Interdisciplinary Studies Degree making progress

Online, multi-campus bachelor’s degree on track to launch in fall 2018

Work on the three-year, fully online, intercampus bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies is well underway, with an anticipated fall 2018 launch. Initiated in 2015 by Regent Stephen Ludwig, D-Denver, it will allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in as few as three years.

Marjorie Levine-Clark, professor of history and associate dean for diversity, outreach and Initiatives in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at CU Denver and the principal investigator, said each student’s degree is made up of three foundational courses and two clusters. Foundational courses include:

  • Introduction to Interdisciplinary Learning
  • Interdisciplinary Experiential Learning
  • Interdisciplinary Capstone

Clusters span across CU Denver, CU Boulder and CU Colorado Springs and include:

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Research Methods and Data Analysis
  • Global Studies
  • Digital and Media Studies
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Policy and Security
  • Social Justice Studies
  • Organizations and Leadership
  • Professional and Technical Communication
  • Health, Science and Society

“The students choose their two clusters and construct them individually by selecting the courses within the clusters that best suit their interests,” Levine-Clark said.

Because of the vast options for the students, their degrees will enable them to be successful in myriad careers, she said.

“The range of clusters is very broad and gives students opportunities for careers in business, government, education and nonprofit work, as well as preparing them for advanced graduate and professional study,” she said.

Levine-Clark said the faculty and administrators in the program are working to get the foundational courses approved on the three campuses in fall 2017. Denver and Colorado Springs plan to have the degree approved as a “track” or “option” of already existing interdisciplinary studies degrees in the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, “so they will not have to seek new degree approval from the regents.”

Boulder is working on the degree as a joint project between Continuing Education and the School of Education. “It will be a new degree, potentially looking somewhat different than that at (UCCS and CU Denver),” Levine-Clark said.

The program update was given to the board in its June 2017 meeting packet, but was not presented at the meeting. When the syllabi are completed, the program will be marketed at the system and the campus levels, Levine-Clark said. See the update here.