Undergraduate Degrees

Student Bill of Rights

The Student Bill of Rights (also known as Colorado Revised Statute § 23-1-125) notes that a student may formalize a plan to obtain a degree in four years. Colorado State University supports this timeline for graduation by publishing Major Completion Maps defining a common four-year course progression for most majors. (There are some majors a student may not be able to complete in eight semesters because of additional degree requirements recognized by the Colorado Department of Higher Education.) 

Review CSU Major Completion Maps on the "Major Completion Map" tab for each Undergraduate program of study listed in this General Catalog.

General Requirements

Students are required to complete all curricular requirements in place in the current catalog at the time of graduation, including the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) requirements. 

The list of general requirements below is a sufficient guide for academic planning, but does not represent all rules which might apply to a particular student or program of study.

Graduation Procedures and Information

Checking undergraduate graduation requirements is the responsibility of the Office of the Registrar. Curriculum requirements are checked by the department head or assigned department designee of the first major, second major, minor and/or certificate if applicable.

Students planning on transferring coursework from another post-secondary institution in order to meet the requirements for degree completion should contact the Degree and Transfer Evaluation unit within the Office of the Registrar for assistance. It is very important that all grades/transcripts are received by the end of the 4th week after the semester has ended. If grades/transcripts are not received within this timeframe students will experience a delay regarding the formal posting of their official graduation for that semester as well as delays in printing their diploma.

A request for waivers or substitutions for major program requirements may be made if completing a curricular requirement:

  1. Will extend the time normally required to complete the degree; or
  2. Will force students classified as juniors or seniors to take additional lower-division courses, exclusive of AUCC requirements.

Requests for waivers or substitutions of the All-University Core Curriculum must be submitted on an appeal form, signed by the advisor and department head and turned in to the Degree and Transfer Evaluation unit of the Office of the Registrar. Ultimate responsibility for ensuring that AUCC curriculum requirements are observed and that substitution of equivalent courses or waivers are for good and sufficient academic reasons rests with the Provost/Executive Vice President. 

Graduation Credit Requirements

To meet requirements for the bachelor's degree, a student must fulfill:

Minimum Credit Requirement

A bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 120 semester credits; however, individual programs in some colleges and departments may exceed the minimum.

Minimum Grade Requirement

Only credits completed with grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, and S may count toward the graduation total. (Note: Grades of C-, D+, and D- earned at CSU prior to Fall 2008 apply to graduation requirements.) Some majors require a minimum grade of C or higher in required courses. For further information refer to your Undergraduate Degree Progress Audit (DARS) or contact the department offering the major.

Cumulative GPA

The minimum cumulative grade point average acceptable for graduation is 2.000 computed only for courses attempted at CSU. The CSU GPA calculation is carried to the third decimal place and is not rounded.

Total credits earned and counted toward graduation may differ from total credits used in computing a scholastic average, since the scholastic average is computed by dividing the total grade points at CSU by the total GPA credit including credits for grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, and F. Note: Grades of C-, D+, and D- earned at CSU prior to Fall 2008 are applied to CSU GPA calculations.

Upper-Division Credit Requirement

A minimum of 42 semester credits in upper-division courses (300-400 level) is required of all students completing a bachelor’s degree program. Although 500-level courses cannot be required in undergraduate programs of study, elective credits taken at the 500-level may be used to fulfill the upper-division requirement.

Use of 500-Level Courses Within an Undergraduate Program

With written approval of an advisor, junior and senior undergraduate students may use 500-level courses to fulfill major requirements, either by selecting from an approved department list of courses, or by exception signed by the advisor. However, students are never required to take 500-level courses to complete an undergraduate program of study, whether a major or a minor. Courses at the 600-level are automatically excluded from use for an undergraduate degree. Undergraduate students may not enroll in courses numbered 700-799.

Use of 500-level Courses Taken as an Undergraduate in Graduate Studies

Undergraduates may apply a maximum of nine credits of graduate-level course work toward a graduate degree at CSU provided that such course work:

  1. Is not used to meet bachelor’s degree requirements; and
  2. Has been approved by the department head of the graduate degree program being sought.

Students who enroll in 500-level courses not applied toward a bachelor’s degree may request that an exclusion statement be placed on their academic records for those courses, making them potentially applicable to a CSU graduate degree. Students cannot exclude any courses below the 500-level under this policy. (See the Key to Courses for additional information.) A written request must be filed in the Degree and Transfer Evaluation unit of the Office of the Registrar no later than the end of the term in which the excluded course is taken. Exclusion of these courses from the bachelor’s degree does not ensure acceptance of this credit toward a graduate degree program. These excluded courses are computed in the undergraduate grade point average. Undergraduate students may not enroll in courses numbered 600-699 to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements. Undergraduate students may not enroll in courses numbered 700-799.

In Residence Requirement 

A minimum of 30 upper-division semester credits must be completed in residence at CSU. “In residence” courses include any authorized Colorado State University course recorded as CSU credit on the CSU transcript. As an approved exception, “upper-division in residence” may also be satisfied by pre-approved upper-division credits earned in authorized study abroad programs and designated domestic exchange programs, if simultaneously enrolled in designated CSU courses. Pre-approval procedures are required.

