2019-2020 Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mission, Vision, and Goals




The University System


The University of Colorado is a public research university with multiple campuses serving Colorado, the nation, and the world through leadership in high-quality education and professional training, public service, advancing research and knowledge, and state-of-the-art health care. CU campuses are in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. CU advances the economy, health, and culture of Colorado and beyond, educating more than 435,000 students who have become catalysts in business, arts, health and community growth. To meet the needs of its students, the university offers an extensive number of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs, as well as opportunities to study abroad, engage in public service, and conduct research.

The University of Colorado is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Regents charged by the state constitution with the general supervision of the university and the exclusive control and direction of all its funds and appropriations, unless otherwise provided by law. The board conducts its business at regular meetings open to the public and through committees. The university president is the chief administrative officer of the four-campus system and is responsible for providing leadership to the university. Each campus is administered by its own chancellor and executive staff. 

 The University of Colorado Colorado Springs


1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 255-UCCS (8227) or 1 (800) 990-UCCS


The Colorado Springs campus of the University of Colorado shall be a comprehensive baccalaureate and specialized graduate research university with selective admission standards. The Colorado Springs campus shall offer liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, health sciences, and teacher preparation undergraduate degree programs, and a selected number of master’s and doctoral degree programs.

Vision Statement

UCCS, a premier comprehensive undergraduate and specialized graduate research university, provides students with academically rigorous and life-enriching experiences in a vibrant university community. We advance knowledge, integrate student learning with the spirit of discovery, and broaden access to higher education for the benefit of southern Colorado, the state, nation and world.

Core Values

Student Focus: We value students and never forget that students are our reason for being. We consider students and student outcomes in all the decisions we make. We provide a supportive environment in order to create lasting and significant educational experiences for every student.

Integration: We value integration of teaching with research and creative work. Scholarship enriches teaching and teaching enriches scholarship. We see these activities as interdependent, allowing for synergies that benefit students, faculty and all members of the university community.

Innovation: We value innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. We are creative problem solvers in the classroom, in our research and in our campus operations. We are catalysts for economic, social and cultural changes in our communities. We provide opportunities for our community members to develop the skills of innovation and creative expression.

Collaboration: We value collaboration and teamwork as absolutely necessary for success in today’s world. We model collaboration in our research, teaching, and campus operations. We actively seek opportunities to collaborate, build partnerships and engage with external organizations.

Inclusive Diversity: We value inclusive diversity as a foundation for teaching and scholarship that prepares students, faculty, staff and community members for both local and global multicultural realities. We provide an open, safe and supportive campus environment based on mutual respect, engagement and learning for everyone including those from the full spectrum of backgrounds, social identities, abilities, cultures, perspectives and university roles.

Dynamic Responsible Growth: We value dynamic growth while continuing to be financially responsible, academically sound and environmentally sustainable. We meet the future with energy, enthusiasm and a commitment to retaining a close, interconnected campus community.

Integrity: We value integrity and expect ethical behavior from each member of the campus community in all interactions. We build an environment where we treat each other with respect and appreciate each other’s contributions. 

Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is charged with providing opportunities for higher education to the general public and with offering the fruits of knowledge, research, and cultural development for the betterment of the broader public good. To truly serve the public, the university must be inclusive of everyone, regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, age, legal status, social class, gender expression, abilities, religious values, sexual orientation, political viewpoints, national origin, or military status–to name some of the social and cultural differences that may create barriers. Historically, certain social groups have been excluded and marginalized within public higher education, creating legacies of advantage and disadvantage. The principle of diversity advocates a university that is inclusive of all while overcoming the legacies of exclusion.

Promoting diversity and inclusion addresses shortcomings in the university’s service to the public, but also contributes directly to the quality of learning for all that participate in university education. Realizing this potential requires more than reflecting diversity within the composition of our student body, staff, and faculty. The challenge is for members of the university community to engage fully across social and cultural differences, and to integrate lessons from distinct cultural perspectives into their development of knowledge, skills, character, and cultural awareness.

Acquiring the cultural responsiveness to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds requires an informed understanding of others and, perhaps most critically, an informed understanding of one’s own social and cultural origins as a point of departure. A UCCS education must, therefore, be a journey of self-discovery, even while imparting training in scholarly traditions and methods of knowledge acquisition. Diversity within the student body, faculty, and staff is a resource in this regard, but should be reinforced with conscious and reflective efforts to engender critical knowledge and intersectional understanding.

