Freshman Applicants

When students apply to the College of Engineering and Applied Science from high school, they may apply to enter the college as "open option" (unsure of engineering major), or they may apply to a specific engineering major. Students may declare, change, or add a major by following the procedure on the College website.

Specific admission requirements are detailed in the Admissions section of this catalog. Contact the campus Admissions Office for more information.

Transfer Students

Students desiring to transfer from other accredited collegiate institutions are considered for admission on an individual basis. Transfer students must be admitted to the college prior to the last 45 credit hours of their degree program. Admission criteria for students from other CU campuses are the same as for other transfer students.

Intra-University Transfer Students

Intra-University Transfers (IUTs) on the Boulder campus to the College of Engineering and Applied Science are considered on designated criteria.

Former Students

A former student is expected to meet the current requirements outlined in the Admissions section of this catalog and must reapply to the university. Courses taken at other collegiate institutions may or may not be a determining factor in the student's readmission to CU Boulder, but transcripts on all such work must be submitted.

Interruption of studies may require completion of current degree work in addition to repetition of coursework for new degree requirements.

A former student returning to the college after a break in attendance must have coursework reevaluated by the student's major department/program if it is older than 10 years from the date of their return.

Academic Excellence

Dean's List

An undergraduate student in the College of Engineering and Applied Science who completes at least 12 credit hours of coursework for a letter grade during the fall or spring semester on the Boulder campus, and who earns a semester grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.600, will be included on the college dean's list for that semester. Notation of "Dean's List" is placed on the student's transcript and is viewable at the end of the semester in which the designation is earned.

Honors at Graduation

Undergraduate students my be eligible for honors designations at graduation.

Engineering Scholarships

Undergraduate engineering scholarships are provided by public funds and private donations by alumni, corporations and friends of the college. In some cases, endowments have been established; other scholarships are based on annual gifts. Some companies provide matching funds for gifts from their employees who are alumni.

Anyone interested in providing an undergraduate scholarship or contributing to the scholarship fund may contact:

Engineering Advancement
University of Colorado Boulder
422 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0422

Academic Standards

Academic Policies

Students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science must abide by all college policies and procedures as outlined on the college's Student Support & Advising Services website, such as Academic Expectations and Policies. Students should refer to these webpages often since policies, procedures and forms may be updated throughout the academic year.

Petition Policy

A student desiring a waiver of college or department/program policies must request and secure approval for this waiver through a petition procedure. Petitions are first presented to the student's major department/program for review, followed by review at the dean's office if applicable. It is the student's responsibility to obtain official notification of the final petition decision from the major department/program and/or dean's office.

Academic Integrity

Students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science are required to pass an annual Academic Integrity Quiz. See also the campus wide Honor Code website.

Academic Standing

University Academic Standing policies apply to all degree-seeking undergraduate students at CU Boulder. More details regarding good academic standing, academic alert, academic warning, academic suspension, and academic dismissal are available on the Office of the Registrar's website.

Credit and Enrollment


Successful work in the College of Engineering and Applied Science is dependent upon regular attendance in all classes. Students may be administratively dropped from classes for any non-attendance during the first few weeks of the semester. Students who are unavoidably absent should make arrangements with instructors to make up the work missed. Non-attendance does not constitute withdrawal from a class. If students stop attending a class in which they are formally enrolled, they are likely to receive a failing grade (F).

Registration and Enrollment

To ensure the prompt completion of degree requirements and satisfaction of the four-year guarantee, the undergraduate student is expected to register for, and complete each semester, a full-time course load as outlined in the relevant major department/program curriculum. Part-time enrollment (less than 12 credit hours) will negatively impact the student's financial aid and scholarships, and is likely to negatively impact student health insurance, on-campus housing and the four-year graduation guarantee. Students must also petition to be enrolled in more than 19 credit hours in any given semester. New students in their first semester at CU Boulder are limited to 17 credit hours.

Add and Drop Policies

See the Office of the Registrar website for campuswide add and drop policies, and specific deadline dates for a given semester/term. See Late Drops for eligibility to drop a class after the 10th week semester deadline but before the last day of classes.

Withdrawal from the University

Withdrawal is the term used when a student wishes to drop all classes in a given semester/term. See the the Office of the Registrar website for campus-wide withdrawal deadlines and procedures, along with Withdrawals on the college website. Students who interrupt their course of study may be required to complete all current degree requirements and to repeat courses previously completed.

Sequence of Courses

Students are expected to follow the curriculum recommended by their major department/program. All courses are not necessarily offered each semester. According to college policy, undergraduate courses having an enrollment of fewer than 20 students may be cancelled. Students can minimize scheduling problems by closely following the curricular sequence recommended by their major department/program. If a course is unavailable, a student may petition to enroll for equivalent study.

