Degree Options

Is it true I can take a course for pass/fail?

Maybe. Students in Arts and Sciences have up to 6 hours of pass/fail that they may apply toward the 120 hours for graduation. Instructors do not know when a student has elected to take a course for pass/fail; they simply award a grade at the end of the course as usual, and anything "D-" or higher is converted to a "P". However, if a course is taken for pass/fail then it cannot be applied to fulfill MAPS, CORE, Major, or Minor requirements. So, if you take PSCI 1101 for pass/fail, guess what; you'll have to take it again for a grade in order to apply it to the major! For this reason it is advisable to avoid taking a course for pass/fail unless you have first confirmed that it is truly just an elective. Advising walk-ins are a great time to ask this question.

I've heard it is easy to double major in Political Science and International Affairs. Is this true?

We think you'd hear from all of the advisors in PSCI and IAFS that a double major is never "easy"; but is it doable? It depends! Yes, there is some "overlap" between the two majors, primarily because IAFS is an interdisciplinary major which requires a number of introductory-level courses in PSCI. However, there is substantial difference as well. Completion of the IAFS major requires three full years of foreign language; so if you do not already have substantial experience in a language, and it is already your Sophomore year or later... adding IAFS could potentially add another year or two to your college career. In general, PSCI is a major which is focused fairly specifically on politics--whether in theory or practice, in the U.S. or abroad... while IAFS is a major which explores political, cultural, and economic issues on a broad, world politics level, and also requires study on a very specific regional level (this is where the regional specialization and language requirement come in to play). If you are seriously considering completing both majors, we recommend you familiarize yourself with the IAFS major requirements and download the IAFS major tracking sheet, and figure out which courses you will be taking for that major that are NOT also for PSCI. Add this credit total on top of your CORE and PSCI major requirements, and this figure is the number of credits you'll need to graduate. You should the be able to determine if this is a manageable load per semester.  If you decide to add another major, you may simply make an appointment to do so on MyCUHub; consultation with your current advisor is not necessary (though we are happy to discuss your analysis with you).

How do I get in to the Business school?

We suggest you thoroughly read the information on the Leeds College of Business website, and make use of the business advising for non-business students.

Registration Issues

Can I take a course that I don't have the pre-requisite for?

Probably not. A pre-requisite is a course that should have been taken prior to enrollment in the course in question. (For example, PSCI 1101, American Political Systems, is a pre-requisite for PSCI 3011, the American Presidency.) If you were to enroll for PSCI 3011 without having completed PSCI 1101, the instructor of PSCI 3011 may decide to drop you from the course! This dropping becomes more likely if the course in question is full with a waitlist. That said, there are times where you can get permission to stay enrolled in a course that you do not have the pre-requisite for. The way to do this is to contact the instructor of the course before it begins and discuss the reasons you feel you are adequately prepared for the course and how the course will supplement your degree. The instructor will likely indicate to you whether you will be allowed to stay in the course or if they intend to drop those students without the pre-requisite, giving you time to find an alternative course.

I really want to take courses in the Business school! Why can't I add them to my schedule?

Business is actually a different "college" alltogether from Arts and Sciences (of which PSCI is a part). Because the Business school is much smaller and their courses tend to be popular, they are forced to restrict access to their courses to only Business students during the Fall and Spring terms. Arts and Sciences students DO have access to these courses over the summer, however.

Will a "W" impact my chances of getting in to law or graduate school?

No. Most programs don’t care about a W grade here and there. It is when W's become a pattern that a grad or law program may inquire about them. Of course, if there are legitimate reasons why there are multiple W grades (illness, etc.), the student should be able to explain that in their application materials.

Transfer Credit Issues

How do I take a CORE course at another institution and transfer it to CU?

If you’re planning to take course work at another school and transfer it to CU, the smart thing to do is to check whether it has been approved to fulfill the requirement you need! Check out Transferology for this analysis; we recommend using "Quick Equivalencies" for the fastest way to find transferable courses. 

If you are planning to take a course which has not yet been evaluated according to, check Arts and Science Transfer Credit Evaluation

How do I take a PSCI major course at another institution and transfer it to CU?

To make sure that your PSCI or ECON coursework from another school will fulfill major requirements here at CU, you need to email your PSCI advisor in advance with the institution name, the course number and title, and a course description.  (Note: If the course description is vague, we may ask you for a syllabus.) Also note which requirement you intend to fulfill with the transfer course. We will get back to you within a few days with an evaluation.

When you have finished the course with a C- or better, send your transcripts to Admissions at CU to apply the credit to your record. Once you see the course appear on your degree audit, you may need to contact your advisor again in order to have it "pointed" and fulfill the correct major requirement.

Why does it seem like my grades from my other school are not being factored in to my CU GPA?

Because they are not! CU will accept transfer credit for courses passed with a C- or better at another institution, but will not factor these grades into your CU GPA.


What do I do if I totally disagree with a grade I've been given on an assignment or in a course?

First off, prepare yourself to be as respectful as possible to everyone you speak with regarding the situation. The first step is to speak with your instructor; it is possible they can offer a fuller explanation of why the grade was assigned and resolve the situation to your mutual satisfaction. If the course had Teaching Assistants who graded the material, you should start your discussion with the TA, and progress to the course instructor if necessary. If you speak with the person who graded you and do not feel that your concerns have been addressed, you can view the College policy on grade appeals. You may also find more resources for starting this conversation in the Ombuds Office's guide to talking with a professor about a grade.