The following grading system is standardized for all colleges and schools of the university. Each instructor is responsible for determining the requirements for a class, determining the grading scale used, and for assigning grades on the basis of those requirements and grading scale by the grade submission deadline each term.
Standard Grade Points per Hour of Credit
|B||good/better than average, 3.0|
|D-||minimum passing, 0.7|
|I||incomplete; changed to F if not completed within one year|
|IP||in progress; thesis at the graduate level or specified graduate-level courses|
|P||passing; effective spring 2020, under pass/fail option, grades of D+, D or D- convert to P. Specified courses may also be graded on a pass/fail only basis. Law School requires a grade of 72 or above to Pass. Excluded from GPA.|
|P+||passing; effective spring 2020, under pass/fail option, grades of C- and above convert to P+. Excluded from GPA.|
|NR||class grades were not submitted when final grades were processed|
|***||student is currently enrolled in a class; in progress|
An incomplete (I) grade indicates that the student did not complete the requirements for the class by the end of the grading period for that semester. If the student does not complete the class requirements within one year from the end of the semester in which the Incomplete was assigned, the I grade is converted to a failing (F) grade. When a final grade has been assigned, the transcript states, "Originally graded as Incomplete."
Requests for incomplete grades must be initiated by the student and only when, for reasons beyond their control, the student is unable to complete the class requirements within the semester of enrollment. A substantial amount of work must have been satisfactorily completed before approval for such an incomplete grade is given.
If an instructor grants a request for an incomplete, the instructor sets the conditions under which the coursework can be completed and the time limit for its completion or if the class should be retaken.
If an incomplete class is retaken, it must be completed on the Boulder campus or through Boulder Continuing Education coursework, and the student must re-register for the course and pay the appropriate tuition. The initial grade of I is not removed from the transcript if the course is retaken within one year.
Grade Point Average
The overall University of Colorado grade point average (GPA) is computed as follows: the credit hours and credit points are totaled for all courses and across all campuses within the same career (UGRD, GRAD or LAW); then the total credit points are divided by the total credit hours. Courses with grade symbols of P, P+, NC, *** (grade not yet entered), W, I and IP are excluded from calculations. All standard letter grades (A-F) are included in the GPA, including grades of F earned for courses graded on a pass/fail basis. Grades of I that are not completed within one year are converted to F grades and calculated in the GPA at the end of the one-year grace period. Below is an example GPA calculation for a hypothetical semester:
|Grade Earned: A;||Credit Points per Hour: 4.0; x Credit Hours: 4.0 = Credit Points in Course: 16.0|
|Grade Earned: A-;||Credit Points per Hour: 3.7; x Credit Hours: 4.0 = Credit Points in Course: 14.8|
|Grade Earned: B+;||Credit Points per Hour: 3.3; x Credit Hours: 4.0 = Credit Points in Course: 13.2|
|Grade Earned: P or P+;||Credit Points per Hour: —; x Credit Hours: 3.0 = Credit Points in Course: — (excluded)|
|Grade Earned: F;||Credit Points per Hour: 0; x Credit Hours: 3.0 = Credit Points in Course: 0|
|Total of 15 credit hours with 44 credit points, so 44/15 = 2.93 GPA|
For individual GPA calculations related to academic standing and graduation from a college or school, students should refer to their academic dean's office.
Coursework to be applied toward an advanced degree may not be taken for no credit (NC). Courses taken for no credit cannot be used toward the minimum credit load requirement for full-time or half-time status, and are not eligible for tuition remission coverage. Graduate students also cannot use the no-credit class(es) towards their TA/RA appointment.
No coursework to be applied toward an advanced degree may be taken pass/fail.
Transfer credits from accredited institutions are accepted by CU Boulder only after approval by the department chair/program director and the dean of the Graduate School, and under conditions outlined below. Transfer credit is defined as any credit earned at another accredited institution, credits earned on another campus of the CU system or credits earned as a nondegree student within the CU system. Students seeking a degree from CU Boulder must complete the majority of their coursework while enrolled as degree-seeking students.