Prerequisites and Passing Grades

The minimum passing grade for a course that is considered a prerequisite for another course is C-, allowing a student to progress through the curriculum and apply these courses towards degree requirements. If the minimum required grade in a prerequisite course is not achieved, the student is required to repeat the course until the minimum acceptable grade has been earned (maximum of 3 graded attempts total to master the subject content at the required level). If a student takes the advanced (post-requisite) course, it does not remove the obligation to meet the prerequisite course minimum grade requirement, even if the grade earned in the advanced course is acceptable.

In general, the minimum passing grade for a course that is not specifically a prerequisite for another required course is D-. However, individual degree programs in the College may require higher minimum grades for specific terminal courses in their curricula.

Academic departments and programs reserve the right to drop students enrolled in their courses who have not met the minimum prerequisite requirement. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with their major department/program if summer coursework and/or transfer credit will be used to meet the prerequisite requirement.

Repeating Courses

A student is permitted a maximum of three graded attempts to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in a particular subject area (such as Calculus 1, Physics 2, etc.), including attempts at CU Boulder or other collegiate institutions. A "W" is not considered an attempt towards demonstrating sufficient proficiency. After the third unsuccessful attempt, a student may not be able to retake the course or substitute it with a course in the same subject area from CU Boulder or another institution.

Students may not register for courses (or course equivalents) in which they already have a successful attempt.

The College will apply the grade a student earned in their most recent course attempt to determine if the student meets the grade required for a pre-requisite course. If a student has already earned AP, IB or transfer college credit for a course, the letter grade from a subsequent attempt of the class through CU Boulder will become part of the student’s CU cumulative GPA. Students cannot retroactively claim AP or earlier earned credit for a course after a subsequent unsuccessful attempt of the class.

Grade Replacement

Students may also retake a course for grade replacement under the grade replacement policy. When a student retakes a course for grade replacement, the grade earned in the most recent prior attempt will still appear on the transcript, but their cumulative GPA and credit totals on the transcript will only include the grade from the latest attempt.


Incomplete grades are given only when students, for documented reasons beyond their control, are unable to complete course requirements. A substantial amount of work must have been satisfactorily completed before approval for such a grade is given. An Incomplete Grade Record Form must be completed by the instructor and student. In addition to reflecting the course and term taught, it also states what work must be completed to award the final grade and when the work must be finished (not to exceed one year). Incomplete grades are not calculated into the GPA. If a student does not complete a course assigned an Incomplete grade within one year, the Incomplete grade will automatically convert to an F grade. Students cannot repeat an equivalent course at another campus of the university or at another institution and expect the CU Boulder grade of “I” to be removed, changed or excluded from conversion to an F. A student is expected to complete any course with an “I” grade and not to re-enroll in a course in which a grade of “I” was awarded. Once the work has been completed, the instructor must complete and submit a Change of Record form. However, it is the student's responsibility to verify that the grade change was processed and is reflected properly on the transcript.

Final Grade Appeal

If a student (rostered in any college/school on campus) wishes to appeal the final grade in a course offered by a College of Engineering and Applied Science academic unit, refer to the college’s official grade appeal policy and procedures.

Credit Policies

Advanced Placement (AP)

College credit may be granted on the basis of scores earned on the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) exams. See the Advanced Placement (AP) Credit table for additional details.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

College credit may be granted on the basis of International Baccalaureate (IB) program exam scores. See the International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit table for additional details.

College-Level Examination Program Credit

College credit may be granted for select College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations. See the list of eligible CLEP exams for more information.

Credit for Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)

Up to 6 credit hours of approved ROTC courses may be counted toward a student's degree requirements in the humanities/social sciences. These approved courses may be found at the Humanities, Social Sciences and Writing Requirements webpage. With written approval from the student's major department/program, additional ROTC credit hours may be applied as free electives and/or technical professional electives.

No Credit Restrictions

In the College of Engineering and Applied Science, courses required for fulfillment of graduation requirements cannot be taken for no credit (NC). Once a course has been taken for no credit, the course cannot be repeated for credit. Engineering students must be approved by the College after making a request of the Office of the Registrar to enroll in any course NC.

Pass/Fail Option

The primary purpose for offering courses on a pass/fail grading option is to encourage students to broaden their educational experience by selecting elective courses with this grade option without serious risk to their academic record. See Pass/Fail policy for details.

Transfer Credit

After a prospective transfer student has been admitted, the Office of Admissions issues a transfer credit evaluation listing those courses acceptable for transfer by University of Colorado Boulder standards. A copy of this evaluation is made a part of the student's college record. The student's major department/program will then indicate which of those courses are acceptable in meeting engineering degree requirements. It is the responsibility of the transfer student to request final validation of the transfer credit hours by the major department/program and confirm that this validation is noted in the student's record.

