If you are considering changing your major or adding a major, please see information here.

Credit hours required for graduation that were earned more than 10 years prior to entering the current CEAS degree program are not guaranteed to apply towards degree due to the age of the coursework (whether the credit was earned from CU Boulder, another institution, or AP/IB/CLEP, etc.).  Students should consult with their academic advisor to determine if they need to petition for the coursework to be considered for applying towards the current program.

Degree-seeking undergraduate students in the College who complete at least 12 semester credit hours taken for a letter grade on the Boulder Campus during the Fall or Spring semester, and earn at least a 3.600 semester GPA, are automatically placed on the Dean’s List. Notation of the Dean’s List is placed on the student’s transcript (displayed at the end of the semester earned).

To ensure the prompt completion of degree requirements, an undergraduate student is expected to register for and complete a full-time course load (i.e., 12 or more credit hours each semester).  Part-time enrollment may negatively impact a student’s financial aid, scholarships, four-year graduation guarantee, health insurance, and/or on-campus housing.  A student must petition to be enrolled in more than 19 credit hours during any semester (or for more than 17 credit hours during their first semester at CU).

If you fail a course that is required for your degree, you will need to retake it and pass it in order to meet your degree requirements. All “F” grades are calculated into your GPA and can cause a significant decline in GPA, unless you retake a course with Grade Replacement.  If you are struggling in a course, contact your academic advisor to learn more about academic resources and support.

If a student wishes to appeal his or her final grade in an engineering undergraduate or graduate level course, please refer to the College’s official grade appeal policy and procedures on the college's faculty and staff website.

Minimum Grades At minimum, pre-requisite courses require a grade of C- or higher to enroll in the subsequent course. Some majors require an even higher grade for pre-requisite courses. Some majors require minimum grades in certain courses, even if they are not pre-requisite courses. Check with you academic advisor regarding grade minimums for your major.
Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) You must maintain 2.000 (2.250 prior to December 2021) semester and cumulative GPAs to maintain good academic standing in the College. In order to graduate with a BS degree, you must have a 2.000 (2.250 prior to December 2021) cumulative GPA as well as a 2.000 (2.250 prior to December 2021) Major GPA.

The overall University of Colorado GPA (also called Cumulative GPA) is computed as follows:

  • Add up all the "quality points" for the courses you have taken.  You can find the quality points earned for each course printed on your transcript in the far right column (you can print an unofficial copy of your transcript from MyCUInfo.colorado.edu).
  • Divide the total number of quality points by the quality units to get your GPA. Courses with grade symbols of P, NC, *** , W, and I are excluded when totaling the credit hours that go into quality units.
  • Tip: See the very end of your transcript for the total number of quality points, and quality units, going into your cumulative GPA.

Your Major GPA is calculated as follows:

  • Add up the “quality points” for courses in your major (e.g., MCEN courses if you are a mechanical engineering major, PHYS courses if you are an engineering physics major, check with your advisor to learn which courses go into your Major GPA).
  • Divide the total number of quality points by the total number of major-course quality units to get your Major GPA.

Grades of F earned for courses graded on a pass/fail option are included in the GPA.  Incompletes that are not completed within one year are calculated as F grades in the GPA.

Tip: Your degree audit calculates and displays your “Cumulative GPA” and “Major GPA”.

Students must meet all graduation requirements to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a College of Engineering and Applied Science degree program.

Incomplete grades are given only when students, for documented reasons beyond their control, are unable to complete course requirements. A substantial amount of work must have been satisfactorily completed before approval for such a grade is given. An Incomplete Grade Record Form must be completed by the instructor and student. In addition to reflecting the course and term taught, it also states what work must be completed to award the final grade and when the work must be finished (not to exceed one year). Incomplete grades are not calculated into the GPA. If a student does not complete a course assigned an Incomplete grade within one year, the Incomplete grade will automatically convert to an F grade. Students cannot repeat an equivalent course at another campus of the university or at another institution and expect the CU-Boulder grade of “I” to be removed, changed, or excluded from conversion to an F. A student is expected to complete any course with an “I” grade and not to re-enroll in a course in which a grade of “I” was awarded. Once the work has been completed, the instructor must complete and submit a Change of Record form. However, it is the student's responsibility to verify that the grade change was processed and is reflected properly on the transcript.

Independent Study is an opportunity for students to earn academic credit for learning outside the formal class structure, under the individual direction of a faculty member. Independent Study is provided to fill an academic need of importance to the student that cannot be filled by the regular curriculum. View the Independent Study Agreement for policy details and the Independent Study Agreement form.

     Students may drop one or more of their enrolled courses themselves through the 10th week of the semester (via Buff Portal).  If dropping a class(es) results in part-time enrollment status (i.e., active enrollment in fewer than 12 credit hours in a semester), students should consult with their academic advisor to consider CEAS policies on academic standing, repeating courses, and the implications for financial aid/scholarships, on-campus housing eligibility, and student health insurance.

     After that 10th week final drop deadline published by the Registrar's Office, engineering students should first consult with their academic advisor to determine if they have documented extenuating circumstances to warrant petitioning for a late or retroactive drop of a class(es).

