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Work towards enrolling in a CU-Boulder degree program or “access” undergraduate and graduate courses for personal or professional development as a nondegree student.

  • Program info


Available Credit Courses for Eligible Special Students (ACCESS)

ACCESS enables nondegree students to take Boulder main campus undergraduate or graduate courses for personal or professional development. Some students use the ACCESS program to work toward enrolling in a degree program in the future.

So come take that CU-Boulder course you’ve been thinking about. Test out the University. Learn from some of the best faculty in the country. Whatever your goals may be, let us help you “access” the University of Colorado Boulder.

ACCESS — How It Works

ACCESS is offered by the University of Colorado Boulder’s academic departments. Students enroll the Friday before classes begin each fall and spring semester. Enrollment and student services are provided by Continuing Education.

Our capable staff can help you navigate the CU system and develop a plan to meet your academic goals. Academic and financial aid advisors are available to help you. We look forward to helping you accomplish your educational goals.

Schedule an appointment with an advisor.

ACCESS — Course Availability

You can view the CU-Boulder course offerings at and search by Course Subject (department). A list of departments is available as a PDF. You can also download a PDF of the spring 2015 course list. Complete course descriptions are in the University of Colorado Boulder Catalog.

When you enroll keep in mind that there are different types of courses, wait lists, and restrictions.

Closed Courses/Wait Lists

To check on the status of a course, follow the steps through MyCUInfo, the secure student portal, and choose the course subject and/or course number. MyCUInfo will identify whether a course is open or closed and if a wait list exists.

If you find that a course is full, you may be able to put your name on a computerized wait list. Each department determines if a wait list will be offered for a course and what type of wait list will be used.

For detailed information regarding wait lists refer to the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Important: Placing your name on a wait list does not guarantee that you will be enrolled in that course, even if you’re first on the wait list. Treat a wait-listed class as if you were enrolled — go to class and drop it if you are no longer interested in enrollment.

It is your responsibility to find out if you have been enrolled in a course from the wait list. If you do not attend a course you have been enrolled in, you will receive an F for that course.

ACCESS — Course Information

Academic departments determine which courses are available each term to nondegree students based on course prerequisites and maximum course enrollments. For example, if a Chemistry course enrolls 18 students but has a capacity of 25 students, 7 additional students may enroll through ACCESS. Registration begins for ACCESS students after most degree students have enrolled.

Note of the type of course: linked courses, restricted courses, and controlled enrollment and independent study.

Linked Courses

Linked courses are lecture courses that have required recitations and/or labs. If you choose a course that has a required recitation or lab you cannot enroll in the lecture only. You will be prompted to choose a required recitation or lab. You will automatically be enrolled in the lecture if you choose an open section of a recitation or lab.

Restricted Courses

Some courses are restricted to students within a specific major or class standing. Nondegree students wishing to enroll must first request permission from the appropriate department to override the restriction (see ACCESS Academic Calendar for enrollment dates). Please keep in mind that overriding any type of restriction (prerequisites, major, etc.) is at the discretion of the professor. If the professor feels you do not meet the prerequisites for the course or if the course is full he/she can deny your request for an override.

You may be enrolled in a restricted class in one of the following ways:

1. the department will enroll you

2. the department will email with permission to enroll you

Most upper-division and graduate-level courses have restrictions or prerequisites. If you have a question about whether a course has a restriction or prerequisite, please make an appointment with a Continuing Education academic advisor.

Please note that BCOR (business core) classes are restricted to majors only during the fall and spring semesters. Many graduate classes require permission from the instructor to enroll.

Controlled Enrollment and Independent Study Courses

Controlled enrollment sections and independent study courses are ones that have specific restrictions placed by the department that offers the course. They have a section number between 700 and 999. To find out if you qualify for a controlled section or an independent study, contact the department that offers the course. If you are eligible, the department will either enroll you in the course or send permission for you to enroll to the Continuing Education registration office.

