Dec 01, 2021  
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The General Studies Program

Philosophy of the General Studies Program

Metropolitan State College of Denver seeks to prepare its graduates for a lifetime of learning, which, in our changing and complex society, requires focused expertise (such as that provided by a major area of study) and the ability to communicate with and learn from experts in other fields. Undergraduate education fosters the critical thinking necessary for the exploration of unfamiliar disciplines, for the synthesis of learning, and for exposing students to the richness and variety of the intellectual universe.

State Guaranteed General Education Courses

Some of Metro State’s General Studies courses are approved as state guaranteed general education courses. This designation means that the course is transferable to general education or to electives at all Colorado public institutions and all undergraduate degree programs. General Studies courses not identified as guaranteed state transfer are also eligible for transfer to other institutions of higher education. Even if a state guaranteed course is selected, students need to select their General Studies courses with care. There is a Colorado core framework that restricts the number of state guaranteed courses that can be taken and applied to general education. In addition, certain statewide articulation agreements require specific General Studies courses. The six credits of composition, ENG 1010 and ENG 1020, will be acceptable anywhere in the state. With the exception of the sciences, students are advised to take only one state guaranteed course in each category below to maximize applicability for general education at another institution. For details go to State guaranteed general education courses are designated with a GT for Guaranteed Transfer. The rest of the code indicates the part of the core to which the course may apply.

GT–AH1 Arts and Expression
GT–AH2 Literature and Humanities
GT–AH3 Ways of Thinking
GT-AH4 Foreign Languages
GT–CO1 Introductory Writing
GT–CO2 Intermediate Writing
GT-CO3 Advanced Writing
GT–HI1 History
GT–MA1 Mathematics
GT–SC1 Natural and Physical Sciences (with laboratory)
GT-SC2 Natural and Physical Sciences (without laboratory)
GT–SS1 Economic or Political Systems
GT–SS2 Geography
GT–SS3 Human Behavior, Culture or Social Frameworks

General Studies Information

Students must use a single catalog to meet all degree requirements, including those in the General Studies, major and minor. Some changes in General Studies requirements have been made retroactive. As a consequence, many General Studies requirements and policies described in this Catalog may be followed by students using earlier catalogs.

General Studies Goals

The General Studies Program is designed to help graduates achieve the following competencies. Metro State students should be able to:

  1. Write and speak with clarity;
  2. Read and listen critically;
  3. Draw conclusions from quantitative data;
  4. Recognize faulty reasoning;
  5. Organize ideas; and
  6. Communicate with experts in other disciplines and learn from them.

Metro State students should:

  1. Have an open attitude toward different approaches to problems;
  2. Have an informed awareness of the principal human achievements in history, arts and letters, society, and science; and
  3. Be introduced to the basic methods, knowledge, problems or attitudes characteristic of a field.

Structure of the General Studies Program

The General Studies Program is structured to foster the development of skills and to encourage students to use their mastery of skills to explore knowledge in a variety of disciplines. The General Studies Program provides two levels of experience:

Level I: To provide students with the basic skills of language, mathematics, communications and critical thought. These include the skills of recognizing faulty reasoning, of reading and listening critically, of drawing conclusions from quantitative data, of organizing ideas, and of writing and speaking with clarity.

Level II: To provide the breadth characteristic of education, encourage an open attitude toward different approaches to problems, and cultivate informed awareness of the principal human achievements in history, arts and letters, society, and science. An educated person is one who is familiar with history, with the fine arts, with varied cultures, and with the scientific method. Level II courses should introduce the student to the basic methods, knowledge, problems, or attitudes characteristic of a field. Upper, as well as lower division courses should be available for Level II credit. In addition to meeting these criteria, Level II courses will provide opportunity for further development of Level I skills. Level II requirements shall be subdivided into four categories: Historical, Arts and Letters, Social Sciences, and the Natural Science.

Distribution and Credit Requirements

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

Level I*  
Category Semester Hours
Composition 6
Mathematics 3
Communications 3

Level II**

Category Semester Hours
Historical 3
Arts and Letters 6
Social Sciences 6
Natural Sciences 6
Total*** 33

*A transfer course or courses judged to be similar in skill development and content to a Level I course will satisfy an individual Level I course requirement. Equivalency will be determined by the department offering the Level I course.

**One-hour deviations in the Level II categories may be allowed.

***A student’s completed General Studies Program must contain at least 33 semester hours.

Basic Rules:

  • The only courses that can be used to satisfy the General Studies approved requirements are those courses designated as General Studies Courses. Those courses are listed in the Catalog and the Catalog Addendum: General College Requirements (
  • Students may not use courses having the same prefix as their major or courses crosslisted with their major to satisfy their General Studies Level II requirements. (See below for specific requirements for History majors.) General Studies courses may be taken as electives or to satisfy requirements in the major; that is, General Studies courses do not have to be counted toward the General Studies requirements.
  • History majors will take three extra credit hours at Level II in either Arts and Letters, Social Sciences, or Natural Science in lieu of the three hours in the Historical category. Thus, History majors still have a total of 33 hours in General Studies. A History major may not use crosslisted courses in the Historical category, or courses crosslisted with a history course in any General Studies category.
  • Courses taken using the pass/fail option cannot be used for General Studies credit.
  • Lower division credit for biology courses of anatomy, physiology, and micro-biology, in which the student earned a grade of "C" or better, may be substituted for the Level II lower division natural science general studies requirement for all students with a nursing major.
  • Students majoring in Human Performance and Sports will use BIO 1080-3, BIO-1090-1, BIO 2310-4, and BIO 2320-4 to satisfy the General Studies Level II Natural Science requirement. Students must take all four courses to meet the requirement. A student in HPS who switches to a different major will have to satisfy the Level II Natural Science requirements with the approved courses or alternatives specified in the Catalog Addendum: General College Requirements (

Level I Requirements 

Level II Requirements