Oct 26, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Registration & Records

Graduate School Policies & Procedures 

Registration & Records

University Policies 


Click on any of the following links for information:

CU Denver offers students a completely online system of planning their schedules and registering for classes. As a student, you are responsible for knowing the deadlines, rules, regulations, course loads, prerequisites and policies of the university, as well as those of the college or school in which you are enrolled, all of which is provided within this online catalog. Please refer to the Academic Policies section for more specific information related to records and registration.

Office of the Registrar

Assistant Vice Chancellor and University Registrar: Carrie John
Office: Student Commons Building, Suite 5005
Telephone: 303-315-2600
E-mail: registrar@ucdenver.edu
Web site: www.ucdenver.edu/registrar

Academic Calendar

Consult the official CU Denver Academic Calendar to determine when registration will open and close for each term. CU Denver academic calendars for upcoming semesters can be found on the Registrar’s Office webpage.


Students should review the sections of this catalog that describe in detail the academic programs available at the Denver Campus.

The registrar’s office will send an e-mail message to the student’s university-assigned e-mail address, inviting the student to register, including registration information and a registration time assignment. Registration is by time assignment only. Students may register via the web on or after their assigned time.

Web Registration and Student Information

Denver Campus students can register and obtain information regarding their academic and financial records by logging into their UCD Access portal.

Online registration allows the student to check the availability of specific courses prior to their registration time and to search for available courses by department, course level or meeting time. If registration in a course is denied, the reason will be specified in UCD Access.

Student information available online currently includes mailing address verification (or change), admission application status, financial aid information, schedule by semester, grades by semester, unofficial transcript, account balance, online payment and degree audit (for some programs). For security reasons, none of the student information screens will display a student’s name or student number.

Additional information regarding programs, faculty, courses and policies are available through the home page: www.ucdenver.edu.

Definition of Full-Time and Part-Time Status

Individual students receiving financial aid may be required to complete hours in addition to those listed below. The exact requirements for financial aid will be listed in the student’s financial aid award letter.

Graduate degree and non-degree students:


  • 5 or more semester hours
  • 0 semester hours as a candidate for a degree
  • 1 or more semester hours of thesis (not master’s reports or thesis preparation)


  • 3 - 4.9 semester hours

Undergraduate students:

  • Full-time:          12 or more semester hours
  • Half-time:          6 - 11.5 semester hours


Enrollment verification including full-time/part-time attendance can be certified beginning the first day of class.

Hours for calculating full-time/part-time attendance do not include interinstitutional hours, nor do they include hours on another CU campus, unless the student is enrolled through concurrent registration.

Students receiving The Department of Veteran Affairs Education benefits should contact the Veteran & Military Student Services for the definition of full-time status for summer sessions. Contact information: 303-315-7300 or vmss@ucdenver.edu

Individual exceptions to the minimum graduate course-load levels are considered for financial aid purposes by the financial aid committee. Students must file a written appeal with the Office of Financial Aid.



Please review the current term’s academic calendar for the most recent add/drop deadlines by visiting the registrar’s website at www.ucdenver.edu/registrar.

Administrative Drop

An administrative drop is implemented by university officials in the registrar’s office or the dean’s office. A student may be administratively dropped from one or more classes or withdrawn from all classes for any of the following reasons:

  • failure to meet certain preconditions, including but not limited to:
    • class cancellations
    • failure to meet course prerequisites
  • whenever the safety of the student, faculty member or other students in a course would be jeopardized
  • academic suspension, including but not limited to failure to attain or maintain a required GPA
  • disciplinary suspension for having been found to have violated the student code of conduct
  • disruptive behavior determined by the chair and/or associate dean to be detrimental to the progress of the course and the education of other students

Outstanding Debt/Administrative Drop Policy

Students who owe a past due debt to the university in excess of $300 will be administratively dropped from any future terms if past due amount is not paid in full before the Friday prior to the first day of classes of the next term.

