If there is a course that you are interested in taking but you’re not sure if it can apply to your degree, you can take the course as an elective. Note: You will still need to meet any prerequisites to be eligible to enroll.

How progress toward your degree is measured

Overall # of creditsIllustration of how a degree is achieved

  • CU requires a minimum of 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree.
    • You can complete more than 120, but need at least 120 to graduate 
  • 45 credits must be Upper Division (3000 or 4000 level)
    • Many students will need to take additional upper division credits beyond what is required for their major or minor in order to meet the 45 UD credit requirement

Categories of credits

  • CMCI CORE requirements (General Education categories)
  • Major Requirements (STCM, COMM, MDST, CMDP, INFO, or JRNL)
  • Secondary Area of Study (minor, certificate, second major, or dual degree)
Note: the number of credits required to fill specific categories of credit will vary from student to student depending on the major, the secondary area of study, and on which classes are taken for CMCI Core. 

General Electives are courses that apply to the overall credit requirement for your degree program, but do not meet any specific category requirements for general education or declared majors, minors, or certificates.

Major Electives are courses required for the major for which students can choose from a variety of course options.

Note: Major Electives are a required component of the Major and are different from the General Electives. Both types of electives apply towards your total degree credits. 

What counts as an elective:    

An elective can be any for-credit college course.

  • Electives can be courses that have CMCI core attributes like Arts and Humanities, People and Society, Natural World, etc. 
  • Electives can also be courses that cannot count towards core or major categories and can only be taken as electives. Advisors will often provide a list of elective-only courses to help students identify fun and interesting elective options.
  • Electives can be Lower Division or Upper Division
  • Lower division electives: 1000-2000 level courses
  • Upper division electives: 3000-4000 level courses (View a list of UD electives from A+S)

Saving elective credits 

Students planning to do a study abroad may want to “save” some of these elective credits for their study abroad semester(s) in order to keep their program options open. Not all programs offer all types of major credit.

Example: It is very difficult to find courses that count towards UD composition in Study Abroad.