Check here for student information about classes at CU Boulder, including exams and grading in a remote class setting, possible disruptions to classes, international student-specific questions and withdrawal/drop information.
Classes: Student Information FAQs
- Your instructors should be communicating their plans for remote teaching to you. Keep in touch with them and ask questions if you need clarity.
- Keep in mind that your instructors may have to restructure the course schedule and assignments for the purposes of effective remote teaching. Don’t assume that your courses will remain exactly the same in remote form as they are in person.
- Your classes may be offered “live,” through remote options that allow you to participate in real time, through such options as Canvas or Zoom. Until you know your instructors’ plans for each of your courses, do not change your schedule so that you will be busy during your regular course times.
- Check your likely access to technology if you need to work remotely or live in a different location. If you don’t have access to a computer, if your internet access is poor or if time zone shifts are making it difficult for you to participate in live class discussions, notify your instructors that you need accommodations for alternative ways to do your coursework remotely.
- The Office of Information Technology has provided minimum computer specifications for using the applications that your instructors may be using for remote teaching. Check to see if the computer you may be using meets those specifications.
- If you are not ill, you should plan to participate in class as normal if at all possible. If you are ill or if quarantine or self-isolation circumstances limit your access to technology, inform your instructors that you will not be able to attend class “live” and keep them informed about any major changes in your situation. Your instructors have been directed to provide alternative coursework options to students whose limited access to technology prevents them from accessing options on Canvas or Zoom.
- Your instructors have been urged not to require documentation such as appointment verifications or “doctor’s notes” for excused absences. As part of planning for the coronavirus situation and as sound public health practice, the Provost is directing health services on campus to cease the practice of providing appointment verifications. You will no longer be able to get such notes from Wardenburg Health Center, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and Student Support and Case Management (SSCM), and you should not be penalized for this fact.
- Student Support and Case Management can help you work with your instructors and navigate campus resources.
- Your instructors should be communicating their plans for giving exams and communicating feedback and grades to their students. Keep in touch with them and ask questions if you need clarity.
- Be prepared for the possibility that your instructor may alter the nature of exams and assignments in order to accommodate the need for students to complete them remotely. In place of an exam, for example, your instructor might substitute an essay or project. Exams might be take-home rather than taking place during the usual time slot for your class.
- Your instructors may give remote exams in a “synchronous” fashion, meaning that all students are taking the exam at the same time. Instructors have been advised to give synchronous exams at the regularly scheduled time for the class (for midterm exams) or at the time scheduled by the Registrar (for final exams).
- Students may be given a time limit to complete an online or remote exam. If you have documentation from Disability Services indicating that you should be given extra time to complete an exam, make sure that your instructor has this notice well in advance of the exam in order to meet your needs.
The Spring 2020 deadline for the last day to drop a class (with a W) has been extended to the last day of classes for undergraduate and graduate students—April 30 for full semester classes and will be prorated for special session classes. (Law students excluded.)
Keep in mind that unless the campus suspends operations entirely, students are expected to complete their classes. CU Boulder plans to continue operations with as little disruption to courses as possible.
- If you need to withdraw from all classes for the semester, complete and submit a withdrawal form by or before the last day of regular classes.
- Students who have satisfactorily completed a substantial amount of work for a given class, but are unable to complete the class due to reasons beyond their control may request an incomplete grade. This provides an extension of time beyond the semester to complete the work and receive a grade. See the CU Boulder Incomplete Policy.
Instructors who require student group meetings should tell those groups to meet remotely, using technologies such as Zoom. Students who have planned group meetings on their own may meet in groups at their own discretion, but it is advised that all such meetings take place remotely rather than face to face. Thesis defenses and comprehensive examinations are considered teaching sessions and should take place remotely rather than face to face.
- The U.S. Department of State on March 11 issued a Global Health Advisory (Level 3, reconsider travel) for worldwide travel, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 warning for COVID-19 in Europe that says: Avoid nonessential travel due to regional and global impacts of COVID-19.
- As a result, CU Boulder is suspending all Education Abroad programs globally for the spring 2020 semester. Students, their emergency contacts and advisors have been notified of these measures to protect the health, safety and well-being of our students.
- Students have been asked to depart from their programs and host countries as soon as possible. Education Abroad recommends that program participants return to their homes in the United States or their home countries as housing in Boulder is limited. Students could be subject to self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from certain locations, particularly in Europe.
