Academic Policies

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Full-Time Enrollment

To ensure the prompt completion of degree requirements, an undergraduate student is expected to register for and complete, each semester, a full-time course load as outlined in the University of Colorado Catalog or approved departmental curriculum guide.  A student must petition, and obtain approval in writing from the major department and the college, to be enrolled in less than 12 credit hours or more than 19 credit hours, during any semester.  Part-time enrollment will negatively impact a student’s financial aid, scholarships, and four-year graduation guarantee.  Also, part-time enrollment may impact health insurance and on-campus housing.


Successful work in the college is dependent upon regular attendance in all classes. Students who are unavoidably absent should make arrangements with instructors to make up the work missed.  Non-attendance does not constitute withdrawal from a course.  If a student stops attending a course in which they are formally enrolled, they are likely to receive a failing grade (F).

Add Policy

After the Add Deadline published by the Registrar’s Office, late course adds are processed by the instructor’s department (with instructor approval). Engineering students may not enroll in more than 19 credit hours in a semester (17 credit hours for first-semester students) without an approved college petition.

Drop Policy

Students may drop a class online through the Initial Drop Deadline published by the Registrar’s Office (during the third week of classes in a semester), without a “W” grade appearing on the student’s transcript.  After that date, students may still drop a class online through the Final Drop Deadline published by the Registrar’s Office (during the tenth week of classes in a semester), but a “W” grade will appear on the student’s transcript.  After the Final Drop Deadline, students must file a detailed college petition to request a late drop, which may be approved under the following conditions:

  • After the tenth week of class, a student may be approved to late drop a course if they had not previously attended or participated in the course, handed in homework, or taken any examinations.  Course instructor approval is required.
  • After the tenth week of class, a student may be approved to late drop a course only with documentation to verify circumstances beyond their control or a University error.  Course instructor approval is required.

Students are responsible for being aware of the consequences of a late drop(s), including impacts on financial aid/scholarships, health insurance, on-campus housing eligibility, academic progress towards degree requirements, etc.

Withdrawal Policy

If you are leaving the university during an academic semester/term or after having paid your registration deposit, you must withdraw from all courses through the Registrar’s Office. See for procedural information.  Students are responsible for being aware of the consequences of a withdrawal, including impacts on financial aid/scholarships, health insurance, on-campus housing eligibility, academic progress towards degree requirements, etc.

Repeating Courses

A student may not enroll more than three times in a course that applies towards degree requirements; furthermore, after the third attempt, a student may not substitute an equivalent course.  This means that a student has a maximum of three opportunities to show sufficient mastery of a particular subject area, whether the course is from CU-Boulder or through another collegiate institution.  Furthermore, the most recent occurrence of the subject is the grade which is applied (e.g., to meet a grade required for a pre-requisite course).  If a student has earned AP or IB college credit and then subsequently enrolls in that course content, the later grade is applied.  All grades will be employed to calculate grade point averages, including any courses which are repeated.

Final Examinations

If a student misses a final exam because of illness or other valid personal emergency, the student must notify the instructor and the Dean’s Office no later than the end of the day on which the final examination is given.  Failure to properly notify these officials is likely to result in an F grade in the course.  A student with three (3) or more examinations on the same day is entitled to arrange an alternative examination time for the last exam scheduled on that day; these arrangements must be made with the instructor of the exam to be rescheduled no later than the sixth week of the semester.  Also see the CU-Boulder Final Examination Policy at

Final Grade Appeal

The college’s grade appeal policy may be found here.

Latin Honors

The following system is effective with all undergraduate students entering this college in the Fall 2005 semester or later:  In recognition of high scholastic achievement by a student, the designations “Summa Cum Laude”, “Magna Cum Laude”, and “Cum Laude” will be awarded at graduation, and will be recorded on the diploma.  The specific qualifications to achieve these designations are 3.900 or higher for Summa Cum Laude, 3.800 to 3.899 for Magna Cum Laude, and 3.700 to 3.799 for Cum Laude.  The GPA is calculated from the student’s undergraduate career only.  At least 45 semester hours must have been earned on the Boulder Campus for the student to secure these designations.  Starting with August 2008 graduates, coursework through and including final semester/term grades, will be considered for these designations.

Dean’s List

Degree-seeking students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science who complete at least 12 semester credit hours taken for a letter grade on the Boulder Campus during the Fall or Spring semester, and earn at least a 3.600 semester grade point average, are automatically placed on the Dean’s List.  Notation of the Dean’s List is placed on the student’s transcript by the Office of the Registrar.

Double Majors/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.

Concurrent BS/MS Program

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.  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.  This 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.  In some departments, up to 6 hours of graduate coursework may be applied to the undergraduate degree.  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 joint BS/MS program.  The BS and MS degrees must be awarded concurrently at the completion of the degree program.  The tuition rate for students in this program will be at the undergraduate rate until the student is converted to graduate status, which will automatically happen when the student has 145 credit hours in the undergraduate career.

Important Announcements

CUEngineering:  A publication for alumni and friends. Read the 2016 edition of CUEngineering magazine here.

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