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

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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.

Spring 2021 Changes to ACCESS Courses

Please note the following changes to the ACCESS program as the result of campus efforts to keep students and community members safe during the pandemic:

  • Spring ACCESS Enrollment is scheduled for Monday, January 11, 2021. This is a departure from our traditional enrollment date and this early enrollment date will only be for Spring 2021.
  • On Friday, January 15, classes will follow a Wednesday class meeting schedule (excludes law).
  • Spring ACCESS courses, along with main campus courses, will follow a different spring schedule. Two wellness days (February 17 and March 25) will replace the traditional spring break week. Classes will not be held on wellness days, but the university will be open for business.

ACCESS — How It Works

ACCESS is offered by the University of Colorado Boulder’s academic departments in the fall and spring semesters only. Students enroll the Friday before classes begin each semester. Enrollment and student services are provided by Continuing Education. For nondegree students interested in taking classes in summer, please visit the Summer Session website.

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

View CU Boulder course offerings through the class search:

  1. Visit
  2. Search by Course Subject (department). A list of departments is available as a PDF.

A PDF schedule of classes is also available by semester through the Office of the Registrar’s webpage. Complete course descriptions are provided in the University of Colorado Boulder Catalog.

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

Wait Lists

The CU Boulder Class Search 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 during your appointed enrollment window. 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 course capacity. If a class is full and a nondegree student meets our course requisites, the student can add themselves to the waitlist. 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 and/or department. If the professor feels you do not meet the prerequisites for the course or if the course is full they 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. Once you have obtained instructor approval, you can complete the course request form and attach the instructor/department approval. If Enrollment Services receives your request prior to ACCESS enrollment opening, Enrollment Services may attach a class permission note in the comment section of your account confirming the permission is in place and that you may manually register yourself as soon as your enrollment window arrives.

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. 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. Please contact the school or college in which you are interested in matriculating for more information.

Academic Advising Through Continuing Education

Our academic advisors can help you plan your course of study and schedule. We are here to assist:

  • Current main campus students looking for ways to earn credit and stay on schedule to graduate,
  • Returning students interested in completing their degrees,
  • New students focused on earning college credits without interrupting work and family schedules.

Schedule an appointment with our Academic Advisors. You can also call us at 303-492-5148 or email us at

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

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.

Email questions to our Financial Aid Advisor at

ACCESS Application

• Submit the Online Enrollment Application for Continuing Education:

• If you are a high school student, refer to the High School Dual Enrollment 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.

Buff Portal and IdentiKey

Buff Portal 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, Canvas, your final grades, and more.

You’ll need an Identikey, or a unique username, to log in to and access Buff Portal. 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 high school equivalency diploma 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 provide unofficial copies of your high school transcript and SAT or ACT scores. Please fax copies to 303-492-5335 or mail them to us at 1505 University Avenue, 178 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309

In addition, some courses at CU–including mathematics, engineering, language and all graduate-level courses–may be restricted. Proof of completed prerequisites or departmental permission may be required to enroll. Contact an academic advisor with any questions you have about the course(s) you intend to take.

Schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Students with University of Colorado with service indicators (financial, academic, student conduct, etc.) may not be eligible to enroll. Students should contact a Continuing Education academic advisor with questions about academic probation/suspension/dismissal from the Boulder campus. More about probation and suspension.

International Nondegree Language Requirements

All international applicants are required to meet a minimum standard of English proficiency. This requirement can be met if:

  1. Your native language is English, or
  2. You have completed at least one year of full-time study at a U.S. institution (or at an institution in a country where English is the native language) at the time you apply, and within two years from your desired admission term. This can be confirmed by your transcripts or a copy of your current I-20.
  3. You take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Test scores are only valid for two years from the date of taking the test.
    • TOEFL iBT score of 537 (paper) or 75 (internet based)
    • IELTS score of 6.5

In order to expedite your non-degree applications, please fax your unofficial documents to 303-492-3962. For questions please email

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 Buff Portal 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 2021

