Skip to main content
Sign In

University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UC Denver
 

About Us

Interdisciplinary Signature Areas


In addition to our many degree programs, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has five interdisciplinary signature areas: The Colorado Center for Public Humanities; Math and Science Learning and Education, Social Justice, Sustainability, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

These cutting-edge initiatives reflect a major development in higher education to engage in research and teaching about contemporary topics by incorporating perspectives from multiple disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach differs from traditional scholarship, which involves a single field of inquiry by seeking to integrate knowledge from related areas of study.

CLAS offers three undergraduate minors associated with the signature areas: social justice, sustainability, and women's and gender studies.

Center for Public Humanities

Colorado Center for Public Humanities

The Colorado Center for Public Humanities takes as its core belief that the broad mission of the humanities disciplines (English, Ethnic Studies, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Art History, and Musicology) is to enrich public discussions about art, ideas, the historical past, and the diverse cultures of the world. Scholars can accomplish this mission only by continuously reassessing interests and needs of the wider public and by forging connections with groups and institutions outside the university’s walls. The Center has two primary goals: First, as a think-tank, the Center investigates the public value of the humanities disciplines by sponsoring programs that help to clarify the roles that humanities-based scholarship can play within the region, the nation, and the world more generally. Second, the Center directs the engagements of humanities scholars toward extra-academic communities.

Visit the Colorado Center for Public Humanities website

 

Math and Science Learning and Education Signature Area (MSLE)

Math and Science Learning and Education Signature Area (MSLE)

The mission of this signature area is to facilitate the learning of Math and Science at the University of Colorado Denver. Inherently interdisciplinary in nature, this signature area concentrates on: the scholarship of teaching and learning in Math and Science; experiential learning; teacher preparation and teacher professional development in the Math and Science disciplines; and continuing education in Math and Science disciplines. Members of the signature area have created a seminar series that focuses on math and science education from multiple perspectives. The seminar also provides mentoring and professional development opportunities to STEM faculty, and establishes an arena for developing external visibility for CLAS faculty involved in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Visit Math and Science Learning and Education website

Innovative Learning Research

Social Justice

Social justice is a goal of every healthy society and the best guarantee for sustaining peace. Achieving social justice involves the creation a global society where all members are granted the same basic human rights and equal access to public resources. This Area believes that twenty-first century students need global perspectives on citizenship that are informed by and can contribute to processes of civic engagement locally and in all parts of the world. The Social Justice program encourages our students to recognize how race, class, and gender intersect with citizenship. It reinforces the many ways that our students are already engaged as citizens. And it helps solidify their power to effect change.

Visit the Social Justice website

Sustainability

Sustainability

This signature area recognizes sustainability as a significant economic, environmental, and social issue of the 21st century, with fundamental implications to the future of societies, economies, and the natural world. This signature area takes a systems approach to conceptualizing and implementing sustainable practices that integrate physical, biological, and social sciences. The Minor in Sustainability involves faculty and students from most departments within CLAS, including Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Communications, Economics, Geography and Environmental Sciences, Geology, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Physics.

Visit the Sustainability website

Women's and Gender Studies

Women's and Gender Studies

The Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST) signature area focuses 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. Through a study of gender and sexuality, students and faculty expand thinking about other relations of power, such as race, class, ethnicity, nationality, and physical ability. WGST fosters connections with the local community and promotes advocacy of human rights and social justice. The core of WGST is curricular: an undergraduate minor and a graduate track and certificate through the Master’s of Social Sciences Program. The program also facilitates faculty research by providing opportunities for research sharing, feedback, and collaboration through forums such as brown bag lunches, lecture series, and workshops. In addition, WGST creates interdisciplinary programming related to women’s and gender issues, and fosters connections among different constituencies on the Auraria campus, across the University of Colorado Denver, and with the community.

Visit the Women's and Gender Studies website

Social Justice, Civic Engagement and Critical Consumption

Social Justice

The Social Justice minor applies an interdisciplinary theme through which students can acquire the intellectual tools and moral commitment to participate effectively and responsibly in the world. The new curricular focus involves a freshman seminar, first-year learning community, and undergraduate minor and Master's level certificate program. Achieving social justice involves the creation a global society where everyone is granted the same human rights and access to public resources. Twenty-first century students need global perspectives on citizenship that are informed by and can contribute to processes of civic engagement in all parts of the world.

Visit the Social Justice website

Sustainability

Sustainability

Sustainability is a widely used concept applied to "development", "livelihoods", "farming", and a host of other issues. Questions of sustainability are currently among the most important facing humankind and are receiving tremendous attention in the media, in government, and in international planning circles. Because issues of sustainability do not arise from single causes, nor can solutions be developed within narrow disciplinary frameworks, a multidisciplinary perspective is necessary to evaluate and understand the problems, and identify and implement solutions.

Visit the Sustainability website

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS)

Women's and Gender Studies (WGST)

The Women's and Gender Studies minor highlights gender and sexuality as key components of understanding diversity, a central element of knowledge in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ definition of a liberal education. WGST offers an undergraduate minor, a graduate certificate, or a graduate track through the Master’s of Social Sciences. Graduate students can also discuss a WGST emphasis within their disciplinary programs.

Visit the Women's and Gender Studies website