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) 735-4445, or consult with your assigned academic advisor.

Policies

The following academic standings apply to grades/GPA earned in the spring 2022 semester.  Academic standing policies applicable to future terms with be published in the fall 2022 semester. Students are notified of their academic status (e.g., alert, recovery, suspension) through official CU email and are directed to contact their advisor to discuss options.

Good Academic Standing

Students who maintain a GPA of at least 2.000 are in good academic standing.

Academic Alert

Students in their first fall or spring semester who do not achieve and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 will be placed on academic alert for the following fall or spring semester and are encouraged to work with an academic advisor or coach to develop an academic improvement plan. Academic records of students on academic alert are evaluated at the end of that semester. Students who achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or higher will return to good academic standing. Students who do not achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or higher and have not completed an improvement plan will face academic suspension.

Academic Recovery

Students who were previously on academic alert and do not raise their cumulative GPA to at least a 2.00 but otherwise made good progress toward improving their GPA will continue in academic recovery.

Students who fall below a cumulative GPA of 2.000 for the first time in their second semester or beyond will also be placed on academic recovery.

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

Academic Suspension

Students who fail to meet the requirements of academic alert or 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 (see below).

Reinstatement

After academic suspension from 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 academic standing. Students on academic suspension may pursue any of the following to earn academic reinstatement:

  1. Students can take classes through CU Boulder's Division of Continuing Education (evening or online courses) to raise their CU GPA, and are then eligible for reinstatement when they have reached a 2.000 cumulative GPA. Students who enroll in Continuing Education classes to restore their good academic standing must maintain at least a 2.300 GPA during each term to avoid dismissal from Continuing Education (see below).

  2. Students can take courses at another academic institution. To be reinstated to main campus, the cumulative CU GPA combined with the grades and credit hours resulting from work done at other institutions after suspension must average a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or higher. This is referred to as a virtual GPA. 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 a virtual GPA will have two semesters in which to work on raising their CU GPA to a 2.000 or above. 

  3. Students on academic suspension may enroll in Summer Session classes to raise their CU GPA and are eligible for reinstatement when they have reached a 2.000 cumulative GPA.

Students on suspension who return to good academic standing based on coursework taken through Continuing Education or through Summer Session classes should contact their academic advisor, email exploratorystudies@colorado.edu, or visit CASE E291 to request reinstatement 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.

Dismissal from Continuing Education

Students already on academic suspension who enroll in Continuing Education classes to restore their good academic standing and fail to earn a term GPA of 2.300 or higher will also be dismissed from Continuing Education. Students on dismissal will not be able to register for University of Colorado classes on any campus during fall and spring terms but can enroll in either main campus or Continuing Education classes during the summer term. Students on dismissal must successfully apply for reinstatement in order to enroll in classes at CU Boulder during the fall or spring semester.

Students are notified of dismissal through official CU email and are directed to contact their advisor to discuss options.

Intra-University Transfer (IUT) into Exploratory Studies

Current CU Boulder students interested in exploratory studies can join the program through the Intra-University Transfer (IUT) 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 don't meet guaranteed admission requirements are welcome to apply but may require individual review, and admission decisions may be postponed until after final grades are posted. Students who have earned a GPA below 2.000 are generally not allowed to transfer into exploratory studies but applications will be reviewed for unique circumstances. Students who have earned more than 30 credit-hours are welcome to apply but 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 into PES.

  • The policies to IUT into Exploratory Studies as noted above only apply to IUT Add applications. 
  • The Intra-University Transfer (IUT) Drop Application requirements and deadlines differ from the IUT Add/Change Application for the Program in Exploratory Studies and may have financial and academic ramifications for students. The IUT Drop Application ONLY applies to students who are pursuing degrees in at least two DIFFERENT colleges/schools/programs AND wish to DISCONTINUE one major. For more information, deadlines, and the IUT Drop Application, please visit the CU Boulder Intra-University Transfer (IUT) webpage.

Declaration of Major - IUT into a degree granting school/college/program

Exploratory studies students work closely with academic advisors throughout their first two to four semesters to establish a degree plan and move into a degree-granting program at CU Boulder. This is accomplished through the Intra-University Transfer (IUT) process and generally takes place after the second or third semester.

