Students who graduated from high school in 1988 or later are expected to have completed courses that meet certain Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS).  If 50% or more of a student’s secondary schooling was completed in a non-U.S. system, student is exempt from MAPS requirements.  MAPS content areas are usually fulfilled by high school coursework, but sometimes students have to address "MAPS deficiencies" with their college coursework.  Typically, one unit equals one year of high school study or one semester of college course work (see specifications for MAPS Foreign Language category, below).

For engineering students, those who experience a MAPS deficiency most often need to take additional foreign language courses and/or social science courses.  The good news is that these courses can do "double duty" by fulfilling MAPS as well as your humanities/social sciences requirements.

Courses taken to fulfill a MAPS requirement may not be taken on a Pass/Fail basis per campus MAPS policies.  The minimum grade for a course taken to fulfill a MAPS requirement is D-, UNLESS the course is a pre-requisite to another course (in which case the minimum grade is C-).

Each category below indicates which CU Boulder courses can be used to fulfill that particular MAPS category (and if your major doesn't require one the courses in these lists, consult with your academic advisor).  Students may also petition to count a CU Boulder (or transfer) course not listed below but they believe matches the category under consideration.  Talk with your academic advisor about MAPS and develop a plan early on to remedy any deficiencies.

MAPS for Engineering Students

English (4 units)

Courses which fulfill this requirement:

  • ENES 1010, 3100
  • PHYS 3050
  • WRTG 3030, 3035

Mathematics (4 units)

(includes at least 2 units of algebra, 1 of geometry, and 1 of college preparatory math such as trigonometry, analytic geometry or elementary functions)

Courses which fulfill this requirement:

  • APPM 1340 & 1345, 1350
  • MATH 1300

Natural Science (3 units)

(includes 2 units of physics and 1 of chemistry or biology; or 2 of chemistry and 1 of physics or biology; or 2 of biology and 1 of chemistry or physics; or 1 of physics and 1 of chemistry or biology and 1 of another science)

Courses which fulfill this requirement:

  • Physics: PHYS 1110, 1120
  • Chemistry: ASEN 1022; CHEM 1021, 1113, 1133, 1400; CHEN 1201, 1203, 1211; MCEN 1024
  • Biology: CHEN 2810, EBIO 1210, MCDB 1150

Social Science (3 units; requires at least 1 unit of U.S. or world history)

Courses which fulfill the U.S. or World History requirement:

  • HIST 1011, 1012, 1015, 1025
  • PSCI 1101

Courses which fulfill the general Social Science requirement:

  • ECON 2010, 2020
  • GEOG 1962, 1972, 1982, 1992
  • HIST 1011, 1012, 1015, 1025
  • LING 1000, 2000
  • PHIL 1200
  • PSCI 1101
  • PSYC 1001
  • SOCY 1001
  • WMST 2000

Foreign Language

NOTE:  A change to the CEAS MAPS foreign language requirement policy was approved in January 2022.  The new policy applies to degree-seeking students new to the CU Boulder campus matriculating in Fall 2022 and later.  Continuing students who had already met the MAPS foreign language requirement as of January 2022 are subject to the previous policy, which was in place at the time of their matriculation into CU Boulder.  Any continuing student who hadn't yet met their MAPS foreign language requirement as of January 2022 has the option to adopt the new policy or the previous policy (both shown below). 

Policy starting in January 2022:

2 units in a single foreign language

What this requirement means is that students must demonstrate written and oral language proficiency through the second-level of a single foreign language, where second-level means a second full year of high school or a second semester college course (e.g., SPAN 1020 Beginning Spanish 2).

Courses used to complete MAPS requirements must be taken for a letter grade.  For students working on a sequence of foreign language courses to satisfy MAPS, the minimum grade for pre-requisite courses is C-, but the terminal course (e.g., SPAN 1020, which is second semester Spanish at CU Boulder) can be a grade of D-.  If a student petitions and is approved to complete their MAPS coursework elsewhere, the terminal course (e.g., SPA 112 at Front Range Community College) grade may be D-.  The course credit hours wouldn’t transfer in if the grade is lower than C-, but student can send their official transcript to CU Boulder Admissions Office for the purposes of satisfying MAPS foreign language requirement.

If a student comes to CU Boulder with only one year of high school foreign language completed (such as Spanish 1), they can choose to continue with that language or simply begin a new language afresh to gain second-level proficiency.  If the student wants to continue in the same foreign language as high school, or has previous experience in a language other than English, they can take a placement exam to determine if they should enroll in the first- or second-semester class at CU Boulder.  Note that the placement exam in and of itself does not satisfy the MAPS requirement, it simply indicates the appropriate course the student should enroll in, so to meet the requirement a course(s) must be taken and satisfactorily completed.  However, if a student takes a placement exam and places beyond the second-semester level in a language, they may wish to consider taking a Proficiency Exam to meet the MAPS requirement (see next section).

If a student is already proficient in a language other than English, they may be able to "test out" of the language requirement for a fee by demonstrating second-level proficiency in that language.  See Proficiency Exam information provided by the Anderson Language and Technology Center (ALTEC).

Courses which fulfill this requirement:

  • Standard second-semester foreign language or American Sign Language course at CU Boulder, such as SPAN 1020, FREN 1020, SLHS 2315, etc.

3 units in a single foreign language

Or

2 units in each of 2 separate foreign languages

What this requirement means is that students must demonstrate written and oral language proficiency through the third-level of a single foreign language, where third-level means third full year of high school or third semester college course (e.g., SPAN 2110 Second-Year Spanish 1).  Alternatively, a student must demonstrate second-level proficiency in two different foreign languages (e.g., complete 2 years of high school French + SPAN 1020 Beginning Spanish 2).

Courses used to complete MAPS requirements must be taken for a letter grade.  For students working on a sequence of foreign language courses to satisfy MAPS, the minimum grade for pre-req courses is C-, but the terminal course (e.g., SPAN 2110, which is third semester Spanish at CU Boulder) can be a grade of D-.  If a student petitions and is approved to complete their MAPS coursework elsewhere, the terminal course (e.g., SPA 211 at Front Range Community College) grade may be D-.  The course wouldn’t transfer in if grade is lower than C-, but student can send official transcript to UCB Admissions Office for the purposes of satisfying MAPS foreign language requirement.