Interdisciplinary programs encourage students to synthesize the theories, methods and analytical perspectives of diverse disciplines to bring new ways of understanding to particular themes or problems. Interdisciplinary studies foster research and teaching collaboration among faculty and students, who cross traditional academic specialties. Interdisciplinary programs also place a high value on reaching beyond the university into our local, national and global communities, providing students with real-world experiences through internships and experiential learning.
The college also has several established interdisciplinary programs leading to full undergraduate degrees, minors, certificates and graduate degrees. A brief description of each program follows, with a link to its respective program section.
Please go to the Graduate catalog to read about our graduate programs
- Health is one of the fastest growing industries in the US and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected increasing demand and labor shortages for at least the next ten years. The CU Denver Post-Baccalaureate Allied and Professional Health Sciences Certificate was developed as an opportunity for the many students who already have a bachelor's degree and want to shift their career into this large and fast growing industry to improve employment opportunities and potential earnings.
- The increasing prominence of China in world affairs has made knowledge of Chinese language and cultures an asset in numerous fields. The innovative Minor in Chinese Studies offers a specialized study of China through coursework in the related disciplines of language, anthropology, history, geography, literature and political science.
- The Civics, Public Policy and Equity 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. This certificate promotes civic engagement and participation in the political process.
- From social media and mobile phones to the algorithms in self-driving cars, digital and information technologies are everywhere. The Digital Studies Certificate provides students with the opportunity to investigate the relationships between new communication technologies and society and to develop skills creating digital media messages and products.
- The K-12 Teacher Licensure Programs, in collaboration with the School of Education & Human Development, enable students to add educational training to their liberal arts and sciences discipline studies.
- The Minor in Environmental Sciences allows students to choose courses from the social sciences, physical sciences, engineering, humanities and statistics to create a unique program of study.
- The Ethnic Studies BA and the Minor in Ethnic Studies provide students the opportunity, through academic investigation, to develop a greater understanding of the cultural pluralism of the present day United States and to acquire skills needed in professional and social service fields.
- The Individually Structured Major (ISMA) gives students an opportunity to construct a major that meet their unique needs and interests. Students pursue studies that combine coursework from two, three, or even more academic units to explore a particular theme. The ISM challenges students to ask questions that require thinking beyond a single discipline.
- In a world where global commerce and politics have emerged as driving forces, the International Studies Major provides students with innovative perspectives on changes that affect all of us. INTS is designed to provide students a thorough education in international issues while preparing them for global careers. The major offers students the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of complex international issues and the forces that are shaping our world.
- The Minor in Health Humanities explores the ethical, cultural, social and political contexts of health and medicine, providing an excellent addition to science-based curricula serving as a stand-alone program that addresses many current issues of interest to the humanities and social sciences.
- The Humanities Minor cultivates humanistic exploration through historically grounded texts and traditions. It teaches critical engagement with society's most pressing issues by developing a human-oriented perspective in which creativity and critical, theoretical thinking frame ethical being in the world.
- The Minor in Law Studies is intended to help students become intelligent and critical scholars of legal and political discourse. While the minor may be useful for students contemplating law school, it is also intended to appeal to a wider group of students interested in issues relating to law and society and careers in public policy related fields.
- The Professional Skills Certificate certificate is designed for undergraduate students seeking to acquire and enhance diverse workplace skills that are highly valued by today’s employers. Students will learn to communicate effectively, write persuasively, and develop proficiency in digital and media literacy or data literacy.
- The Public Health Majors enable students to get either a BA or BS degree in public health, depending on their focus. They may choose from over 100 electives in 14 academic departments, in addition to specific public health core courses.
- Religion involves the worldview of a culture, its social norms, ethics, and politics. In the private realm, religious experiences are among the most profound an individual can have. The Minor in Religious Studies fosters a nuanced understanding of religion, and cultivates critical skills evaluating religious phenomena.
- The Minor in Social Justice encourages students to recognize how democracy, education, consumerism, media, race, class and gender intersect. The minor fosters the many ways that our students are already engaged as citizens, the desirable possibilities that remain unrealized and their power to effect that actualization.
- Holistic approaches to sustainability practices in our daily living require a workforce that understands the various perspectives that address a broad optimistic framework. Students who complete the Minor in Sustainability will demonstrate a command of the language, structure and skills of multiple, relevant disciplines, and will be better prepared to take leadership in this complex, challenging field.
- The Minor in Women's and Gender Studies focuses students’ attention on the centrality of gender and sexuality to understanding our past and present worlds. Students and faculty probe assumptions about men and women, and question structures of inequality as they play out in local and global contexts.
Interdisciplinary Programs (IDST)
Cross-listed with IDST 5000. Note: May be taken more than once for credit when topics vary. Repeatable. Max Hours: 9 Credits.
Grading Basis: Letter Grade
Repeatable. Max Credits: 9.
This course will provide students with an introduction to STEM communication and offer opportunities for developing STEM content for a variety of audiences across multiple formats. These formats span written, oral, digital, and social media communication. Through classroom exercises and assignments, students will understand the role of communication in shaping perceptions, knowledge, decisions and ultimately realities vis-a-vis STEM. They will also learn to provide critical analysis of popular mainstream STEM communication and be able to identify basic expectations and constraints of STEM communication across audience and context. The class will explore approaches to communicating concepts in STEM disciplines to a variety of audiences through practice. Ultimately, the students will develop the skills and resources necessary to enable effective communication of complex STEM ideas to a wide range of audiences. Note: Students may not earn credit if they have already received credit for IDST topics courses with a similar title. Suggested background: Students are recommended to have completed at least one undergraduate sequence in a STEM discipline before enrolling in this course. Cross-listed with IDST 5010. Max hours: 3 Credits.
Grading Basis: Letter Grade