2021-2022 Academic Catalog

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Four-Year Graduation Guarantee

The University of Colorado Denver has adopted a set of guidelines to define the conditions under which an undergraduate student will be guaranteed to graduate in four years. More information is available through the undergraduate advising offices for each college and the major program offices. The Denver Campus has five undergraduate colleges in which this guarantee applies: College of Arts & Media, Business School, College of Engineering, Design and Computing, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Public Affairs.

CU Denver guarantees that if a student begins studies in a fall semester and lack of scheduling of essential courses is found to have prevented a student from completing all course work necessary for a BA, BFA or BS degree from the university by the end of the student’s eighth consecutive fall and spring semester, the college/school shall provide tuition plus any course fees for all courses required for completion of the degree requirements. This applies only when needed courses are not offered by the college/school and does not apply to scheduling conflicts for individual students. Students must satisfy all the requirements described below to be eligible for this guarantee.

This guarantee applies to all students who enroll beginning in a fall term as first-semester, full-time freshmen without admission deficiencies, who do not need remedial course work and who satisfy all the requirements described below. This guarantee does not include completion of all options within the major, a second major, a double degree, a minor or a certificate program. The four-year graduation guarantee does not apply to programs in which the degree has been discontinued or is in the process of being phased out. In these cases, every effort will be made to allow students to fulfill requirements by taking courses at other universities and colleges to facilitate timely completion of the degree.

Some study abroad programs may not provide a sufficient range of courses to allow students to meet the requirements, thus, students who participate in study abroad programs during the fall or spring semesters may not be eligible for this guarantee. A student may be able to participate in a study abroad program during the summer semester and still meet all the requirements of this guarantee. It is essential that a student work closely with an advisor to determine if the student can participate in a study abroad program and still meet all the requirements of this guarantee.


Students must satisfy all of the following requirements to be eligible for this guarantee.

  1. Students must begin studies in a fall semester and enroll in CU Denver course work as specified on the student plan of study for eight consecutive fall and spring semesters.
  2. Students must complete all required course work by the end of the eighth semester.
  3. No fewer than 60 semester hours of applicable course work must be completed successfully by the end of the second year (24 calendar months); 90 semester hours by the end of the third year (36 calendar months); and 120 semester hours by the end of the fourth year (48 calendar months). Students must successfully complete an average of 15 semester hours each semester.
  4. Students must meet with their college advisor and their major advisor for academic advising during the first, third, fifth and seventh semesters of study.
  5. The major must be declared no later than the end of the first semester of study and students must not change their major or any options within the major.
  6. A required plan of study toward the major must be agreed upon and signed by the student and advisor at the end of the first semester. Thereafter students must make satisfactory progress toward completing the major, as defined by each major, and the general education requirements. Courses with certain grades may not meet the satisfactory progress requirement of this guarantee. A statement of what constitutes satisfactory progress and what grades are acceptable is available from the major or departmental office at the time the major is declared.
  7. A minimum of 30 semester hours of college general education courses should be completed by the end of the second year, including core curriculum courses that also meet major requirements and foreign language proficiency.
  8. All lower-division graduation requirements must be successfully completed by the 90-semester-hour mark.
  9. Students must remain in good academic standing according to their school/college academic policies.
  10. Grades of C-, C or C+, as defined by the college/school, must be earned in all course work required for the major, and students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.000 in all major course work attempted.
  11. Students must register each semester within one week of the student’s specified eligibility to register.
  12. Students must take courses that are specified in the student plan of study approved by their advisor.
  13. Elective courses must be avoided if they conflict with required major or general education courses. Elective courses must not be given a higher priority than required courses.
  14. Students must meet all departmental, school or college and university policies regarding graduation requirements.
  15. The college/school must be notified in writing of the student’s intent to graduate no later than the beginning of the seventh semester of study. A graduation application must be filed no later than the deadline for the appropriate graduation date. The student must complete a graduation checkout/senior audit with their advisor.

The student is responsible for and must keep documentation proving that these requirements were satisfied (e.g., records of advising meetings attended, advising records and instructions, etc.).