Infographic showing the new programs the College of Liberal Arts added in 2017-2018

Katie Simota contributed to this article.

In 2017 and 2018, the College of Liberal Arts added:

We add degree programs to reflect and respond to innovations and changes in particular fields of study, and to help students prepare for a changing world of work.

  • Today’s students are likely to have multiple interests, so minors and certificates allow them to engage beyond taking a class or two.
  • Online programs provide access to CSU courses and faculty for a broader population of students.
  • Graduate programs and Ph.D. programs go through a multi-year approval process in which departments must demonstrate that the faculty mentoring Ph.D. students have national and international reputations for their scholarly work.

Ranging from a certificate in Spanish for animal health and care to an anthropology Ph.D., the College of Liberal Arts continues to develop degree programs to serve our growing student population and their interests.

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Geography (Dept of Anthropology)

The new Bachelor of the Science in Geography at CSU provides a broad background in geographic thinking with an emphasis on the traditional geographic focus of understanding the dynamic interaction between humans and the environment in an era of rapid global change. Courses introduce students to the two main branches of cultural and physical geography, with advanced courses that focus on methods (e.g. spatial analysis and GIS, remote sensing) and topical subjects such as climate change, forest ecology, mountain geography, the geography of commodities, and land change science. Research methods including geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, spatial modeling, and dendrochronology to address applied research questions in Colorado, the Rocky Mountains, Southeast Asia, Mesoamerica, Melanesia, and southern South America.

Learn more about CSU’s geography program on the Anthropology website. Contact

Integrated Visual Studies (Dept of Art & Art History) (2017)

The Integrated Visual Studies major helps students develop skills as makers and thinkers by taking an equal ratio of studio and academic classes that foster critical awareness of how society is reflected and produced through visual means in the twenty-first century. By making work and interpreting images from art, photography, film, television and commercial imagery, students learn to analyze visual communication from a variety of aesthetic, theoretical, scientific, economic, sociological and historical viewpoints. A combination of studio and academic classes are required.

To learn more about the Integrated Visual Studies program at CSU, visit:

Women’s and Gender Studies (Dept of Ethnic Studies) (2017)

Women’s and Gender Studies looks deeper into the roles of women and gender in our society while also providing students with opportunities to acquire the necessary skills for their career path. When students explore how gender intersects with sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, ability, religion, and nationality, they better understand personal and political identities, a critical component to recognizing how power and privilege play out in work, politics, and culture. The bachelor’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies is housed in the Department of Ethnic Studies.

Visit the Ethnic Studies website to learn more about earning a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies. Contact:

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Ethnic Studies: Social Studies teacher licensure

The Social Studies teachers’ education program through the Department of Ethnic Studies trains students to develop competencies in teaching social studies at middle and high school levels, with an added focus on understanding the histories and experiences of historically marginalized populations. The inclusion of ethnic studies and gender/sexuality studies courses significantly broadens the knowledge base of future social studies teachers, and, perhaps more importantly, enriches our understanding of histories of all people that have contributed to the development of U.S. society.

Visit the Ethnic Studies website to learn more. Contact:

Languages, Literatures, and Cultures: Certificate in Spanish for Animal Health and Care (campus and online)

Because of an increasing awareness of the need for basic, field-specific communication skills in Spanish for animal science and veterinary graduates working with livestock workers and Spanish-speaking pet owners, we now offer a certificate in Spanish for animal health and care. Students will develop intermediate-level communication skills in Spanish in the following domains: dairy and beef livestock, equine, and small animal care. The program focuses on the basic terminology and the linguistic skills necessary to successfully complete relevant every-day tasks in Spanish. All targeted linguistic forms, communicative activities and assessments are task-based and practical in nature. Open to all majors and minors, and available on campus or online.

Learn more at Languages, Literatures, and Cultures department website. Contact

Philosophy: Certificates (2017)

1) Ethics and Society

The undergraduate certificate in Ethics and Society provides students from any major with a broad background in ethics and social philosophy. Students learn to competently navigate questions of social and ethical values on a wide range of issues; foster a deep understanding of both the theoretical foundations and the practical application of ethics; and gain experience making and assessing value judgments on a variety of important social issues. Open to students in any major or minor.

