ACCESS

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

ACCESS

Request Information

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

Vaccination Requirements for Nondegree Students and Auditors

All nondegree students and auditors residing in the state of Colorado must meet the campus vaccination requirements. In support of the university’s commitment to health and safety, CU Boulder will require nondegree students and auditors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes the COVID-19 vaccination and booster(s).

Nondegree students and auditors born on or after January 1, 1957 must submit proof of two (2) doses each of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination. If you have previously submitted these during an earlier term, you do NOT need to resubmit.

Learn more about the vaccination requirements and submission for nondegree students and auditors on the Health & Wellness Requirements Page. NOTE: The deadline for nondegree students and auditors to complete the vaccination requirements has been extended to February 13, 2023. If you do not submit proof of the required vaccinations by February 13, 2023 you will be charged a nonrefundable $25 fee.

If you have questions about these requirements, please contact us at ceadvise@colorado.edu.

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 one week 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 classes.colorado.edu.
  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.

Undergraduate

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.

Graduate

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 ceadvise@colorado.edu.

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

Nondegree Advising

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 encouraged to meet with a Continuing Education advisor regarding their academic goals.

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 cefinaid@colorado.edu.

ACCESS Application

• Submit the Online Enrollment Application for Continuing Education:

• If you are a high school student, refer to the High School ACCESS program 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, and your final grades. Learn more about Buff Portal.

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 identikey.colorado.edu.

If you have questions, contact us at ceregistration@colorado.edu or 303-492-5148.

Consenting to Do Business Electronically

When you log in to Buff Portal for the first time, you’ll be asked to consent to conduct business electronically at CU. If you don’t consent, you’ll lose access to the portal and instead receive information about how to conduct your official university business offline.

If you have questions, contact us at ceregistration@colorado.edu 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 23 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 submit unofficial copies of either your high school equivalency scores or your high school transcript for review. High school transcripts must include the degree conferral date and must show that you completed your high school degree with at least a 2.0 GPA. Please upload your unofficial documents with your online application. For questions, please email ceregistration@colorado.edu.

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

The Division of Continuing Education does not issue immigration documents for international guest students and cannot provide immigration advising of any kind. If you plan to enroll in classes as a guest student and you are not a US Citizen or legal permanent resident, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are maintaining your immigration status independent of CU Boulder. If you are studying in the US under an F-1 or J-1 visa and wish to enroll at CU as a guest student, your current school will maintain your I-20 record.

All international guest student 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 take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), an International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test. Test scores are only valid for two years from the date of taking the test.

  • TOEFL score of 75
  • IELTS score of 6.5
  • Duolingo score of 100

Please upload your unofficial documents with your online application. For questions please email ceregistration@colorado.edu.

ACCESS Academic Calendar

Spring 2023

ACCESS/Nondegree Registration Begins Jan 10
Faculty & Staff Registration Opens Jan 10
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – University Closed Jan 16
Classes Begin Jan 17
Last Day to Add Name to a Class Waitlist in Buff Portal or Class Search Jan 25
Last Day to Add a Class in Buff Portal or Class Search Jan 25
Drop a Course**, 100% Tuition Adjustment* Feb 1
Deadline to Request No-credit Status Feb 1
Payment Due for New or Unpaid Charges Feb 5
Deadline to Withdraw***, 60% Tuition Adjustment* Feb 15
Deadline to Withdraw***, 40% Tuition Adjustment* Mar 1
Deadline to Withdraw*** without Petitioning^, No Tuition Adjustment Mar 24
Deadline to Request Pass/Fail or Grade Replacement Mar 24
Deadline to Change Final Exam Schedule Mar 24
Spring Break Friday, University Closed Mar 31
Add a Course with Instructor Signature, Without Petitioning^ May 1
Last Day to Withdraw from all ACCESS Classes May 4
College Opportunity Fund Eligibility Deadline^^ May 4
Last Day to Apply for COF May 4
Last Day of Classes May 4
Reading Day May 5
Final Exams May 6-10
Last Day to Authorize COF in Buff Portal May 10

All times are in Mountain Time.