Future Admission to CU-Boulder

Nondegree or ACCESS classes are a great opportunity to learn about academic departments, meet faculty and fellow graduate students, and earn credit. You may be able to take prerequisite or graduate classes through prior to admission to a graduate or degree program. The credits you earn as a nondegree student may be applicable toward your degree requirements if you are admitted to the program. For more information, ask the departmental advisor or set up an appointment with a Continuing Education academic advisor.


If you are considering future undergraduate admission to CU-Boulder, you should meet with a Continuing Education advisor before enrolling in courses. Depending on your specific circumstances, we may also encourage you to contact the Office of Admissions before enrolling in Continuing Education courses. An admissions counselor can assist you in determining what you will need as a nondegree student to satisfy the admission criteria established by the individual colleges and schools. For more information visit the prospective student website.

The credits and grade point average earned as a nondegree student may apply toward degree requirements once you are admitted as a degree student. However, applicability of these hours toward a degree is established by the schools and colleges. Limits and transfer credit criteria may vary by department.


Admission to graduate programs is done through the individual departments. You may want to contact each of the departments in which you are interested to determine what is necessary for admission. For example, some departments may require prerequisites if you have not had the necessary educational background for a program. If you should need undergraduate or graduate courses as prerequisites before you can apply to a graduate program, you may take these courses as a nondegree (not formally admitted) student through Continuing Education.

Some graduate departments will require an admissions exam such as the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) before you apply. You may also be able to begin your graduate course work through the ACCESS program.

The graduate credits you earn as a nondegree student may be applicable toward your degree requirements if you are admitted as a graduate student. However, applicability of these hours is established by the schools and colleges. For graduate courses, a department may accept as many as 9 semester hours taken as a nondegree student toward a master’s and 21 semester hours toward a doctoral degree. Even with this guideline, limits and transfer credit criteria may vary by department, school, or college. Some upper-division and graduate courses have restrictions and you may need to obtain a Special Action Form from the appropriate department or professor before enrolling. It is essential that as a nondegree student you seek academic advising from the appropriate graduate department prior to enrolling through the ACCESS program.

Academic Advising

Our academic advisors can help you plan your course of study and your schedule. We help main campus students looking for a way to earn credits and stay on schedule to graduate, former students interested in completing their degrees, new students focused on earning college credits without interrupting work and family schedules, and more.

No matter the situation, we are committed to helping you explore your educational goals.

Schedule an appointment with our Academic Advisors.

Nondegree Advising Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 in order to continue enrolling in Continuing Education course work. Students who have not maintained a GPA of 2.0 after completing one semester will have an academic advising hold placed on their records. These students will be ineligible to enroll in additional course work until they consult with an academic advisor and have the hold lifted.

Regardless of GPA, all nondegree students who have earned 15+ credit hours are required to meet with a Continuing Education advisor regarding their academic goals. Nondegree students will be ineligible to enroll in additional course work until they obtain this consultation.

Schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor.

Financial Aid Advising

Students enrolled in university credit courses through Continuing Education may be eligible for financial assistance. Continuing Education has a financial aid advisor to assist you in exploring all the options available to you, whether you are a degree or nondegree student.

Detailed information about how to receive federal financial aid is available on the CU-Boulder Financial Aid website.

Schedule an appointment with our Financial Aid Advisor.

Email questions to our Financial Aid Advisor at

ACCESS Application

• Submit your online application or the credit enrollment PDF.

• If you are a high school student, refer to the High School Concurrent information.

• An Invitation to Enroll (ITE) will be mailed or emailed to you as confirmation of your eligibility to enroll. The ITE will contain your CU student identification number (SID) and enrollment instructions.

• If you are a Colorado resident you may be eligible for the College Opportunity Fund.

• If you are under 22 years old, you must confirm that you are eligible to enroll.

MyCUInfo and IdentiKey

MyCUInfo is the online campus portal and an important tool. It gives you access to credit course enrollment, your CU student email account, campus announcements, semester schedule, tuition bill, book lists, clicker registration, posted assignments, your final grades, and more.

