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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 CU-SIS 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.​

Please compose and submit a memo to the committee outlining the request and the justification for requesting the new certificate.​

Minimum Credit Hours

  • 12 for an undergraduate certificate (may be interdisciplinary) 
  • 9 for a graduate certificate (may be interdisciplinary)

Minimum Upper Division Credit Hours

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

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, however a single course may not fulfill more than a total of two graduation requirements.  Programs may restrict students’ ability to double dip courses as long as they are explicit and that language is in the academic catalog.  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 pr​oposal to create a new option (track, concentration) within a major or degree:

Please compose and submit a memo to the committee outlining the request and the justification for requesting the new option.

Required courses - list by course number and title; no. of credits (may be interdisciplinary)

Elective courses - list number of credits describe how the option relates to the major or degree (may be interdisciplinary)

Please compose and submit a memo to the committee outlining the request and the justification for requesting the new minor.​

  • Minimum credit hours: 15 (may be interdisciplinary)
  • 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
  • A single course may not fulfill more than a total of two graduation requirements. Programs may restrict students’ ability to double dip courses as long as they are explicit and that language is in the academic catalog.

Admissions requirement: CU/CLAS existing requirements

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

  • an introductory course to with a 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.

The Bachelor's degree

  • A minimum of 30 hours in total must be taken in residence at CU Denver, and 21 of the culminating 30 hours of the degree must be completed in residence at CU Denver. Individual departments may have additional and/or more stringent program requirements.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for all classes taken in the CU System. Individual departments may have additional and/or more stringent program requirements.
  • A single course may not fulfill more than two graduation requirements. Individual departments may have additional and/or more stringent program requirements.

The major

  • Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science majors require a minimum of 30 credits and no more than 56 credits in the major subject code (major discipline). Interdisciplinary and individually structured majors are exceptions.
  • A minimum of 16 upper division credits are required in the major subject code. Interdisciplinary and individually structured majors are exceptions.

Graduate Degrees

All graduate degree programs must follow the Graduate School Rules.

The Master's degree

  • Minimum credits 30, at least 24 credits must be completed at 5000 level or above.
  • If the program has a thesis, research paper or internship option as the culminating requirement, the thesis/research paper must count for three to six (3-6) credits, unless specified otherwise by individual programs. Independent study course work cannot exceed 20 percent (6 credits) of the 30 credits of coursework required for the Master's degree.

The Doctoral degree

  • Minimum credits 60, 30 must be coursework related and 30 must be dissertation credits. All courses must be completed at 5000 level or higher. (All students should check the specific requirements of their Program, since some Programs have adjusted their credit hour requirement to meet national standards)​ 

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.