Making UCCS more inclusive depends in critical ways on the relationships that are fostered and sustained outside the university. The connection with recruiting and retaining diverse students, staff members, and faculty is quite apparent, but such “pipelines” will not be established unless the university is actively engaged with a range of diverse communities. Community engagement increases our value as a public university: as a trusted resource, as an ally, as an engine of economic development, and as an international partner. Such broad support is fundamental in the very competitive and challenging context of public higher education.

UCCS Core Educational Goals


General education at UCCS prepares students for success in their majors, professional pursuits, and lives as creative, thoughtful, informed, and engaged members of our diverse, global society.

The goals of our general education program focus on three interrelated areas of learning, all of which are essential to an undergraduate education. Through the general education curriculum, students will develop competencies in each area and the ability to integrate these competencies as a foundation for lifelong learning.

1) Evaluate and Create

Students will develop intellectual and practical skills central to investigation, creative pursuits, and problem solving. Students will gather, understand, analyze, and evaluate information as well as synthesize that information in order to create and articulate new ideas. This area includes:

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Quantitative and qualitative reasoning
  • Information literacy
  • Communication: reading, writing, speaking, and listening

2) Know and Explore

Students will have a broad understanding of fundamental explorations, applications, and innovations in the natural sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and arts and humanities. This area includes knowledge of:

  • The physical and natural world
  • Humanities, arts, and culture
  • Society, social and economic institutions, health, and human behavior

3) Act and Interact

Students will cultivate self-awareness and understanding of their impact - locally, nationally, and globally. Students will be prepared to participate effectively in a society that encompasses diverse experiences, perspectives, and realities. This area includes:

  • Responsibility - personal, civic, and social
  • Engagement - creative, collaborative, artistic, and innovative
  • Inclusiveness - competencies for cultural responsiveness across social differences in contexts ranging from local to global
  • Sustainability - understanding the interaction between human development and the natural environment

University Assessment of Student Learning: Student Achievement Assessment Committee

Columbine Hall 203d
(719) 255-4186

Institutional Assessment

The Student Achievement Assessment Committee, composed of faculty, staff, and student members, oversees the implementation and advancement of assessment of student achievement and student learning at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Campus-wide assessment of undergraduate general education is conducted annually, and each major and stand alone minor creates and implements a unique assessment plan and reports progress annually.

UCCS students are a valuable source of information for helping to determine whether educational programs are meeting stated goals. Through the use of surveys, tests, and other instruments, information is gathered that assists in making improvements to curriculum and teaching that, in turn, can lead to increases in learning by students. Since these efforts are critical to achieving the university’s goals, students may be required to participate in the assessment program.

UCCS reports results from various surveys and assessments to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, our accrediting agency The Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association, as well as other state and public constituents. UCCS faculty and staff also use assessment results to evaluate and improve the quality of general education, major, and distance education programs.

Information collected in assessment processes is kept strictly confidential. Information shared with governmental and accreditation agencies is aggregated and individual student identities are not revealed.

The following is a summary of what might be expected:

Freshman Year:

  • Entering Student Survey
  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Sophomore/Junior Years:

  • ETS-Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (general education test)

Senior Year:

  • Graduating Seniors Survey
  • ETS-Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress
  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Note that in addition to these institution-wide assessments, some departments have assessment requirements where students may be asked to take a standardized test, exit survey, or other form of assessment.

Student Learning Outcomes/Objectives

Each major and stand-alone minor has an assessment plan in place and reports progress annually. These outcomes/ objectives are detailed in this Catalog with the individual study programs, and on the assessment Web site; they come directly from the most recent progress reports on file at the time of the Catalog publication date.

The UCCS Campus

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is located on 549 acres in northern Colorado Springs, at the foot of Austin Bluffs, a rugged natural cliff formation. The campus provides a spectacular view of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, including Pikes Peak, a 14,100-foot mountain that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write “America the Beautiful” from its pinnacle in 1893.

Established in 1965, UCCS was built on an original 1964 gift of 80 acres (for the price of $1) from local businessman George Dwire. The campus  continues to expand with recent additions that include the Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center, the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences, the Academic Office Building, the Ent Center for the Arts, new housing and dining facilities, and a parking garage with a recreational athletic fields on the top floor.