Auditing Courses

To qualify as an auditor for fall, spring or summer semester, a student must be 21 years of age or older. If under 21 approval must be granted by the registrar. Auditors may not be registered for any other University of Colorado courses during the time they are auditing, they must be in good standings with the university not on suspension or have outstanding financial obligations.

The registrar’s office does not keep any record of courses audited; therefore, credit for these courses cannot be established. Auditors may attend as many courses as they wish (except those courses with laboratories or where special equipment is used), provided they have received permission from each instructor.

An auditor’s card is issued after classes begin from the Bursar’s Office beginning the first day of classes through census date. This card should be presented to the instructor. Auditors, whether resident or nonresident, pay three semester hours of resident tuition for all audited courses during the fall or spring semester for class instruction and library privileges only. Auditors do not receive student parking privileges and are not eligible for other student services.

For more information, contact the Bursar’s office.

Lifelong Learners Program

Area residents who are 60 years of age or older may attend classes at the University of Colorado Denver on a non-credit/non-tuition basis during the fall and spring semesters. Note: Each academic department/unit may have its own policy regarding your acceptance into a specific class. Seniors may take any course (offered at the Downtown Campus) listed in the online course schedule except: courses which require laboratory or special equipment use, computer courses, courses offered through the Division of Extended Studies, courses with additional fees, CU online courses, CU Denver South campus or Anschutz Medical campus courses, and intensive and/or module courses (i.e. maymester, 6 week, or hybrid). Acceptance in class will be determined by the instructor, based on space availability, and the previous level of education obtained by the senior citizen student. Participants may register for classes beginning on the first day of class. The last day to register for a class via the SCP program is the second Friday after classes begin. Submissions after this day will not be reviewed. A limit of two courses may be taken per semester. Note: The instructor is NOT required to review written or oral exams, or assignments.

For more information please visit the Lifelong Learners webpage.

Candidate for Degree

You must be registered for at least one course during the semester in which you take the comprehensive exam, defend your dissertation or thesis or present your final project. If you are NOT registered for any other courses, you MUST register for CAND 5940 - Candidate for Degree . You may only register for this course once.

To register for CAND 5940, Candidate for Degree, (you may NOT be registered for any other courses) obtain the class number from your department or program director. You will be billed at one credit hour of resident tuition plus the ISIS fee and the information technology fee. Students registered for CAND 5940 will be considered full-time for financial aid and enrollment verification purposes.

Course Load/Restrictions

In most cases, students wishing to take more than 18 semester hours (12 in the summer session) must have the overload approved by the dean of their college or school. Consult the individual college or school for specific guidelines as to course-load restrictions.

No Credit

Students may register for a course on a no-credit basis with the consent of their instructor and the dean of their school or college. No grade or credit is awarded. The transcript reflects the name of the course taken and an N/C notation.

Pass/Fail Procedure

  1. Students who wish to register for a course on a pass/fail basis (or to revert from pass/fail to graded status) may do so only during the drop/add period.
  2. Instructors will not be informed of pass/fail registration. All students who register for a pass/fail appear on the regular class roster, and a normal letter grade is assigned by the professor. When grades are received in the registrar’s office, those registrations with a pass/fail designation are automatically converted by the grade application system. Grades of D- and above convert to grades of P. Courses taken pass/fail will be included in hours toward graduation. Pass grades are not included in a student’s GPA. An F grade in a course taken pass/fail will be included in the GPA.
  3. Pass/fail registration records are maintained by the registrar’s office.
  4. Exceptions to the pass/fail regulations are permitted for specified courses offered by the School of Education & Human Development, the extended studies programs and study abroad programs.
  5. Graduate degree students can exercise the P/F option for undergraduate courses only. A grade of P will not be acceptable for graduate credit to satisfy any Graduate School requirement.
  6. Students who register for a course on a pass/fail basis may not later (after the drop/add period) decide to receive a letter grade.

