Class level is based on the total number of credit hours passed, as follows:
|Freshman||0–29.9 credit hours|
|Sophomore||30–59.9 credit hours|
|Junior||60–89.9 credit hours|
|Senior||90–123.9 credit hours|
|Fifth-Year Senior||124 and above credit hours|
The normal course load for most undergraduates is 15 credit hours each semester.
Full-time status for undergraduate students is 12 or more credit hours for fall, spring and summer semesters for financial aid purposes. For enrollment verification and academic purposes (not related to financial aid), 12 credit hours is considered a full-time load in the fall and spring semester, and 6 credit hours is considered full time in the summer. For further information, view the Office of the Registrar's enrollment grid.
Students who receive financial aid or veterans benefits or who live in university housing should check with the appropriate office regarding course-load requirements for eligibility purposes.
Intrauniversity Transfer Students
Students wishing to change colleges or schools within the CU Boulder campus follow the intrauniversity transfer (IUT) guidelines from the college or school into which they wish to transfer.
For more information on recommended course work in preparation for an IUT and other criteria, students need to consult college and school sections of this catalog or talk with an academic advisor in the program to which they plan to transfer. Some colleges and schools do not accept intrauniversity transfer students during the summer. It is important to note that admission to a college through the IUT process is competitive, and not all students who apply are admitted. Decisions are based on course preparation, credit hours completed, grade point average and other criteria required by the specific college or school.
Degrees & Majors
In order to earn a baccalaureate degree from the University of Colorado Boulder, students must meet all degree and major requirements for their specific program of study and earn a minimum of 120 cumulative credit hours and a minimum of a 2.00 GPA. It is important to note that some degree and program requirements are higher than these minimum standards. See college and school sections of this catalog for specific degree policies and requirements.
In addition, students at CU Boulder may pursue dual degrees, concurrent degrees or additional majors, minors and/or certificates.
A double degree at the baccalaureate level can be two different degrees from the same college or school (e.g., a BA and BFA from the College of Arts and Sciences), or two degrees from different colleges or schools (e.g., a BA from the College of Arts and Sciences and a BS from the College of Engineering and Applied Science). In order to earn a double baccalaureate degree, students must meet all individual degree requirements and receive approval from the academic college or school for each degree. Both degrees must be confirmed with the same graduation date (degrees are awarded concurrently).
Students who wish to pursue an additional baccalaureate degree after graduating with a baccalaureate degree from CU Boulder must file and application for readmission to the university. In addition, students should work with an academic advisor in the degree program they wish to add in order to determine appropriate procedures and additional requirements (e.g., additional residency requirements may apply beyond course requirements for the second degree and major). Not every college and school permits students to complete an additional baccalaureate degree after graduation.
Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees
Qualified students may be approved to pursue concurrent baccalaureate and master's degree programs, such as the Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts (BA/MA). These programs are designed as accelerated, integrated curricula in which approved students are permitted to apply select courses/credits to both the baccalaureate and master's degrees.
Some colleges and schools permit students pursuing a baccalaureate degree to graduate with more than one major (e.g., economics and French) under the same degree (e.g., BA) by completing all requirements for each major. The majors must be completed concurrently and will post to a degree record with the same graduation date. A minimum of 120 total credit hours is required for a degree with additional majors.
Students earning a baccalaureate degree may participate in a minor program. Minors are offered in a number of undergraduate colleges, schools and programs.
Undergraduate students may pursue formal certificates in a variety of academic or interdisciplinary subjects. Each certificate program has unique requirements. Degree-seeking students who been verified to have completed certificate requirements will have the certificate/s posted to their academic records at the time of graduation. Nondegree students who are approved to pursue select certificate programs must be admitted through Continuing Education.
Degree audit reports are available for most degree and certificate programs to help students and advisors track requirements and progress. The degree audit tool may be accessed through MyCUInfo.
Each college and school at CU Boulder has published minimum requirements for undergraduate students to remain in good academic standing. See respective college and school sections related to academic standards, including policies for probation and suspension.
In addition, federal regulations require students to make satisfactory academic progress in a program of study to be eligible for financial aid. For additional information, see the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy webpage.
Undergraduate students can get a document that indicates their class rank among students graduating within the last year. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering and Applied Science will have a ranking within their major degree program. Students in other schools, colleges and programs will have a ranking within their college. The request form is available in MyCUInfo.
College-Level Examination Program
Credit for College Board subject examinations of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) in general biology, general chemistry, general psychology, introductory macroeconomics, introductory microeconomics, introductory sociology and calculus may be granted for a score of 54 or above. This credit is applied toward degree requirements at the discretion of the student's dean. Refer to the appropriate dean’s office for the policy of that college or school.
Credit for CLEP subject examinations cannot be evaluated from college or high school transcripts; score reports must be submitted directly from the College Board. CLEP general examinations are not accepted for credit at CU Boulder.
For more information, or to schedule a CLEP exam, contact CU Boulder Career Services, 303-492-5854.
The Institutional Undergraduate Course Challenge policy provides limited opportunities for students to take an examination (or equivalent) and earn credit for a course without registering for or taking the course. Applications for institutional course challenge are available on the Office of the Registrar web site. Requesting a course challenge option for any Guaranteed Transfer (GT) Pathways general education course is at the enrolled student’s discretion.
Institutional course challenge requests are not approved if a student previously enrolled in the course (including earned transfer or test credits). This includes attempts in which a failing mark (F) or a W (drop) is recorded for the course. A student may only attempt to challenge an individual CU Boulder course one time. If a student does not achieve a C- or better on an institutionally devised challenge exam, the student must enroll in the equivalent course in order to earn credit for it. A maximum of 36 credits may be earned through institutional course challenge.
Successful course challenges are recorded on transcripts as earned institutional, residential credit within the term completed. No grades or quality points are assigned (‘CR’ is recorded to denote earned credit). The name and catalog number of the course, credits and a challenge exam notation appear on transcripts.
CU Boulder assesses an administrative fee of $115 for each institutional challenge exam (or the equivalent) attempted, regardless of a student’s outcome on the challenge attempt.
Credit earned through institutional course challenge will apply to general education requirements, but may not always apply to specific degree requirements (see individual college/school policies and degree requirements).