If at any time a student wishes to have a course not previously accepted reconsidered for transfer, the student should consult with the faculty transfer credit evaluator in their major department/program to determine if petitioning for credit is in order.

Nontransferable Credit Hours

Students desiring to transfer credit hours from engineering technology programs should note that such credit hours are accepted only upon submission of evidence that the work involved was fully equivalent to that offered in this college.

Some technology courses are taught with titles and textbooks identical to those in similar engineering courses. These courses may still not be equivalent to engineering courses because the areas of academic emphasis are divergent.

In order to assist engineering technology students with transfer problems, the following guidelines have been established:

  1. Courses on basic subjects such as mathematics, physics, foreign languages, literature or history may be acceptable for transfer credit if they were taught as part of an accredited program for all students and were not specifically designated for technology students.
  2. Students who have taken courses with technology designations that may be valid equivalents for engineering courses have these options:
    • They may petition for permission to waive the course requirement. The course requirement can be waived if students demonstrate that, by previous coursework, individual study or work experience, they have acquired the background and training normally provided by the course. No credit is given for a waived course, but students may benefit from the waiver by being able to include more advanced work in their curriculum. A student will need to substitute an equivalent number of credit hours (approval by major department/program and college required). Other students may profit by repeating the course at this college and thus establishing a fully sound basis for what follows.
    • The appropriate University of Colorado Boulder academic department may recommend to the dean's office that credit be transferred to count toward the requirements for a related course in its curriculum. Credit cannot be given for vocational/technical or remedial courses under rules of the university.
    • The student may seek credit for the course by examination, if available, and the student pays the appropriate fee.

For more information on transfer of credit policies, see Transfer of College-Level Credit in the Admission section of this catalog.


Academic Advising

Students are advised by professional staff advisors and faculty mentors from their respective major department/program, typically at least once a semester. Students use Buff Portal Advising to communicate with advisors, schedule appointments, explore majors, etc.

Premedical Option

Students interested in meeting requirements for entry into medical or other health professions schools while earning a degree in engineering should consult with a pre-health advisor. Students should also discuss their plans with their primary academic advisor, since some of the required coursework may fulfill electives in their engineering curriculum.

Four-Year Graduation Guarantee

For academically prepared freshmen who do not wish to extend their studies beyond eight semesters, the University of Colorado extends a guarantee that required or essential courses, or acceptable alternative courses, will be available to allow each student to complete all coursework required for a bachelor of science degree from the College of Engineering and Applied Science no later than the end of eight consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment. In the event the University of Colorado is not successful in meeting the terms of this guarantee, the university will reimburse the student all tuition and course fees for those courses remaining to successfully complete the previously designated bachelor of science degree.

Degree and Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for any of the baccalaureate degrees from the College of Engineering and Applied Science, students must meet graduation requirements. Students should run an online degree audit and meet with their academic advisor to discuss progress towards degree requirements, and then when appropriate, apply for graduation in Buff Portal according to timelines provided by the college and the Office of the Registrar.

Dual Degrees

A student in the College of Engineering and Applied Science may be able to obtain two degrees in engineering, or obtain one degree in engineering and obtain one in another field, such as business, music or one of the arts and sciences disciplines. Full degree requirements must be met for each degree program. Students should apply to graduate from both degree programs for the same term (the same graduation date is required for both degrees and the student must submit a separate graduation application for each degree program).

BAM (Bachelor's–Accelerated Master's) Degree Programs in Engineering

The Bachelor’s–Accelerated Master’s (BAM) degree program offers currently enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate students the opportunity to receive a bachelor’s and master’s degree in a shorter period of time. Students receive the bachelor’s degree first, but begin taking graduate coursework as undergraduates, typically in their senior year. Because some courses are allowed to double count for both the bachelor’s and the master’s degrees, students receive a master’s degree in less time and at a lower cost than if they were to enroll in a stand-alone master’s degree program after completion of their baccalaureate degree. In addition, staying at CU Boulder to pursue a bachelor’s–accelerated master’s program enables students to continue working with their established faculty mentors.

Students with strong academic records who plan to continue in the Graduate School usually find it advantageous to apply for admission to a BAM degree program. Application is made to the Graduate School through the appropriate academic department. Application and admission may occur as early as the junior year; consult individual departments for their exact timing. The College of Engineering and Applied Science requires a minimum GPA of 3.000 for admission to this program; some departments may have higher requirements. Requirements for the two degrees are the same as those for two degrees taken separately: 128 credit hours for the BS degree (fewer credit hours for the BA in Computer Science or post-baccalaureate degree programs); plus 30 credit hours including 4–6 thesis hours (Plan I) or 30 credit hours (Plan II) for the MS degree. In some departments, up to 6 hours of graduate coursework may be applied to the undergraduate degree. 

For additional details on this program, contact the appropriate engineering academic department or the Graduate School.