MSU Denver

About the 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 his or her 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 Individualized Studies may be sought.

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

Each Individualized Studies major or minor is approved by the faculty mentor, Center advisor, 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 Individualized Studies.
  • 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 Studies program may be approved.
  • On the student’s diploma, the title of the IDP will be “Individualized Degree Program” 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.
  • No more than 30 hours of credit from the School of Business may be included in the student’s degree plan. In some cases this limit may be exceeded with the approval of the appropriate department chair and dean of the School of Business.
  • Each Individualized Studies major or minor must include courses that have not yet been completed at the time the proposal is approved. See each IDP option below for the specific number of credits that must be completed after the proposal is approved by the department chair.

Additional Information

The senior experience may be selected from approved senior experiences listed in the College Catalog Addendum 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. Fifteen hours must be left to complete when the proposal is approved. A minor from the Catalog which will complement the student’s proposed major is required. Minors from the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences; the College of Business, or the College of Health and Applied Sciences are all appropriate, depending on the individual student’s interests and future plans.

An IDP extended major requires a minimum of 60 credit hours (including the core), 27 of which must be upper division. Twenty-one hours must be left to complete when the proposal is approved. 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.

Contact the Center for Individualized Learning

Campus location:

Administration Building, Suite 360

Mailing address:

Campus Box 50, MSU Denver
PO BOX 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362