Note: many other institutions will not accept a P grade for transfer credit.

Module/Intensive Courses

Courses are also offered in five-week modules, in special weekend courses and in seminars. Students should contact the college/school for information on short-term courses offered each semester.

To Withdraw from CU Denver

To withdraw from the University of Colorado Denver, students must drop all courses for the semester. Prior to census (see current academic calendar for census date), students must use the web registration system to drop courses. Courses dropped during this period are not recorded on the student’s permanent record.

After the census date (see current academic calendar for census date), through the 10th week (fourth week for summer) students may withdraw from their courses using the UCDAccess Portal. Courses dropped during this period will be recorded on the student’s permanent record with a grade of W.

Courses dropped during this period will be recorded on the student’s permanent record with a grade of W.

Students seeking to withdraw after the 10th week (fourth week for summer) must petition the associate dean of their school or college. A student who stops attending classes without officially withdrawing from the university will receive grades of F for all course work during that term.

Deadlines for dropping module and intensive courses appear in the student portal.

Medical Withdrawal

A student who wishes to withdraw under the Medical Withdrawal Policy must withdraw from all classes; partial withdrawals are not permitted. Additionally, international students must contact their assigned International Services Specialist to discuss visa implications associated with withdrawing. Students seeking to withdraw for non-medical reasons will need to review the withdrawal policies and procedures for their respective school or college.

Other Registrations

Intercampus Enrollment with Other CU Campuses

Degree-seeking students who wish to attend courses to fulfill degree requirements at University of Colorado campuses concurrently must obtain permission from their school or college on their home campus. A student in a degree program registered on the Denver campus may take up to two courses or six semester hours (whichever is greater) on another CU campus if:

  • the student obtains an Intercampus Enrollment and Policy registration form from the office of the academic dean or the registrar’s office
  • the course is not offered at the Denver campus
  • the student obtains approval from the academic dean
  • the student has fulfilled the requisites/prerequisites of the course they are requesting
  • there is space available at the other (host) campus
  • the student pays tuition at the Denver campus (home campus) at Denver campus rates
  • the intercampus request is processed before the end of the drop/add period on the home campus

To drop an intercampus course during the host campus drop/10-week drop period, arrange the drop at the home campus registrar’s office. To drop an intercampus course after the 10-week drop period deadline, the student must observe the drop procedures at the host campus and communicate with the registrar’s office of the host and home campuses.

Academic Records

Grading System and Policies

The following grading system and policies have been standardized for all academic units of the university.

Grade Symbols

The instructor is responsible for whatever grade symbol (e.g., A, B, C, D, F, I or IP) is to be assigned. Special symbols (NC and W) are indications of registration or grade status and are not assigned by the instructor. Pass/fail designations are not assigned by the instructor but are automatically converted by the grade application system, as explained under “Pass/Fail Procedure.”

Standard Grades Quality Points
A = superior/excellent 4
A(-) = 3.7
B(+) = 3.3
B = good/better than average 3
B(-) = 2.7
C(+) = 2.3
C = competent/average 2
C(-) = 1.7
D(+)= 1.3
D = 1
D(-) = minimum passing 0.7
F = failing 0

Instructors may, at their discretion, use the PLUS/MINUS system but are not required to do so.

I-incomplete-converted to an F if not completed within one year.
IP-in progress-thesis at the graduate level only.
P/F-pass/fail-P grade is not included in the GPA; the F grade is included; up to 16 hours of pass/fail course work may be credited toward a bachelor’s degree.
NC indicates registration on a no-credit basis.
W indicates withdrawal without credit.

Incomplete Grade

An I is an incomplete grade. Policies with respect to I grades are available in the individual college and school dean’s offices.

An I is given only when students, for reasons beyond their control, have been unable to complete course requirements. A substantial amount of work must have been satisfactorily completed before approval for such a grade is given.

