2024-2025 Academic Catalog

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Glossary of Terms

Academic Calendar

The Academic Calendar represents important semester-specific dates and deadlines for students officially registered for courses.


Last day of the semester for students to drop full term classes with a financial adjustment. Student schedule adjustments after this date may lead to adjustments to financial aid/awards package, Department of Veteran Affairs education benefits, or other eligibility benefits that are dependent upon enrollment status. Class drops or withdrawals may impact immigration status for international students. A "W" grade appears on the transcript when courses are dropped after the published Census date. 

Credit or Semester Hour

The unit of measurement for college credit. For each credit hour earned, students spend a minimum of 750 minutes in class and a minimum of 100 minutes spent on school work outside of class. Credit hours may also be referred to as “hours”, "units", or “credits.” 

College or School

An individual degree-granting unit within the University.

At CU Denver, there are seven undergraduate school and colleges:

  • Architecture and Planning
  • Arts and Media
  • Business
  • Education and Human Development
  • Engineering, Design and Computing
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Public Affairs

​All of which are part of the University of Colorado Denver. Regardless of what school or college a student has been admitted to, they are a CU Denver student. 

Course Drop

Dropping one or more courses, but not all, within a specific term prior to census. Dropped courses are not reflected on the student's transcript.

Course Withdrawal

Dropping one or more courses, but not all, within a specific term after census. When students withdraw from a course, the course earns a grade of “W,”  which will be reflected on the student's transcript, but does not affect a student's GPA.

Full Time/Part Time Enrollment

To be a full time graduate student, you must be registered for at least 5 credits. Part time enrollment is anything below 5 credits. Full time/part time status does not relate to how many days per week you come to campus for classes. Full time/part time status is defined differently for graduate students.


Please see the Grading System section of the catalog for more information.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is calculated by multiplying the credit hours for the course by the points for the letter grade, totaling all the credit points and dividing them by the number of credit hours included. Pass grades and no-credit courses are not included in a student's GPA.

Student's University of Colorado GPA will not include courses that have been taken at other institutions prior to enrollment at the University of Colorado. The GPA for graduate students includes all courses taken as a graduate student. This includes all grades for courses taken more than once.


A hold is a service indicator that prevents various services which may include registering for classes, receiving an official transcript and/or diploma, and requesting an enrollment verification. A hold can be placed on a student’s record for a variety of reasons that may include financial, health, academic standing, required documentation, and advising. Students can view holds in the UCDAccess student portal. Students should contact the appropriate department to resolve the hold in a timely manner.

Incomplete Grade

Policies with respect to "I" grades are available in the individual school dean's offices. Use of the "I" is at the discretion of the course instructor and/or the academic dean's office. Please see the Grades definition for more information.

Independent Study

An academic experience created collaboratively with a faculty member. A student and a faculty member would decide the work to be produced, the hours dedicated to the study, the outcomes for the experience, and the credits earned for the study.



A course that needs to be taken prior to registration for the next course in the designated sequence.


A course(s) that must be completed concurrently, in the same semester, with another course. Some schools and colleges may allow students to complete co-requisites before enrolling in a concurrent course.


Restricted to a specific population (i.e. Restricted to MUSC majors, Restricted to junior standing, etc.).


A course students may have re-enrolled in after completing the same course with a D- or higher. If a student has already earned credit for a course and chooses to re-enroll in the same course, the student usually will not earn credit again. Some courses are repeatable for credit up to a limit set by the school or college ("special topics" courses where the topics differ, private music lessons, or musical performance courses).

Semester/Term Withdrawal

Dropping all courses within a specific semester or term. When students withdraw from all courses, each course earns a grade of “W," which will be reflected on the student's transcript, but does not affect their GPA. A term withdrawal note is also reflected separately on the transcript.​​


An official record of courses taken and grades earned.


A term commonly seen during registration periods. Students hoping to enroll in a full class can opt to be placed on a waitlist. This essentially saves a place in line in case spots open up from registered students dropping.

Waitlist Purge

The process of removing all students from the waitlist according to the date defined on the Academic Calendar.