You’ll need an Identikey, or a unique username, to log in to and access MyCUInfo. An Identikey allows you to register for CU courses and provides you with access to online services and campus computing facilities. Use your student identification number to activate your IdentiKey at

If you have questions, contact us at or 303-492-5148.

Eligibility to Enroll in Credit Courses

You need a high school diploma or GED to enroll in credit courses. If you are under 22 years of age as of Sept. 15 for fall or Jan. 15 for spring and not officially admitted or enrolled in a CU-Boulder degree program, you must meet criteria similar to those of freshmen entering the university. To determine your eligibility to take credit classes, you must meet (by phone or in person) with a Continuing Education academic advisor and provide copies of your high school transcript and SAT or ACT scores. If you are 22 years old or older, bring proof of your high school diploma or GED.

Schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Individuals with University of Colorado service indicators (financial stops) may not enroll. Students on academic probation/suspension/dismissal from the Boulder campus may only enroll in Continuing Education programs approved by their school or college. More about probation and suspension.

Add, Drop, and Withdrawal Info

Enrolled students must add or drop courses by the dates and deadlines listed in their program’s academic calendar. You may add, drop, or withdraw via MyCUInfo, at our office at 1505 University Avenue, Boulder, or by email at

If you fail to drop by the deadline you may receive a grade of F and you may be liable for any tuition and fees. You may withdraw from a credit course after the published drop deadline. Withdrawals will result in a W on your academic record.

ACCESS Academic Calendar

Spring 2015
Jan. 9 ACCESS/Nondegree Enrollment Begins
Jan. 12 Classes Begin
Jan. 19 Martin Luther King Day (University Closed)
Jan. 20-21 Senior Auditors Program Registration Begins
Jan. 21 Add/Waitlist Deadline
Jan. 26 Petition for In-state Tuition Deadline
Jan. 28 Petition to Waive CUSG Student Fee Package
Jan. 28 Drop a Course**, 100% Tuition Adjustment*
Jan. 30 Deadline to Request Pass/Fail or No-credit Status
Jan. 30 College Opportunity Fund Eligibility Deadline^^
Feb. 5 University-sponsored Health Insurance Deadline
Feb. 5 Tuition Due
Feb. 11 Deadline to Withdraw**, 60% Tuition Adjustment*
Feb. 25 Deadline to Withdraw**, 40% Tuition Adjustment*
March 20 Deadline to Withdraw** without Signatures of Approval, No Refund
March 20 Same-day Final Exams Rearrangement Deadline
March 23-27 Spring Break (No Classes)
March 27 Spring Break Holiday (University Closed)
April 27 Add a Course with Instructor Signature, Without Petitioning
May 1 Last Day of Classes
May 2 Reading Day
May 3-7 Final Exams
May 9 Commencement
May 11 Summer Session/Maymester Classes Begin

* Students’ eligibility for a possible tuition adjustment or refund is dependent on residency status and number of credits. Non-resident students are not eligible for a tuition adjustment if they are enrolled in 4 or more credits after dropping or withdrawing from a course or courses.

** Withdraw by 11:59 p.m. online using MyCUInfo or 5 p.m. in person or by email to A grade of W will appear on your transcript.

^^ If a College Opportunity Fund (COF) eligible student adds a course after this date, according to Colorado Department of Higher Education policy, the student will pay full tuition for the course, including the amount normally paid by COF, and the course will not be credited to COF hours used.

Continuing Education Important Dates

Summer 2015

March 9 Summer Enrollment Begins
May 11 Self-paced Online Course Enrollment Begins
May 11 Main Campus Classes Begin
May 15 Nontraditional Student Scholarship Deadline
May 25 Memorial Day Holiday (University Closed)
June 2 Continuing Education Classes Begin
June 5 Summer Tuition Due
July 3 Independence Day Holiday (University Closed)
Aug 20 Commencement
No Summer Ceremony. Official summer graduation date is Aug. 20.