- CU Boulder is working with study abroad programs to advocate that all due consideration be given to students for completion of their coursework through remote learning opportunities.
- Details remain uncertain right now. We will update our campus partners as we have more definitive information on this matter. For more information, please visit the CU Boulder Education Abroad webpage.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently issued guidance to colleges and universities that enables international students to temporarily participate in additional distance learning credits beyond what is currently allowed under visa rules if in-person courses are converted to online courses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact International Student and Scholar Services for advice about your particular situation.
- If you have an internship and cannot go to work because of illness, quarantine or self-isolation, or because your workplace is closed, contact your workplace supervisor and find out how contracted hours can be fulfilled. Is it possible to work remotely? Keep a log or other record of where you are on projects and make sure your supervisor has access to this. Also contact the internship coordinator or your faculty internship sponsor in your department to see if changes in your work schedule or work projects will change what you need to submit for review of your work for the course.
- If you are doing student teaching for teacher licensure and cannot go to school because of illness, quarantine or self-isolation, contact your teaching supervisor at the school. Students in CU Boulder’s teacher licensure program have more than enough hours in the classroom to allow for them to take some time off for illness. The School of Education is in touch with the Colorado Department of Education about how teacher licensure programs will be handled should Colorado schools close.
- Most other off-campus CU Boulder courses will move to remote teaching at the same time as courses offered on campus. Be in touch with your instructor for their plans for remote teaching. If you are taking a special short-term course that requires that the students and faculty travel to a remote location, your instructor will communicate whether the course will take place as planned.
Contact the faculty member who is supervising your research. If progress on your research project is affected by a campus closure or by your own illness, quarantine or self-isolation, work with them to focus on different aspects of their projects that can be completed remotely, e.g., data analysis and conducting tests in virtual environments.
It is an express CU Boulder policy that all students at all times have the right to lodge a complaint or grievance which they deem important without fear of retaliation of any sort or any other adverse consequence as a result of doing so. See Student Appeals, Complaints, and Grievances: A Brief Guide for how to make a complaint or lodge a grievance.
- If you are already registered with Disability Services, please consult the Student Accommodation Resources for Remote Learning, and contact your Access Coordinator with any specific questions.
- If you are not currently registered, you will need to register with Disability Services.
- See also Tips for Excelling in an Online Learning Environment for advice for succeeding in your online course.
The Graduate School maintains an updated FAQ page on its website that provides details on adjustments being made to appointments, academic procedures, graduation requirements and Graduate School operations. Graduate students are encouraged to continue to work closely with their advisors throughout the semester. Email the Graduate School staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions that have not already been included in CU Boulder’s coronavirus updates and resources page.
Spring semester 2020
The Chancellor has required that all teaching and office hours take place remotely from March 16 until the end of the Spring 2020 semester, May 6. This includes final exams. Decisions will be made at a later date about teaching during the Maymester and summer session terms.
The campus will continue operations through the end of finals on May 6. Finals occur May 2-6.
Effective Monday, March 16, all classes and exams are being conducted remotely using technology such as Canvas and Zoom, to enable students to complete their educational requirements for the semester.
With the shift to online teaching and learning, the CU Boulder campus is now operating under enhanced protocols for building access, effective Monday, March 16. This means that most buildings will require students, faculty and staff to swipe their Buff OneCards at entrances equipped with card readers for entry.
For more information about the status of campus buildings, please see the Campus Building Access FAQs.
If you have concerns or are unsure about your instructor’s plans for remote teaching, stay in touch and ask questions. You and your instructor know best where you are in the class. It’s best to reach out yourself rather than having someone else do it for you.
Here are a few tips for communicating your concerns with your instructors:
- Prior to reaching out, check Canvas and other communication from your instructors to see if your question or concern has already been addressed.
- If your instructor has a preferred communication method (such as email) use that channel.
- Students should use their colorado.edu addresses to email their instructors in order to ensure compliance with student privacy regulations.
- When emailing your instructor, be genuine and detailed. Include the name of the class, your full name and the reason for your email.
- Express your concerns and give context about where you are coming from. If possible, offer solutions.
- Open the door for conversation, and be open to working with your instructor to find other solutions and ideas.
- Remember that this will be a dialogue. As we work through transitions to remote learning, your questions may not be resolved in one email or message.
