Presidency|
|Red and Blue America: U.S. History, 1973-Present|
|Introduction to Legal Studies|
|First Amendment: Theory and Context|
|Why Obey the Law? Introduction to Philosophy of Law|
|American Political System|
|State Politics: Focus Colorado|
|Constitutional Law I|
|Constitutional Law II|
|Contemporary Issues in Civil Liberties|
|Courts & Society|
|Complete one of the following Policy courses:||3|
|Mass Media Law And Policy|
|Ethics in Criminal Justice|
|Law and Society|
|Courts and Social Policy|
|The Politics of Nature|
|Science, Policy and the Environment|
|Justice, Freedom, and Power: Social and Political Philosophy|
|How to think green: Environmental Ethics|
|Medicine, Health Care, and Justice: Bioethics|
|Race, Gender, Law and Public Policy 1|
|Politics of the Budgetary Process|
|Political Parties and Pressure Groups|
|Organizational and Strategic Management|
|Collaboration Across Sectors|
|Human Resources and Ethics in Public Service|
|Sustainable Energy Policy|
|Sociology of Law|
|Complete one of the following Equity courses:||3|
|Communication, Citizenship, and Social Justice|
|Communication, Prisons, and Social Justice|
|Race, Class, and Justice|
|Poverty, Crime, and Justice|
|Economics of Race and Gender|
|Equality, Rights & Education|
|Ethnicity, Health and Social Justice|
|Family Systems and Social Justice|
|Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice in Higher Education|
|Social Movements in 20th Century America|
|Crime, Policing, and Justice in American History|
|Ideology and Culture: Racism and Sexism|
|US Music: Social & Political Impact|
|Introduction to Political Science: The Quest for Freedom and Justice|
|Race, Gender, Law and Public Policy 1|
|Political Movements: Race and Gender|
|Power and Empowerment in the United States|
|The Urban Citizen|
|Theories of Social and Political Change|
|Law, Politics and Justice|
|Gender and Politics|
|Leading and Engaging for the Public Good|
|Foundations in Social Justice|
|Special Topics: Social Justice|
|Inequalities in Social World|
|Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.|
|Race, Culture and Immigration|
|Poverty and Social Inequality|
PSCI 3034 Race, Gender, Law and Public Policy can apply toward the Policy or Equity requirement.
Upon completion of this program, students will:
• develop critical thinking and written communication skills
• explain and analyze historical and contemporary aspects of American political institutions and civic engagement
• describe and examine the formulation, analysis, and critique of public policy
• discuss and evaluate how equity/inequity operates in politics and society