Click below to view important dates for Spring 2015

See more

Spring 2015
Nov. 3 Spring Enrollment Begins
Dec. 15 Self-paced Online Course Enrollment Begins
Jan. 9, Jan. 12 Nondegree/ACCESS Enrollment
Jan. 12 Main Campus Classes Begin
Jan. 19 MLK Holiday (University Closed)
Jan. 20 Continuing Education Classes Begin
Jan. 30 Nontraditional Student Scholarship Deadline
Feb. 5 Spring Tuition Due
March 23-27 Spring Break (No Classes)
March 27 Spring Break Holiday (University Closed)
May 3-7 Final Exams
May 9 Spring Commencement

Continuing Education Tuition

Continuing Education tuition is largely dependent on the type of course or program and sometimes your status as a Colorado resident/nonresident or undergraduate/graduate student. Refer to the tuition rate tables for more details. Additional fees may apply, and discounts for University of Colorado faculty, staff, and retirees and Alumni Association members may be eligible.

Note: for CU-Boulder degree students, tuition for Continuing Education courses will be charged in addition to and separate from your main campus tuition.

If you have questions about tuition, contact us at 303-492-2212 or


If you have lived in Colorado for the past 12 months, you may be eligible for in-state tuition rates although you may be asked for documentation. If you are unsure if you qualify as a Colorado resident, please call us at 303-492-5148.

Continuing Education will charge the in-state tuition rate when a nonresident student pays full out-of-state tuition through the Boulder campus and then enrolls for additional courses (Evening Credit fall and spring courses only).

ACCESS Tuition Rates

Fall 2014 And Spring 2015 ACCESS and Nondegree Tuition Rates

In-State and Out-of-State Undergraduate
Credit Hours COF Voucher In-State Total Tuition Student Share After COF* Out-of-State Total Tuition
1 $75 $452 $377 $1,138
2 150 904 754 2,276
3 225 1,356 1,131 3,414
4 300 1,808 1,508 15,705
5 375 2,260 1,885 15,705
6 450 2,712 2,262 15,705
7 525 3,164 2,639 15,705
8 600 3,616 3,016 15,705
9 675 4,068 3,393 15,705
10 750 4,520 3,770 15,705
11 825 4,972 4,147 15,705
12 900 5,424 4,524 15,705
13 975 5,499 4,524 15,705
14 1,050 5,574 4,524 15,705
15 1,125 5,649 4,524 15,705
16 1,200 5,724 4,524 15,705
17 1,275 5,799 4,524 15,705
18 1,350 5,874 4,524 15,705
In-State and Out-of-State Graduate
Credit Hours In-State A&S/Other In-State Law Out-of-State A&S/Other Out-of-State Law
1 $568 $1,651 $1,529 $2,028
2 1,136 3,302 3,058 4,056
3 1,704 4,953 4,587 6,084
4 2,272 6,604 6,116 8,112
5 2,840 8,255 7,645 10,140
6 3,408 9,906 9,174 12,168
7 3,976 11,557 10,703 14,196
8 4,544 13,208 12,232 16,224
9+ 5,112 14,859 13,761 18,252

* College Opportunity Fund (COF). If you have applied and authorized the COF vouchers, you are only responsible for paying the student share for COF eligible hours. This year, the COF voucher is worth $75 per credit hour. Credit hours over 18: add $75 per credit hour for total tuition; student share remains the same.

The Board of Regents reserves the right to change the tuition and fee rates at any time.

Course and program fees are assessed in some schools and departments. Lab courses not linked to a lecture course may require a course fee. A & S Tech Fee (ASSET) Fee of $1.32 per credit hour assessed for Arts and Sciences courses. Course, program, and ASSET fees are nonrefundable.

For tuition not paid by the published due date, a 1% service charge will be assessed on the unpaid balance, and a financial stop will be placed on your record. All tuition and refund determinations are subject to audit.