With the approval of the Graduate School and at the discretion of the unit, students may transfer up to and including 24 hours from a CU Boulder graduate certificate program, taken as a CU Boulder non-degree student, toward a graduate degree.
The following rules apply to transferring credit to CU Boulder graduate programs:
- The maximum amount of work that may be transferred to CU Boulder depends upon the graduate degree sought (see below; individual departments may have more restrictive limits).
- Work already applied toward a graduate degree received from CU Boulder or another institution cannot be accepted for transfer toward another graduate degree of the same level at CU Boulder. In addition, work completed for a doctoral degree may not be applied toward a subsequent master's degree. Courses applied toward an undergraduate degree may not be transferred to the CU Boulder Graduate School.
- All courses accepted for transfer must be graduate-level courses. A course in which a grade of B- or lower was received will not be accepted for transfer. Transfer coursework that is to be applied to a graduate degree at CU Boulder and was completed more than five years prior to being accepted to the program will be evaluated by the major department as to current relevance and applicability to the degree requirements. At the discretion of the department, a student may be asked to validate transfer credits prior to approval.
- Credit may not be transferred until the student has completed 6 credit hours of graduate coursework as a regular, degree-seeking student at the Boulder campus with a 3.00 GPA. Transferred credits do not reduce the minimum registration requirement, but may reduce the amount of work to be done in formal courses.
Maximum Transfer Credits Accepted (By Degree)
|Master's (except MFA)||9|
Graduate Credit for CU Boulder Seniors
With the exception of students enrolled in a bachelor's-accelerated master's (BAM) or concurrent bachelor's/master's degree program, seniors at CU Boulder may earn graduate credit for a limited amount of graduate-level work (up to 9 credit hours), provided such work is completed with a grade of B or above in coursework at CU Boulder, comes within the five-year course time limit, has not been applied toward another degree and is recommended for transfer by the department concerned, and such transfer is approved by the dean of the Graduate School.
Students may repeat courses at any point in their academic career without invoking grade replacement. In those cases, the grade and credits earned in each attempt are included in student credit and GPA totals and calculations. Some academic programs have limits on the number of course repeats allowed for specific courses.
Under the grade replacement policy, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students may retake a course in which they earned a low grade in an attempt to improve their cumulative GPA.
When a student retakes a course for grade replacement, the grade earned in the most recent prior attempt remains on the transcript. Their semester and cumulative GPA and credit totals are updated to exclude the most recent prior attempt.
Only courses offered by and taken through CU Boulder are eligible for grade replacement. To qualify for grade replacement, the course also must:
- Be taken at CU Boulder for a letter grade (i.e., not taken pass/fail or for no credit).
- Not be a special topics course or any other course designated in the catalog as repeatable for credit (e.g., independent study, field experience, dissertation hours). Exceptions: Topics courses WRTG 1100, WRTG 1150, WRTG 1160, WRTG 1250, WRTG 3020, WRTG 3030, WRTG 3035 and WRTG 3040 are eligible for grade replacement regardless of topic.
- Not exceed the total grade replacement credit limit for an academic career.
- Undergraduate: Up to 10 credit hours of grade-replacement coursework.
- Graduate: Up to 6 credit hours of grade-replacement coursework.
To apply for grade replacement, students must:
- Be an active degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student at CU Boulder (law and nondegree students are not eligible). Students who have graduated cannot use grade replacement for a course taken in a completed career.
- Have earned a C- or lower (undergraduate students), or a C+ or lower (graduate students) in the most recent prior attempt of a course.
Invoke Grade Replacement
To request to retake a course for grade replacement, students must:
- Register for the class for an upcoming semester.
- Submit the grade replacement request form by the published deadline for the semester/session in which the class is being offered. There are no exceptions for late submissions.
After being reviewed for eligibility, students are notified via email whether their request was approved or denied.
Revoke or Cancel Request
Students who invoke grade replacement, but who no longer wish to retake courses for grade replacement must revoke or cancel their request by the published deadline for the semester/session in which the class is being offered. Once the deadline has passed, requests cannot be revoked or changed. The grade earned in the most recent attempt will be the final grade that calculates in GPA and credit totals, even if it's lower than the grade earned in the most recent prior attempt.