2012-2013 Catalog 
    Apr 20, 2024  
2012-2013 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Curriculum and Instruction (C&I), MSc

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The Master of Sciences (MSc) Program is a cross-disciplinary program leading to the master of sciences degree. It provides an opportunity for present and prospective science and mathematics professionals and others to extend and/or broaden their training in the natural and physical sciences and mathematics at advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.

The MSc options are:

• biology

• biotechnology/biochemistry

• chemistry, forensic science

• exercise science

• organismic biology

• mathematics

• mathematics teaching

• physics

• science teaching

• space studies/science teaching

Wide latitude is possible in the details of a degree plan so that each student may follow a course of study most pertinent to his or her interests and career goals. Each degree plan must be approved by the MSc Director and the student’s adviser.

All courses credited toward the degree after admission must be taken at the University of Colorado, on the Colorado Springs, Denver, Health Sciences or Boulder campuses, over a maximum of five years or six successive summers.

General regulations of the Graduate School governing the award of the master’s degree apply except as modified below:

  • 30-36 semester hours of science and/or mathematics courses numbered 3000 and above
  • Select Thesis (requires theses) or Non-Thesis (requires paper) option:  Completion of a paper describing a research project or other specialized study on a topic is to be approved by the director and the student’s advisor.  Approval of the topic is given on the basis of a written explanation or precis submitted within six months of entering the program.  The final paper must be approved by the student’s committee and is in lieu of the comprehensive examination.

Thesis option students write a thesis on their research rather than a paper.  Students give a presentation and defend their thesis before a thesis defense committee.  Publication of thesis results is encouraged.

  • If a thesis is written, the student will take 24-26 semester hours of coursework and four to six semester hours of thesis credit.  These are to be selected from two or more departments.
  • All courses must be taken from approved Graduate School faculty members.
  • Fifteen or more hours in science/math must be from courses numbered 5000 and above.  Courses may be selected from the following departments:  biology, chemistry, education, health sciences, geography, mathematics, and physics.
  • Because not all courses will be appropriate for all programs, students should first consult with their advisor before enrolling.  An academic plan should be completed during the student’s first semester.
  • Minimum grade point average:  Courses at the 3000 and 4000 levels will be accepted toward the degree only with the grades of A or B; 5000 and 6000 level courses will be accepted toward the degree with grades of A, B, C.  Students must have a B average in all courses taken subsequent to admission to the program, including courses not actually required for the degree.

Thesis or Non-Thesis Option

The student has the option of selecting Plan I or Plan II

Plan I:  Thesis Option:  30 semester hours, including 4-6 hours of thesis credit.  At least 15 semester hours must be at the graduate level in their primary department.  A minimum of 3 credit hours must be taken from a secondary department.  Student must write a thesis on their research, give a presentation, and defend their thesis before a thesis defense committee.

Plan II:  Non-Thesis Option:  30 semester hours; at least 15 semester hours must be at the graduate level in their primary department.  A minimum of 3 credit hours must be taken from a secondary department.  Student must complete a paper describing a research project or other specialized study on a topic and give a presentation.  This paper must be approved by the student’s committee.

Admissions Requirements

 General regulations for admission to the Graduate School apply; see the Graduate School  section in this Catalog.

• Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university

• At least 40 semester hours in the natural sciences and mathematics, preferably including one year of calculus. (Several departments accept other mathematics courses in lieu of calculus.) Students may be admitted to the program with a deficiency in mathematics but must remedy the deficiency within one year after admission with a grade of C or better.

GPA of 2.75 or higher, depending on the option. A student with an undergraduate grade point average below 2.75 must take the GRE prior to consideration for admission. 

Application Process


Submit complete MSc application including the following:

• Cover letter stating intent and interest of obtaining an MSc; cover letter will be used as a writing sample

• Application for Graduate Admission: Parts 1 and Part 2

• Resume

• Confirmation of in-state classification

• Two official transcripts from all previous higher education institutions attended

• Letters of recommendation: three preferably, at least one from an undergraduate professor

• Letter from a sponsor: required for biology option

• Application fee: $60 for domestic students and $75 for international students

• Selective Service form: for all male applicants

• GRE: original only if required by option

Contact UCCS Graduate School, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or go to http:///www.uccs.edu/~gradschl/All forms, transcripts, and supporting documents are processed at the UCCS campus.

Student advising is available through the Program Director.

