May: Complete these tasks to prepare for academic advising

May 28th: Start connecting with academic advising

You can connect with your advisor over the summer in two main ways: group advising sessions and drop-in hours. Please note that if you confirmed your enrollment and matriculated just recently, you may not be assigned to an advisor yet. However, you should still be able to find and sign up for a group advising session.   

Group Advising

  • Group advising sessions are offered Monday-Friday throughout the summer. All sessions are virtual via Zoom.

  • To find and sign up for a group advising session and obtain the Zoom link for that session:

    • Go to Buff Portal Advising and Log in as a Current Student. Under Student Success Team, click on the "View All Calendars" link, then check the "Other Helpful Meetings" box to view available dates and times (all times listed in Mountain Daylight Time). Group advising sessions are labeled as "Enrollment Essentials." Please click ahead on the calendar to see future dates and times (through June and July).

Drop-In Advising

  • All drop-ins are virtual via Zoom. To find and access drop-in advising:

    • Go to Buff Portal Advising and Log in as a Current Student. Under Student Success Team, click on your academic advisor’s picture to open up their calendar, and look for “[Advisor’s name] First Year Advising Drop Ins." During the designated hours, you will be admitted into the waiting room until your advisor is available to meet with you.

  • Note: With drop-ins, you cannot book a spot in advance or enter your advisor's waiting room outside of the designated hours.

Enrollment Essentials Presentation Slides

Click here for presentation slides

June: Additional steps to prepare for registration

Step 1

Remember to select your enrollment window

You will be prompted to choose your enrollment window after completing the "Enrolling in Classes Module" of the Online Experience. To select your enrollment window, log into Buff Portal and navigate to Register for Classes on your New Student Welcome Experience card. You can also view the dates you selected on Buff Portal's enrollment dates card

Note: You must complete the Online Experience before you register for classes.

Step 2

Learn more about your major requirements and explore options to customize your degree

The College of Arts & Sciences offers many ways to customize your degree at CU Boulder. Before you register for classes, we recommend reviewing your intended major's requirements and example four-year plan(s) of study, and exploring any other majors, minors, or certificates you might be interested in.

Learn more about Arts & Sciences majors, minors, and certificates.


Step 3

Learn more about the Arts & Sciences General Education (Gen Ed) requirements

General Education requirements cover a range of subjects and skills that allow you to explore as you pursue your CU Boulder degree.

The Arts & Sciences Gen Ed requirements are fully outlined and explained here.

Gen Ed courses can be taken throughout the time you are working on your degree, and many first-year students enroll in one or more Gen Eds in their first semester.

Step 4

Review your degree audit

Do you have transfer and/or AP/IB credits and want to know how they were applied? Are you wondering if you already fulfilled the World Language requirement or not? Your degree audit is where you can find out (remember that your official transcripts/test scores must be received and processed by CU Boulder first).

What is a degree audit?

A degree audit is a tool students use to track their requirements and make sure they are taking classes to progress in their degree. Think of it as a checklist of all degree requirements that need to be met in order to graduate.

Screenshot of Degree Audit home screen

To find and view your degree audit:

  • Review the class registration guide card in Buff Portal.
  • Expand the "Plan" section, then select "View Degree Audit."
  • When the degree audit loads, click on “Open All Sections” on the left side of the screen before the start of the audit.

Screenshot of where to click in Degree Audit to open all sections

Learn more about running a degree audit for different programs. Open Option students will need to do this to explore and see degree requirements for different majors of interest.

Degree Audit Breakdown

Screenshot of Degree Audit legend

After you open all sections, the degree audit may seem overwhelming at first.

Below is a general breakdown of the sections of the degree audit:

  • Section 1- Overall credit and GPA requirements to graduate from the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • Section 2- General Education requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences. 
  • Section 3- Specific requirements for your major (not applicable at this time if you are Open Option).
  • Section 4- Coursework history.
  • Section 5- Legend that outlines the symbols used to show when courses are completed, planned, in progress, or unfulfilled.

Note: The degree audit does not list the order in which major classes should be taken. For that, refer back to your major requirements using the link from Step 2.

Using Class Search Filters

Upper Section: Basic Filters

When searching for classes:

Set the “Any Campus” filter to Boulder Main Campus.  
Set the “Any Career/Course Level” filter to Undergrad Lower Division.

