Mar 04, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Individualized Degree Program

As a large, urban institution of higher education, Metropolitan State University of Denver is committed to responding to the specific educational goals of a diverse student population. The Individualized Degree Program enables MSU Denver to meet that commitment in three ways:

  • It offers students the opportunity to collaborate with faculty to design an individualized major, extended major, or minor to meet their own specific educational goals when other majors or minors listed in the catalog do not.
  • The IDP serves as an incubator for faculty to develop new academic programs to meet emerging needs in the community and workplace. The IDP-as-incubator provides faculty with the opportunity to track demand and to experiment with the relevant curriculum prior to submitting the new program for review through the established curriculum approval process.
  • A specific IDP concentration may be offered when a need exists for an interdisciplinary major or minor that does not fall within the purview of existing academic departments. An interdisciplinary core (not to exceed 50% of the minimum credit hours required) provides the foundation upon which the student and faculty mentor build an IDP program to meet the student’s educational goals.

Each student works with an advisor in the Center for Individualized Learning and with a faculty mentor to develop a proposal for their degree program. A practicing professional in the student’s field of study may also be invited to serve as a community consultant to assist the student and the faculty mentor in the development of the program of study. Because careful and thoughtful planning is essential to designing a coherent and congruent program of study, students are encouraged to begin their proposals early in their enrollment at MSU Denver. IDP proposals must be submitted no later than the semester prior to the semester the student intends to graduate.

Either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree in an Individualized Degree Program may be sought.

Interested students should contact the Center for Individualized Learning, by calling 303-615-0525 or visiting our website for assistance and for complete information regarding the policies and procedures for the development and approval of an Individualized Degree major or minor.

Each Individualized Degree major or minor is approved by the faculty mentor, department chair of the academic department from which the majority of credit is drawn, the appropriate dean, and the director of the Center for Individualized Learning.

Basic Rules of the Individualized Degree Program

  • All requirements that apply to any bachelor’s degree apply to an Individualized Degree.
  • A grade of “C-” or above must be earned in each course included in the student’s major or minor, and students must have a GPA of 2.5 before an Individualized Degree program may be approved. In some circumstances on approval by the chair, waivers to this rule may be available.
  • On the student’s diploma, the title of the IDP will be “Individualized Degree in…” followed by the approved title. Titles of minors do not appear on a diploma, but both major and minor titles will appear on the final official transcript.
  • Students with a large number of College of Business credits (over 25%) may need to take additional courses outside of the College of Business or receive special permission from the College of Business to use additional credits towards their IDP degree. For more information, talk to an IDP advisor.
  • Each IDP student must submit their finalized IDP proposal (degree plan and essay) for approval by the deadlines posted on the CIL website. Signed approval is required by the 1) faculty advisor, 2) chair of the department where the student is earning the most credit in the IDP, 3) the appropriate dean, and 4) the Center director. Students who submit a proposal after the IDP deadline require a waiver signed by the department chair and dean, which may result in delayed graduation. For all students, graduation is contingent on the proposal being submitted in a timely manner.

Individualized Degree Program Options

Students may submit proposals for:

  • An Individualized Degree standard MAJOR, which requires a minimum of 40 credit hours, including 21 hours of upper-division credit. A minor chosen from the Catalog is required.
  • An Individualized Degree MINOR, which requires a minimum of 20 credit hours, including 6 hours of upper-division credit. A major chosen from the Catalog is required.
  • An Individualized Degree EXTENDED MAJOR may be proposed when the student’s field of study requires more in-depth study or courses from multiple disciplines that cannot be accommodated in an IDP major. An extended major requires a minimum of 60 credit hours, including 30 hours of upper-division credit. No minor is required.

International Studies Concentration in IDP

Students wishing to pursue a major in international studies may do so by choosing the Individualized Degree Program (IDP) International Studies Concentration. This concentration requires core courses in the field of international studies and provides the flexibility for each student to select courses from across the University to develop a coherent academic program that meets the student’s own specific educational goals within the broader area of International Studies.

Through the International Studies Concentration students gain an understanding of international and intercultural relations and dynamics, and gain the skills and knowledge necessary for their specific chosen careers as those careers exist within an international context. The program also provides preparation for a graduate program in international studies, and students may include prerequisites for other graduate programs of their choice.

Students may choose to develop a proposal for an IDP major or an IDP extended major. Each is developed in consultation with a faculty mentor and the Center for Individualized Learning and must be approved by the faculty mentor, appropriate department chair, appropriate dean, Center advisor and the Center director. Students in this program follow the basic requirements and process for all IDP majors. The process for developing the IDP proposal and selecting the remaining courses is available at the Center for Individualized Learning website.

A minimum of one year of study of a modern language other than English is required and students are strongly encouraged to complete at least two years of study in the same language. Students who are already proficient in a language other than English as demonstrated by successful completion of an approved proficiency examination will be exempt from the requirement. Students are advised to research the possible entry language requirements of any graduate programs in which they might be interested and plan their programs accordingly.

An appropriate study abroad or a local or regional experience with an international focus is required as a part of the individual student’s proposal.


These courses can be used to satisfy General Studies requirements. See your advisor and the catalog for more information on any other General Studies restrictions for your catalog year.

Total for Core: 18

Additional Information

The senior experience may be selected from approved senior experiences listed in the College Catalog online. If no approved senior experience is appropriate for the student’s program, a senior level course, internship or independent study that meets the criteria for senior experiences may be chosen with approval of the faculty mentor, chair, Center director and dean. Approval of a senior experience is not a separate process but is considered in the review and approval of the student’s major proposal.

Some courses in the core may be applied to General Studies requirements. In that case, students will choose other courses in collaboration with their advisors so that the total number of credit hours in the major reflect the requirements for an IDP major or IDP extended major as listed below.

An IDP major requires a minimum of 40 credit hours (including the core), 21 of which must be upper division. A minor from the Catalog which will complement the student’s proposed major is required.

An IDP extended major requires a minimum of 60 credit hours (including the core), 30 of which must be upper division. A minor is not required for the extended major, but students will choose other related coursework appropriate to their specific goals to meet the requirements for the IDP extended major.