Academic Records

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Class Level

Class level is based on the total number of semester hours passed, as follows:

Freshman: 0–29.9 semester hours
Sophomore: 30–59.9 semester hours
Junior: 60–89.9 semester hours
Senior: 90–123.9 semester hours
Fifth-Year Senior: 124 and above semester hours

 The normal course load for most undergraduates is 15 credit hours each semester.

Course Load

The following are the most widely used general definitions of full-time course load. For further information and guidelines, students should see specific college and school sections of this catalog. 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.

Undergraduate Course Load

For financial aid purposes, full time is 12 or more credit hours for fall, spring, and summer terms. 

For enrollment verification and academic purposes (not related to financial aid), 12 credit hours is considered a full-time load in the fall or spring semester, and 6 credit hours is considered full time in the summer.

Graduate Course Load

A full-time graduate student in the fall or spring semester is one who is enrolled for 5 credit hours of graduate course work, 8 hours combined graduate/undergraduate course work, 12 hours of undergraduate course work, or thesis hours depending upon the student’s status. These hours also apply for enrollment verification purposes. Consult the Graduate School’s website at for requirements. For financial aid or program requirements for full- or part-time status, which are different than those set by the Graduate School, consult the Office of Financial Aid. Law students must be enrolled for a minimum of 10 credit hours to be considered full-time in the fall or spring (5 credit hours in the summer). A maximum of 15 credit hours may be applied toward a degree during the fall and spring semesters for graduate students and a maximum of 18 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters for law students. For more information, visit

A full-time graduate student in the summer term is one who is enrolled for at least 3 credit hours in graduate course work, 4 hours combined graduate/undergraduate course work, 6 hours of undergraduate course work, or thesis hours depending upon the student’s status. The maximum number of graduate credits that may be applied toward a degree during the summer session is 6 credit hours per five-week term and 10 credit hours per 10-week summer session, not to exceed 10 credit hours for the total summer session.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress in most undergraduate colleges and schools requires a 2.000 grade point average (GPA). Students should consult their dean’s office regarding college or school minimum GPA requirements and special policies on probation and dismissal. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to receive financial aid.

Grading System

The following grading system is standardized for all colleges and schools of the university. Each instructor is responsible for determining the requirements for a class and for assigning grades on the basis of those requirements.

Standard Grade Credit Points per Each Hour of Credit

A = superior/excellent, 4.0
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = good/better than average, 3.0
B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3
C = competent/average, 2.0
C- = 1.7
D+ = 1.3
D = 1.0
D- = minimum passing, 0.7
F = failing, 0.0

Grade Symbols

= incomplete; changed to F if not completed within one year

IP = in progress; thesis at the graduate level or specified graduate-level courses
P = passing; under the pass/fail option, grades of D- and above convert to a P. Other specified courses may also be graded on a pass/fail basis.
NC = no credit
W = withdrawal or drop without discredit
*** = class grades were not submitted when final grades were processed, or the  student is currently enrolled in the course.

Explanation of an I (Incomplete) Grade

An I grade is an incomplete grade. If the requirements for the course are not completed within one year, the I grade will be converted to an F. Use of the I grade is at the discretion of the faculty and/or the academic dean’s office.

Students must ask for an incomplete grade. An incomplete is only given when students, for reasons beyond their control, have been unable to complete course requirements. A substantial amount of work must have been satisfactorily completed before approval for such a grade is given.

If an instructor grants a request for an incomplete, the instructor sets the conditions under which the course work can be completed and the time limit for its completion or if the course should be retaken. If a course is retaken, it must be completed on the Boulder campus or in Boulder evening classes, and the student must re-register for the course and pay the appropriate tuition. 

The final grade (earned by completing the course requirements or by retaking the course) does not result in the deletion of the I from the transcript.

Grade Point Average

The overall University of Colorado grade point average (GPA) is computed as follows: the credit hours and credit points are totaled for all courses; then the total credit points are divided by the total credit hours. Courses with grade symbols of P, NC, *** (grade not yet entered)W, I, and IP are excluded when totaling the hours, however, grades of F earned for courses graded on a pass/fail option are included in the GPA. Is that are not completed within one year are calculated as Fs in the GPA at the end of the one-year grace period. Below is example GPA calculation for a hypothetical semester: 

Grade Earned: A; Credit Points per Hour: 4.0; x Credit Hours: 4.0 = Credit Points in Course: 16.0

Grade Earned: A-; Credit Points per Hour: 3.7; x Credit Hours: 4.0 = Credit Points in Course: 14.8

Grade Earned: B+; Credit Points per Hour: 3.3; x Credit Hours: 4.0 = Credit Points in Course: 13.2

Grade Earned: P; Credit Points per Hour: ; x Credit Hours: 3.0 = Credit Points in Course: — (excluded)

Grade Earned: F; Credit Points per Hour: 0; x Credit Hours: 3.0 = Credit Points in Course: 0

Total of 15 credit hours with 44 credit points, so 44/15 = 2.93 GPA

Students should refer to their academic dean’s office for individual GPA calculations as they relate to academic progress and graduation from their college or school.

