Academic Information

How do I add or drop a course after the deadline?

Please refer to the Office of the Registrar website's Drop/Add Calendar for specific deadline dates. There are deadlines to add or drop with just a professor's approval, and deadlines by which you need to obtain your dean's approval to add or drop. To obtain approval from the Dean of the Graduate School you must write a letter of petition explaining the reasons you are requesting a late add/drop. Your letter should be accompanied by a completed Special Action Form (for a current semester) or a Change of Record form (for a past semester), with appropriate instructor signature, which can be obtained in your department. For additional information contact your department or the Graduate School at 303-492-8220 gradinfo@colorado.edu

I need to be a full time student- what does that mean?

If you need to be a full time student according to the Graduate School's academic standards, please review the Graduate School Rules, Section 8: Full-time status and Minimum Registration Requirements.

The full time and part time standards of the Financial Aid office are different than those set by the Graduate School, and are established based partly on federal law. If you are receiving  any financial aid, or deferring any previous student loans, you MUST make sure you are in compliance with those registration requirements. You can look for information on the Financial Aid website.

How do I notify the Graduate School that I will be doing a comprehensive exam, final exam, or thesis defense?

If you will be doing a comprehensive exam, final exam, or thesis defense, the Graduate School must receive an examination report form 2 weeks before your exam date for committee approval.  The form is available on the Academic Forms page. Please fill out your name, date of exam, and list your committee members, and submit the form to your department to forward to the Graduate School.  Upon approval of your committee, the form will be sent back to your department. You’ll then use it at your exam to obtain signatures from all committee members. The form will be returned to the Graduate School to show that you passed the exam.

Do I need to be registered the semester I take my comprehensive or final exam/thesis defense?

Most masters students must complete a final exam or thesis/dissertation defense (contact your department for details on what constitutes the final exam in your program). All doctoral students will complete a comprehensive exam and either a final exam or dissertation defense. Students are required to be a regularly enrolled student on the Boulder campus during exams/defenses. If you do an exam in the summer, the same registration requirement applies.

Master’s Exams:

Master's students must be registered for at least 1 credit hour during the semester they do the final exam or thesis defense.

Certain departments require a Degree Plan Approval form instead of a master’s final exam for Plan II (non-thesis) master’s students. For these specific departments only, registration is not required for submission of this form.

Doctoral Exams:

During the comprehensive exam for the doctoral degree, students must be registered for at least one course credit of course hours or dissertation hours.

During the semester of dissertation defense, PhD students must be registered full time for a minimum of 5 dissertation hours. DMA and AuD students must be registered as full time students during the semester of the final exam.

What is a graduate faculty appointment and how does it affect my committee?

Any faculty member whose duties include teaching, thesis/dissertation supervision, or research supervision of CU Boulder graduate students must be appointed to the Graduate Faculty to ensure minimum standards of excellence in relation to graduate education.  All the members of your committee for a comprehensive exam, final exam, or thesis defense must have an appropriate and current Graduate Faculty Appointment.  Please work with your academic department to ensure that the members you are considering are eligible to serve on your committee.  If a new Graduate Faculty Appointment needs to be requested, your department will need to initiate that request.

What is the minimum GPA I am required to maintain? What grades must I have in my courses?

A student is required to maintain at least a B (3.0) average in all work attempted while enrolled in the Graduate School, and a student must have at least a 3.0 overall average to receive a graduate degree.  

Courses in which grades below B- (2.7) are received are not accepted for doctoral programs, and courses in which grades below C (2.0) are received are not accepted for master’s degree programs or for the removal of academic deficiencies.  Please contact your department to see if there are departmental requirements for course grades above and beyond those minimum standards.

What is the doctoral continuous registration requirement?

