Visit the Office of the Registrar's Academic Calendar webpage for specific academic and financial dates and deadlines. Students should also consult individual college and school sections of this catalog and their dean's office for additional information on special requirements and deadlines. The following registration policies are intended to serve as general guidelines.

Students who require accommodations because of a disability should visit the Disability Services website or call 303-492-8671.

Confirmation Deposit

All new degree students pay a one-time $200 confirmation deposit when they first confirm their intent to enroll at CU Boulder. Students are not permitted to complete New Student Welcome Experience or register if the university has not received the deposit.

Confirmation deposits are non-refundable except upon graduation from CU Boulder. All refunds are reduced by any outstanding financial obligations. Interest earned from confirmation deposits is used for student financial aid.

Questions regarding the confirmation deposit policy should be directed to the Office of Admissions, 303-492-6301.

Buff Portal

Student registration and other important information and services are available through Buff Portal. Students access the portal using a secure CU login name and IdentiKey password and Duo Multi-Factor Authentication. For more information and registration instructions, visit the Registration webpage.

Registering for Classes

All CU Boulder students register for classes through Buff Portal, where they can also check their assigned registration periods, view any holds that may prevent registration (see "Holds"), see to-do lists and obtain their advisor's name and contact information.

New incoming students and transfer undergraduate students receive their registration instructions and information during the New Student Welcome Experience. Continuing students may consult the academic calendar or view their registration dates in Buff Portal; they are also notified by email each semester of upcoming registration periods.

If a student misses their assigned registration window, they must wait until open enrollment to register for classes. No exceptions are made to this policy.

Registration instructions are also available on the Enroll in Classes webpage.

Enrollment Dates

Each term, students are assigned enrollment dates based on the number of credits they have completed. Accessible in Buff Portal, the enrollment assignment indicates the dates and times during which the student may enroll, as well as the maximum number of credits they can take. Students who miss their assigned dates must wait until open enrollment periods to register for classes.

Priority registration has been formally approved for specific populations of students who have unique scheduling needs. Priority registration does not override university or departmental policies, holds, permissions, etc., nor does it guarantee the provision of classes at specific times. Student populations with priority registration, which often occurs within the enrollment period specified for their class (i.e., freshmen, sophomores), may include students with disabilities, military veterans and student athletes.


A hold may be placed on a student's record for a number of reasons, including but not limited to financial, advising, scholastic, conduct and health. A hold may prevent a student from registering, returning to school, obtaining an official transcript or receiving a diploma. Students should resolve holds as quickly as possible by contacting the appropriate campus office identified in the hold details in Buff Portal.

Special Registrations

Intercampus Enrollment Program

CU Boulder students enrolled in at least one Boulder main campus class may be allowed to register for up to two classes totaling no more than six credit hours on another University of Colorado campus.

Classes taken at other CU campuses must be required for graduation or unavailable on the Boulder campus in a given term, or the classes must conflict with another required class in which the student is enrolled.

Boulder students exercising this option pay tuition for their total credit hours at Boulder campus rates. Intercampus Enrollment forms and instructions are available on the Registration Programs webpage.

Students receiving VA educational benefits are not eligible to receive funding for intercampus enrollment. Contact your campus’s veteran and military affairs office for more information.

Intercampus students are registered in host campus classes after continuing home students have had the chance to enroll. Students must adhere to the add/drop deadlines of the host campus when making changes to their intercampus enrollment.

Boulder campus students who wish to take coursework on another campus of the University of Colorado, but not through the Intercampus Enrollment program, may be able to register on that campus independent of Boulder-campus registration. However, they must apply for admission to and follow the registration procedures established by the other campus. Students should check with their dean's office for approval and course applicability to their degree program.

Late Registration

We recommend students register for classes as soon as their registration period begins. If a students enrolls in their first class of the term after the third Friday of the semester (fall or spring), they will be assessed a $100 late-registration fee (this is different than charges assessed for late payments of the university bill). For more information, visit the Add a Class webpage.

