Nov 30, 2022  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Individually Structured Major - Integrated Studies BA

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The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Integrated Studies option provides students with the opportunity to construct an individualized major that meets their unique needs, and which results in a B.A.

This flexible program allows students to create a major by combining two course clusters

  • One cluster must be based on a CLAS minor in the CU Denver catalog. The minor must be at least 15 credits, and students can add additional courses from the discipline (up to 21 credits total in one discipline) to form the cluster.
  • The other cluster can also be based on a minor in the catalog (within CLAS or another school or college), or it can be constructed by the student from a group of courses from a variety of disciplines that form a coherent body of knowledge (an interdisciplinary cluster)
  • Students must also complete an introduction to interdisciplinary studies course as well as an interdisciplinary capstone course and project that bring together the learning from their two clusters

These degree requirements are subject to periodic revision by CLAS, and the College 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 CLAS Academic Advisor to confirm the best plans of study before finalizing them.

Program Delivery

  • This is an on-campus program.

Declaring This Major

  • Click here  to go to information about declaring a major.
  • Students are required to submit a program plan that includes a proposal and a course contract. Copies of completed Integrated Studies option proposals and course contracts must be filed with the Dean’s Office and with the student’s CLAS Academic Advisor.
  • The Integrated Studies option proposal must include
    • Two chosen clusters (at least one of which must be based on a CLAS minor)
    • If one of the clusters is constructed, an explanation of how the courses fit together to form a coherent body of knowledge
    • Approval from an Associate Dean in CLAS
  • The Integrated Studies option course contract must include
    • A list of the courses the student intends to take or has completed in the chosen clusters, as well as potential alternate courses. The student should work closely with their CLAS academic advisor to create the course contract
    • Signature from the student’s CLAS Academic Advisor
    • Signature from the appropriate CLAS Associate Dean

General Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.

Program Requirements

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 36 credits from approved coursework.
  2. Students must complete a minimum of 18 upper division (3000 level and above) credit hours with a minimum of 9 upper division level credit hours in each cluster.
  3. Students must earn a minimum grade of C-(1.7) in all major courses taken at CU Denver and must achieve a minimum cumulative major GPA of 2.0. All graded attempts in required and elective courses are calculated in major GPA. Students cannot complete major or ancillary course requirements as pass/fail.
  4. A minimum of 24 credit hours must be completed with CU Denver faculty (at least 9 credits in each course cluster in addition to ISMA 3100 and ISMA 4900).

Program Restrictions, Allowances and Recommendations

  1. A student must have already completed at least 60 credit hours to declare the Integrated Studies option.
  2. At least half of all credits in the Integrated Studies option must be from CLAS departments.
  3. Each course cluster in the major option must consist of at least 15 credit hours and one cluster must be based on a CLAS minor in the CU Denver catalog.
  4. Students can apply credits they earned before declaring the Integrated Studies option to the major.
  5. Once the Integrated Studies option course contract is filed, any changes to coursework must be approved by the student’s CLAS Academic Advisor and resubmitted to the Associate Dean for approval.
  6. Students will not receive minors in any of the cluster areas used toward the Individually Structured Major Integrated Studies option, even if the requirements for the minor are met.
  7. Students may petition the Associate Dean for Diversity, Outreach and Initiatives to fulfill their introduction and capstone outside of ISMA 3100 and ISMA 4900.


Roles and Responsibilities


  • creates the Integrated Studies option initial proposal and course contract (in collaboration with their CLAS Academic Advisor)
  • meets regularly with their CLAS Academic Advisor to assess progress through the major, CLAS graduation requirements and CU Denver graduation requirements
  • fulfills requirements of the Integrated Studies course contract

CLAS Academic Advisor

  • reviews Integrated Studies option proposal  and overall course contract together with the student
  • meets with Integrated Studies option advisees to monitor progress
  • maintains records of Integrated Studies option proposals and contracts
  • certifies graduation

Associate Dean

  • approves student proposals and course clusters for Integrated Studies option majors
  • signs off on Integrated Studies option course contracts
  • may oversee advisee’s capstone project
  • may consult with student and other faculty on course clusters

Faculty Advisor

  • may oversee advisees’ capstone projects
  • may consult with student and Associate Dean on course clusters


Integrated Studies Coursework Requirements

Complete the following courses: 

ISMA 3100-should be taken early in the academic career (i.e. sophomore year)

ISMA 4900-should be taken toward then end of the academic career (i.e. senior year)

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