The CU Book Store partnered with their digital course materials platform, VitalSource, and leading publishers, to launch VitalSource Helps, a program offering limited free access to e-books for students who may have lost access to course materials.
Visit bookshelf.vitalsource.com to access free e-books through May 25 with your colorado.edu email address. VitalSource Helps provides access to an expansive catalog of e-books, but some content may not be available and access is limited to seven titles.
The rental check-in deadline has been extended to June 1, 2020. For those who prefer, rental books may be returned by mail and the bookstore is working on additional details of a ship back program. Please check back for more information or contact email@example.com.
Should you wish to send your books back prior, please mark the package as follows and be sure to include your full name and IdentiKey username (not your password) with your books:
CU Book Store
ATTN: Rental Returns
1669 Euclid Avenue
Boulder, CO 80309
If you choose not to return your rental books, they will be converted to a purchase and you will be charged the difference between the rental and purchase price. You will not be charged additional fees. Please note that the rental prices are low in many cases and the difference may be quite large. The CU Book Store recommends you do what you can to return the books.
Staff will continue to monitor email, please reach out with questions firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CU Book Store will be offering textbook sellback when the store reopens. More details will be available on the CU Book Store website.
If your class is using course materials that are available in a digital format, we encourage you to purchase that format. Digital materials are available for purchase at cubookstore.com and you will be able to access them immediately. If your course is using Day 1 Digital Access materials you will access them through Canvas and your tuition and fee bill will be charged. More information may be found on the bookstore FAQ.
If ordering physical materials, students are encouraged to place an order and have their materials shipped or use in-store pick up when the CU Book Store re-opens. Please be aware that supply chain and other logistical challenges may arise related to the Coronavirus pandemic making physical textbook availability limited. All shipped orders currently receive free ground shipping and staff are shipping orders on Monday and Thursday afternoons.
Students may charge digital and physical books to their student tuition and fee bill; additional information may be found here. Staff will continue to monitor email, please reach out with questions to email@example.com.
Lifting pass/fail restrictions for spring 2020 semester
The COVID-19 virus has caused tremendous upheaval in students’ academic and personal lives. Lifting pass/fail restrictions for the spring 2020 semester only will help alleviate stress for students worried about how the move to remote teaching and learning, as well as other changes and pressures in their lives occasioned by COVID-19, might affect their academic performance.
Allowing students to choose the pass/fail option provides them the choice to take a class for a letter grade. We feel that many students will want to claim the letter grades they have earned.
At this time, there are no plans to extend these lifted restrictions on pass/fail options past the spring 2020 semester.
For the spring 2020 semester, there are very few exceptions to the P/F option. They include: classes in the University of Colorado Law School; Coursera-based classes in the MS-Electrical Engineering program; classes that require a letter grade for such purposes as licensure; and graduate thesis or dissertation sections as well as other graduate courses with the “in progress” grading basis. Students should ask their advisors if they have questions about whether the P/F option is in their best interest based on academic and career goals.
See the guidelines from the Office of the Registrar for editing your class options.
The deadline for declaring a class P/F is the last day of classes for the spring 2020 semester, April 30. For special session classes that have a last day other than April 30, the class’s last day is the deadline for declaring the P/F option. See special session calendar.
Yes. You can change your decision back to receiving a letter grade, as long as you complete that change by the deadline, which is the last day of classes for the semester, April 30. For special session classes that have a last day other than April 30, the class’s last day is the deadline for changing the P/F option back to a letter grade. See special session calendar.
A grade of “P” (pass) appears on your transcript if you earn a grade of D- or above.
No. The Office of the Provost, in collaboration with the Boulder Faculty Assembly and the deans of the schools and colleges developed the options related to pass/fail as described in the March 26 memo from Provost Moore. This collaborative decision was made with the best interests of our students in mind.
A grade of “P” (pass) appears on your transcript if you earn a grade of D- or above. It is included in your earned credit totals, but it doesn't affect your GPA. A grade of F (fail) will be factored into your GPA.
Yes.The class will count for your major or degree requirements as long as you earn a grade of “P” (pass). For spring 2020 only, all degrees and majors have lifted their restrictions on what courses may be taken P/F, with very limited exceptions as described elsewhere in these FAQs.
Yes. For spring 2020 semester only, classes in which you earn a “P” grade will count toward your degree or major requirement, even if the grade that converted to “P” was below the grade requirement for that particular course.
