Welcome to the College of Arts & Sciences at CU Boulder! We know there is a lot to do and keep track of as you prepare for your first semester, so we want to help make your transition as smooth as possible! We created this page, organized alphabetically by topic, to address the most common inquiries that we receive from incoming students.   

Academic Advisors

Who is my assigned academic advisor? How/where do I find them?

Log into Buff Portal Advising and look at your Student Success Team and/or check your CU Boulder email for a welcome/introduction email from your academic advisor.*

*Note: If you confirmed your enrollment and matriculated just recently, you may not be assigned to an advisor yet. Please understand that it takes a bit of time for things to process. Rest assured that your academic advisor will appear according to the appropriate process/timeline. You will never need to request that an academic advisor be assigned to you, nor will you ever need to request an appointment. The assignment process is automatic, and students can schedule their own appointments.

If you believe that you matriculated more than a week ago and still do not have an advisor, please email asadvising@colorado.edu.

I have changed majors within Arts & Sciences since being assigned to an academic advisor. Does that mean I should get reassigned to a different one?

If you are an incoming first-year student, then no. First-year students do not change advisors even if/when they change majors.

If you are an incoming transfer student, then yes, your academic advisor may change. However, reassignment would happen automatically; you do not need to specifically request the change.

Adding a Major or Minor

I want to declare an additional major or a minor. How can I do that?

Incoming students cannot declare an additional major or a minor. They must wait at least until classes begin. For further guidance, discuss your plans with your assigned academic advisor.
 

AP/IB Credit

Will I receive credit for my AP/IB exam scores? How will those credits be applied?
My AP/IB exam scores were high enough to give me credit for specific CU Boulder courses. Could I still take those courses if I want to?

Yes, but please be aware that you will not receive duplicate credit. Connect with your assigned academic advisor to discuss the potential pros and cons of taking a class that you have already earned credit for.

Buff Portal Advising

I am having trouble accessing Buff Portal Advising. What should I do?

In general, we find that incoming students report Buff Portal Advising issues because:

  • They have not confirmed their enrollment, so they have not officially matriculated (been activated) yet.
  • Or, they confirmed their enrollment very recently and/or have not activated their IdentiKey, so they do not have full access to CU systems yet.

Make sure that you have confirmed your enrollment and activated your IdentiKey. After that, please understand that it can still take a few days for things to process.

Actual technical issues are rare in our experience, but if you believe that to be the case, first contact oithelp@colorado.edu for assistance. Then, please feel free to contact us at asadvising@colorado.edu, and we would be happy to help you schedule an appointment while your issue is being resolved.

When I log into Buff Portal Advising, there is no one appearing in my Student Success Team. What should I do?

If you confirmed your enrollment and matriculated just recently, you may not be assigned to an advisor yet. Please understand that it takes a bit of time for things to process. Rest assured that your academic advisor will appear according to the appropriate process/timeline. You will never need to request that an academic advisor be assigned to you, nor will you ever need to request an appointment. The assignment process is automatic, and students can schedule their own appointments.

If you believe that you matriculated more than a week ago and still do not have an advisor, please email asadvising@colorado.edu.

Changing Majors

I want to change my major. How can I do that?

Incoming students wishing to change majors must do so through the Office of Admissions. Log into your application status page, and there you should see an option to submit a major change request form. Complete that form to be considered. Major changes are not guaranteed, and there are typically additional steps needed when requesting to change from one college or school into another. If you already changed your major once and are trying to request a second major change, please contact your admissions counselor.

Class Search

I am looking at the Class Search in preparation for registration, and it seems like many classes are already full. Should I be concerned?

There is no need for concern! Generally speaking, information you see in the Class Search is likely to change by the time you actually register. Please rest assured that you will be able to enroll in an appropriate schedule of classes. 

Deferring Admission

My situation has changed and I want/need to defer my admission. How do I defer, and what do I need to know about deferring?

You can request to defer your enrollment for up to one year by using the term change form on your application status page. Fill it out with the term to which you would like to be deferred, the reason(s) for the deferral, and what you will be doing during the deferment period.

For more information, read the Term Change FAQ page.

Enrollment Windows (first-year students only)

How do I select an enrollment window?

Before you can select an enrollment window, you must complete the Online Experience. Once you have completed the Online Experience: Log into your Buff Portal → Home Page → New Student Welcome Card → Register for Classes → Sign Up for an Enrollment Window.

Is it better to have an early enrollment window? If I select a later window, will I have a harder time getting into classes?

