College of Arts & Sciences
Glen Krutz, Dean
275 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0552
T: 303-492-7294

The College of Arts & Sciences is the liberal arts college at CU Boulder. Its mission is to provide an outstanding liberal arts education for its undergraduates, cutting-edge graduate education and world-class research, scholarship and creative work. In addition to gaining the knowledge and skills of their areas of study, students learn how new information is acquired and can participate in original research and creative work with individual faculty members.

The college offers a wide variety of fields of study, with nearly 50 undergraduate majors. The environment and advantages of a small liberal arts college are created through "academic neighborhoods" in which students can meet and interact with other students and faculty in small group settings. In addition, more than 60 percent of undergraduate classes are small, with 25 or fewer students.

As the liberal arts college of CU Boulder, the College of Arts & Sciences has several goals in the education of its students:

  • Educate citizens who can think for themselves, understand the rapidly changing world and make wise choices within a democratic system.
  • Impart a love of learning so that students can continue to grow throughout life.
  • Teach ways of thinking about and approaching new problems. For some students, this will enable them to further advance knowledge and scholarship in the academy. For all students, this is important for enriching their lives.
  • Prepare students to help enrich the lives of others. Arts & Sciences graduates become lifelong resources for their families, neighbors, friends and co-workers.
  • Provide students with a well-rounded education. Arts & Sciences students acquire a broad knowledge and an integrated understanding of art and music, great literary works, philosophy, history and politics, the social world, science and technology. They learn how to critically evaluate and think about morals, ethics and values. The General Education requirements give students a broad, liberal-arts education that develops the whole person, not just the specialist.
  • Educate students for careers and a productive life. Arts & Sciences students gain the most current knowledge and skills in their major fields of study. In addition, they learn how to acquire new skills to contend with-and lead-the changes that will occur in the decades to come. Education for a productive life also requires that students learn how to analyze situations, solve problems and speak and write effectively.

The College of Arts & Sciences is also dedicated to outstanding graduate education. Advanced degrees are offered by nearly every academic department in the college, and the PhD is offered in approximately 30 different disciplines. In addition, an increasing number of departments offer combined bachelor's/master's degrees that can be earned in five years. Graduate training focuses on teaching and research careers as well as on professional careers in the public and private sector.

The strength of the College of Arts & Sciences comes from its outstanding faculty. In addition to being dedicated teachers, they are active scholars in disciplines throughout the arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, biological sciences and physical and mathematical sciences. They are the recipients of numerous national awards and honors for their research, scholarship and creative work. Faculty and staff of the College of Arts & Sciences join together to create an intellectual community of students and scholars to discover, critically examine, integrate, preserve and transmit knowledge, wisdom and values.

Miramontes Arts and Sciences Program

The Miramontes Arts and Science Program (MASP) is a community of diverse scholars dedicated to academic achievement. MASP accepts highly motivated students with strong academic records who are also members of traditionally underrepresented groups and/or are first-generation college students. MASP supports students through mentoring, instruction, skills workshops, enrichment opportunities, community activities and participation scholarships.

For most members of MASP, support begins the summer before freshman year with the Program for Excellence in Academics and Community (PEAC), a summer residential program that helps first year students transition to the university. PEAC is an intensive and challenging academic program where students take a rigorous set of non-credit classes, learn valuable skills for academic success, are introduced to resources and opportunities on campus and in the College of Arts & Sciences, and participate in advanced enrichment and community-building activities. Continuing students interested in MASP can also apply to the Learning, Inclusion, Networking and Community (LINC) bridge program

Students receiving a participation scholarship in MASP commit to participating in a range of programming that include one-credit hour seminars on unique and advanced topics in Arts & Sciences, research colloquia where they meet and network with faculty members, skills workshops and community conversations. Students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research and/or other scholarly activities such as internships and study abroad programs. MASP students are also required to be involved with our community space and to participate in community activities to help develop a strong sense of group cohesiveness and spirit. And more!

For more information, call the MASP office at 303-492-8229.

Arts and Sciences Residential Academic Programs (RAPs)

Residential Academic Programs (RAPs) are elective programs in which students live together in a residence hall, share common academic interests, participate in specially-tailored small first-year classes, have unique access to faculty and engage in co-curricular activities that reinforce the program’s academic theme. RAP classes satisfy A&S Gen Ed or major requirements and are taught by dynamic, award-winning faculty specializing in the first-year experience. Courses are taught in classrooms within the residence hall, with an average of only 20 students per class. The RAPs generate a sense of belonging among their students through the intertwined efforts of the teaching faculty, staff and student employees. Students apply to participate in a RAP by selecting a residence hall with a RAP in their housing choices. With a focus on student academic success and wellness, the RAPs help students transition to CU.

In the College of Arts & Sciences, there are six RAPs to choose from, each with their own theme.

A&S Honors RAP 

A&S Honors RAP, located in Smith Hall, is an inclusive, challenging and supportive co-educational living-learning community open to Honors-qualified students. By becoming part of the Honors RAP community, students surround themselves with other bright, highly motivated students, enjoy small seminar-style classes and have the opportunity to work closely with Honors faculty. Through its classes and its extra-curricular activities, Honors RAP integrates the diverse disciplines of the College of Arts and Sciences with the opportunities and challenges of real-world experiences. In short, we to offer the best educational experience possible to qualified CU undergraduates.

Incoming first-year honors-qualified students receive a Welcome Letter from the A&S Honors Program inviting them to participate in Honors. Being in the Arts & Sciences Honors Program qualifies students to join the A&S Honors RAP; a separate Honors RAP qualification is not required. Honors-qualified students are not guaranteed a space in the Honors RAP. Housing applications and assignments are a product of the Housing Office. Applications are processed as described on Housing's website, according to the date of the completed Housing application.