A Ph.D. student is required to register continuously as a full-time student, for a minimum of five dissertation hours in the fall and spring semesters of each year, beginning with the semester following the passing of the comprehensive examination and extending through the semester in which the dissertation is successfully defended (final examination). A student not being required to maintain full-time status and not using campus facilities may claim off-campus status, which allows registration for three rather than the minimum of five dissertation credit hours. Off-campus status (3 credits of dissertation hours) is considered part-time. All University considerations for part-time status apply.

D.M.A students who have passed their comprehensive exams must maintain continuous registration by registering for a minimum of one credit hour of D.M.A. dissertation credits (TMUS 8100-8399) or TMUS 8029 in the fall and spring semesters of each year, beginning with the semester following the passing of the comprehensive examination and extending through the semester in which the final examination is passed.

Au.D. students who have passed their comprehensive exams must maintain continuous registration by registering for four or five hours of graduate level course work each semester as required by the Audiology program, with five hours being taken during the semester in which the final examination is passed.

Additional full-time and part-time registration requirements may exist for international students or students receiving or deferring financial aid, though degree requirements remain the same. Affected students should consult with International Student and Scholar Services or the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Are there any time limits in place for completion of my degree?

Master’s degree students have four years (six years for students pursuing an M.E.) from the semester in which they are admitted and begin course work to complete all degree requirements. Doctoral degree students are expected to complete all degree requirements within six years from the semester in which they are admitted and begin course work in the doctoral program.  If you think you may need to request an extension of your time limit, please contact your department to discuss the process and work with your faculty advisor to endorse your request and plan.

What if I need to take a leave of absence?

Graduate students must apply for a leave of absence if they withdraw from or do not enroll in classes for a fall or spring semester. Graduate students who do not apply for a leave of absence will be discontinued and must reapply to the university in order to return to CU Boulder.

The leave of absence form must be filled out and then signed by your faculty advisor.  After obtaining that signature, please submit the form to the Graduate Student Services office to obtain the signature of the Dean of the Graduate School. The form can be dropped off or mailed, accompanied by the leave of absence fee.

Doctoral candidates who have passed their comprehensive examinations and concurrent bachelor's/master's degree students are not eligible, with the exception of parental leave. Students with questions or extenuating situations may contact the Graduate School for further guidance, at gradinfo@colorado.edu.

Transfer Credit

What constitutes transfer credit? What are the standards for transfer credit?

Transfer credit is defined as any credit earned at another accredited institution, credits earned on another campus of the CU system, or credits earned as a non-degree student within the CU system.

Master's students may transfer up to nine semester hours from an accredited university. Doctoral students may transfer up to 21 semester hours. The courses must be graduate level, and students must have obtained a grade of "B" or better on all work being considered for transfer, and the courses cannot have been used toward a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree of the same level.  Courses used toward a previously earned doctoral degree may not be transferred toward a subsequent master's degree. See the Transfer of Credit Request form for detailed information regarding transfer rules and eligibility.

How do I request to transfer credit?

Transfer of credit from another university:

To request a transfer of credit, fill out the Transfer of Credit Request form after you’ve completed 6 hours in your CU Boulder degree program with a GPA of 3.0 or better. You must attach an original transcript. Your transfer request must be evaluated and approved by your department first; then will be forwarded to the Graduate School for final approval.

Transfer of credit from another CU campus or as a non-degree student status:

While courses taken at another CU campus or as a non-degree student are considered to be transfer credit, these courses are already included on your CU transcript and no additional paperwork is necessary. Please list those courses in the transfer section when you fill out the Application for Admission to Candidacy. Transfer limits outlined above apply. Courses taken through the intercampus registration program or reciprocal exchange agreement are not considered to be transfer credit and will not count against the transfer limit.

How is international transfer of credit evaluated?