In the Fall 2017 semester, over 12,400 students enrolled, including about 3,800 students who participated in online courses. At UCCS 53% of students are female; 31% identify as ethnic minority students. About 88% of UCCS students originate from Colorado; however, students from 50 states and 84 countries are represented. More than 2,000 military veterans, active military, and family members and 16 U.S. Olympic-hopeful athletes pursue higher learning at UCCS. About 84% of students are enrolled in undergraduate programs and 16% are pursuing graduate study with the assistance of approximately 1,600 employees, a 17:1 ratio of students per faculty. The current funds budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 is approximately $228 million.


Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission; Member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

 UCCS Degree Programs


UCCS is home to the following colleges and schools: College of Business; College of Education; College of Engineering and Applied Science; School of Public Affairs; College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences; and the Graduate School. Please see the Degree Program table below for more information.

UCCS offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in over 30 majors.

UCCS offers the following Master’s degrees: Master of Science (MS), Master of Sciences (MSc), Master of Engineering (ME), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science Nursing (MSN), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ).

UCCS offers four PhDs: Applied Science ; Engineering ; Educational Leadership, Research, and Policy ; and Psychology: Clinical Psychology (Geropsychology)  and Clinical Psychology (Trauma Psychology) ; and a doctorate in Nursing Practice: Doctorate of Nursing Practice, DNP (Post BSN)  and Doctorate of Nursing Practice, DNP (Post Masters) .

Specific Information on Graduate Degree Programs and related options/emphasis areas or tracks are detailed within each college/school section of the Catalog.

Cross-Disciplinary Degree Programs: A Bachelor of InnovationTM (BI) degree is offered at UCCS. Like a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA), the BI has a major field of study, but it also has a common core in innovation and entrepreneurship, including a unique long-term, multidisciplinary team experience. The innovative BI degree program draws on courses across colleges. Within the BI program, students can major in Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Science, Computer Science-Security, Digital Filmmaking, Electrical Engineering, Game Design and Development, Inclusive Early Childhood Education, Museum Studies and Gallery Practice, Music, or Women’s and Ethnic Studies.

Information on the Bachelor of Innovation™ (BI) Degree  is detailed in the College of Business and the College of Engineering and Applied Science sections in this Catalog.

Teacher Licensure Programs: There are many pathways to obtain a professional teaching license.  Licensure in early childhood education may be obtained through the Bachelors of innovation degree in Inclusive Early Childhood Education (BI IECE). Licensure in elementary education may be obtained through the Bachelors of Arts degree in Inclusive Elementary Education (BA IEE) or through part of a degree program in the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences . Licensure in secondary education may be obtained through part of a degree program in the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. Post-baccalaureate and alternative licensure may be pursed after a Bachelor of Arts degree has been earned.

Pre-professional Programs: Programs in Pre-Child Healthcare Associate/Physician Assistant, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, and Pre-Veterinary may be completed at UCCS. (Not a major, these are a group of courses meeting specified professional school requirements; by themselves, these do not meet degree requirements.)

Through the UCCS College of Engineering and Applied Science, students may complete two years of work toward the following degrees: Architectural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Engineering Physics.

Information on all these degree programs and other minors, certification, licensure, and pre-professional programs is detailed within each college section in this Catalog.

Degree Programs by College

B - Bachelor’s Degree L - Licensure
D - Doctoral      PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

M - Master’s Degree
MSc-Master of Sciences

Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences      
Exercise Science B    
Health Care Science B MSc  
Nursing B M D
College of Business and Administration      
Business B    
Business Administration   M  
Accounting   M  
College of Education      
School Counseling L M  
Clinical Mental Health Counseling L M  
Curriculum and Instruction L M  
Educational Leadership L M  
Inclusive Early Childhood Education B L  
Inclusive Elementary Education B L  
Leadership, Research & Policy     PhD
Special Education L M  
Science Teaching   MSc  
College of Engineering and Applied Science      
Computer Engineering B    
Computer Science B M  
Data Analytics & Systems Engineering B    
Electrical Engineering B M  
Engineering   M PhD
Engineering Education B    
Game Design and Development B    
Mechanical Engineering B M  
College of Letters, Arts and Science      
Anthropology B    
Applied Geography   M  
Applied Mathematics   M  
Applied Science     PhD
Biochemistry B MSc  
Biology B MSc  
Chemistry B MSc  
Communication B M  
Economics B    
English B    
Geography and Environmental Studies B    
History B M  
Interdisciplinary Studies B    
Mathematics B MSc  
Philosophy B    
Physics B MSc  
Political Science B    
Psychology B M PhD
Sociology B M  
Spanish B    
Visual and Performing Arts B    
Women’s and Ethnic Studies B    
School of Public Affairs      
Criminal Justice B M  
Public Administration   M