Students who are working toward a BA degree in LAS may elect a major in a distributed studies program. The Distributed Studies BA degree is perhaps the most misunderstood degree at UCCS. It is not a “general studies” degree with assorted course work in a variety of subjects. Instead, Distributed Studies is a degree that is structured out of courses offered by two or more programs of study. The Distributed Studies major requires a primary subject area with at least 30 semester hours of course work, of which at least 15 hours must be at the upper-division level, and also a secondary subject area with at least 30 hours of course work, of which at least 15 hours must be at the upper-division level. Courses taken as part of a distributed studies major can be counted toward the college area requirements.
The Distributed Studies major was initiated before minors were offered at UCCS; it served the needs of students who wanted a concentration of courses outside the major. Now, many students complete a major and minor rather than a distributed studies degree.
There are two approaches to a distributed studies degree: Individualized Distributed Studies Built on Stand-Alone Minors and Structured Interdisciplinary Programs. Both are described below.
Individualized Distributed Studies Built on Stand-Alone Minors
Students may design a distributed studies major around a core curriculum provided by the following stand-alone minors or others approved by their host department(s):
In this Distributed Studies option, a stand-alone minor becomes the primary curriculum for the degree. Because a minor requires 18 credit hours, the student must negotiate the remaining 12 hours of primary subject with the director of the minor program. At least 15 hours must be from upper-division courses. No more than 8 credits of independent study can be applied to the primary area of concentration.
The student, in consultation with the director of the primary subject, then selects a secondary subject area in which he or she completes 30 credit hours (these cannot include credit hours taken to complete the primary subject requirement). The secondary concentration will consist of 30 credit hours in one discipline or 30 credit hours divided between two disciplines (15 and 15, or 18 and 12). The degree requires 60 total credit hours, and students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average in all course work included in the program.
Before embarking on such a program of study, a student must negotiate a Distributed Studies contract with the director of the stand-alone minor that will constitute the primary area of the program.
Structured Interdisciplinary Program Options
These include options in business economics, justice studies, and public administration. These programs include a standard set of courses and electives. Students should check with department advisors before enrolling. The structured interdisciplinary program options are described below.