2011-2012 Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2024  
2011-2012 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Distributed Studies Program

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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:

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.

Distributed Studies Major in Business Economics

The Distributed Studies major in Business Economics is offered through the Department of Economics.

Economics is both a social science and a business field (or discipline). On many campuses students can choose to major in economics in either the business school or in arts and sciences. However, UCCS students interested in both business and economics must choose between these interests by majoring in economics (LAS) or majoring in business (COB). The Distributed Studies major in Business Economics offers students a formal opportunity to pursue both interests. The major requires at least 60 hours of course work total. The Distributed Studies major in Business Economics has as its primary area economics, and as its secondary area business.

The Distributed Studies major in Business Economics closely resembles the regular major in economics, with the required economics and math courses being identical. The only change is a minimum of 30 required hours in economics for the DS major in business economics, rather than the 36 hours required for the economics major.

In the secondary area of business, DS students complete courses that fit both with their interests in business economics as well as with the nature of many of the employment opportunities for them, i.e., in the financial sectors of the economy.

Students choosing a Distributed Studies major in Business Economics enroll in the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.

Primary Area: Economics Requirements (30 Hours)


  • These requirements should be completed before taking any upper division economics courses.
  • A minimum of 30 hours in Economics courses, of which at least 18 hours numbered 3000 and above

  • Each of these five required courses should be completed before the beginning of the senior year.
Economics Electives

  • Any five additional upper division courses in Economics

Secondary Area: Business Requirements (30 Hours)

Distributed Studies Major in Justice Studies

The Distributed Studies program in Justice Studies promotes a curriculum in the broad area of studies in legal and social justice. The program requires a total of 60 semester hours to be selected from the primary and secondary areas described below.

Primary Area: Legal and Justice Studies

Part I. Core Courses (30 Hours)

This area of study provides breadth of content and general learning within the academic disciplines which are generally acknowledged as most basic to understanding law, society, and legal institutions and culture.

Thirty hours of credit must be selected from the following list of courses, including at least one course selected in at least four different disciplines.

Secondary Area: Legal and Justice Studies

Part II. Analysis, Application, and Work Force Preparation (15 Hours: Secondary Subject)

Courses within this portion of the secondary area provide skills of analysis and evaluation which both promote understanding of the law in action as well as provide an opportunity to apply these skills in the criminal justice setting in the community.

Students must select a minimum of six hours each from Parts A & B, for a total minimum of 15 hours in this broad area.

Part III. Disciplinary Emphasis Area (15 Hours: Secondary Subject)

In consultation with the advisor, students must select a minimum of 15 hours which comprise an academically integrated area of emphasis related to justice studies. Although there is much discretion in how this area of emphasis is created, three general approaches can be suggested:

  • Select an additional 15 hours of credit from any one discipline
  • Select 15 hours from those recommended for existing interdisciplinary studies programs, such as Women’s and Ethnic Studies, Environmental Studies, etc.
  • Create an “individualized” course of study which will promote understanding of a specific area of justice studies, i.e., business crime, hate crimes, environmental crime, cross cultural/comparative approaches, jurisprudence, deviance, crimes and corrections, etc.

Distributed Studies Major in Public Administration

Students taking a Distributed Studies major in Public Administration must complete 45 semester hours of required courses (or suitable substitutes) as follows:

Required Primary Subject Courses

Additionally, students must choose, with advice and consent of the chair of the Public Administration Program, an additional 15 semester hours of course work in a primary subject field so that a total of 30 semester hours is accumulated in one primary subject (either economics, political science or sociology).

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