University Employees and Dependents

CU Boulder offers a tuition benefit to eligible employees and their dependents. For current benefit information, visit Employee Services' Employee Tuition Waiver Benefit website.

Continuing Education Auditors Program 

Community members aged 18 and older, who are not registered students but wish to listen in on regularly scheduled lectures, are eligible to audit courses during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Community members may do so by obtaining auditor status.

The university’s primary commitment is to degree-seeking and credit-seeking students. Auditors’ course requests will be processed after these groups have registered. Auditors must receive permission and obtain a signature from course instructors to be added to the roster.

Audited courses will not appear on any transcript, formal or informal, as no credit is awarded. Registered auditors receive class instruction, learning management system access and library privileges. Being an auditor at the University of Colorado Boulder does not guarantee eligibility for regular degree or nondegree status.

Note: Admitted degree students, either enrolled or suspended, are not permitted to audit courses. If an admitted degree student is interested in participating in a class without receiving credit, the student must enroll in the course and request to take the course as no-credit. A course must be offered with the student option grading basis to be eligible for no-credit. Courses taken for no credit are assessed the same tuition rate as courses taken for credit. Contact or call 303-492-5148 for more information.

The Senior Auditors program, formerly offered by the CU Boulder Alumni Association, along with the Community Auditors program previously offered by Continuing Education, have been incorporated into the new Continuing Education Auditors program. Please refer to the Auditors enrollment page for information on how to register for courses and current auditor restrictions.

Dropping & Adding Classes


Students can add or drop classes in Buff Portal. For more information, visit the Enroll in Classes webpage.


For specific drop and add deadlines for both the regular 16-week and special fall and spring sessions, visit the Academic Calendar and Special Session Calendars webpages. For summer deadlines, visit the Summer Session Calendars webpage.

Add a Class

  • Students may add classes in Buff Portal during designated registration periods each term.
  • After this time period, students must contact the instructor or the instructor's department and request to be added to a class. Their request may be denied based on lack of attendance, fire code capacity being met, lack of pre-requisites, etc. If a student is added to a class after their designated registration period, then the university cannot guarantee timely review of the student's financial aid or processing of the tuition and fee bill. Students who are added late and then decide to drop will be subject to the normal tuition adjustment and course withdrawal deadlines. 
  • After the COF-eligibility deadline has passed, classes will not receive COF funding unless the class was added late due to a university error.

Drop a Class

  • No Record Drop: Students may drop individual classes in Buff Portal with a refund (if applicable) and no record (no W grades) through the third Wednesday of a regular 16-week fall or spring session and through the add/drop deadline of any special fall or spring session (summer dates vary).
  • Drop with Record or Course Withdrawal: After the third Wednesday of a 16-week fall or spring session or the add/drop deadline of any special fall or spring session, students may continue to drop classes without instructor/advisor approval in Buff Portal through Friday of the tenth week of the regular 16 week fall or spring session or the Deadline to Drop a Class in Buff Portal date for any special fall or spring session (summer dates vary). However, tuition and fees are assessed and grades of W appear on the transcript.
  • Late Drop or Late Course Withdrawal: After the 10-week drop deadline, or the Last Day to Drop a Class in Buff Portal for any special fall or spring session, instructor and dean signatures are required to drop a class. Some colleges may require additional approval or processes, such as petitioning the dean (students should check with their school or college). Class drops are generally not approved after this date except in extraordinary circumstances. Tuition and fees are assessed and grades of W appear on the transcript.

Students dropping all of their classes should see the Withdrawal section.

Withdrawing from the Semester

A withdrawal from a Main Campus semester occurs if the student:

  • Never registers for classes in a fall or spring semester
  • Drops all classes for a semester
  • Submits a withdrawal request to the Office of the Registrar

A student who desires to withdraw from the university and drop all Main Campus classes should visit the Office of the Registrar’s Withdraw from the Semester webpage and review the current term's withdrawal calendar and the withdrawal checklist to understand the potential impacts of withdrawing. Failure to withdraw properly may result in failing grades recorded for every class and liability for the full amount of tuition and fees for that term.

