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, stop by the University Exploration & Advising Center in the CASE building, 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 are permitted to continue their studies the following semester on a probationary basis. Scholastic records of students are evaluated at the end of the probationary semester and if the student has not achieved an overall 2.000 the student may be placed on suspension.

Academic Suspension

Students who fail to meet the requirements of academic recovery and whose cumulative GPA remains below a 2.000 may be placed on academic suspension. Academic suspension is not a disaffiliation with CU Boulder but rather a suspension from main campus CU Boulder classes. Students have several options for earning 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 303-735-4445, email, or visit CASE E291 and ask to have the suspension hold removed.
  • Students on suspension who take coursework at another institution should submit a reinstatement petition. 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.

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, students who have completed at least one semester on campus and have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, as well as students on academic alert from another college on campus.

Students in good academic standing with 30 or more credit-hours earned may be limited to a single complete term after transferring to exploratory studies and will be required to meet with an advisor for development of a major declaration plan.

Admission Requiring Review

Students currently on academic recovery or probation from another college on campus are welcome to apply to exploratory studies, but admission is not guaranteed. A petition, including statement of interest, will be required and admission decisions will be made after final grades are posted for the recovery/probation term.

Note: Students 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 complete a petition to be enrolled in more than 21 credit hours during any semester.

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.

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 MyCUInfo (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 MyCUInfo) 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. 

Please submit this petition, along with your typed statement, to the University Exploration & Advising Center on the 2nd floor of the east building in the Center for Academic Success & Engagement (CASE). Petitions must be submitted by 5pm on the last day of classes for the term. You will be contacted to schedule a conversation with a member of the petition committee in order to complete the submission process.

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 will 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.

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.