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Integrated Studies program

Individually Structured Major Integrated Studies, BA

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Offered by:
Overview

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) offers a fully online degree option that provides students an opportunity to construct an individualized degree program. The online Bachelor of Arts Individually Structured Major — Integrated Studies (ISM) is designed to help students integrate previously completed coursework to design a customized major. It is especially helpful for students who have switched majors, colleges or institutions, and are looking for a meaningful way to complete their degree. 

The Integrated Studies online degree option delivers a liberal arts and sciences education tailored to the demands of our ever-changing world, providing maximum flexibility in coursework while delivering high-level critical thinking and comprehensive learning. Since this program is available fully online, you can maximize your time and fit your education goals into your schedule. And online courses are taught by the same faculty as the on-campus courses, so you'll receive the same quality instruction.

Students who pursue Integrated Studies make new connections among the courses they have already taken and develop innovative ways of approaching challenging questions. Students will develop interdisciplinary skills that will help them solve real-world problems. 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.

This online Bachelor of Arts Individually Structured Major — Integrated Studies (ISM) is a flexible degree option that is ideal for:

  • Students looking to complete an undergraduate degree on their terms
  • Students who have switched majors, colleges or institutions
  • Students who have accumulated a lot of credits that do not fit a traditional major
  • Students returning to school

Program Details

The Integrated Studies Online Option requires a total of 120 credits, and students must have already completed 60 credits to declare this major. This dynamic new program allows students to create their major by combining two course clusters from the same or different schools/colleges.
 

Requirements:

  • 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.
  • Students will learn to integrate their coursework by completing a Learning Across Disciplines course and a Capstone course with a project that brings together the learning from their two clusters.
  • Each course cluster in the major must consist of at least 15 credits. The major requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, but can be up to 56 credit hours, depending on the size of the clusters a student chooses and/or constructs.
  • Students must be in good academic standing, with a GPA of 2.0 or greater overall to graduate.
  • Students must achieve a minimum C- grade in all courses to be counted toward the major.
  • A minimum of 24 major specific credit hours must be completed with CU Denver faculty.
  • In addition to ISMA 3100 and ISMA 4900, students must take at least 18 upper division credit hours (9 in each course cluster).

Tuition and Fees

Investing in your future is a big decision. However, becoming a fully online student at the University of Colorado is a high-quality and affordable option for learners of all types. Tuition and fees are based largely on the degree program you enroll in.

The tuition amount assessed is determined based on which University of Colorado campus, school, or college is offering your degree program, as well as if it is at the undergrad or graduate level, and finally your resident status. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

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Timeline

The completion timeline for this degree varies greatly because students can transfer in courses from previous accredited universities.

Keep in mind:

  • A minimum of 24 major specific credit hours must be completed with CU Denver faculty. 
  • In addition to the required courses, ISMA 3100 and ISMA 4900, students must also take at least 18 upper-division credit hours (9 in each course cluster). 

You will create a custom program plan with your advisor during the application process which will inform the completion timeline. 


Courses

Courses at CU Denver are offered three times a year — fall, spring and summer. Not all courses are available every semester. For most programs, courses last 15 weeks, plus one week for finals. This is a big commitment, but we believe the extra time you spend dedicated to your studies pays off.

Example Courses

COMM 3100 — Learning Across Disciplines 
This course introduces students to interdisciplinary thinking, methods, and writing. Students will learn what kinds of questions require thinking beyond a single discipline, how interdisciplinary scholars combine the theories and methods of a variety of fields, and how to approach the challenges of interdisciplinary writing.

ISMA 4900 — Interdisciplinary Capstone 
This course brings together students who have been working on their individualized majors to share a capstone experience. The goal of the ISM capstone is for students to put their interdisciplinary learning into action – whether through a traditional research project or an experiential learning project. All ISM students must produce a final project that demonstrates their abilities to pose an interdisciplinary question and synthesize the theories, methods, and analytical perspectives of their chosen disciplines to answer that question. While working with their Primary Faculty Advisors on their capstone projects, students meet to discuss their experiences and to get feedback from each other as their projects develop.


Admissions

Admission requirements and deadlines vary based on the program. In addition, you will have different requirements depending on if you are a first-time student, a transfer student or an international student. 

Learn more about the admissions process by filling out the form above or contacting an Enrollment Navigator today.