Exploratory studies students in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or higher must IUT to a degree-granting program once they have completed four semesters. Students who have not met the requirements to IUT to a competitive program will work closely with advisors to identify programs for which they are eligible to apply. 

Students who entered Exploratory Studies with 30 credit-hours or more as transfer students must IUT within three semesters.

IUT Requirements vary by college/school and can be found on the Intra-University Transfer webpage.

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.

Program in Exploratory Studies students may petition to late drop a class or classes after the last day to drop a class deadline published by the Office of the Registrar for fall and springsummer, and special session terms. Please note, students can drop courses on their own through the first 10 weeks of the fall and spring semesters and through posted deadlines in the summer and special session terms. Please see additional details below for the term you are seeking to late drop a class/es.

Dropping a course after the posted drop deadline requires approval from the Dean’s Office, through the late drop petition process, including a well stated, well documented circumstance that warrants an exception to the posted drop deadline.

  • PES students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor or coach prior to submitting a petition to ensure that a late drop is the best path forward and to discuss other available options and resources.
  • Submitted late drop petitions are reviewed by the Academic Appeals Committee, and students are notified of decisions at their colorado.edu email address.

Students who would like to late drop a class or classes after the drop with W grade deadline has passed should complete and submit the Late Drop Petition Form.  The last day to submit a late drop petition to Exploratory Studies this semester is the last day of classes, Thursday, April 28th at 5:00pm. Petitions submitted after this date will not be reviewed.

Please see this example of a quality late drop petition and essay that would be approved. You’re going to be asked to upload an essay to your petition, which should be detailed, specific, and well composed. You may wish to utilize the Writing Center for support in writing your essay.

Fall/Spring 

Standard 16 week Semester

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 Last Day to Drop a Class deadline published by the Registrar's Office, and through the last day of classes in the semester, Exploratory Studies students must submit a late drop petition to drop one or more classes after the published deadline.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor or academic coach to determine whether petitioning for a late drop is advisable before submitting a petition to late drop a course/s.

The deadline to submit a late drop petition is 5:00pm on the last day of classes for the semester.

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.

Special Sessions (4, 5, 8 week sessions)

Students may drop one or more of their enrolled special session courses themselves through posted drop deadlines (via Buff Portal) but are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor before doing so to avoid unintended consequences.  Please check the special sessions calendar for posted drop/withdrawal deadlines.  

After the Special Sessions final drop deadline published by the Registrar's Office, and through the last day of classes in the term, Exploratory Studies students must submit a late drop petition to drop one or more classes after the published deadline.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor or academic coach to determine whether petitioning for a late drop is advisable before submitting a petition to late drop a course/s.

Petitions must be submitted by 5:00pm on the last day of classes for the term. 

Summer Session

Students may drop one or more of their enrolled courses themselves through summer drop posted deadlines (via Buff Portal) but are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor before doing so to avoid unintended consequences. Please check the summer session add/drop/withdrawal deadlines for posted drop/withdrawal deadlines.  After the final drop deadline published by the Registrar's Office, and through the last day of classes in a given session, students should email exploratorystudies@colorado.edu to petition to drop.

Petitions must be submitted by 5:00pm on the last day of classes for the session. 

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. Grading mode identifies how a class will be graded. If a department designates a course as "student option," it's your choice whether to take it for a letter grade or pass/fail.  Changes to or from pass/fail are not permitted after the tenth Friday of the semester or after the add/drop deadline of a special (e.g., 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. Not all courses offer a pass/fail option.

  • A standard P will appear for grades of D+, D, or D- in student-option courses and for all grades D- or higher in pass/fail-only courses.
  • A P+ will appear for grades of C- and higher in student-option courses.

P/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.

Forms

If you are a Pre-Engineering (PREE) or Pre-Business (PREB) student who would like to switch out of the PREE or PREB program to become a PES open option student (XXES), please fill out this change of major form

Students who wish to submit an Incomplete 'I' grade agreement request to their instructor should complete and submit this Incomplete Grade Completion Agreement form.