This certificate offers students a background in philosophical foundations of critical theory. Drawing on disciplines such as philosophy, psychoanalysis, Marxism, literary criticism and sociology, critical theory develops analytical tools for describing and evaluating modern society and cultural production.



To complete the certificate program a student must:

  1.  Enroll in the certificate program by emailing the Certificate Director and the Graduate Program Assistant, Karen Hawley.
  2. Once a student has completed the requirements for the certificate, they should complete the Certificate Completion Worksheet and submit it to the Graduate Program Assistant, Karen Hawley. Note: Worksheet should be submitted the semester the student competes the certificate requirements (or any semester thereafter); certificate is awarded when the student completes their graduate program. Once the director has approved the worksheet, and once student completes their graduate program, the certificate will be added to the student's transcript.

Graduate Certificate Forms and Links

For more information contact the Certificate Director or the Graduate Program Assistant, Karen Hawley, (303) 492-3529. 

Required Courses and Credits

A total of 12 credit hours are required for completion of the certificate. Of those, 6 credits are earned through a two-course core sequence designed to provide the intellectual history and philosophical foundations for contemporary research directions in critical theory. Students must also take two electives in theory. These courses may be from the list below, and students can also request that the director approve other theory courses. 

Students must obtain a grade of B or above in each course taken toward the certificate.

Required Courses
Students are required to take the following 2 core graduate courses. Although they may be taken in any order, we encourage students to take them in order when possible. Neither of these courses may be taken as an independent study.
GRMN 5030Foundations of Critical Theory3
GRMN 5051Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School3
Select two additional elective courses in theory from the list below. Students may also submit a request to the director to recognize courses not listed by submitting a copy of the current syllabus. (Except under extraordinary circumstance, independent study courses do not count toward the graduate certificate.)6
Advanced Seminar in Cultural Anthropology
Seminar: Contemporary Theory in Cultural Anthropology
Seminar: Ethnography and Cultural Theory
Topics in Film Theory
Colloquium in Film Aesthetics
Seminar: Methods/Theories of Art History
Communication Research and Theory
Rhetorical Theory
Social and Cultural Theory
Survey of Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory
Advanced Special Topics
Environmental Philosophy
Indigenous Thought and Theory: Foundations in NAIS
Literary Theory, Part I
Special Topics: Geography
Development Geography
Seminar: Cultural Geography
Readings in Cultural History and Theory
Readings in European Intellectual History
Seminar: U.S. Intellectual History
Linguistic Anthropology
Language and Gender in Cultural Perspective
Syntactic Theory
Media Theories
Critical Theories of Media and Culture
Proseminar in Media Communication Theory 1
Proseminar in Media and Communication Theory 2
Contemporary Moral Theory
Contemporary Political Philosophy
Seminar in Environmental Philosophy
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Language
Seminar: Political Theory
Graduate Seminar in Sociological Theory
Feminist Theory
Seminar: Critical Approaches to Iberian & Latin American Literatures and Cultures
Feminist Theories
Queer Theories
Total Credit Hours12