Tom Hutton, UCCS, (719) 255-3439,

The University of Colorado Board of Regents today (June 22) unanimously approved a new doctoral degree in applied science for students at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Meeting at UCCS, the regents agreed with the recommendations made by UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak and CU President Bruce Benson to offer a Ph.D. in Applied Science at UCCS, building upon large and successful bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered at the university.

“This degree builds on the momentum of the completion of our new Science and Engineering building as well as a southern Colorado innovation strategy that relies on increased research activity by our faculty and advanced students,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “This degree will position the campus for greater funding in the long term and demonstrates our commitment to regional economic growth.”

Using existing campus resources, the new program will be phased in over the next several years, according to Tom Christensen, dean, College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. Christensen, in cooperation with faculty in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, developed the proposal over the past two years.

As envisioned, the new degree will initially act as an umbrella for students seeking advanced study in mathematics, physics and applied bioscience. Additional specific fields of study may be added and students will have the opportunity to work across fields as well.

“This structure allows us to serve discipline-specific students in several areas while also providing opportunities to work in cross-disciplinary ways,” Christensen said. “We believe working across disciplines will allow for unprecedented opportunities for innovation, an important element in the future of southern Colorado.”

This is the fifth doctorate to be offered at UCCS. Doctoral degrees are offered in education, engineering, geropsychology, and nursing.

UCCS, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. The University offers 30 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s, and five doctoral degrees. The campus enrolls about 8,000 students annually.