Academic Affairs

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Academic Advising

Academic advising is an integral part of a college education. Its goal is to assist students in making responsible decisions as they develop educational plans compatible with their potential career and life goals. Advising is more than offering information about academic courses and programs; it also involves encouraging students to formulate important questions about the nature and direction of their education and working with them to find answers to these questions.

Responsibilities of Students and Advisors

Within the advising system on the Boulder campus, both students and advisors have responsibilities. 

Students are responsible for:

  • attending a special orientation, advising, and registration program on campus before enrolling in their first semester; 
  • knowing the requirements of their particular academic program, selecting courses that meet those requirements in an appropriate time frame, and monitoring their progress toward graduation;
  • consulting with their academic advisor several times every term;
  • scheduling and keeping academic advising appointments in a timely manner throughout their academic career, so as to avoid seeking advising only during busy registration periods; and being prepared for advising sessions (for example, by bringing in a list of questions or concerns, having a tentative schedule in mind, and/or
  • being prepared to discuss interests and goals with their advisor).

Academic advisors are responsible for:

  • helping students clarify their values, goals, and abilities;
  • helping students understand the nature and purpose of a college education;
  • providing accurate information about educational options, requirements, policies, and procedures;
  • helping students plan educational programs consistent with the requirements of their degree program and with their goals, interests, and abilities;
  • assisting students in monitoring and evaluating their educational progress; and
  • helping students locate and integrate the many resources of the university to meet their unique educational needs and aspirations.

Note: The university cannot assume responsibility for problems resulting from students failing to follow the policies stated in this catalog or from incorrect advice given by someone other than an appropriate staff member of the college.

Academic Advising Center

The Academic Advising Center coordinates academic advising, transfer credit evaluation, and graduation certification for all undergraduate students pursuing a program of study in the College of Arts and Sciences and for all open option students. All students in the college are assigned to a primary academic advisor in their major field of study. Students are expected to meet with their assigned advisor on a regular basis throughout the academic year.

The advising center also oversees the Preprofessional Advising Center, which provides advising to all students on the Boulder campus who are intending to pursue law or one of the health professions (dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, etc.).

In addition, through the open option advising program, the advising center provides comprehensive advising services to students who are undecided about their major, or who are considering changing their major. Open option primary advisors are familiar with the courses and degree requirements for all majors offered at CU-Boulder, and assist open option students in exploring majors related to their interests, aptitudes, and goals. Open option advisors also assist students in designing programs of study that meet graduation requirements while providing students with the academic flexibility to pursue whichever degree program they ultimately choose.

Open option or preprofessional students with general advising questions should visit the Academic Advising Center website at to schedule an appointment with their advisor.


The CU-Boulder orientation programs are designed to facilitate a smooth transition to the university community for students and their parents. All new freshman and transfer students are required to attend orientation in order to be eligible to register. 

A single orientation program for new spring semester students and their parents occurs during the week before classes begin in January. 

All new fall students are expected to attend their college orientation program, the chancellor’s convocation, and New Student Welcome prior to their first day of class. Detailed information regarding the steps of the orientation process is sent by e-mail or, in some cases, postal mail once students have confirmed their intent to enroll at the university. More information regarding orientation is available at

Summer Session

Summer Session at CU-Boulder, an integral part of the university’s year-round program, offers students opportunities for study, individual development, and recreational activity. Summer students can choose from more than 500 courses, allowing progress toward a degree in most areas of study.

Summer Session begins with Maymester, an intensive three-week term offered immediately after spring semester ends. Courses are also offered in one-to-four, five-, eight-, and ten-week formats. Online and on-campus courses are available.

Complementing Summer Session offerings, a rich calendar of summer events includes performances in repertory by members of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, musical productions presented by the CU Summer Opera company, and performances by members of the Colorado Music Festival. Organized recreational activities are offered through the Student Recreation Center.

The summer catalog is usually available by mid-January. To request a catalog, call 303-492-5148 (toll free 1-800-331-2801), go to, or write Summer Session, University of Colorado Boulder, 178 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0178.