* 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.
**Drop by 11:59 p.m. online using Buff Portal.
***Withdraw by 11:59 p.m. online using Buff Portal, submitting an online withdrawal form, or by email to ceregistration@colorado.edu. A grade of W will appear on your transcript.
Withdraw by 11:59 p.m. by submitting an online withdrawal form or send an email to ceregistration@colorado.edu. 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 2023

Oct 31 Continuing Education Spring Enrollment Begins
Dec 19 CE Online Flexible Enrollment Begins
Jan 10 ACCESS/Nondegree Registration Begins
Jan 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – University Closed
Jan 23 CE Full Session/Session 1 Classes Begin
Jan 31 Nontraditional Student Spring Scholarship Deadline
Feb 20 CE 10-week Session Classes Begin
Feb 24 Spring Fees Waiver Form Deadline
Mar 9 Session 1 CE Online Credit Courses End
Mar 13 Session 2 CE Online Credit Courses Begin
Mar 27-31 Spring Break (No Classes; University Closed Friday, March 25)
May 4 CE Full Session/10-week Session and Session 2 Classes End

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 Class Search using the instructions outlined under Review Your Registration Actions. You may also submit an online withdrawal form or send an email to ceregistration@colorado.edu.

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 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.

Tuition

In-State Undergraduate Tuition

Spring 2023

Credit Hours In-State Tuition COF Voucher Student Share After COF
1 $584 $104 $480
2 $1,168 $208 $960
3 $1,752 $312 $1,440
4 $2,336 $416 $1,920
5 $2,920 $520 $2,400
6 $3,504 $624 $2,880
7 $4,088 $728 $3,360
8 $4,672 $832 $3,840
9 $5,256 $936 $4,320
10 $5,840 $1,040 $4,800
11 $6,424 $1,144 $5,280
12 $7,008 $1,248 $5,760
13 $7,112 $1,352 $5,760
14 $7,216 $1,456 $5,760
15 $7,320 $1,560 $5,760
16 $7,424 $1,664 $5,760
17 $7,528 $1,768 $5,760
18 $7,632 $1,872 $5,760

Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition

Spring 2023

Credit Hours Tuition
1 $1,405
2 $2,810
3 $4,215
4+ $18,821

In-State Graduate Tuition

Spring 2023

Credit Hours A&S/Other Law
1 $696 $1,751
2 $1,392 $3,502
3 $2,088 $5,253
4 $2,784 $7,004
5 $3,480 $8,755
6 $4,176 $10,506
7 $4,872 $12,257
8 $5,568 $14,008
9+ $6,264 $15,759

Out-of-State Graduate Tuition

Spring 2023

Credit Hours A&S/Other Law
1 $1,843 $2,150
2 $3,686 $4,300
3 $5,529 $6,450
4 $7,372 $8,600
5 $9,215 $10,750
6 $11,058 $12,900
7 $12,901 $15,050
8 $14,744 $17,200
9+ $16,587 $19,350

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.

Summer

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

Residency

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.

Fees for Nondegree Students Enrolled in Main Campus Classes

The fees assessed for ACCESS, certificate and/or Summer Session nondegree students depends on whether you are taking main campus in-person or online courses:

  • Students taking main campus in-person classes are charged full mandatory fees per the campus fee schedule. These fees give students access to the RTD bus system and other campus services.
  • Students taking main campus online classes only are charged online fees.

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.

If you have questions about student fees, please contact the Continuing Education Bursar’s Office at cebursar@colorado.edu 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 and standalone certificate students may be able to waive all student fees except for the computing fee and A&S technology fee. If you are not utilizing resources such as the bus pass, Rec Center or health insurance, you may complete 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 2023 deadline: Feb 24, 2023
  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 cefinaid@colorado.edu.

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 ceadvise@colorado.edu.

Nontraditional Student Fall & Spring Scholarships

Eligibility

  • 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, and Applied Music
  • 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 2023 application deadline is January 31, 2023.

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, the Individually Designed 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.

Hours

Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm

Location

We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.

Map

1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado
80309-0178