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.
- 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.
- The explosive growth in data collection over the past 10 years is unlikely to slow any time soon. This has created a dramatic increase in demand for individuals who can understand how to make decisions and predictions in the context of uncertainty through use of experimental design, statistical methods, and programming, especially in the context of large data sets. This need spans many fields such as environmental applications of climate modeling over space and time, medical and genomic applications that use electronic medical records to correlate demographics, genetic data, and clinical outcomes over millions of individuals, national security applications (including real-time monitoring of internet trends), and manufacturing with real-time monitoring of features over a variety of processes to both troubleshoot and optimize manufacturing. Graduates of the BS in Data Science will be well-positioned to meet this need.
- 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. Students can also pursue a BA/BS to MA in Teaching.
- 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 Designed Major (IDMA) gives students an opportunity to design 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 IDM challenges students to ask questions that require thinking beyond a single discipline. Students may choose either an Interdisciplinary Studies or an Integrated Health Studies option for this degree.
- The Integrated Studies BA and BS provide students with maximum flexibility and multiple pathways through the curriculum, to complete a degree, through the combination of two course clusters. These degrees are designed to help students integrate coursework from different programs, to design a novel major. They are especially helpful for students who have switched majors, colleges or institutions, and are looking for a meaningful way to complete their degree. Students may complete these degrees fully online, if they choose.
- In a world where global commerce and politics have emerged as driving forces, the International Studies Major and the International Studies Minor provide 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. These programs offer 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.
Please go to the Graduate catalog to read about our graduate programs