Guidelines for Restricting Access to Majors

  1. To receive approval to restrict access to a major in the College of Arts and Sciences a department must demonstrate that enrollment demand in the major has exceeded and is predicted to continue to exceed the departmental resources needed to deliver the basic undergraduate degree program to the number of students entering the program. Departments cannot restrict access to an undergraduate major (with the exception of BFA programs) unless they can demonstrate the need to control enrollments as described in these guidelines.
  2. Departments that want to restrict access to their major must:
    • submit a request to the College Curriculum Committee detailing the reasons that they need to control the number of students entering the major and the steps they have taken to address enrollment pressure in their courses and in the major. The request should specify and justify the maximum number of students who are to be granted entrance to the major and the impact the restriction may have on other departments and programs in the college. The maximum number of students must be justified with a documented analysis of the constraints that limit instructional capacity. The request should also identify the resources, both physical and fiscal, that would have to be provided to avoid the limitation on numbers. Once the College Curriculum Committee has reviewed the request and addressed with the department any issues related to changes in degree requirements, course offerings and the potential impact on other departments and programs, the proposal will be forwarded to the dean for consideration.
    • create a pre-major into which all students desiring admission to the major will be placed while they prepare to apply to the major. Departments should be aware that by regential policy students must be enrolled in a degree-granting program by the time they achieve 60 credit hours. Since pre-majors, by definition, are not degree-granting programs, students must either be admitted to the major or advised by the department to enter a different degree program no later than the term in which they complete their 45th credit hour. This will allow the student a minimum of one term to prepare for and enter a different degree program.
    • provide a detailed plan for the notification of students, faculty, advisors and staff across the campus of the enrollment controls
    • guarantee that students will have access within a reasonable amount of time to any courses that are required for admission to the major
    • demonstrate that the enrollment demand is not a one-year anomaly but is likely to continue (an estimate of the time period for which controls might be necessary)
    • explain how they will assist students who are not successful in gaining admission to the major in exploring and entering another degree program
    • address in their request the impact on other departments and programs. In particular departments must consult with and make appropriate arrangements to accommodate students from other departments/colleges that use courses from the controlled enrollment major as ancillary coursework.
  3. There will be no direct admission of new freshmen to controlled enrollment majors. New freshmen who desire to pursue a controlled enrollment major will be admitted as pre-majors in the program and will be required to meet the criteria for admission to the major by the time they achieve 45 credits.
    • Transfer Students from other universities who enter UCB with freshman* standing (29.9 credit hours or less completed) who want to pursue a controlled enrollment major will be admitted as pre-majors and will be required to meet the same criteria as new freshmen for admission to the major.
    • Advanced Standing Transfer Students–transfer students from other universities who enter UCB with sophomore standing or above (30 hours or more of transfer credit) will be admitted to the pre-major and will have a maximum of 30 credit hours after transfer to UCB to meet the criteria for admission to the major. Transfer students from other institutions cannot be expected to have access to courses that are precisely equivalent to UCB courses or even to have access to the same disciplines as are offered at UCB. Moreover, the Office of Admissions does not have the resources or the expertise to determine the equivalency of transfer courses to specific major courses in the college for the purposes of determining the admissibility of transfer students to restricted majors. Departments may specify criteria for direct admission to a controlled enrollment major for transfer students from other institutions.
    • IUT’s‹Students from other schools and colleges on the Boulder campus who are in their freshman year and who have not yet met the criteria to enter a controlled enrollment major can IUT into the pre-major provided that they meet the IUT requirements for entry to the College of Arts and Sciences.
    • IUT’s with advanced standing–Students from other schools and colleges on the Boulder campus with sophomore standing or above (30 hours or more completed) can be admitted to the pre-major provided that they meet the criteria for IUT into the College of Arts and Sciences. IUT’s with sophomore standing or above will have a maximum of 30 credit hours after admission to Arts and Sciences to meet the criteria for admission to the major.
    • BFA degrees‹Students cannot be admitted directly to BFA programs.
    • Second Undergraduate Degrees‹Students requesting admission to a controlled enrollment major for the purpose of completing a second undergraduate degree will be admitted to the pre-major and will be required to follow the same process for admission to the major as new freshmen.
    • Students from other Arts and Sciences majors, including readmitted students, who request to change their major to a controlled enrollment major or who request to add a controlled enrollment major to their existing major(s)‹Students from other Arts and Sciences majors, including readmitted students, who are in their freshman year and who have not yet met the criteriato enter a controlled enrollment major can change their major to the pre-major or can add the pre-major to their existing major if they have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above. Students from other Arts and Sciences majors who are beyond their freshman year, including readmitted students, must meet all criteria and must apply and be directly admitted to the controlled enrollment major. They cannot change their major to the pre-major.
    • Distributed Studies‹Controlled enrollment majors will not be eligible to be included as an “area option” in the Distributed Studies Major except by special permission of the controlled enrollment major.
  4. Criteria that can be established to control enrollment to a major can include:
    • gateway courses
    • GPA in a selected set of courses
    • minimum number of credit hours completed
    • cumulative GPA
    • portfolio or performance review
    • combination of any of the above
  5. The guidelines for entering a controlled enrollment major

    • The guidelines for entering a controlled enrollment major must state whether students meeting the established criteria are guaranteed admission or are eligible to apply and admission is competitive based on space in the major and the quality of the eligible applicants.
    • The guidelines also must indicate the entering class to which the restriction applies. Restrictions cannot be applied to students already enrolled as degree seeking students on the Boulder campus.
    • The standard deadline by which students must apply to be considered for admission to a controlled enrollment major will be the end of the third week of classes of the fall and spring semesters. There will be no application or admission to controlled enrollment majors during the summer.
    • Students will be notified of the decision about their application by letter at the address indicated on their application form no later than the sixth week of the term in which they apply.
    • Students who have been denied admission to a controlled enrollment major can reapply once up until they achieve 60 credits. Once a student who has applied and been denied admission to a controlled enrollment major achieves 60 credits, the student is no longer eligible to reapply.
    • Students can appeal the outcome of their application to the chair of the department only if they can document procedural or clerical error in the application/admission process. Students cannot appeal purely based on their disagreement with the decision.
  6. The criteria for admission to a controlled enrollment major will apply to a class entering the University of Colorado at Boulder and the college should make every effort to ensure that the criteria are published in Admissions documents and the catalog for that entering class. Except in emergency circumstances, any new or revised enrollment control must be approved by May 31 at least 15 months prior to the enrollment of the entering class to which it will apply. For example, for an enrollment control to apply to students entering UCB in summer/fall 2004, the criteria would have to be approved by the dean of the college no later than May 31, 2003.
  7. Enrollment controls are approved for two years and must be reviewed for continuation every other year by the dean. Majors that have received approval to restrict access do not need to go through the entire approval process but must request authorization from the dean every two years to continue their enrollment control procedures.

*For purposes of this policy, freshmen are defined as students who have completed 29.9 credit hours or less of college work.