General Credit & Enrollment

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Students are required to follow the graduation requirements listed in this catalog at the time of their initial entry onto the Boulder campus.


Successful work in the College of Arts and Sciences is dependent upon regular attendance in all classes. Students who are unavoidably absent should make arrangements with instructors to make up the work missed. Failure to attend regularly may result in receipt of an F in a course. Students who, for illness or other legitimate reason, miss a final examination must notify the instructor or the Academic Advising Center no later than the end of the day on which the examination is given. Failure to do so may result in receipt of an F in the course.

Credit Policies

Advanced Placement Program

See Undergraduate Admission and the Advanced Placement Table.

International Baccalaureate

Any student admitted to a University of Colorado campus after June 30, 2003, who has graduated from high school having successfully completed an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, program will be granted 24 semester hours of college credit. No tuition will be charged for these credits. These credits will be granted, however, only if the student receives a score of 4 or better on an examination administered as part of the IB diploma program.

In addition, college credit is granted for International Baccalaureate examinations at the higher level with a score of 4 or better. For specific equivalencies, contact the Office of Admissions at 303-492-2458 or visit

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College of Arts and Sciences accepts a limited number of hours of CLEP credit from subject (not general) examinations toward its bachelor’s degree programs (see Undergraduate Admission for subjects accepted). In addition, certain CLEP examinations may be used to meet the minimum academic preparation standards (MAPS) for admission to the university. No more than 30 total credit hours of CLEP will apply, nor may CLEP credit be used in the final 30 credit hours presented for a degree. 

CLEP tests are administered through Career Services, 303-492-5854.

Cooperative Education/Internships

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences may receive up to 9 credit hours for a department-sponsored cooperative education program or internship. A maximum of 6 of the 9 internship credits can be taken in the same department. Each internship project must be approved by the chair or associate chair of the department awarding the credit before the student enrolls in the course in order for the student to receive credit. Students are encouraged to contact their major department office or Career Services for information regarding the possibility of enrolling in a cooperative education program in their major. Many internships are graded on a pass/fail basis only. Participation in an internship with mandatory pass/fail grading does not affect the total credit hours of pass/fail a student may apply toward a degree. Some departments further restrict the use of internship credit toward meeting major requirements. 

For further information on internship credit, visit

Credit/No Credit

Credit/no credit changes must occur during the schedule adjustment periods. 

Credit Taken as a Nondegree Student

Once a student has been admitted to a degree program, credits from the Division of Continuing Education such as ACCESS, Boulder evening credit courses, and CU-Boulder correspondence classes may be eligible to be applied toward the degree. Students will receive initial advising during orientation once they have been accepted to a degree program in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Credit Taken Outside the College of Arts and Sciences

Students may apply a total of 30 credit hours from the other colleges and schools at CU-Boulder as well as specified ROTC and President’s Leadership Class courses toward the fulfillment of requirements for the BA and BFA degrees. Within these 30 total hours, up to 8 credit hours in activities courses (applied music and ensembles) may be used. Transferred courses that were taught by departments considered to be outside the College of Arts and Sciences are counted as part of the allowed 30 hours. If a course has been approved to meet a core curriculum requirement and the course is taught outside the College of Arts and Sciences, the credit for this course will not be included as part of the 30 semester hour limitation. 

Cross-Listed Courses

Courses that are cross-listed in two or more departments are credited in the department in which the student has the most semester hours, irrespective of the department in which the student formally enrolled for the course.

Foreign Language Courses

Students must receive a grade of C or better to enroll in the next level of a language sequence in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, and Korean. Students must receive a grade of C- or better to enroll in the next level of a language sequence in American Sign Language, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Students will not receive credit for a lower level course after credit has been given for a higher level course in the same sequence. For example, students who have passed a 2000-level class will not receive credit for a 1000-level class in the same sequence. This rule applies to the following languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Consult each department for specific restrictions, requirements, and prerequisites.

Undergraduate introductory language courses (numbered at the1000 and 2000 level) are designed for non-native speakers. Fluent speakers of a language are prohibited from enrolling in introductory courses in the language and can be dropped from these courses by the department or by the course instructor. Fluent speakers should consult the department website and this catalog or consult with the course instructor or department language coordinator about eligibility to enroll in upper-division language courses (numbered at the 3000 and 4000 level) before enrolling in such courses. Departments can exclude fluent speakers from upper-division language courses based on course content and/or instructional resources. Speakers who have not formally studied the language but have spoken the language in their home should consult with the associate chair of the language department or the department language coordinator about appropriate placement before enrolling in a language course.

Some classes offered by foreign language departments are taught in English and require no knowledge of foreign language. Read specific course descriptions and check with the departments.

Incomplete Grades

An I grade is given at the discretion of the course instructor only when a student has satisfactorily completed a substantial portion of a course and, for reasons beyond the student’s control, is prevented from completing all work for the course within the term. Incomplete grades must be requested by the student and should not be awarded by the instructor for non-attendance. (In the case of non-attendance, the instructor should award the student the grade(s) earned.) If an incomplete grade is given, the instructor is required to document the reasons/grounds for the awarding of the incomplete grade, the specific work and conditions for completion of the course, and the time frame within which the course work must be completed. The maximum time the instructor can allow for the completion of the course work and subsequent award of a course grade is one year from the end of the term the course was taken. After one year, if no final grade is awarded, the I will change to the grade of F. A copy of the Incomplete Agreement (forms are available from the dean’s office) signed by the student and instructor and accompanied by documentation of the extenuating circumstances that resulted in the awarding of an incomplete should be filed with the Assistant Dean’s Office and with the instructor’s department office, and a copy should be given to the student.