The instructor who assigns an I sets the conditions under which the course work can be completed and the time limit for its completion. The student is expected to complete the requirements by the established deadline and not retake the entire course.

It is the instructor’s and/or the student’s decision whether a course should be retaken. If a course is retaken, it must be completed on the Denver Campus or in extended studies classes. The student must re-register for the course and pay the appropriate tuition.

The final grade (earned by completing the course requirements or by retaking the course) does not result in deletion of the I from the transcript. A second entry is posted on the transcript to show the final grade for the course, with a notation that the course was ‘originally graded as I.’

At the end of one year, I grades for courses that are not completed or repeated are changed to an F.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

GPA is computed by multiplying the credit points per hour (for example, B = 3) by the number of semester hours for each course. Total the hours, total the credit points and divide the total points by the total hours. Grades of P, NC, ***, W, IP, and I are not included in the GPA. I grades that are not completed within one year are calculated as F in the GPA.

If a course is repeated, all grades earned are used in determining the GPA. Grades received at another institution are not included in the University of Colorado GPA.

Undergraduate, graduate and non-degree graduate GPAs are calculated separately. Enrollment in a second undergraduate or graduate program will not generate a second undergraduate or graduate GPA.

Students should refer to their academic dean’s office for individual GPA calculations as they relate to academic progress and graduation from their college or school.

Sample GPA Calculation

Grade Earned: A; Credit Points per Hour: 4.0; x Credit Hours: 4.0 = Credit Points in Course: 16.0

Grade Earned: A-; Credit Points per Hour: 3.7; x Credit Hours: 4.0 = Credit Points in Course: 14.8

Grade Earned: B+; Credit Points per Hour: 3.3; x Credit Hours: 4.0 = Credit Points in Course: 13.2

Grade Earned: P; Credit Points per Hour: -; x Credit Hours: 3.0 = Credit Points in Course: - (excluded)

Grade Earned: F; Credit Points per Hour: 0; x Credit Hours: 3.0 = Credit Points in Course: 0

Total of 15 credit hours with 44 credit points, so 44/15 = 2.93 GPA

Good Academic Standing

Degree Seeking Students

Students at the University are expected to maintain progress in their degree program, as defined by being in “good academic standing.” Good academic standing requires minimally a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on all University of Colorado course work.

Non-degree Seeking Students

Continuation as a non-degree graduate student is contingent upon maintaining an overall GPA of 3.0.

Failure to maintain the required average will result in a non-degree student being suspended. The suspension is for an indefinite period of time and becomes part of the student’s permanent record at the university. While under suspension, enrollment at the university is restricted. For more information contact the dean’s office of the school /college you are enrolled in. 

Final Grades

Grades are normally available within two weeks after the end of the semester and can be accessed by logging into the UCD Access portal.



College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requires the following degree requirements for all graduate degree granting programs outlined below:

All graduate degree programs must follow the Graduate School Rules .

The Master’s degree

Minimum credits 30, at least 24 credits must be completed at 5000 level or above.

If the program has a thesis, research paper or internship option as the culminating requirement, the thesis/research paper must count for three to six (3-6) credits, unless specified otherwise by individual programs. Independent study course work cannot exceed 20 percent (6 credits) of the 30 credits of coursework required for the Master’s degree.

The Doctoral degree

Minimum credits 60, 30 must be coursework related and 30 must be dissertation credits. All courses must be completed at 5000 level or higher. (All students should check the specific requirements of their Program, since some Programs have adjusted their credit hour requirement to meet national standards)

The certificate

Graduate certificates require a minimum of 9 credit hours (in any discipline).

No more than 3 credits may be earned at the undergraduate level.

Because a certificate is a CU certification of a student’s specialized knowledge in an advanced subject matter, all courses in a certificate program are expected to be taken in residency at UC Denver.

Minimum GPA of 3.0 with no course below a B- for a graduate certificate

A single course may not fulfill more than two graduation requirements.