Senior Year Requirement

Of the last 30 semester credits earned immediately preceding graduation, at least 15 must be completed at CSU. Credits earned in authorized study abroad programs and designated domestic exchange programs will not apply to this requirement.

Academic Fresh Start Requirement

Upon receipt of a Fresh Start, a student must successfully complete at least 30 upper-division credits of coursework in residence at CSU after the Fresh Start is granted in order to graduate.

Degree Progress Audit (DARS)

The Degree Progress Audit (DARS) is the degree tracking tool used for verification of university, program, minor, options, certificate and interdisciplinary requirements. The audit provides a dynamic and concise report, viewed over the web that is used for advising as well as for final graduation certification. The Degree Progress Audit provides students with current and accurate transfer and course information to enhance their degree and program planning. Students are able to request a degree audit for any undergraduate program at CSU for display of how their credits would be used to fulfill another major’s requirements; students can also use the "Select a Different Program" functionality to see how adding a second major, minor, or certificate will impact their graduation requirements.

Time Limitation on Credits

Courses completed within the preceding ten years may apply toward a bachelor’s degree. After ten years, course work is reviewed by the department head and college dean or a designee to determine its appropriateness to the major requirements.

Admission to Degree Program

Students are required to be admitted into a degree-seeking program in the term for which they plan to graduate. Contact the Office of Admissions for application procedures.

Intent to Graduate

Students will file their Intent to Graduate during registration via the Registration Ready Tool in RAMweb upon completion of 85 credits. Students are prompted to verify their curriculum, their correct graduation term, and to give their desired name (within reason) for the commencement program as well as their diploma.

Contract for Completion of a Major or Minor

Graduation contracts reflect the most updated version of the Degree Progress Audit (DARS), which is used for final graduation certification. Graduation Contracts are completed electronically within the student's Degree Progress Audit in consultation with their advisor(s) at each department where the student is enrolled in a major, minor, or certificate program of study. Students seeking to graduate will be notified via RAMweb to review their Degree Progress Audit (DARS) to ensure all requirements are in progress or complete and they must acknowledge they are aware of their graduation requirements. Graduation contracts must be completed by the Friday of the second week of classes of the student’s graduation term. Students who do not complete the degree requirements in their graduation term will be contacted by the Office of the Registrar requesting they update their anticipated graduation term. 

Good Standing Status

A student must be in good standing to receive a CSU degree. Accordingly, any student who is subject to suspension or dismissal for scholastic or disciplinary reasons will not graduate until the conditions of suspension or dismissal have been satisfied.

Off-Campus Completion of Degree Requirements

Seniors who are registered for final course work at another institution, either in residency or by correspondence or extension, must have their Contract for Completion of Major/Minor on file in the Office of the Registrar by the end of the add/drop period of the graduation term. Official transcripts showing completion of work from another institution must be on file in this office no later than the fourth week after the graduation term. 

Degree Conferral

Degree conferral occurs three times each year, after the conclusion of the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. The conferral date is the date that will be posted on the official transcript and the diploma. This is the date when the degree is considered officially awarded. A degree is a credential. There are three documents that provide evidence of that credential: an official transcript, a diploma, and a formal letter of completion from the Office of the Registrar.  

CSU degrees will not be posted on the student’s record until the official degree conferral date has been reached for the semester in which the degree is being awarded. Completion of all requirements prior to the official degree conferral date will not result in an early conferral of the degree. A student in this situation may request an official “Upon Completion Letter” from the Office of the Registrar showing pending conferral of the degree. The degree will be conferred for the term in which the requirements are completed.

Degree Verification Process

To confirm that a degree has been awarded, the most common options are through use of the official transcript or, for students, receipt of the diploma. In addition, many employers access the Degree Verification process through the National Student Clearinghouse.

Degrees Awarded Posthumously

In exceptional circumstances, the Provost, as approved by the Board of Governors of Colorado State University, may award degrees posthumously. Recommendations for such an award will only be considered when the student had completed nearly all of the requirements for the degree before dying, and when the student’s academic record clearly indicates that the degree would have been successfully completed had death not intervened. Nominations for posthumous awards of degree will be initiated by the student’s department and approved internally by the relevant college dean and the Provost/Executive Vice President. The posthumous nature of the recommended degree award shall be made explicit when the recommendation is forwarded to the Provost. The Provost/Executive Vice President’s Office shall be responsible for presenting the degree to appropriate survivors.

Commencement (Graduation Ceremonies)

Students may graduate in Fall, Spring, or Summer terms. CSU celebrates at Commencement ceremonies twice a year, at the end of each Fall and Spring semester. Students completing degree requirements during any term receive their diplomas by mail within 6-8 weeks after the degree conferral date, if there is no outstanding financial obligation to the University. Candidates must appear in appropriate academic attire at commencement exercises.

Graduate Degrees

The graduation procedures and information for Graduate Students is available in the Graduate and Professional Bulletin.