Creative Minds RAP

The Creative Minds RAP at Libby Hall is a vibrant living and learning community that unites classes exploring a variety of arts disciplines with diverse courses fulfilling A&S Gen Ed and Major Requirements, dedicated to our core mission of creativity, curriculum and community as well as our motto: "Where creative minds come alive."

Creativity, touted by the World Economic Forum as the number one job skill for the future, is essential for developing strategies to navigate our ever-changing world. Encouraging our students to be inventive, adaptable and courageous enables them to face inevitable challenges and find new pathways to success in any field or endeavor. Our mission is to cultivate creative minds who become innovative leaders and active and engaged citizens.

Our curriculum includes courses in dance, drawing, painting, writing, storytelling, cinema studies, digital art, pop culture and music, as well as a range of popular A&S Gen Ed classes such as anthropology, economics, math, nutrition and philosophy. 

The Creative Minds RAP at Libby builds community through small classes, engaged faculty and a range of inclusive, co-curricular activities such as Sushi Night, our famous Art Melt Ice Cream Social, and monthly diversity celebrations such as Lunar New Year, African drumming and Drag Queen Bingo, as well as visits to museums, theater performances and movie nights. Each semester culminates in a Celebration of the Arts showcasing student work. 

Environment and Natural Sciences RAP 

The Environment and Natural Sciences RAP in Baker Hall is ideal for students who see the importance of scientific awareness in their daily lives and career paths. Intellectual development in environmental issues, health sciences, biology, sustainability and stewardship are emphasized. Our courses include offerings in environmental studies, biology, atmosphere and ocean sciences, geology, sociology, philosophy and anthropology. Other courses allow students to complete requirements for their major or to fulfill Gen Ed requirements.

Our co-curricular programming encourages active lifestyles, promotes professional development and inspires intellectual curiosity about the environment. Students often state how much they value our co-curricular offerings, which include weekly coffee hours, monthly environmental film series, outdoor activities like hiking, camping and yoga, guest speakers and holiday special events. Trusting and long-term relationships between RAP faculty, administration and students are established because of extensive, daily interactions both in and out of the classroom.


Global Studies RAP

The Global Studies RAP in Arnett Hall draws on insights from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences to give students the theoretical and methodological skills and the knowledge base necessary to understand this complex and rapidly changing world. As CU educates the leaders of the future, G-RAP must prepare them to deal with the great issues facing the world—health, peace, prosperity, environmental sustainability—from a basis of cultural and historical understanding as well as a basis of scientific analysis.

G-RAP promotes engaged learning in order to grasp the main currents of global studies, the cultural challenges and opportunities and the ethical values that are at stake. Students and faculty in G-RAP are engaged in a variety of ways. Through lively class discussions, numerous co-curricular and extra-curricular events, and projects nurtured in this residential setting, G-RAP students take great pleasure in studying countries and peoples, cultural norms and values, documents and texts. Students develop understanding and compassion for the people in different countries and in diverse communities. The global flux in cultural goods, human capital and natural resources have given the traditional problems of poverty, hunger and war greater complexity and urgency. Students at G-RAP learn to compose their thoughts more clearly, communicate them more effectively and reflect on them more cooperatively so that they can be of use in the world. G-RAP students and faculty recognize the wisdom of past generations and their legacies. 

Health Professions RAP

The Health Professions RAP (HPRAP) resides in Kittredge West Hall and serves approximately 300 first year students. HPRAP is the logical choice for students who have declared or are interested in the life sciences majors and careers in the health professions. The HPRAP offers classes that satisfy requirements for the Integrative Physiology (IPHY), Molecular Biology (MCDB) and Neuroscience (NRSC) majors or are recommended prerequisites for admission into medical or health professional schools. HPRAP offers two different introductory biology course sequences, two sequences for chemistry, as well as a variety of courses on bioethics, global public health, writing and the social sciences. We also offer second year coursework in human anatomy, physiology, and biostatistics. Students can select up to two HPRAP courses per semester and then fill the rest of their schedule with courses taught by the rest of the campus. A representative schedule of course offerings can be found on the program's website. In addition to course offerings, the HPRAP offers a variety of programs to help students explore their major and career opportunities. 

HPRAP hosts an evening lecture series featuring practicing clinicians and medical researchers. We offer an exclusive shadowing program at two comprehensive care clinics, workshops on study skills and test-taking, no-cost tutoring by advanced students, and we offer a variety of community-building activities throughout the year, including fieldtrips, dinners and weekly coffee hours. Faculty and advising offices are on-site and provide students drop-in advising and assistance. While the Health Professions RAP invites any College of Arts & Sciences student regardless of major who is interested in exploring healthcare careers to join us, our curriculum is best suited for IPHY, MCDB and NRSC majors. We are a good but not perfect fit for students majoring in biochemistry or chemistry, and students who are primarily interested in social or environmental sciences or engineering are encouraged to explore other residential programs that are better tailored to their interests. The Health Professions RAP will help like-minded students make life-long friends and will maximize student success in exploration of the life sciences and healthcare career opportunities. For more information about the program fee and course offerings visit the HPRAP website or contact us at

Stories and Societies RAP

Located in the beautiful and centrally-located Sewall Hall, the Stories and Societies RAP is for first-year students in the College of Arts & Sciences with an interest in how their own narratives connect to the past, to current societies and to the future. Our courses and co-curricular activities emphasize the connections between modern culture and its historical roots. Our RAP is open to students in all majors in the college and offers courses from departments across all three divisions of the college, including anthropology, biology, economics, history, philosophy, sociology and writing.