Early enrollment windows are not necessarily better than the later ones. Many key classes will have a set number of seats reserved for each window, so students in every window will have the same opportunity to access them. More important than the window itself is making sure you have prepared your cart and are ready to enroll the moment your window opens.

What happens if I miss my window, or if I feel unprepared?

We recommend that you do not pick an enrollment window unless you are absolutely sure it will work for you. However, if you somehow miss your enrollment window due to unforeseen circumstances, there is no need to worry. You will be automatically moved to a later one by New Student & Family Programs. You will receive an email to your CU Boulder email account with the information regarding the new enrollment window.

Make sure you follow our registration guide before your chosen enrollment window. If you have missed any steps and feel unprepared for your enrollment window, we recommend first contacting New Student & Family Programs to see if you can move your window. Or, you can take no action and be automatically moved to a later window.

Online Experience

I am having issues with accessing and/or completing the Online Experience. Who should I contact?

Contact New Student & Family Programs at welcome@colorado.edu or 303-492-4431.

I believe that I already completed the Online Experience, but I still have the hold. What should I do?

The Online Experience hold may not be released immediately upon completion. It is typical for there to be some delay between completion and the release of the hold. However, if you believe that you completed the Online Experience more than 3 days ago, contact New Student & Family Programs at welcome@colorado.edu or 303-492-4431.

Placement Assessments

Which placement assessments do I need to take?

First-year students: Placement assessments are a great source of information for both you and your academic advisor. We recommend completing all placement assessments so you have a variety of options available to you.

Transfer students: Connect with your academic advisor to discuss which placement assessments may be appropriate. 

You can find more information and the links to the placement assessments here.  

Registration- First-Year Students

How many credits do I need to enroll in?

To be considered a full-time undergraduate student, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours.

It looks like I was automatically enrolled in a class or multiple classes. Do I have to take them? Can I make adjustments?

You were automatically pre-enrolled in classes your major recommends students take in their first semester. We recommend taking these courses unless you plan to change your major, as these courses will ensure you begin making progress toward your intended major. We also recommend you try to remain in the class section/s that you are originally placed in. Attempting to switch sections may cause difficulties if you lose your spot in one section and then cannot join a different one. In general, you should not make any changes to these classes without consulting with your assigned academic advisor first. 

How does registration work for RAP/LLC or Honors classes?

Special program registration is a separate process that happens before your enrollment window. You will receive instructions directly from your program, so make sure you are carefully monitoring your CU Boulder email!

One point of clarification: If you were invited to participate in the Honors Program, but you are not in the Honors RAP, then it is not a separate process and you will be able to register for an Honors class during your enrollment window.

I am in my enrollment window and I need help! What should I do?

Try connecting with your assigned academic advisor! Advisors will have drop-in availability during enrollment windows. Log into Buff Portal Advising and click on your academic advisor’s picture to check their calendar. You can also reach out directly to ASFYAdvising@colorado.edu for support.

Are you receiving an error message when trying to register? Consult the Enrollment Error Messages page for troubleshooting advice.

Registration- Transfer Students

How many credits do I need to enroll in?

To be considered a full-time undergraduate student, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours.

I missed the initial registration period. Can you reopen registration for me or manually enroll me in classes?

We cannot reopen registration for you or manually enroll you in classes. Registration will reopen on Monday 7/15.

I am trying to register for a class that I should be eligible for, but the system does not recognize me as having fulfilled the prerequisite/s. What should I do?

Connect with your assigned academic advisor for assistance.

I want/need to register for a certain class based on my academic advisor’s recommendation, but it is already full and has a waitlist. What should I do?

Follow up with your assigned academic advisor for further guidance.

Transcripts

Which transcripts need to be submitted to CU Boulder?

Your final, official high school transcript.

If you took college-level classes during high school, the final, official transcript from that institution is also needed (not just your high school transcript).

Final, official transcript/s from any other higher education institutions you have attended.

How/where do I submit my final, official transcripts?

Final, official transcripts must be submitted directly from the issuing institution/s to transcripts@colorado.edu. You cannot submit your own transcripts, as they will not be considered official.

My transcripts were submitted. How can I tell if they have been received and processed?

If you are transferring in college-level credits: In Buff Portal, navigate to Class Registration Guide -> Plan -> View Degree Audit -> Transfer Evaluations tab. If you see “UNOFFICIAL EVAL” and “Need Official Transcript” underneath your transfer credits, it means your final, official transcripts have not yet been received and processed.

If you only have a high school transcript: feel free to contact asadvising@colorado.edu and we can check for you.