ACCESS/Nondegree Registration Begins Jan 11
Classes Begin Jan 14
Faculty & Staff Registration Opens Jan 14
Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (Campus Closed) Jan 18
Last Day to Add Name to a Class Waitlist in Buff Portal Jan 25
Last Day to Add a Class in Buff Portal Jan 25
Drop a Course, 100% Tuition Adjustment* Feb 1
Deadline to Request No-credit Status Feb 3
Deadline to Withdraw**, 60% Tuition Adjustment* Feb 15
Wellness Day (No Classes; University Remains Open) Feb 17
Summer 2021 Schedule of Classes Available in Buff Portal Feb 17
Deadline to Withdraw**, 40% Tuition Adjustment* Mar 1
Deadline to Request Pass/Fail or Grade Replacement Mar 24
Deadline to Change Final Exam Schedule Mar 24
Deadline to Withdraw** without Petitioning^, No Tuition Adjustment Mar 24
Wellness Day (No Classes; University Remains Open) Mar 25
Payment Due for New or Unpaid Charges Apr 5
Add a Course with Instructor Signature, Without Petitioning^ Apr 26
Last Day to Withdraw from all ACCESS Classes Apr 29
College Opportunity Fund Eligibility Deadline^^ Apr 29
Last Day to Apply for COF Apr 29
Last Day of Classes Apr 29
Reading Day Apr 30
Final Exams May 1-5
Last Day to Authorize COF in Buff Portal May 5

* 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 Buff Portal or 5 p.m. by email to A grade of W will appear on your transcript.

^ Petitioning is designed to provide students who experience unavoidable, extenuating circumstances, the opportunity to waive a University policy that, if enforced, would result in unsatisfactory academic progress or financial consequences.
Nondegree students must petition the dean of CEPS and must have an instructor signature. Degree students must petition the dean of the college in which they are enrolled, and must have an instructor signature.

^^ 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

Spring 2021

Nov 9 Continuing Education Spring Enrollment Begins
Dec 14 CE Online Flexible Enrollment Begins
Jan 11 ACCESS/Nondegree Registration Begins
Jan 18 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (Campus Closed)
Jan 25 CE Full Session/Session 1 Classes Begin
Jan 29 Nontraditional Student Spring Scholarship Deadline
Feb 17 Wellness Day (No Classes; University Remains Open)
Feb 22 CE 10-week Session Classes Begin
Feb 26 Spring Fees Waiver Form Deadline
Mar 12 Session 1 CE Online Credit Courses End
Mar 15 Session 2 CE Online Credit Courses Begin
Mar 25 Wellness Day (No Classes; University Remains Open)
Apr 30 CE Full Session/10-week Session and Session 2 Classes End

Summer 2021

March 8 Continuing Education Summer Enrollment Begins
May 10 CE Online Flexible Course Enrollment Begins
May 31 Memorial Day (University Closed)
May 31 Nontraditional Student Summer Scholarship Deadline
June 1 CE Full Session/Session 1/8-week Classes Begin
July 2 Session 1 CE Online Credit Courses End
July 5 Independence Day Observed (University Closed)
July 6 Session 2 CE Online Credit Courses Begin
July 23 8-week CE Online Credit Courses End
July 30 Summer Fees Waiver Form Deadline
Aug 6 CE Full Session and Session 2 classes End

Find dates and deadlines for main campus Summer Session classes.

ACCESS Tuition Rates

ACCESS tuition is determined by your residency, not by the course format (i.e. evening, online, or hybrid).

In-State Students:

Out-of-State students:

  • Tuition for CE Evening Credit, CE Online Credit, and Applied Music is included as part of ACCESS when enrolled in four or more hours of Continuing Education and ACCESS courses concurrently.


In-State Undergraduate Tuition

Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Credit Hours In-State Tuition COF Voucher Student Share After COF
1 $487 $40 $447
2 $974 $80 $894
3 $1,461 $120 $1,341
4 $1,948 $160 $1,788
5 $2,435 $200 $2,235
6 $2,922 $240 $2,682
7 $3,409 $280 $3,129
8 $3,896 $320 $3,576
9 $4,383 $360 $4,023
10 $4,870 $400 $4,470
11 $5,357 $440 $4,917
12 $5,844 $480 $5,364
13 $5,884 $520 $5,364
14 $5,924 $560 $5,364
15 $5,964 $600 $5,364
16 $6,004 $640 $5,364
17 $6,044 $680 $5,364
18 $6,084 $720 $5,364

Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition

Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Credit Hours Tuition
1 $1,324
2 $2,648
3 $3,972
4+ $18,273

In-State Graduate Tuition

Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Credit Hours A&S/Other Law
1 $657 $1,651
2 $1,314 $3,302
3 $1,971 $4,953
4 $2,628 $6,604
5 $3,285 $8,255
6 $3,942 $9,906
7 $4,599 $11,557
8 $5,256 $13,208
9+ $5,913 $14,859

Out-of-State Graduate Tuition

Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Credit Hours A&S/Other Law
1 $1,738 $2,028
2 $3,476 $4,056
3 $5,214 $6,084
4 $6,952 $8,112
5 $8,690 $10,140
6 $10,428 $12,168
7 $12,166 $14,196
8 $13,904 $16,224
9+ $15,642 $18,252

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.

Nondegree Tuition Policy

You will be billed for your Continuing Education registration. Bills are available through Buff Portal. A 1% service charge is added to an unpaid balance after the tuition due date, and a financial stop is placed on your student record. All tuition and refund determinations are subject to audit.

Fall and Spring

Tuition for Fall and Spring Boulder main campus courses is charged the ACCESS rates.


During the summer semester students are charged Summer Session tuition rates. ACCESS rates are not available.


If you have lived in Colorado for the past 12 months, you may be eligible for in-state tuition rates. To learn more or provide documentation of residency, contact our classification coordinator at 303-492-5148.

ACCESS and Summer Session Nondegree Student Fees

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.

If you do not plan to utilize the resources covered by student fees, you may follow the instructions on this page to waive the majority of your fees. Even if you waive fees, you still may retain access Counseling and Psychiatric Services if you send an email to to opt back into two specific fees: the Student Health Fee and Mental Health Resource Fee.

If you have questions about student fees, please contact the Continuing Education Bursar’s Office at or 303-492-2212 for assistance.

Please note that the Board of Regents reserves the right to change the fee rate at any time.

Fees Waiver

Nondegree students may be able to waive all student fees except for the computing fee and A&S technology fee by completing the online fee waiver form.

Instructions for Fees Waiver

  1. Pay your bill by the published due date excluding the student activity fee.
  2. Complete and submit the online fee waiver form by the deadline for the appropriate term.
    • Spring 2021 deadline: Feb 26, 2021
    • Summer 2021 deadline: July 30, 2021
  3. Within one week of submitting your petition, login to Buff Portal to verify your account balance.

You will receive an email confirmation when your form has been successfully submitted, and another when your waiver has been processed.

Contact Continuing Education with questions by calling 303-492-2212.

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.

Email questions to our Financial Aid Advisor at

Nondegree Student Scholarships

Continuing Education offers scholarships for nondegree students.

Application and Award Process

  • Submit the appropriate application along with a minimum-250 word essay addressing your past educational history, your future goals, and the way in which the scholarship will assist you in meeting those goals.
  • The award amount is based on available funding and a competitive essay review.
  • Awardees will be notified via the email given on the application.

If you have any questions or are unable to log into the appropriate application form, please contact us at

Nontraditional Student Fall & Spring Scholarships


  • Nondegree student at CU Boulder (not formally admitted to a degree program)
  • Must be enrolled in courses for credit offered through main campus, CE Evening Credit, CE Online Credit, Applied Music, or non-credit courses through the International English Center
  • Must be 22 years or older

Scholarship Details

  • The maximum award for the scholarship is $1,000, not to exceed 80% of the resident tuition rate of a three-credit course.
  • Students may be awarded a Continuing Education scholarship only once during their time as a nondegree student.
  • Scholarships offered through CE are classified as general fund (i.e. compatible with VA benefits).

The spring 2021 application deadline is January 29, 2021.

Apply now

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 for COF if you’re:

1. An undergraduate student (can be nondegree),
2. Classified as a Colorado resident and paying resident tuition (some exceptions apply);
3. Enrolled at CU Boulder in main campus courses through Continuing Education’s ACCESS Program, the Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions program, or CU Boulder Summer Session; and
4. Have not exceeded the 145 lifetime credit limit (petition options are available).

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 CE Evening Credit, CE Online Credit, 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.

Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


The Continuing Education building is closed for the Spring 2021 semester. Staff are still available to assist you via phone, email or chat.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado