Aug 04, 2020  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

General Studies Requirements


A baccalaureate degree includes a broad-based education that prepares students for the more focused study of the academic major. The general education component of the degree equips each student with crucial intellectual skills in analysis, research, and communication, in addition to foundational skills. General education coursework offers an introduction to a broad range of studies in the natural sciences, the human condition, aesthetic experience, and global and cultural diversity.

For additional information regarding General Studies, click on a link to be taken to the entry below.

General Studies Mission

The General Studies program provides the foundation for the Bachelor's degree. Students develop thinking, reasoning, and communication skills while discovering new ideas and expanding their views. The coursework is designed to create the opportunity for learning across different disciplines and builds experiences for students as they grow into lifelong learners.

Structure of General Studies

The General Studies Program is structured around the following three goals:

  • Develop intellectual and practical skills
  • Explore essential knowledge, perspectives, and methods in Arts and Humanities, History, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Understand the global interconnectedness of diverse individuals, communities and societies

Each goal is supported by a set of student learning outcomes (SLOs) that are addressed by the courses in eight different categories.

Distribution and Credit Requirements

To complete the General Studies Program, students must take approved courses that fulfill the following distribution and credit requirements:

CATEGORY SEMESTER HOURS
Written Communication 6
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Literacy 3
Arts and Humanities 6
Historical 3
Natural and Physical Sciences 6
Social and Behavioral Sciences 6
Global Diversity 0 or 3*
TOTAL 33 minimum
   

*Students may fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences.

General Policy Related to Timing of Completion

The following course categories must be completed within the first 30, college-level credits (including credits completed at MSU Denver and those transferred from other institutions):

  • Written Communication (first 3 semester hours of coursework)
  • Oral Communication (3 semester hours of coursework)
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 semester hours of coursework)

The following course category must be completed within the first 45, college-level credits (including credits completed at MSU Denver and those transferred from other institutions):

  • Written Communication (remaining 3 semester hours of coursework)

The following course categories must be completed within the first 90, college-level credits (including credits completed at MSU Denver and those transferred from other institutions):

  • Arts and Humanities (6 semester hours of coursework)
  • Historical (3 semester hours of coursework)
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 semester hours of coursework)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 semester hours of coursework)
  • Global Diversity (one course designated "global" from any category will fulfill both the global diversity requirement and the appropriate credits in that category)

Students who have not completed the quantitative literacy, oral communication, and the first three credits of the written communication requirements within the first 30 semester hours will be required, through an advising hold, to complete an advising process and register for the required course(s). Students who have completed 45 semester hours and have not completed the written communication, oral communication, and quantitative literacy requirements must enroll in and successfully complete courses that fulfill these requirements. This advising and registration process will continue until the requirements have been fulfilled.

Transfer Students: New transfer students must complete the written communication, oral communication, and quantitative literacy requirements within their first two semesters at MSU Denver or by 45 total semester hours, whichever is later. All other provisions of the policy are the same.

Rules for the General Studies Program

To satisfy a particular general studies requirement, a course must appear on the list of approved general studies courses in the student's designated degree catalog or at the time of enrollment in the course.

  • General studies courses need not be counted toward general studies requirements. They may be taken as electives or to satisfy requirements in the major or degree program.
  • Students may use courses having the same prefix as their minor discipline or crosslisted with their minor discipline to satisfy general studies requirements; however, a minimum of 18 semester hours must be used only in the minor and not for general studies. Deviations from the Catalog requirements require approval of the minor department, and some departments require that more than 18 semester hours be used only in the minor. Please contact the minor department for additional information.
  • Students may not apply more than 8 semester hours of coursework with the same course prefix to the general studies requirements.
  • One hour deviations in the general studies course categories may be allowed for transfer students only, provided the student completes at least 33 semester hours of general studies coursework.
  • Courses taken for a pass/fail grade cannot be counted toward general studies.
  • Students may use the multicultural course to satisfy two requirements: (1) Multicultural and (2) General Studies, or major or minor requirements.
  • Students seeking a second baccalaureate degree will be considered to have fulfilled MSU Denver's general studies requirements. However, departments may require that these students take additional coursework outside of the major.

Additional Rules for General Studies for Specific Majors

  1. Nursing Majors: Credit for biology courses of anatomy, physiology, and microbiology, in which the student earned a grade of "C" or better, may be substituted for the natural and physical sciences requirement for all students with a nursing major.
  2. Human Performance and Sport Majors: Students will use BIO 2310-4 to satisfy a portion of the natural and physical sciences requirement.
  3. Teacher Education Licensure Programs: Students in programs currently requiring MUS 3060/ARTH 3060 may receive general studies credit in the arts and humanities category for the 2016-2017 academic year.

General Studies Designation for Transfer Courses

The following rules apply to transfer students from two-year colleges in Colorado.

Metropolitan State University of Denver will:

  • Accept courses that are part of the state's guaranteed transfer curriculum (gtPathways) as fulfilling MSU Denver's general studies requirements. Additional specific lower-division courses may be required for certain degree programs. Please check with a departmental advisor and/or the Office of the Registrar for more information.
  • MSU Denver will accept all credit hours of acceptable course work for automatic transfer from an associate of arts or associate of science degree with designation.
  • Review and accept on a course-by-course basis for general studies credit courses that do not appear on the gtPathways list. General studies equivalency will be determined by prefix, course title, category, and catalog description.
  • If no transfer course satisfies the global diversity requirement, the student must take an approved global diversity course.

Transfer courses to meet General Studies requirements will be accepted from all other institutions under the following guidelines:

  • Transferable courses equivalent to an existing General Studies course will satisfy the corresponding General Studies requirement. Equivalency will be determined by the department offering the course. Once a course has been approved by a department, it will be given the status of an approved transferable General Studies course.
  • Transferable courses that are not equivalent to an existing MSU Denver course will be evaluated for General Studies designation by the department where the majority of the course content resides.
  • If a transferable course is interdisciplinary, MSU Denver transfer evaluators will consult with the department(s) where the majority of the course content resides, The course will be evaluated for General Studies designation by those departments.
  • If a transferable course does not clearly correspond to an MSU Denver department, the course will be evaluated for General Studies designation by the Faculty Senate General Studies Review Committee.
  • For all situations not addressed above, the course will be evaluated for General Studies designation by the Faculty Senate General Studies Review Committee.
  • An appeal can be made to the Associate Vice President of Curriculum and Policy Development.

Written Communication Requirement


Description: Written communication is the development and expression of ideas in writing across many genres and styles. It includes understanding how writers may shape texts for their specific rhetorical situation. It includes multimodal composing and the creation of texts that combine words, images, and/or data. Written communication abilities develop through interactive and iterative experiences across the curriculum.

Students must complete a minimum of 6 semester hours to satisfy the written communication requirement.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Exhibit a thorough understanding of audience, purpose, genre, and context that is responsive to the situation.
  • Create and develop ideas within the context of the situation and the assigned task(s).
  • Apply formal and informal conventions of writing, including organization, content, presentation, formatting, and stylistic choices, in particular forms and/or fields.
  • Critically read, evaluate, apply, and synthesize evidence and/or sources in support of a claim.
  • Use an appropriate documentation system.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with conventions, including spellings, grammar, mechanics, and word choice appropriate to the writing task.

Rules

  1. Students must complete a placement to assess their writing skills. Placement may be in ENG 1008 and ENG 1009, ENG 1010 with ENG 1001, or ENG 1010.
  2. Students shall satisfy the Written Communication course requirement and credit will be granted if they:
    1. pass 6 hours of approved Written Communication courses with a combination of a CO1 and CO2 or a CO2 and a CO3,
    2. pass a CLEP or AP test approved by a Department offering an approved Written Communication course and the remaining Written Communication course, or
    3. transfer equivalent courses.
  3. To receive credit for Written Communication, the student must receive a grade of "C-" or better in each course.
  4. To receive transfer credit for ENG 1020, the course must have been taken within the past 10 years.

Courses

Oral Communication Requirement


Description: Students learn to perform effective and ethical oral communication that is appropriate to diverse audiences, settings, media, and goals.

Students must complete a minimum of 3 semester hours to satisfy the oral communication requirement.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Develop a clear, purposeful message with coherent and effective content.
  • Incorporate various and credible supporting material (e.g. examples, statistics, analogies, illustrations, and quotations).
  • Practice effective listening strategies that enhance understanding, evaluation and engagement.
  • Adapt to varied audiences, their beliefs, values, and attitudes, as well as to features of contexts, situations, and interactions.
  • Perform skillful non-verbal communication (e.g. vocal variety, pace and physical behavior) appropriate to audience and context.
  • Perform skillful verbal communication (e.g. clear, vivid, and/or compelling language) appropriate to audience and context.

Courses

Quantitative Literacy Requirement


Description: Competency in quantitative literacy represents a student's ability to use quantifiable information and mathematical analysis to make connections and draw conclusions. The main focus of each Quantitative Literacy course is the use of mathematical techniques and analysis, with problems from a broad spectrum of real-life and abstract settings requiring translation to and from mathematical forms.

Students must complete a minimum of 3 semester hours to satisfy the quantitative literacy requirement.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Apply mathematical techniques to the analysis of quantitative problems.
  • Communicate the mathematical process and results in text, graphics, and symbols.