Graduate transfer credit determinations from international universities (or higher education institutions) follow the Graduate School guidelines as posted on the Graduate Transfer Credit form.  This includes the fact that credit may not be transferred until the student has completed, at the CU Boulder Graduate School, at least six credits of graduate level coursework as a degree-seeking student on the CU Boulder campus with a 3.0 GPA.  The process is initiated in the department with the Graduate School Request for Transfer of Credit form, which is completed and sent to the Graduate School.  International coursework will be evaluated by the International Admissions Team before the transfer request is considered by the Graduate School.  The International Admissions Team determines the following:  accreditation of the university (or higher education institution), level of study, number of credits per course that can transfer in, and grade equivalency.  These elements must meet the Graduate School criteria in order to be considered for transfer credit.  A report from the International Admissions Team will be sent to the Graduate School, which will then decide on acceptance of the requested credit and notify the department of the outcome.

How are ECTS credits transferred?

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are cut in half when transferring the credits to a US university with a semester system.  This includes the University of Colorado Boulder.  ECTS is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries. It is a central tool in the Bologna Process, which aims to make European national systems more compatible with each other.  ECTS is based on the premise that at a European university, one year of full-time academic coursework is equivalent to 60 ECTS.  It is general practice in the US to cut those in half to arrive at US semester credits, as 30 semester credits are generally considered to be one year of full-time academic coursework at US universities. 

Health Insurance

What should I know about health insurance?

“Gold Health Insurance” is the standard health insurance offered to students. Please see Wardenburg Health Center: Student Health Plans for further information on different plans. Review the policy of Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage before selecting or waiving the insurance. Please be aware: You will be enrolled and billed for the Student Gold Comprehensive Health Insurance unless you choose to waive the insurance or select a different plan by set deadlines.

Graduation

What should I do when I’m ready to graduate?

You must apply online to graduate through your student portal, and contact your department to make arrangements and fill out required forms. You can also see the required forms, along with a very important list of deadlines, on the Graduate School Academics: Graduation Requirements page. It is your responsibility to make sure that all forms are filled out and turned in by the appropriate deadlines. If your graduation plans change for any reason, you must re-apply to graduate for a new semester through the portal.

How do I apply online to graduate?

To apply to graduate, log in to myCUinfo.  Scroll to the bottom and select Apply for Graduation. This notifies the Graduate School and your department that you intend to graduate, and it provides necessary information to the Registrar's Office for ordering and shipping diplomas. If you do not complete requirements for the graduation you indicate on the online application, you must apply online to graduate for the new graduation date. You must apply to graduate online whether or not you plan to attend the ceremony.  Detailed instructions for applying to graduate can be found at http://www.colorado.edu/registrar/students/graduation/apply

Do I need to be registered during the semester I graduate?

Most masters students must complete a final exam or thesis/dissertation defense (contact your department for details on what constitutes the final exam in your program). All doctoral students will complete either a final exam or dissertation defense. Students are required to be a regularly enrolled student on the Boulder campus during exams/defenses. If you do an exam in the summer, the same registration requirement applies. Generally the final exam/thesis defense is done during the semester in which you plan to graduate, in which case registration is required. Specific egistration requirements for exams can be found in the FAQ regarding exam registration, under "academic information."

However, if you passed your exam or defense in a previous semester and were registered as required, you are not necessarily required by the Graduate School to register during the semester in which you officially graduate. This assumes, however, that you have all required hours and requirements fulfilled, and that you are not required to register for any OTHER reason. If, for example, you are holding a TA or RA or have financial aid, you may still be required to register to meet the requirements of other offices or federal guidelines. You must meet these requirements if they apply to you.  International students must contact the office of International Student and Scholar Services with regard to registration and graduation.

Where do I find information about thesis formatting?

Thesis specifications are available at Thesis and Dissertation Specifications. Sample pages are included for required elements. If you have further questions, contact the student services office at 303-492-8220 or gradinfo@colorado.edu. The Graduate School recommends that you have your thesis or dissertation format pre-checked by the Graduate School before submitting electronically. You can do that by e-mailing a pdf version of the document to gradinfo@colorado.edu.

How do I submit my thesis or dissertation?