Check the "Avoid Schedule Conflicts" box (this will be more relevant once you have priority classes in your cart).

If you have a job, family obligations, etc., you can also use the "Avoid Certain Time Periods" feature.

Screenshot of upper section of the Class Search

Middle Section: General Education / Core Courses Search

To search by Arts & Sciences Gen Ed categories:

Click on "General Education / Core Courses Search" to expand the menu.

Click on "Any A&S GenEd Attributes (Fall 2018+)" to expand that menu, and then select the category you want.

Tip: Keep your major in mind when exploring. An Astronomy major, for example, will complete the Natural Sciences Distribution through their required major coursework. So, they may want to spend more time on exploring classes in the Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences Distributions.

Screenshot of A&S Gen Ed filter in the Class Search

Lower Section: Advanced Search Filters

There are a number of potentially helpful advanced filters, but we want to call out the "Open, Waitlisted, or Closed" filter in particular. We encourage students to set it to Open Only so they do not have to read through the course information to find out whether or not seats are available.

Setting the filter to Open Only is especially useful if you are in your enrollment window and looking to round out your schedule. You do not want to waste time looking at classes that are already full!

Note: You are not able to waitlist for classes during your enrollment window.

Screenshot of Advanced Search section of Class Search

Step 6

Build your shopping cart

The Registrar's website has a great guide of the different actions to use when creating and editing your cart. Be sure to review the adding, dropping and swapping class tiles.

Registration glossary and key terms

  • Recitation: This is a required component of some larger lecture-style classes. This is a smaller meeting (typically once a week) in addition to the lecture. 

  • Lab: Interactive workshop component of a class usually held in a laboratory. The laboratory meeting time is separate from the lecture, although it is often associated with the lecture. 

  • Lower Division: Any 1000 or 2000 level course. These are most appropriate for first-year students. 

  • Prerequisite: A prerequisite is a specific course that you must complete before you can take another course at the next level. For example, successful completion of MATH 1150 (Precalculus) is a prerequisite for enrollment in MATH 1300 (Calculus 1), meaning you need to complete MATH 1150 with a certain grade before you can take MATH 1300.  

  • Corequisite: Sometimes classes are corequisites, meaning you can either take it before the other class OR at the same time as the other class. For example, enrollment in CHEM 1114 (Laboratory for General Chemistry 1) is a corequisite for enrollment in CHEM 1113 (General Chemistry 1), meaning you need to take them together. 

  • Registration Restrictions for a specific class will let you know if it’s restricted to majors or students in a specific college.  

  • Open Sections Restricted to Specific Student Populations: Keep an eye out for odd-looking course sections such as 214R or 300E or 880. Such sections may appear to have open seats but are limited to specific groups on campus and unavailable to others.

  • Continuing Education (CE) Courses: Continuing Education is a division of CU Boulder with a population primarily consisting of non-traditional students. CU Boulder undergraduate and graduate students can enroll in classes through CE but there are a couple of things to consider. First, CE classes are billed separately and tuition rates are different. This is especially important to consider if you are an out of state student. Second, CE classes are mostly taught online and are often delivered asynchronously. If you are considering a class through CE, please discuss it first with your academic advisor

July or August: Time to register!

If you have followed this guide over the summer, you should be ready for your enrollment window! If you have not done so already, make sure you complete pre-registrationthis is required for you to complete each time you register for classes. We have some additional reminders/tips for registration below.

Reminder: Prepare your cart before your enrollment window, but also keep in mind that adding classes to your cart does not guarantee you will get into them. To be as prepared as possible, make sure you have a backup plan!

Reminder: Enroll in required recitations or labs. If you want to register for a class that has a required recitation or lab element, make sure you have added both a lecture section and a corresponding recitation/lab section to your cart. Missing one element or the other will delay the submission of your cart!

Tip: Review your cart again before your enrollment window opens. Are there still seats available in the classes you chose, including any recitation or lab sections? If not, you will still have time to adjust your cart.

Tip: Set an alarm reminder for your enrollment window. To have the best chance of getting into your preferred classes, be prepared to submit your cart immediately when your enrollment window opens. Remember, the time your window opens is in Mountain Time.