MSc Program Options

Mathematics Option

MSc students in the Mathematics Option must (1) develop a reasonable degree of competence in the fields of analysis and algebra and (2) demonstrate a depth to their mathematical education. Towards that end, the requirements for the Mathematics Option in the Master of Sciences Program are as follows:

  • Students must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of upper division and graduate courses offered by the mathematics department.
  • Of these 15 hours, 12 semester hours must be at the 4000-level or higher, including at least three semester hours at the 5000-level. (For example, students could take one 300-level course, three 4000-level courses and one 5000-level course.)
  • Students must demonstrate the successful completion (with a grade of B or better) of the following courses:

                   Algebra. MATH 4140 Introduction to Modern Algebra (or its equivalent)

                   Analysis. MATH 4310 Introduction to Modern Analysis (or its equivalent)

  • A year-long sequence of mathematics courses, sharing a common mathematical topic, to provide depth within the student’s mathematical education. The common topic of the sequence may be one of algebra, analysis, probability and statistics, or mathematical applications. The courses of this sequence must be 4000 level or higher. For example, MATH 4140 and MATH 5130 constitute an acceptable sequence in algebra. The details of this requirement are to be specified in the student’s program plan that is to be approved by a member of the Department of Mathematics.

The student opting for the Mathematics Option must arrange for a faculty advisor during the first or second semester after admission. The student, together with the advisor, will construct an academic plan and will decide on the details for the paper or thesis option. To formally arrange for the advisor, the student should contact the chair of the Graduate Committee of the Mathematics Department.

Science Options

The MSc student can choose a science option in biology, biotechnology/biochemistry, chemistry, exercise science, organic biology, and physics.

Learning Outcomes, Biology/Biotechnology/Organismic Biochemistry/Exercise Science Options, MSc

• Demonstrate an increased knowledge of the major theories and concepts on two major areas (biology and one other) of study in the sciences.

• Demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to apply the fundamentals of research methodology and statistical analysis to the interpretation and evaluation of scientific data and research reports.

• Demonstrate the ability to communicate knowledge of two major areas of study in the sciences both orally and in writing.

• Be prepared for jobs or advanced education in a field of science.

Program Description

The Science Option emphasizes the following natural science departments: biology, chemistry, and physics. Two-semester sequence courses (which are offered in some of the natural science departments) are encouraged where appropriate. The student’s courses in his or her department of emphasis are supplemented with several courses from a second department. The secondary department may be any of the following: biology, health sciences, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

The complete Science Option Program includes 30 semester hours of coursework, of which 15 or more hours must be at the graduate level (5000 level or above). Thesis research is not counted toward this 15-hour requirement. The 30 hours may also include three semester hours of upper-division courses or seminars in secondary school teaching, history of science, or philosophy of science.


(Biology, Biotechnology/ Biochemistry, Exercise Science, Organismic Biology) Students interested in the biology program must meet with the faculty member advising their area of interest. Requirements will vary but will likely include at least one 4000-level course taught by that faculty. Thesis is required. A sponsor is necessary for admission.


Students interested in the chemistry graduate program should contact the chemistry program advisor of current requirements and research opportunities.


Students interested in the physics program must meet with the physics program advisor. Research students in the program are especially encouraged to begin research projects by their junior year and no later than their fourth year so that they may submit significant theses upon completion of the fifth year as part of a thesis MSc degree.

Science Teaching Option:

Students interested in the Science Teaching Option program must meet with the Science Education program advisor in the College of Education.  The complete Science Teaching Option Program includes 33 semester hours of coursework including a minimum of:

  • 18 semester hours of science, mathematics, or space studies courses
  • 9 hours of Science Education Courses (CURR 5500 through CURR 5539)
  • 3 semester hours of Research Project (CURR 5090).  This course fulfills the requirements for the Research Project of the non-thesis option.  Students must meet the prerequisite requirements of this course by taking LEAD 5700:  Introduction to Research and Statistics, or demonstrate comparable experience in statistics and research design approved on program advisement.

Students may select either Plan I:  Thesis, or Plan II:  Non-Thesis Option.

Mathematics Teaching Options

This option requires 36 semester hours of study. The same rules are followed as for the Science option except that 24 hours of science/math and 12 hours of education courses are required.

For the 12 hours of required education courses, students should consult their advisors to choose courses suitable for their programs.

Students may select either Plan I: thesis or Plan II: nonthesis option.

Space Studies/Science Teaching Option

The requirements for the Space Studies Track of the Science Teaching Option are identical for those of the Science Teaching Option except students must complete a minimum of 15 hours of Space Studies courses as part of the required 18 semester hours of science, mathematics, or space studies courses. These courses should include:

Forensic Science Option

The Forensic Science Option emphasizes the basic sciences and clinical application of forensic study. The student’s program is supplemented with several courses from a second department. The secondary department may be any of the following: biology, chemistry, psychology, or sociology.

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