All theses and dissertations must be submitted electronically, by the posted graduation deadlines, to the UMI/ProQuest websiteYou will receive a response when your submission has been reviewed, so you should check your e-mail to ensure that it has been approved or see if any changes are needed. Also, you must submit a signature page by the same thesis submission deadline. The signature page is page ii of your thesis, which needs to be printed out. Two original signatures are then obtained, the chair of your committee and any one other member, and the page should be sent or delivered to the Graduate School by the thesis/dissertation submission deadline.

What happens if I miss the posted graduation deadlines or need to postpone my graduation?

Graduation deadlines are set to allow the Graduate School to present graduates to the university as required.  If you plan to graduate in any given semester you must meet the established deadlines in order to have your degree awarded.  If you need to postpone your graduation, or if you miss any of those deadlines for any reason, you will need to plan to graduate in a future semester. Be sure to apply online to graduate for that upcoming semester. This is required so that the Graduate School will be aware of your graduation plans.

Please be aware: there is a grey area regarding the completion of exams or the thesis/dissertation defense. If you miss the deadlines for graduation you won’t be able to graduate in that semester, but you may not have to register for an additional semester. If your exam/defense falls between the deadlines for graduation and the first day of class for the following semester, and you were registered as required upon passing your exam, you will not be required by the Graduate School to register again. This assumes, however, that you have all required hours and requirements fulfilled, and that you are not required to register for any OTHER reason. If, for example, you are holding a TA or RA, or have financial aid, you may still be required to register to meet the requirements of other offices or federal guidelines. You must meet these requirements if they apply to you. You will need to apply to graduate in the following semester. Please be aware that your time limit for completion of degree or current extensions may affect your situation.  International students must contact the office of International Student and Scholar Services with regard to registration and graduation.  If you have questions please contact the Graduate School at 303-492-8220 or email us at gradinfo@colorado.edu.

Where can I find information about the commencement ceremony?

The campuswide commencement ceremony is held at the end of spring semester (May). CU Boulder does not confer degrees until official grades are posted and each college, school and program has verified that their students have satisfactorily completed their degree requirements. 

Visit the Commencement website for information on the commencement ceremony, including locations, times, and cap and gown rental. If you expect to complete your degree requirements in the summer or fall, you may still participate in the May ceremony.  For information on your departmental or college level commencement ceremony, please contact those departments directly.

Tuition, Funding & Financial Aid

How do I find out about different funding sources to help support my graduate studies here at CU?

Please visit our graduate student funding page for information on sources of institutional support as well as outside fellowships.

Why hasn't my bill been paid by my assistantship or scholarship?

Please contact your department or appointing authority. They can work with the Graduate School to ensure that things have been entered correctly or that the correct paperwork has been submitted.

Where is my refund check?

Refunds are made through direct deposit at the beginning of the semester. You must have signed up for direct deposit through CU Connect. If you have questions, contact the Bursar's Office at 303-492-5381 and follow this how-to guide to sign up for direct deposit.

How do I know what my tuition will be?

Check the Bursar's Office website for rates based on your graduate status and residency information.

What is my graduate status and how does that affect my tuition and fees?

Your graduate status is what determines how you are billed by the Bursar's Office. Master's students are normally "A" status; but can be "B" status if enrolled for "Master's Candidate for Degree" only. The change to "B" status is made automatically by the student information system based on registration. Contact the Bursar's Office for details.

Doctoral students who are taking course work and have not passed their comprehensive examination are  "C" status. Doctoral students who are taking dissertation hours only and have not passed their comprehensive exam are  "E" status. Once you have passed your comprehensive exam and been admitted to doctoral candidacy, you will be changed to "D" status by the Graduate School. The Graduate School must have both the Application for Admission to Candidacy and your signed comprehensive Exam Report Form in order to admit you to candidacy and make the change to "D" status. For detailed information about how these statuses affect your billing, contact the Bursar's Office, or visit the Graduate Student Registration Statuses page.