Class Rank

Beginning in the summer of 2007, undergraduate students can get a document that indicates their rank in class compared to those 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 at the Leeds School of Business, College of Music, College of Architecture and Planning, and School of Journalism and Mass Communication will have a ranking within students in their college. These forms are available via the Web.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts include the complete undergraduate and graduate academic record of courses taken at all campus locations or divisions of the University of Colorado. It contains the signature of the registrar and the official seal of the university. Official transcripts are primarily used to support applications for transfer to other academic institutions and for employment purposes. Transcripts sent to students are labeled “issued to student.”

Official transcripts may be ordered in a variety of ways. Visit for detailed ordering information. There is no charge for official transcripts, which are prepared at the student’s request. However, rush services are available for a fee. Typically, non-rush transcript requests are processed within seven to ten business days and placed in first-class mail. Transcripts can be withheld for both financial obligations to the university or disciplinary actions that are in progress.

Official transcripts that include end-of-term grades are available approximately two weeks after final examinations. Degrees are recorded approximately six weeks after graduation.

Unofficial Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts are also a complete academic record of courses taken at the University of Colorado. They are primarily used for advising and counseling within offices on campus and within offices at other University of Colorado campuses. Unofficial transcripts do not carry the registrar signature or seal of the university. Currently enrolled students may access their unofficial transcripts via Students may print this unofficial transcript on any printer.

Credit by Examination

In limited instances, students enrolled in a degree program may earn additional credit without otherwise registering for and taking certain courses if they pass a written examination. Information on participating colleges and schools and an application for credit by examination may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar in Regent Administrative Center 105. The application specifies procedures to be followed. The following signatures are required for approval: the instructor, the department chair, the dean of the college or school in which the course is offered, and the student’s dean, if different. The fee for each examination is not included in the regular tuition, but it is assessed separately at a fixed rate equivalent to the minimum resident tuition rate charged for 0–3 credit hours for the current semester. Fees are payable in advance and are nonrefundable.


A scholastic, dean’s, financial, health, or advising hold may be placed on a student’s record for a number of reasons. A hold prevents a student from registering, returning to school, obtaining an official transcript, or receiving a diploma. The student should resolve each hold as quickly as possible by contacting the campus office that placed it. General inquiries may be addressed to the Office of the Registrar.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Annual Notice to Students: The University of Colorado complies fully with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. The act was designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records in all offices, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with the FERPA office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.

University guidelines explain in detail the procedures to be used by the institution for compliance with the provisions of the act. Copies of the guidelines may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar and at

Students wishing to review their education records must come to the Office of the Registrar and present proper identification. All other records inquiries must be directed to the proper office, i.e., financial aid, bursar, etc.

Students may not inspect the following, as outlined by the act: financial information submitted by their parents, confidential letters that they have waived their rights to review, or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record that pertains to the inquiring student. Records that may be inspected include admissions, academic, and financial aid files, and cooperative education and placement records.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review education records within 45 days of the day the university receives their request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the educational record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify them of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise them of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of students’ education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading. They may ask the university to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to them when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent for disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, University of Colorado Foundation, or employment or degree verification agency such as the National Student Clearinghouse); a person serving on the Board of Regents; a student employee; or a student serving on an official committee; or one assisting another school official in performing his or her task. In addition, a student’s records may be disclosed to their parent(s) upon request if their parent(s) claim them as a dependent for income tax purposes. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the university discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: The Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605, 202-260-3887

The following items of student information have been designated by the University of Colorado Boulder as public or “directory” information: names; student address (including designated local mailing and permanent); telephone number listed with mailing address; student e-mail address; dates of attendance; registration status; class; college or school; previous educational institutions attended; major/minor fields of study; awards, honors, degree(s) applied for or conferred (including certificates, thesis, and dissertation titles) and dates received; past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities; physical factors (height and weight) of athletes; prior schools attended; employment related to student status (e.g., teaching assistant, resident assistant, or tutor); class seat assignment; College Opportunity Fund application and authorization status; expected date of completion in enrolled course of study; and student photo (including Buff OneCard photo in certain circumstances). Such information may be disclosed by the institution at its discretion.

Withholding Directory Information

Students have the right to withhold directory information from inquirers. To restrict the release of directory information, go to the Office of the Registrar to complete a “Privacy Form.”

Student Consent for Release of Confidential Information

Students may complete a “Student Permission” form that gives parents, spouses, or third parties access to educational records. Students must bring a photo ID to the Office of the Registrar, Regent Hall room 105, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to complete this form.

