In furtherance of the commitment to facilitating a safe environment conducive to academic learning and progress, CU Boulder requires applicants to disclose criminal and disciplinary history. However, CU Boulder recognizes that requiring broad disclosure prior to admission can deter otherwise academically eligible individuals from pursuing higher education and undermine CU Boulder’s commitment to providing inclusive access to higher education.  Therefore, this document provides a policy that balances these commitments and complies with applicable law that limits the nature of criminal and disciplinary history CU Boulder can consider for the purposes of admission.[1]

[1] This policy, and related procedure, complies with Regent Laws and Policies, system and campus policies including APS 8004, federal law, and state law, including the Ensuring Access to Higher Education Act, Colorado Senate Bill 19-170, as codified in C.R.S. § 23-5-106.5.


It is the policy of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) to require applicants to disclose certain, limited criminal and disciplinary history on the application. After CU Boulder has determined an applicant academically eligible for admission, CU Boulder will review the applicants criminal and disciplinary for purposes of CU Boulder determining whether the applicant is admissible to CU Boulder. After CU Boulder has made an offer of admission to an applicant, CU Boulder will require applicants to disclose broader criminal and disciplinary information, for the purposes of CU Boulder determining the extent of eligibility to participate in campus life, as further described below.[1]

  1. Pre-Admission Disclosures
    1. Application. Applicants must disclose the following information on the application:
      1. Their prior convictions for stalking, sexual assault, or domestic violence
      2. Their prior convictions, within five years before submitting the application, for assault, kidnapping, voluntary manslaughter, or murder
      3. Their prior disciplinary history at any another academic institution for stalking, sexual assault, or domestic violence
      4. Any pending criminal charges 
      5. Their education records related to academic performance

        The criminal history disclosures are required regardless of the prosecuting jurisdiction. As jurisdiction terminology can and often does vary, applicants are required to disclose criminal history with substantially similar elements to the crimes listed above. The applicant and CU Boulder should consider the definitions from the prosecuting jurisdiction and the Colorado Criminal Code as a guidance when determining whether a crime has substantially similar elements.  

    2. Applicant Responsibility. Applicants are responsible for providing accurate and thoroughly responsive disclosures. Failure to do so will jeopardize admission.
    3. Admission Denial. CU Boulder will not use any criminal or disciplinary other than the criminal and disciplinary history required to be disclosed above, as the basis to deny applicant admission, regardless of how that information is obtained.
    4. Limitation on Use of Standard Application. If CU Boulder uses a standard form of application provided by a third party contractor that is also used to apply for admission to other institutions of higher education, for example, the Common Application, CU Boulder will not consider for purposes of admission any information the applicant provides in response to criminal or disciplinary history questions on such application that exceeds the criminal and disciplinary history listed above.
    5. Application Notice. On the application, CU Boulder will notify applicants that:
      1. the applicant is not required to disclose criminal history from records that are sealed under state law;
      2. CU Boulder has a post-admission review process that will further inquire about criminal and disciplinary history for the purposes of participation in campus life; and
      3. the applicant has the right to appeal an admission denial based on criminal or disciplinary history.
    6. Right to Appeal. CU Boulder will afford applicants the right to appeal any denial of admission on the basis of criminal or disciplinary history. 
  2. Post-Admission Disclosures
    1. Campus Life Participation. After CU Boulder has made an offer of admission, the applicant is required to disclose to CU Boulder broader criminal and disciplinary information than what is required for the purposes of admission. For the purposes of determining the extent of eligibility to participate in campus life, CU Boulder may require disclosure of any criminal or disciplinary history, any requirement to register as a sex offender, and any deferred judgment and sentence.
    2. CU Boulder Housing. The nature of CU Boulder’s housing environment was designed to be conducive to academic learning and, for example, includes a communal living environment with close proximity to bathing and sleeping quarters of others and with residents that may include minor students and children. Based on this nature of CU Boulder’s housing environment, CU Boulder does not authorize registered sex offenders to reside in university housing, absent rare, extenuating circumstances provided by the applicant or student, as applicable, to CRC, clearly demonstrating that there is not unreasonable risk to the safety or security of the CU Boulder housing environment. Applicants and students who are required to register as sex offenders are encouraged to seek off campus housing options.  
  3. Disclosure of New or Updated Criminal or Disciplinary History

Applicants are required to promptly update the above required disclosures with any new or updated criminal or disciplinary history that may occur during the time after they apply to CU Boulder but before they begin attending CU Boulder.