Yes. For spring 2020 semester only, classes in which you earn a “P” grade will count toward master’s and doctoral degree requirements, except for degrees in law. Colorado Law students will be graded with a credit/no-credit system that is explained elsewhere in these FAQs.
No, the student option was extended to graduate classes originally set up to be letter graded only. Excluded from this option are graduate thesis/dissertation sections as these have a grading basis that includes in progress grades that are typically assigned for multiple semesters. Grading for thesis/dissertation sections will remain unchanged.
No. For spring 2020 semester only, pass grades earned in spring 2020 will not be counted against school/college limits on “P” credits for undergraduate or graduate degrees, or against limits on “P” credits within undergraduate majors.
Since prerequisite grades are designed to ensure that students who take a course in a sequence are prepared to succeed in the next course in the sequence, published prerequisite grades for classes taken in spring 2020 will still be enforced. After the end of the semester, colleges, schools, and departments/programs will have access to the original letter grades that were converted to grades of “P.”
If a student’s letter grade satisfies the prerequisite, departments will mark the prerequisite requirement as fulfilled.
If the student’s letter grade is below the grading standard to satisfy a prerequisite,the prerequisite will not be fulfilled.
P/F courses for IUT are evaluated in the same way that P/F courses for prerequisites are evaluated. After the end of the semester, colleges, schools and departments/programs will have access to the letter grades that were converted to grades of “P.” The letter grades may be used by colleges and schools to determine eligibility for IUT purposes. The intent is to ensure that students are prepared to succeed in the college or school into which they want to IUT.
No. As in current practice, instructors will not be informed that students have chosen the P/F option for a class. At the end of the semester, the instructor submits letter grades for all students. The letter grade is converted to “P” or ”F” by the Office of the Registrar for students who have chosen the P/F option. Grades of “D–” or higher convert to “P.”
If you have concerns about how P/F grades might impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress and thus affect your financial aid, review the policy and contact the Office of Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-492-5091. For questions about how P/F grades might impact scholarship eligibility, email email@example.com.
Yes. Tuition remission associated with eligible graduate student appointments covers courses taken P/F.
Contact your academic advisor, who will help guide you in determining whether the P/F option in a class is appropriate for your individual goals (for example, licensure or medical school or graduate school application).
Contact your academic advisor, who will help guide you in determining whether the P/F option in a class is a good choice. Remember that a grade of “P” will not raise or lower your GPA, but a grade of “F” will be factored into your GPA.
No. For spring 2020 semester only, the drop deadline has been extended until the last day of classes, April 30. For special session classes that have a last day other than April 30, the class’s last day is the deadline for dropping a class. See special session calendar. The normal policies for requesting a grade of incomplete apply in spring 2020. Consult your instructor if you would like to request a grade of incomplete.
If you are currently retaking a class for grade replacement, you cannot change the grading basis to P/F. See the grade replacement policy for more information. If you are taking a class for a letter grade in spring 2020 that you wish to use to invoke grade replacement for a previous class attempt, that deadline has been extended to the last day of classes. In the future, you can invoke grade replacement on a course you took P/F if your grade was fail. This means if you fail a P/F class in spring 2020, you can invoke grade replacement on it in a future semester.
es. However, prerequisite grades will still be enforced for sequenced foreign language courses.(See the FAQ on prerequisite grades.) For spring 2020 semester only, any college/school requirement that the last course in the sequence must be taken for a letter grade is waived.
For questions about how taking classes P/F might affect your veteran benefits, contact the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about how taking classes P/F might affect your visa status, contact the International Student and Scholar Services at email@example.com.
All University of Colorado Law courses will be graded on a credit/no-credit (CR/NC) basis in spring 2020. The CR grade is equivalent to a grade of “pass” in Colorado Law’s current system. An NC grade will be assigned to those students not performing sufficiently, in the judgment of the instructor, to receive credit for the course. Colorado Law students who have questions about CR/NC should check with their academic advisors.
We encourage you to continue your coursework in order to minimize academic disruption and any negative impacts to your financial aid. If you’re considering withdrawing from courses, your financial aid may be reduced or canceled, so we recommend speaking with a financial aid counselor before making that decision.
There will not be any adjustments to tuition and fees while classes are being taught remotely.
Yes. Tuition remission associated with eligible graduate student appointments covers courses taken P/F.
There will not be any adjustments to tuition and fees. Students are encouraged to work with their professor if they need additional accommodations to complete their course.