Students on the Denver Campus must file an application for candidacy with their graduate school office and complete an intent to graduate application found on the Office of the Registrar’s Web page under Degree Planning between the first day of registration for the term and the last day of drop/add. Check with your school for more information. Students will not be officially certified to graduate until a final audit of the student’s record has been completed, approximately six weeks after the end of the term. After students have been certified to graduate, they must reapply to return to CU Denver.


In early March, informational brochures will be mailed to students eligible to participate in the May spring-semester commencement. In early October, information regarding the December commencement will be mailed to students who graduated in the summer term or expect to graduate in the fall term. Information will be provided about ordering special display diplomas, fittings for caps and gowns and obtaining diplomas and transcripts with the degree recorded. This information is also available at www.ucdenver.edu/student-services/graduation/Pages/Graduation.aspx.

Official Transcripts

The official transcript includes the complete undergraduate and graduate academic record of courses taken at all campus locations or divisions of the University of Colorado. It contains the signature of the registrar and the official seal of the university.

Official transcripts with posted grades for any given semester are available approximately three weeks after final exams. A transcript on which a degree is to be recorded is available approximately eight weeks after final exams.

For Denver Campus students, transcripts may be ordered through the student portal (UCDAccess) or through the online ordering portal by visiting www.ucdenver.edu/transcripts.

There is no charge for individual official transcripts (however fees are assessed for rush service). Transcripts are prepared only at the student’s request in writing in conjunction with the Transcript Request form or online through the Transcript Ordering Portal. A student with financial obligations to the university that are due and unpaid will not be granted a transcript. Official transcripts require seven to ten working days for processing. Rush service is available and fees are assessed based on the service requested.



FERPA is a federal privacy law that protects students’ educational records. Under this law, students have three primary rights:

  • Inspect and review their education records.
  • Seek to amend incorrect education records.
  • Have some control over the disclosure of information from their education record.

FERPA directory information is information contained in a student’s education record that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Under current CU Denver policy, the following information is designated as directory information:

  • Student name. If provided, a preferred name will be used when there is not a documented business or legal reason to provide a student’s primary name. Students may also select a diploma name for graduation and commencement materials.
  • Hometown (city, state).
  • Campus email address.*
  • Dates of attendance.
  • Previous educational institutions attended.
  • School/college or division of enrollment.
  • Majors, minors and field of study.
  • Classification level (e.g., freshman, sophomore, graduate student).
  • University-recognized honors and awards.
  • Degree status (e.g. expected graduation date and/or conferral dates/terms).
  • Enrollment status.
  • Employment related to student status (e.g. teaching assistant, resident assistant or work-study) and dates for positions held.
  • Participation in officially recognized activities/sports, including height and weight of athletes.
  • Photos and videos taken or maintained by the university.

*Campus email addresses are only disclosed to requestors who agree not to use them for solicitation.

Although these items are designated by CU Denver as directory information, only a limited amount of this information is routinely disclosed by CU Denver university officials. The university retains the discretion to refuse disclosure of directory information if it believes such disclosure would be an infringement on student privacy rights.

Students may ask the University not to publicly disclose directory information. Be aware, however, if you are seeking employment, the Registrar’s Office cannot release your enrollment, degree status or major to anyone unless you come to the Registrar’s Office with a photo ID.
Forms to prevent disclosure of directory information can be obtained at the Registrar’s Office, located in the Student Commons Building, or via the Registrar’s website at www.ucdenver.edu/registrar.

Information that is never released without your consent includes grades, tuition/fees owed, financial aid, etc. If you would like to give permission to someone else to have access to that information, you can submit a Release of Confidential Information Form to the Office of the Registrar. This form also must be submitted in person.

More information about FERPA can be found in the University Catalog. If you have questions regarding your rights under FERPA, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Denver Campus:
Phone: 303-315-2600
Fax: 303-315-2550
Email: registrar@ucdenver.edu
Website: www.ucdenver.edu/registrar