The certificate in Western American studies offers students at CU­ Boulder a unique regional studies curriculum. The interdisciplinary format allows an exploration of the region's characteristic and evolving issues: from its flora and fauna to its history and literature; and from the political, social, cultural, economic and environmental concerns facing Westerners to the landscapes and ecosystems that they inhabit.

The Center of the American West believes in community and in helping students feel more at home within the larger university. As such, the center hosts gatherings each semester where students and faculty can get to know each other as well as various noteworthy featured guests in a more social, off­-campus environment. Students enrolled in the program are also eligible to apply for the Beardsley Family Scholarship.


The certificate requires 18 ­credit hours (9 of which must be at the upper-division level and 9 of which must be outside the student's major). It includes an introductory course and a capstone course, and it allows students to choose the remaining four classes from a variety of academic areas. In this way, students are able to piece together a survey of the American West that aligns with their own unique interests. No more than 6 credits transferred from another institution may apply to the certificate.

Required Courses and Credits

Required Courses
CAMW 2001The American West3
CAMW 4840Independent Study: The American West3
Choose one course from each of three academic areas: Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, as approved by the center.9
Choose one course from a variety of academic areas, as approved by the center.3
Total Credit Hours18