Independent Learning

A maximum of 30 credit hours of correspondence/online learning work may count toward the degree. Arts and sciences courses offered by the CU-Boulder Division of Continuing Education carry resident credit.

Independent Study

With departmental approval, students may register for independent study during the normal registration periods for each semester. Students may not register for more than 6 credit hours of independent study credit during any term. No more than 8 credit hours of independent study taken in a single department or program can be applied toward the total hours needed for graduation. A maximum of 16 hours of independent study may count toward the degree. The minimum expectation for each semester hour of credit is 25 hours of work.

A student may not use independent study projects to fulfill the college’s general education requirements. Some departments further restrict the use of independent study hours toward meeting major requirements.

Required Hours Outside the Major

To complete the BA degree, students are required to complete a minimum of 75 credit hours outside their major department. Exceptions are:

  • Students who complete designated departmental honors courses in their major and/or in honors thesis credit can reduce the 75 credit hours required outside the major department by a corresponding number of credits, up to a maximum of 6.
  • Students completing the bachelor of fine arts degree must complete a minimum of 53 credit hours outside of their major department.


Students in the College of Arts and Sciences may not use the pass/fail option for courses taken to fulfill general education (core) requirements, courses used to satisfy the foreign language requirement, courses used to fulfill the Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS), courses used to complete minor requirements, or courses used to complete the minimum requirements for the major. A grade of F when earned in a course taken pass/fail will calculate into the GPA as a failing grade.

Students may take elective courses pass/fail, to a maximum of 6 credit hours. Courses offered only on a mandatory pass/fail basis are excluded from the maximum allowed. The pass/fail option may be used only for elective credit.

Repetition of Courses

If a student takes a course for credit more than once, all grades are calculated into the grade point average. However, the course is only counted toward graduation once, unless a course description specifically states that it can be taken more than once for credit. 

ROTC Credit

The ROTC courses listed below have been certified as acceptable college-level course work by the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences or by other colleges and schools on the Boulder campus. These courses are counted as elective credit toward the degree, subject to the 30-semester-hour limitation on course work taken outside the college for students in the BA and BFA programs. Courses not included on this list do not count toward any degree requirements. Transfer ROTC course work must be evaluated as equivalent to course work on this list to count toward degree requirements.

  • AIRR 3010 and 3020 
  • AIRR 4010 and 4020
  • MILR 1011 and 1021
  • MILR 2031 and 2041 (students may not receive credit for either course if they have credit in OPMG 3000)
  • MILR 4072 and 4082
  • NAVR 2020
  • NAVR 3030
  • NAVR 3040
  • NAVR 3101
  • NAVR 4010 and 4020
  • NAVR 4030
  • NAVR 4101

Transfer Credit

Work from another accredited institution of higher education that has been completed with a grade of C- (1.70) or better may be transferred to the University of Colorado. Categories of transfer course work not accepted by the university are outlined in the Transfer Course Work Not Accepted by the University section under General Information.

All courses transferred from junior and community colleges carry lower-division credit. Courses transferred from four-year institutions carry credits at the level at which they were taught at the previous institution.

Statewide Guaranteed Transfer of General Education Courses

Beginning in fall 2003, the two-year and four-year transfer articulation agreements among Colorado institutions of higher education were replaced by a statewide guaranteed transfer of approved general education courses taken at any Colorado public institution of higher education. Under the statewide guaranteed transfer program, up to 31–33 credits of successfully (C- or better) completed course work will automatically transfer and apply towards graduation requirements at the receiving institution. The course work must be drawn from the list of approved guaranteed transfer courses and must meet the distribution requirements of the guaranteed transfer program. Further information about the statewide transfer program, including the list of approved courses and distribution requirements, can be found at the website of the Colorado Department of Higher Education,

Students who began their collegiate course work in fall 2003 or later at any Colorado public institution of higher education are subject to the statewide guaranteed transfer of approved general education courses. Students who began their collegiate course work prior to fall 2003 have the option of following the two-year and four-year articulation agreements in effect at the time of the student’s initial matriculation at a Colorado public institution of higher education or following the conditions of the statewide guaranteed transfer program. Students who began their collegiate course work prior to fall 2003 must complete all lower-division core requirements by summer 2005 in order to remain eligible for the two-year and four-year core completion agreement.

Beginning in fall 2006, a student who graduates with an associate of arts or an associate of science degree from a Colorado community college and enters the College of Arts and Sciences will be exempt from the written communication requirement and the lower-division component of the core curriculum. Please note that students are still subject to the MAPS requirement.

Additional information on the evaluation of transfer credit of Colorado community college course work and its application in select arts and sciences major programs can also be found at


See the General Information section of the catalog for specific withdrawal procedures and universitywide policies.

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences who withdraw two semesters in a row will have a dean’s stop placed on their registration. Summer session is not counted as a regular semester. They will not be permitted to return to CU-Boulder before one full academic year has elapsed (not including their semester of withdrawal). Arts and sciences students may withdraw from all classes for a term until the last day that classes are taught by requesting withdrawal in the Office of the Registrar. Students cannot withdraw after classes have ended for a term.

These policies also apply to arts and sciences students who are enrolled in continuing education courses.


Arts and sciences students who request readmission to the college are always readmitted to their major of record at the time they last attended the university. Readmitted students who desire to pursue a major different from their major of record must follow the college’s process for declaring a new major (explained on the Academic Advising Center website, after they have been readmitted.