There are many ways to earn college credits within Metropolitan State University outside of traditional classroom courses. These Creative Learning Strategies try to meet the different needs and learning styles of students. Detailed information including the Creative Learning Strategies Workshop can be found at the Creative Learning Strategies Main Page.

Overview of Creative Learning Strategies

Learning Option


Traditional Class
  • Most courses at the university are offered in this traditional format.
  • Most 4 credit courses meet for 3.3 hours a week for 15 weeks.
  • 3 credit courses typically meet 2.5 hours a week for 15 weeks.
  • Internships may be pre-designed or student-designed.
  • Internships may take place at student’s workplace or as part of a volunteer experience.


(Faculty-Designed Independent Study

  • FDISs are available in many but not all subjects. Students need strong time management and self-discipline to complete a FDIS.
  • Each FDIS is designed by Metropolitan State faculty.
  • Some FDIS courses have an online component.
  • FDIS must be completed by the end of the term.


(Student Designed Independent Study)

  • The course is designed by the student, together with a faculty member.
  • The SDIS is used to pursue studies not available at Metropolitan State.
Online Courses
  • Online courses are available in multiple subject areas.
  • These courses combine print materials with information on the Internet.
  • Students use the Internet to access course material, do research, interact with classmates on assignments, and participate in online discussions.
  • These courses offer time flexibility.
  • Students MUST already be proficient in the use of technology.
Theory Seminar
  • Theory seminars enable students with experience or practical learning in a subject area to obtain theoretical knowledge.
  • Students complete a pre-test to determine whether they should take the theory seminar or the regular version of a class.
  • Seminars involve 4-12 class hours, along with independent work and assignments.


(College-Level Examination Program)

  • Receive college credit for what you already know.
  • Search for a test center near you.
  • Metropolitan State transfer decisions regarding standardized examinations can be found through
Transfer courses taken after admission in Metropolitan State
  • Students may take courses at other institutions by registering and paying for them at those institutions.
  • Students MUST consult with an advisor in order to ensure that these courses may be applied towards the degree.

PLA (Prior Learning Assessment)

  • PLA credit is possible when a student demonstrates theoretical and practical learning in a subject area.
  • Students must consult with advisors to determine whether Prior Learning is available for certain subjects and what kinds of criteria must be met.