Course Fees

Additional mandatory fees associated with courses may apply. Course fees are used to help offset the higher costs of specialized supplies, equipment, and materials. Note: You are encouraged to pay the entire amount owed to Continuing Education promptly. All tuition and refund/adjustment assessments are subject to audit/adjustment.

Fees Waivers

Nondegree students may be able to waive all student fees except for the computing fee, engineering excellence fund fee, and course fees. Call 303-492-5148 or 303-492-2212 for more information or complete the fee waiver form.

The deadline to petition for a Summer 2015 waiver is July 25th.

Student Fees

ACCESS and Summer Session

Any student enrolled in the ACCESS program or Summer Session as a nondegree student will be assessed full mandatory fees per the campus fee schedule. These fees give students access to the RTD bus system and other campus services.

Evening and Online Credit

Denver-metro area Continuing Education students who are enrolled in Evening or Online Credit courses may elect to purchase an optional student fee packages to obtain additional resources. Main campus students who enroll in Evening and Online Credit courses do not need to opt in or pay additional fees.

To purchase a student fee package email or visit Continuing Education at 1505 University Avenue. Payment is required at the time the student fee packaged is purchased. In addition, students must also purchase a BuffOne ID card. BuffOne cards can be purchased for $30 in room N180 of the Center for Community (C4C), just east of Regent Hall. Visit for more information.

Fall and Spring Semesters

The 2014-2015 cost is $498.80 per semester and includes the Student Activity Fee, an RTD bus pass, and access to the Student Recreation Center. Students can elect to pay an additional $28.50 to support intercollegiate athletics.

Summer Semester

The Summer 2015 rates are based on the term in which you are enrolled and include the Student Activity Fee, Student Recreation Center Fee, and RTD bus pass.

Five-week terms: $212.98
Seven and eight-week terms: $289.76
Ten-week term: $340.96

Financial Aid Advising

Students enrolled in university credit courses through Continuing Education may be eligible for financial assistance. Continuing Education has a financial aid advisor to assist you in exploring all the options available to you, whether you are a degree or nondegree student.

Detailed information about how to receive federal financial aid is available on the CU-Boulder Financial Aid website.

Schedule an appointment with our Financial Aid Advisor.

Email questions to our Financial Aid Advisor at

Nontraditional Student Scholarship

Continuing Education offers a Nontraditional Student Scholarship each semester. The maximum award for this scholarship is $850 or 80% of the cost of one course. The award amount is based on available funding and a competitive essay review. The summer 2015 application deadline is May 15.

Eligible students must be:

  1. Nondegree seeking (not formally admitted to a CU degree program)
  2. Age 22+
  3. Enrolled in courses offered via ACCESS, Boulder Evening Credit, Online Credit, the International English Center, Applied Music, or Career Explorations.

Note: Students enrolled in Evening MBA, Engineering Anywhere, Ads A2B, and CUBIC are ineligible for this scholarship

College Opportunity Fund

The College Opportunity Fund (COF) is an amount of money given by the state of Colorado to Colorado residents enrolled in undergraduate credit courses at a Colorado college or university. Each year the Colorado Legislature sets the stipend (amount given to students as a per credit hour amount).

COF Eligibility

You are eligible to use this money for your Continuing Education enrollment if you are:

1. not formally admitted to a degree program (also known as a nondegree student),
2. a resident of Colorado, and
3. taking undergraduate courses through the ACCESS program or CU-Boulder Summer Session.

How to Apply and Authorize COF

1. Apply online through the College Access Network.
2. Authorize COF when you enroll in your course(s).
Please note – it may take three to four days after you apply for COF for you to be able to authorize. You cannot apply and authorize COF on the same day.
3. Questions? Call us at 303-492-5148.

COF Restrictions

The COF stipend is not applicable for Continuing Education’s Evening Credit, Online Learning, Applied Music, Individualized Instruction, or International English Center courses. The tuition rates for many of these programs are based on the tuition paid by Colorado residents after the COF stipend is applied.