Undergraduate Degree Requirements

On This Page:

Fundamentals taught in the freshman year are of prime importance in the more advanced classes, and every effort is made to place all freshman students in appropriate courses.

It is strongly recommended that students avoid the likelihood of later scheduling problems by carefully following the recommended curriculum in their major or in the open option program.

Each freshman is exposed to a broad university background, completing course work outside the College of Engineering and Applied Science in science, mathematics, social science, and the humanities.


All students are advised by professional staff advisors and faculty mmentors from their respective major department or program. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor at least once a semester.

Advising information is available at the administrative offices of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, ECAD 100, telephone 303-492-5071, directly through the major departments, or at engineering.colorado.edu/students/advising.htm

Advisors are readily available to assist students with academic, vocational, or personal concerns. Students are assigned departmental advisors for academic planning and should consult with the department chair or designated faculty or staff representative if there is uncertainty over who is the student’s advisor or if the student wants a change in advisor. 

Four-Year Graduation Guarantee

The College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing an undergraduate educational experience among the best offered by any comprehensive research university in the country.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science offers 12 bachelor of science degree programs, each of which may be completed within eight full-time semesters. Many students elect to extend their studies at the University of Colorado beyond eight semesters to take advantage of research and employment opportunities, add minor programs, complete double-degree programs, and/or to pursue specialized plans of study.

For new 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 so each student can complete all course work required for a bachelor of science degree from the College of Engineering and Applied Science no later than the end of the eighth consecutive semester of enrollment, when the student follows the degree plan recommended by the major department. 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. 

Full details regarding the guarantee and qualifications may be found at engineering.colorado.edu/students/advising.htm (Four Year Guarantee).

Degree Requirements

  • For the BS degree, the satisfactory completion of the prescribed and elective work in any curriculum as determined by the appropriate academic department. A student must complete a minimum number of semester hours, not less that 128, of which the last 45 must be Boulder course work earned after admission to the university and the college.
  • The recommendation of the faculty of the academic department (or program) offering the degree. The campus designation on the diploma and transcript shall correspond to the campus designation of the academic department initiating the degree recommendation.
  • The recommendation of the faculty of the college.
  • The cumulative GPA of an engineering student includes all academic courses attempted at the University of Colorado (unless the Course Repetition Program has been utilized). A cumulative GPA of 2.250 (2.000 for students matriculating in the college prior to fall 2011 semester) is required in courses used to fulfill degree requirements. In addition, a separately computed GPA of 2.250 (2.000 for students matriculating in the college prior to fall 2011 semester) must be attained in those courses taken from the student’s major department. For students in the applied mathematics program, the major department is the applied mathematics department; for students in the engineering physics program, the major department is the physics department. For students majoring in environmental engineering, all chemical, civil, environmental, and mechanical engineering courses will be considered in lieu of those from a single department.
  • Humanities and social sciences degree requirements may be found at engineering.colorado.edu/hss. All electives should be selected with the approval of an academic advisor and from the lists of approved courses.
  • Students who graduated from high school in the spring of 1988 and thereafter must complete any minimum academic preparation standards (MAPS) deficiencies prior to graduation. Students should refer to engineering.colorado.edu/students/advising.htm (Advanced Placement and MAPS) and consult with an academic advisor or the dean’s office (ECAD 100) to determine any MAPS deficiencies and how to satisfy these deficiencies.
  • Some majors require successful completion of an educational outcome measurement prior to graduation. Students should contact their major department to determine whether an outcome measurement is required and when it must be taken.


It is the student’s responsibility to be certain that all degree requirements are fulfilled, to notify the major department upon completion of 100 semester hours applicable to BS degree requirements, to fill out the Application for Diploma form at the beginning of the next-to-last semester before graduation, and to keep the departmental advisor and the dean’s office in-formed of any change in graduation plans.

All incompletes must be completed and all Continuing Education course grades must be officially received no later than three weeks prior to the graduation ceremony. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the appropriate instructor concerning the removal of incomplete grades. Graduation periods are in December, May, and August.

Double Degrees

A student in the College of Engineering and Applied Science may be able to major in two engineering disciplines 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 college/major. The degrees are awarded concurrently.

Double Degrees from Engineering and Another College

Students may obtain bachelor’s degrees in engineering and in the academic program of another college, with the approval of the relevant colleges/major departments.

Double Majors within the College of Engineering and Applied Science

It is possible for an undergraduate student to complete degree requirements for two or more majors within the College of Engineering and Applied Science, with the approval of the relevant major departments. Students must complete at least 15 additional credit hours for each additional major. The decision to earn more than one major in the college should be carefully weighed, since qualified students may be able to obtain a master’s degree for a similar number of credit hours.


The college offers minors in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, signals and systems, and electrical renewable systems.

More information is available at engineering.colorado.edu/students/advising.htm (Minor Programs).

Premedical Option

Several engineering departments have an option by which a student may meet all requirements for entry into medical or other health professions schools while earning a degree in engineering. Engineering departments with this option will approve inclusion of appropriate biological and bioengineering courses in the student’s program of technical electives. The courses listed below are usually prescribed by medical and dental schools and must be completed with superior grades. 

Required Courses and Semester Credit Hours

  • General chemistry—2 (with labs)
  • Organic chemistry—2 (with labs)
  • General or introductory biology—2 (with labs)
  • English composition and literature (one of each)—2
  • Physics—2 (with labs)
  • Calculus (required or recommended)—1
  • Statistics (strongly recommended)—1
  • Biochemistry (required or strongly recommended)—1
  • Genetics (strongly recommended)—1

Students can typically meet these requirements by carefully substituting electives in their engineering curriculum. Interested students should consult with a prehealth advisor in the Pre-professional Advising Office at the University Club on the Boulder campus early in their undergraduate career in order to accomplish the other elements of preparation for applying to a health professional school. Assistance with requirements for clinical experience and specialized letters of recommendation can be obtained from this office.

Concurrent BS and MS Degree Program in Engineering

Students with strong academic records who plan to continue in the Graduate School usually find it advantageous to apply for admission to the concurrent BS/MS degree program. Excellent students plan a graduate program beginning in their junior year. Many departments allow up to 6 credit hours of graduate course work to be applied to the BS degree. This program also provides opportunities to work with faculty on independent study or research projects.

Application is made to the Graduate School through the appropriate academic department. Application and admission may occur during the junior year; consult individual departments for their exact timing. The college requires a minimum GPA of 3.250 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 and 24–30 hours including thesis (Plan I) or 30 credit hours (Plan II) for the MS degree. Up to 6 credit hours of graduate course work may be double counted (i.e., applied toward the BS degree as well as applied toward the MS degree).

All students choose or are assigned a faculty advisor to help them develop a program of study best suited to their interests. Students in each program are encouraged to pursue independent study on research programs or in areas of specialization beyond those offered in formal courses. Students are allowed to structure their senior and graduate years in an order that is optimal for their program, as long as all requirements for both the BS and MS degrees are completed by the end of the concurrent BS/MS program. The BS and MS degrees must be awarded concurrently at the completion of both degree programs. 

A minimum GPA of 3.000 must be maintained for continuation in the program; if the GPA falls below 3.000, all hours completed with a passing grade while in the program count only towards fulfillment of the BS degree.

Tuition rates for resident students in this program are at the undergraduate rate until students accumulate a certain number of credit hours. Students are then considered to be graduate students for purposes of tuition and financial aid. For additional details on this program, contact the appropriate engineering academic department or the Graduate School.