     The student should then prepare an online College Petition, indicating what the student is requesting with a detailed explanation of the extenuating circumstance(s) beyond the student's control.  Student's statement should include:

  • Address why the course could not have been dropped prior to the 10th week final drop deadline
  • Address why action is being requested on only a selected course(s) in the term instead of pursuing a full withdrawal of all courses
  • A student who received an "Early Alert" message for the course, or who is not in Good Academic Standing, will need additional explanation regarding the late drop request (since such students would have been expected to act proactively and drop the course before the 10th week final drop deadline)
  • Supporting documentation should accompany the petition; for example:
    • For a health-related reason, students should submit a letter from the student's doctor (on letterhead stationery with signature) indicating the nature of the situation and how it impacted academics.  Students SHOULD NOT submit clinical medical reports or medical appointment memos since these materials do not specifically address how the situation impacted academics.

     The online petition will be routed for review, including review by the CEAS Undergraduate Affairs Review Board, and the student will be notified of the decision on the petition via email.

     If a student wants to drop all of their classes in a semester/term, that is called a Withdrawal and students should refer to the "Withdrawals" section further down on this web page.

A course taken for no credit (also known as “auditing a course”) cannot be used for fulfilling graduation requirements. Once a course has been taken for no credit it cannot be repeated for a grade. Consequently, a student must petition before enrolling for any course no credit (by the third week of classes at the latest). A student is still subject to course tuition and fee expenses when registering for a course with the no credit option.

The College allows a maximum of six pass/fail credit hours per semester. Pass/fail hours counting toward graduation shall not exceed a cumulative total of 16. Not all majors in the College allow students to take courses pass/fail. Because this varies, students must check on specific pass/fail policy for their particular degree program.  If allowable, students may then choose the Pass/Fail grading basis via Buff Portal for a particular class, which must be done before the Registrar's deadline (by the tenth week of fall/spring semester, prorated for summer term).  Once allowable pass/fail is chosen by a student and the University deadline has passed, the student cannot change the grading basis.  If a student erroneously chooses pass/fail grading basis which is not allowed by major department or college policy, the pass/fail grading basis will be removed and the underlying earned letter grade will appear on the student's transcript.  CU Boulder sponsored study abroad programs convert grades to Pass/Fail and are exempt from institutional limits placed on Pass/Fail credit.

    The minimum passing grade for a course that is considered a prerequisite for another course is C-, although some degree programs in the College require a grade of C or higher for all prerequisite courses in their curricula.  If the minimum required grade in a prerequisite course is not achieved, the student is required to repeat the course until the minimum acceptable grade has been earned (maximum of 3 attempts total to master the subject content at the required level).  If a student takes the advanced (post-requisite) course, it does not remove the obligation to meet the prerequisite course minimum grade requirement, even if the grade earned in the advanced course is acceptable.

     In general, the minimum passing grade for a course that is not specifically a prerequiste for another required course is D-.  However, individual degree programs in the College may require higher minimum grades for specific courses in their curricula (and these courses may or may not be prerequisite courses).

A student is permitted a maximum of three attempts to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in a particular subject area (such as Calculus 1, Physics 2, etc.), including attempts at CU Boulder or other collegiate institutions.  A successful attempt means earning the minimum grade needed for a pre-requisite course or earning D- or higher if the course is not a pre-requisite.  Please note the minimum grade for pre-requisite courses does vary across departments within the College.  Students may not register for courses (or course equivalents) in which they already have a successful attempt.

An unsuccessful attempt means failing to earn the minimum grade needed for a pre-requisite course or earning a grade below D- for standalone courses.  Some degree programs consider receiving a W for a class as an unsuccessful attempt as well.  Students should consult their academic advisor for major-specific policy.  After the third unsuccessful attempt, a student may not be able to retake the course or substitute it with a course in the same subject area from CU Boulder or another institution.

The College will apply the grade a student earned in their most recent course attempt to determine if the student meets the grade required for a pre-requisite course.  If a student has already earned AP, IB, or transfer college credit for a course, the letter grade from a subsequent attempt of the class through CU Boulder will become part of the student’s CU cumulative GPA.  Students cannot retroactively claim AP or earlier earned credit for a course after a subsequent unsuccessful attempt of the class.

The last 45 credit hours of the 128 required for the BS degree must be earned via CU Boulder coursework only and while rostered in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

To remain in good academic standing in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, a student must maintain satisfactory academic performance as measured by grade point average (GPA) criteria and satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in the College. CU Cumulative, Semester, and Major GPAs should all be at or greater than 2.000 (2.250 prior to December 2021). Failure to meet these requirements results in the student being placed on Academic Alert, Academic Recovery, and/or Academic Suspension. Academic progress in this College is determined by grades and averages reported on the student’s CU transcript.

Students should discuss any transfer courses they are considering taking with their academic advisor beforehand, and obtain approval in writing (which might take the form of an email from the advisor to the student, or an approved college petition).  Grades of at least C- are required for courses to transfer in (but higher grades may be required for specific degree programs), and any transfer course credit shortfalls must be made up as specified by the student's major department/program.  See also CEAS Transfer Credit Policy.

     Students may withdraw themselves (i.e., drop all of their enrolled courses) through the last day of classes in the semester (via an online process managed by the Registrar's Office).  International students must be approved for withdrawals by an ISSS Office advisor.  After the last day of classes, students may no longer withdraw themselves from courses but may consider the campus Retroactive Withdrawal process, if desired.  Once a student withdrawal is processed, the courses in the given semester reflect a 'W' grade.

     Before withdrawing, students may wish to consult with their academic advisor to consider CEAS policies on academic standing, repeating courses, and the implications for financial aid/scholarships, on-campus housing eligibility, and student health insurance.

     If a student wants to drop one or more, but not all of their classes in a semester/term, that is called a Late or Retroactive Drop and students should refer to the "Late Drops & Retroactive Drops" section further up on this web page.