CU Boulder shall have a standing committee of staff representatives with student affairs, admissions, law enforcement, and equity and compliance experience to adopt procedures for implementing and further refining the requirements of this policy. At a minimum, such procedures shall address: the format for applicant disclosures; provide a fair and equitable individualized review of applicant criminal and disciplinary history; and an appeal process for applicants who are denied admission based on criminal or disciplinary history. Process and Procedures: (https://www.colorado.edu/policies/procedure-applicants-conduct)


CU Boulder may revoke admission or take disciplinary action against any applicant or student who is found to have violated the requirements of this policy or the accompanying procedure.

CU Boulder make take disciplinary action against any student with criminal charges or a conviction for conduct that occurred prior to applying, regardless of the timing of the charges or conviction; provided however, that if such charges or conviction is for conduct other than that which CU Boulder could have considered for purposes of admission, CU Boulder will not use it as the sole basis to expel or revoke the admission of the student from CU Boulder.  

Nothing herein is intended to, nor shall it, limit CU Boulder from addressing on any criminal or disciplinary history that CU Boulder lawfully receives by any means, including but not limited to the applicant’s transcript from previous institutions. If such criminal or disciplinary history is other than that which CU Boulder can consider for purposes of admission, CU Boulder will not deny or revoke admission.


  1. Academic Performance – conduct that could affect academic standing at an institution including academic integrity violations such as plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, lying, bribery, unauthorized access to academic materials, resubmission, or aiding academic dishonesty
  2. Applicant – a person who has submitted an application for admission as a student to CU Boulder and who may have been offered admission by CU Boulder and confirmed their intent to enroll in courses by paying a confirmation deposit
  3. Application – a document submitted to CU Boulder requesting consideration for admission as a student to CU Boulder to for an undergraduate, graduate, professional, non-degree, or noncredit program at CU Boulder, whether full or part-time
  4. Attending  – a student who is taking academic courses at CU Boulder
  5. Campus life – CU Boulder housing, student employment, and/or any other university sponsored activity or program, other than student status
  6. Criminal charges  – the commencement of prosecution by the filing of an indictment or presentment, the issuing of a warrant which is binding over the offender, or by the filing of information
  7. Conviction – a guilty verdict, a guilty plea or a nolo contendere (no contest) plea and not including a plea to a deferred judgement and sentence unless and until revoked
  8. Criminal history – any pending criminal charges or conviction of any misdemeanor or felony
  9. Deferred judgement and sentence – a plea of guilty in a criminal case that has been continued for the purpose of entering judgment and sentence
  10. Disciplinary history – any pending allegation or prior incident of being found responsible for a disciplinary violation at an educational institution
  11. Pre-admission – the stage of time before an offer of admission by CU Boulder
  12. Post-admission – the stage of time after an offer of admission by CU Boulder
  13. Student – a person who is defined as a student under the Student Code of Conduct Policies and Procedures

[1] The following are program-specific exceptions to this policy. The is policy does not apply to: (1) students of any on-line only academic programs where course participation does not include student physical presence on the CU Boulder campus, including, but not limited to the “Inside Out Prison Exchange Program” offered through the Division of Continuing Education and the online Masters of Science in Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering program offered through the Graduate School and (2) the CU Boulder Law School which has program-specific requirements for state licensure. As admission and enrollment are a one-step process for the MBA certificate program, applicants to that program will be asked to disclose broad criminal and disciplinary history at the time of application, however, CU Boulder will not use any information other than the criminal and disciplinary history required to be disclosed above on the application, as the basis to deny admission to that program.


Effective Date

February 22, 2013

Revised Date

December 1, 2022

Approved By

Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano

Policy Owner

Student Affairs