Release of Disciplinary Information

Provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, govern access to a student’s academic transcript or conduct file. The student and/or those university officials who demonstrate a legitimate educational need for disciplinary information may have access to the student’s conduct file. Parent(s), who provide proof that a student is a dependent as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (i.e., a copy of the last federal income tax return listing the student as a dependent), can have access to the student’s conduct file without written consent of the student. In this case, parents may also have access to a conduct file, even if the student has requested otherwise.

In addition, parent(s) may be notified if a student under 21 is found responsible for a violation involving use or possession of alcohol and controlled substances. All other inquiries, including but not limited to inquiries from employers, government agencies, news media, family, friends, or police agencies, require a written release from the student before access to university conduct files is granted. Exception: Information may be released pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena and as provided by the Campus Security Act as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1992.

The Campus Security Act permits higher education institutions to disclose to alleged victims of any crime of violence (e.g., murder, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson) the results of the conduct proceedings conducted by the institution against an alleged perpetrator with respect to such crime. The Campus Security Act also requires that both the accused and the accuser be informed of campus conduct proceedings involving a sexual assault.

In-State and Out-of-State Tuition Classification

Tuition classification is governed by Colorado statutes and by judicial decisions that apply to all state-funded institutions in Colorado and is subject to change without notice.

New students are classified as in-state or out-of-state residents for tuition purposes on the basis of information provided on their application for admission and other relevant information. Applicants may be required to submit evidence substantiating their claim of in-state eligibility.

Applicants and students who feel their classification is incorrect or who have become eligible for a change to in-state status must submit a petition with documentation in order to have their status changed. The necessary petition forms, deadlines for submission, and an explanation of the Colorado tuition classification statute are available from the Tuition Classification Officer, Regent Administrative Center 105, University of Colorado Boulder, 68 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0068, 303-492-0907, fax: 303-492-8748, e-mail:, website:

Basic Requirements for Establishing Colorado Residency

Colorado in-state tuition classification requires domicile (legal residence) in Colo-rado for 12 consecutive months. Domicile is defined as a person’s true, fixed, and permanent home and place of habitation. To establish domicile, a person must reside in Colorado and demonstrate that Colorado is his or her permanent home.

In addition to establishing domicile in Colorado, a person must be either 22 years of age or older, married, a graduate student, or an emancipated minor to begin the 12-month period. Unemancipated minors qualify for in-state status if their parents have been domiciled in Colorado for one year.


To be emancipated, students cannot be supported by their parents in any way. College savings funds and other income-producing assets established by the parents prior to the 12-month period are considered to be parental support.

Evidence of Domicile

Evidence of Colorado domicile includes actions that would normally be expected of any permanent resident. Factors that constitute evidence of domicile are:

  • Payment of Colorado state income tax
  • Colorado driver’s license
  • Colorado vehicle registration
  • Voter registration in Colorado
  • Ownership and permanent occupancy of residential real property in Colorado
  • Permanent employment or acceptance of future permanent employment in Colo-rado (Note: employment offered by the university to students is not considered permanent)
  • Graduation from a Colorado high school
  • Continued residence in Colorado while not enrolled as a student

No single factor constitutes conclusive proof of domicile. All factors, positive and negative, are considered. All of the listed factors are not necessary, but individuals should take action on those factors that are appropriate in their circumstances.

Unemancipated Minors

Students as old as 22 may qualify for in-state tuition if either of their parents, regardless of custody, has been domiciled in Colorado for 12 consecutive months preceding the first day of class in a given semester, even if the students reside elsewhere. In certain circumstances, students may qualify through their parents up to age 23.

Students lose eligibility for in-state tuition if they (or their parents, if the students are unemancipated minors) maintain domicile outside Colorado for one year or more, unless the parents have lived in Colorado at least four years and meet other requirements.

In-state classification becomes effective at the beginning of the first term after one year of legal residence in Colorado. Changes of classification never take effect midterm.

Students who give false information to evade payment of out-of-state tuition or who fail to provide timely notice of their loss of in-state eligibility are subject to retroactive assessment of out-of-state tuition, as well as disciplinary and legal action.

In-State Status: Other Circumstances

Exceptions to the one-year residence requirement exist for the following:

  • Colorado National Guard members
  • Active-duty military stationed in Colorado
  • Honorably-discharged members of the U.S. armed forces
  • Returning active-duty military members
  • Canadian military stationed in Colorado
  • Employees of companies moving to Colorado receiving government economic incentives
  • Children of new faculty members at Colorado state colleges and universities
  • Western Regional Graduate program enrollees
  • U.S. citizens who are Colorado high school graduates and who attend a Colorado high school for three years immediately preceding enrollment, or Colorado G.E.D. holders who reside in Colorado the three years immediately preceding enrollment

For detailed explanations of the requirements for these exceptions, including spouse and child eligibility, go to