Rules

  1. Students must complete a placement test to determine their quantitative abilities. Those students whose scores fall below the minimum benchmark must complete developmental coursework in mathematics before enrolling in any Quantitative Literacy course.
  2. Students satisfy the Quantitative Literacy course requirement and credit will be granted if they:
    1. pass a course that has been approved for General Studies Quantitative Literacy credit,
    2. pass a CLEP, AP, or IB test approved by a department offering an approved Quantitative Literacy course,
    3. successfully complete a math course for which a Quantitative Literacy course is a prerequisite, or
    4. transfer an equivalent course.

Courses

Arts and Humanities Requirement


Description: In Arts and Humanities courses students interpret, analyze, and create texts and other artistic works to deepen their understanding of the various contexts that shape the human experience and explore fundamental questions of identity, value, diversity, and meaning.

Students must complete a minimum of 6 semester hours to satisfy the arts and humanities requirement.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Describe how the context (historical, racial, ethnic, material, technological, religious, intellectual, cultural, gender, etc.) influences the creation, content, or interpretation of a text, performance, work of art, etc.
  • Critically engage with a text, performance, work of art, etc. by applying social/political, epistemic, aesthetic, pragmatic, moral/ethical, or other discipline-appropriate standards.
  • Implement course content or skills through the creation of an original project (essay, argument, narrative, reflection, oral presentation, performance, work of art, etc.).

Courses

Historical Requirement


Description: Historical thinking contextualizes the present by using a wide range of sources and methods to understand how people experienced the past.

Students must complete a minimum of 3 semester hours to satisfy the historical requirement.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate the ability to locate sources when information is needed, and to evaluate the authenticity, validity, and reliability of resources applied to a specific purpose.
  • Communicate in writing with an awareness of audience, by using language conventions appropriate to the occasion and task.
  • Demonstrate historical knowledge of the United States, the world, or one of the major regions of the world.
  • Demonstrate, using historical sources, how context and contingency influence change over time.
  • Develop an effective historical interpretation and marshal primary and/or secondary source evidence to support it.

Courses

Natural and Physical Sciences Requirement


Description: The Natural and Physical Sciences involve discovering knowledge in natural or physical sciences, applying scientific thinking and reasoning, and critically thinking about the use of scientific information.

Note: Some biology and chemistry courses require both a lecture and a laboratory to satisfy general studies requirements. Please see course notes for corequisite requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the foundational knowledge of a particular field of natural or physical science
  • Apply principles and techniques of scientific thinking.
  • Evaluate the credibility of scientific information and interpret the impact of its use or misuse in society.

Courses

Social and Behavioral Sciences Requirement


Description: Courses in Social and Behavioral Science study the behavior and actions of individuals, groups, and/or institutions using scientific methods and approaches. Social and Behavioral Science also develops a student's ability to examine and influence those behaviors and actions between and among larger social, economic, political, and/or geographic contexts. 

Students must complete a minimum of 6 semester hours to satisfy the social and behavioral sciences requirement.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Describe fundamental concepts in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • Examine how individuals, groups, communities, and social institutions relate or interact with each other and/or the natural world using theories and methods in the social and behavioral sciences. 
  • Engage with social and behavioral science tools, approaches, and skills to explore complex human, social, political, cultural, and/or global interactions and issues.

Courses

Global Diversity Requirement


Description: Global Diversity refers to a student's ability to critically analyze and engage complex, interconnected global systems (such as natural, physical, social, cultural, economic, or political) and their implications for individuals, groups, communities, or cultures. These courses will introduce students to various concepts toward valuing diversity and the importance of inclusivity. Students should seek to understand how their actions affect both local and global communities. Courses in this category must contain a majority of material from one or more regions or countries outside the U.S. 

Students may fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. If a course is used to fulfill both the global diversity requirement and another general studies category, only 3 semester hours will apply to the student's degree requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students must select one course from an approved category that also meets the following student learning outcomes. This course will count in both categories.

  • Describe the implications of global interconnections, including their impact on culture, societies, the environment, or the individual.
  • Analyze connections between worldviews, experiences, and/or power structures of differing cultures in historical or contemporary contexts.

Courses

State-Guaranteed General Education Courses


 


State-Guaranteed General Education Courses


The Colorado Commission on Higher Education has approved the following courses for inclusion in the Guaranteed Transfer (GT) Pathways program in the listed categories. For transferring students, successful completion with a minimum C- grade guarantees transfer and application of credit in this GT Pathways category. For more information on the GT Pathways program, and the most updated list of courses, go to

http://highered.colorado.gov/academics/transfers/gtpathways/curriculum.html.

Courses