Rules for withdrawing may vary with each college and school. Students anticipating a withdrawal should consult their advisor to understand the potential impacts to their degree requirements. 

Withdrawing students (including students applying for a graduate leave of absence) with Federal Perkins/NDSL loans must complete a loan exit interview and clear all outstanding financial balances before leaving the university. Failure to do so results in a hold on the student's record. This hold prevents registration for future terms. Students can complete a loan exit interview by contacting University Student Loans & Debt Management in the Bursar's Office at 303-492-5571, toll free at 800-925-9844 or TTY 303-492-3528.

Undergraduate students who withdraw and then wish to return to the university have two semesters (plus summer) from their last graded semester to return to the university without having to reapply for admission. Graduate students can apply for an approved leave of absence.

Details are available on the Withdraw from the Semester webpage. For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar at 303-492-6970 or For information about tuition and fee obligations for withdrawing students, see either the Undergraduate Tuition and Fee Policies or the Graduate Tuition and Fee Policies sections.

Active Duty

Students who are military personnel, fire fighters and police officers called to active duty and/or to help with disasters may request to go on a leave of absence. These students should contact the Office of the Registrar. For more information, visit the Withdraw from the Semester webpage.

Undergraduate Leave of Absence

Undergraduate students can take a leave of absence from the university for up to two semesters (plus summer) without having to reapply to CU Boulder. Eligible degree-seeking undergraduate students may maintain certain university benefits while taking leave from the university. Some benefits (such as Recreation Center access and health insurance through Health & Wellness Services) are only available for an additional fee. Signing up for these elective benefits requires submitting an application.

For an application and more information, visit the Leave of Absence webpage.

Retroactive Withdrawal

In certain situations, students may petitions for retroactive withdrawals from one or more completed semesters. Students must clearly demonstrate that they experienced unforeseen extenuating circumstances that prevented them from withdrawing by the deadline. These requests are infrequently granted and cover specifically mental health or physical health problems and family or financial problems that led to an abnormally poor academic performance. Students who believe they may be eligible for a retroactive withdrawal should speak with an academic advisor or coach and visit the Office of Undergraduate Education's Retroactive Withdrawal webpage for more information.

While there is no guaranteed timeframe for petitions to be reviewed, generally petition review takes between 30 to 60 days after the petition is marked as complete. Campus closures and holidays can also impact the review process timeline. For petitions that are approved, the student will be fully withdrawn from the semester(s) requested. Grades will be replaced with withdrawals (W) for all classes taken in the the semester(s) irrespective of the original grades.

Students who withdraw within a given term due to extenuating circumstances should review the academic and financial considerations on the Withdraw from the Semester webpage.

Credit for Prior Learning 

Undergraduate students with prior educational experience in a particular field of study in the liberal arts may be interested in earning credit in one or more of the statewide Guaranteed Transfer (GT) Pathways general education curriculum categories without taking a traditional course at CU Boulder. Students may earn GT Pathways credit without taking a course by passing a challenge exam. 

Challenge Exam

Students may request a challenge exam for any one of the 14 categories in the GT Pathways general education curriculum. Students must take and pass a proctored examination (usually a CLEP exam) or other approved assessment to demonstrate their knowledge and mastery of the state-approved content and competencies for that GT Pathways category. By successfully challenging a GT Pathways category, a student will earn 3 or 4 generic credits toward the equivalent category in their CU Boulder general education requirements. They will not earn credit for a specific CU Boulder course.

Other Methods

Please note that students may also earn GT Pathways credit for prior learning via:

  • Advanced Placement (AP) exams
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) exams
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams
  • DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)

Please see the Office of Admissions' Credit for Coursework or Exams page for information about earning credit for those exams.

For more information, see our Credit for Prior Learning webpage.