2) World Philosophies and Religions

The undergraduate certificate in World Philosophies and Religions offers a broad education in philosophical and religious perspectives from around the world. Students develop expertise in the philosophical interpretation and evaluation of religious and non-religious doctrines that have arisen in many times and places. Open to students in any major or minor.

Learn more at the Philosophy department website.

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English: Creative writing (online and campus)

The Creative Writing minor offers a unique opportunity for students to balance work in the sciences, business, engineering, or the humanities with the imaginative freedom and cultural engagement of an education in the arts. You will gain experience in two genres (poetry, fiction, and/or creative nonfiction) as you study with published authors, interact with celebrated visiting writers, and gain familiarity with today’s literary landscape. This 21-credit minor, including four workshops and three literature courses, is available both online and on campus.

To learn more about the Creative Writing minor at CSU, visit the English Department website.

International Studies: Global Studies Interdisciplinary Minor (online and campus)

The Global Studies Interdisciplinary Minor helps students understand and appreciate diverse cultures and peoples. The minor includes a choice of courses in a variety of disciplines that emphasize international and global history, politics, languages and cultures, economics, and environmental issues. Three required core courses in International Studies integrate and expand on these themes. This program provides critical cultural context for students pursuing any major and is available to both campus and online learners.

Visit the International Studies program for information." "


English: Creative Nonfiction M.F.A.

Beginning in the Fall of 2018, the M.A. in creative nonfiction has transitioned to the three-year MFA in the creative writing program. Students specialize in personal essay, memoir, lyric essay, narrative nonfiction or hybrid forms. Our nationally ranked three-year program offers a balance of intimate and intensive writing workshops with courses in literature and form and technique. Work with award-winning faculty mentors on a book-length thesis collection of literary nonfiction and a comprehensive portfolio.

For more information on the program requirements and the application process, please consult the Creative Writing website, the Graduate Studies website, or contact Marnie Leonard, Graduate Programs Assistant at

Music: M.M. Music Education – Composition Specialization

The Master of Music, Music Education – Composition specialization is a professional degree with specialized training in composing music for educational ensembles and incorporating composition, improvisation, and music theory into K-12 music classrooms. Students produce original compositions for educational ensembles and have them performed publicly by student ensembles.

For more information, visit the music website.

Journalism & Media Communication: M.A. in Communication and Media Management (CSU Denver Center and online)

Communication technology continues to evolve at an incredibly rapid pace. The Master of Arts in Communications and Media Management provides a powerful learning experience for professionals who want to advance in a leadership role or transition into the evolving field of communication. Students learn about current and emerging media tools, strategies, and digital communications platforms in a hybrid program that features Denver-based classes with online electives.

For more information, visit CSU Online.

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Anthropology Ph.D.

The innovative, new Ph.D. program in anthropology focused on Place, Space, and Adaptation builds on the diverse research interests of our faculty who specialize in cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology, as well as human and physical geography. The program provides students with the conceptual expertise and skills to address research questions that sit at the intersection of anthropology and geography; apply geographic methods to anthropological questions; and critically evaluate the impact of place and space on human/ecosystem adaptation.

Visit the Department of Anthropology website to learn more or contact

Communication Ph.D. (2017)

This Ph.D. program creates a cadre of scholars and practitioners capable of engaging with academic and professional communities to meet the challenges of our increasingly interdependent and globally diverse social worlds. We encourage students to develop a program of study that meets their unique professional goals. Students may take courses from any of our three areas of study: Rhetoric and Civic Engagement, Relational and Organizational Communication, and Media and Visual Culture. Our Ph.D. program prepares students for a variety of careers: academic jobs at research institutions, academic jobs at teaching institutions and community colleges, and practitioner/consulting jobs in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Visit the Department of Communication Studies website to learn more. Contact