There are several key academic expectations, policies, and processes for students in the Program in Exploratory Studies. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact exploratorystudies@colorado.edu, stop by the University Exploration & Advising Center in the CASE building, call (303) 735-4828, or consult with your assigned academic advisor.

Students are notified of their academic status (e.g., alert, recovery, suspension) in writing and should contact their advisor to discuss options. 

Academic Alert

Students in their first two semesters (not including summer) who do not achieve and maintain a 2.000 cumulative GPA will be placed on academic alert for the following semester and are required to develop and submit an academic improvement plan with an academic coach. An academic coach will contact students regarding deadlines and requirements for submitting an improvement plan. Scholastic records of students on academic alert are evaluated at the end of that semester. If students demonstrate good progress and have completed an improvement plan with an academic coach but have a cumulative GPA that remains below a 2.000, they will be placed on academic recovery while they work on raising their GPA. Examples of good progress include:

  • earning a 2.000 or higher term GPA while on academic alert
  • completing the requirements of an improvement plan and raising the cumulative GPA 

Academic Recovery

Students who have been on academic alert or who are in their third semester and beyond who fail to meet the minimum cumulative grade point requirement of 2.000 in a given semester may be permitted to continue their studies the following semester on a probationary basis:

  • students who were on academic alert who earned at least a term GPA of 2.000 or who otherwise made good progress toward improving their GPA (see above) will continue in academic recovery
  • students who fall below a cumulative GPA of 2.000 in their third semester or beyond will also be placed on academic recovery

Scholastic records of students on academic recovery are evaluated at the end of the probationary semester and if students have not achieved a cumulative 2.000 GPA or higher, they will face academic suspension.

Academic Suspension

Students who fail to meet the requirements of academic recovery and whose cumulative GPA remains below a 2.000 are placed on academic suspension. Academic suspension is not a disaffiliation with CU Boulder but rather a suspension from CU Boulder main campus classes. Students have several options for earning reinstatement. For example, students on academic suspension may enroll in evening and/or online courses through the Division of Continuing Education. Coursework completed through Continuing Education is factored into the CU GPA.

Students in exploratory studies who are on academic suspension from main campus classes must maintain a term GPA in Continuing Education courses of 2.300 or higher; students who fail to do so risk being additionally dismissed from Continuing Education during fall/spring terms.

Reinstatement

After academic suspension from the Program in Exploratory Studies, there are multiple pathways to reinstatement based on students raising their cumulative GPA to 2.000 or above and thus returning to good standing.

  • Students on suspension who return to good standing based on coursework taken through Continuing Education should contact their academic advisor, call 303-735-4828, email exploratorystudies@colorado.edu, or visit CASE E291 and ask to have the suspension hold removed.
  • Students on suspension who take coursework at another institution should email a request for reinstatement to exploratorystudies@colorado.edu and attach a transcript from the institution(s) attended since leaving CU Boulder. Official transcripts are preferred but unofficial transcripts that include all final grades will also be accepted. In order to be reinstated, the cumulative GPA before suspension plus the grades and credit hours earned at other institutions after suspension must equal a combined 2.000 or above.
    • Note: after reinstatement, transferable coursework will be applied to the degree but grades in transferred courses will not be calculated into the CU GPA. For that reason, students who are reinstated based on outside coursework will have two semesters in which to work on raising their CU GPA to a 2.000 or above.

Students interested in exploratory studies can join the program through the Intra-University Transfer process and should start the application process by using this form. Interested students can connect with UEAC staff at UEACadvising@colorado.edu before starting this process should they have questions.

Guaranteed Admission

Undergraduate students enrolled on the Boulder campus with fewer than 30 credit-hours earned and who are in good academic standing may apply to transfer to the program in exploratory studies. Good academic standing includes students in their first semester on campus who have not yet earned a CU Boulder GPA and students who have completed at least one semester on campus and have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or higher.

Admission Requiring Review

Students who have earned 30 or more credit-hours and students who have earned a GPA below 2.000 are welcome to apply to exploratory studies, but admission is not guaranteed. Admission decisions may be postponed until after final grades are posted and students may be asked to speak with a staff member in exploratory studies for development of a major declaration plan.

Note: Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.000 who are currently on academic suspension from another college on campus are not eligible for an IUT.

In order to maintain good degree progress, students in exploratory studies are encouraged to enroll in an average of 15 credit hours each term. 

In order to achieve full-time status, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Students must be granted special permission to be enrolled in more than 21 credit hours during any fall or spring semester or more than 16 credit hours during any summer term. Students who wish to be enrolled above the credit hour limit should submit a request to exploratorystudies@colorado.edu.

If a student takes a course for credit more than once, all grades are calculated into the grade point average. However, the course credit hours only count toward graduation once, unless a course description specifically states that it can be taken more than once for credit.

Students may retake a course for grade replacement under the grade replacement policy. When a student retakes a course for grade replacement, the grade earned in the most recent prior attempt will still appear on the transcript, as will the new grade, but their cumulative GPA and credit totals on the transcript will only include the grade from the latest attempt. Please note, grade replacement will not change a student's academic standing from prior semesters.

In recognition of high academic achievement, the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education grants scholarly honors each term to students in the Program in Exploratory Studies.

Students achieving a grade point average of 3.600 or higher in any given term are recognized by a letter from the Vice Provost and receive a notation on their transcript. Honors are based on at least 12 credit hours of coursework completed for a letter grade at CU Boulder. 

Once in a degree-granting program, exploratory studies students are encouraged to pursue honors that are recognized by each college at commencement. 

Between the last day to add a class in Buff Portal (see the Add/Drop Calendar) and the last week of the semester, students need instructor and/or department permission (requirements vary by department) to add a class to their schedule. Once they receive permission from the instructor, students should contact the department in which the course is offered. Late adds are typically only approved if the class has space available and the student has been attending class regularly.

Beginning the last week of the semester, students hoping to add a class retroactively must submit a late/retroactive petition form.

Students may drop one or more of their enrolled courses themselves through the 10th week of the semester (via Buff Portal) but are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor before doing so to avoid unintended consequences. 

After the final drop deadline published by the Registrar's Office, and through the last day of classes in the semester, exploratory studies students should first consult with their academic advisor or academic coach to determine whether petitioning for a late drop is advisable. Students may then submit a petition to drop one or more classes after the published deadline. 

Petitions must be submitted by 5pm on the last day of classes for the term. 

After the last day of classes, students can no longer drop an individual course (or courses) and should follow the campus Retroactive Withdrawal process if they wish to request a full withdrawal from an already completed semester based on extenuating circumstances.

Students in the program in exploratory studies who withdraw from all of their registered courses two semesters in a row may have a hold placed on their account, prohibiting them from further registration until they meet with their advisor to assess degree progress.

Students in the Program in Exploratory Studies who wish to take a course on a pass/fail basis should first discuss options with their academic advisor. A limited number of pass/fail credits can be applied to the degree and rules vary by college. Changes to or from pass/fail are not permitted after the third Friday of the semester or after the add/drop deadline of a particular summer session. Students who have a question or concern about the grading status of their courses should consult with their advisor or email exploratorystudies@colorado.edu.  

Grades of D- and above are considered passing grades. P grades do not affect the GPA.

Good Standing (Academic)
For Common Application College Report requests, visit the Registrar's transcripts page.

Good Standing (Conduct)
For letters of Good Standing related to Conduct, email the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution or connect by phone at (303) 492-5550.

If you require information regarding your standing both in terms of academics and conduct, please contact the Registrar’s office for assistance.