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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UC Denver

Course and Curriculum Development

Curriculum Proposals

Curricular changes should be approved and submitted by the department chair to the CLAS Educational Policies and Curriculum Committee (EPCC). All proposals are submitted electronically to the Dean’s Office staff liaison to EPCC, who will then distribute the proposals to the committee members. For new degree program proposals, which are often 30+ pages, the committee requests that seven (7) complete hard copies be delivered to the Dean's Office, as well as sent electronically. Once a minor, certificate or option is approved, contact the EPCC liaison to start the process for assigning an ISIS code so that it will be recorded on the transcript.

Materials to Submit Electronically for EPCC Review of Programs (at least 14 days prior to scheduled EPCC meeting)

  • Cover letter from department, program, or unit head briefly outlining and explaining the need for the proposed change, addition, or deletion.
  • Support materials needed to provide clarification that may include a description of the existing program and proposed alterations, a fuller description of the proposed program (including description of curriculum), data to justify proposed change, addition, or deletion, etc. If the program is available for all students, codes will be created for each level and career (undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree seeking graduate). Please specify in your proposal which students are eligible to apply.
  • The proposal is reviewed within two regular meetings of the EPCC. The committee may request that additional information or clarification be submitted in written form, or may invite the department chair or other representative to attend a future EPCC meeting.

New or Revised Minors, Certificates or Options within Majors

The EPCC has established guidelines for minors, certificates and options within majors/degrees, and proposals for these must conform to these guidelines to be reviewed by the committee.

Below are templates of expected minimum standards for any proposed minor, certificate program or option. Meeting these minimum standards does not guarantee EPCC approval, since EPCC will still play the role of insuring the program quality: that it coheres as a whole; that it is an appropriate UC Denver minor, certificate or option; and that it does not duplicate other offerings.


In the last few years, the EPCC has seen rapid growth in the number of proposals submitted for formal certificate programs. These graduate and undergraduate certificate programs are usually designed by an individual department, entail 9-20 credit hours of specialized course work, and result in a student receiving a formal "certificate" notification on their CU transcript. Certificate programs are available to any student (including those who are non-degree seeking) who completes the requisite course work. Some departments design "admissions" criteria of their own for students enrolling in the certificate program, but many do not. Examples of certificate programs that have now passed EPCC review and are formally transcripted include: Biotechnology, Cultural Diversity Studies, Geographic Information Science, and Women's and Gender Studies. Departments use these certificates to recognize advanced, specialized knowledge of their students and to build important non-degree programs that will be of service to the broader Denver community.

Minimum Credit Hours


  • 12 for an undergraduate certificate
  • 9 for a graduate certificate

Minimum Upper Division Credit Hours


  • 6 for an undergraduate certificate; at least 6 hours of a graduate certificate must be graduate-level courses

Minimum Hours in Residency

  • Because a certificate is a CU certification of a student's specialized knowledge in an advanced subject matter, all courses in a certificate program are expected to be taken in residency at UC Denver. Exceptions can be made when a department makes its case to EPCC.

Minimum GPA and Allowable Grades

  • 2.0 minimum GPA with no course below a C for an undergraduate certificate
  • 3.0 minimum GPA with no course below a B- for a graduate certificate

Admissions Requirements

  • Designed at the department's discretion.
  • The opinion of the EPCC is that if a student receives a minor or major from a department, those same courses can be used toward the requirements for a certificate.Upon confirmation of completion by the department, certificates are reported on a semester basis to be added to the student's transcript

Include the following in the proposal to create a new option (track, concentration) within a major or degree:

Required courses - list by course number and title; no. of credits

Elective courses - list number of credits describe how the option relates to the major or degree.

Approval Process for New Minors, Certificates, Options

The Minor

  • Minimum credit hours: 15
  • Minimum upper division credit hours: 6
  • Minimum hours in residency: 9
  • Minimum GPA and allowable grades: 2.0 minimum GPA, including at least 12 hours with C or higher grades

Admissions requirement: CU/CLAS existing requirements

In addition, for multidisciplinary minors, EPCC would like to see:

  • an introductory course to the multidisciplinary approach or theme
  • an upper division capstone or theory course that synthesizes material
  • a list of electives that can be taken and/or an indication that an advisor will oversee the choices so that there is some coherence in the grouping.

The process of approving new degrees and programs is lengthy and involves approval at the department, College, Campus, System, and Regents levels. Department chairs should discuss plans for a new degree with the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Undergraduate Student Affairs before initiating the process. Proposals for new programs and curricula (as well as all associated courses using the above course review process) must be approved by the EPCC and then passed to the Dean.  Graduate programs also require approval by the CU Denver Graduate Council. 

Approval Process for New Majors and Degrees

The CU Board of Regents requires that all new degree or curriculum proposals follow the established CU Board of Regents Format.