Academic Regulations


The curricula at Colorado School of Mines have been especially designed so that the course work flows naturally from course to course and year to year. Thus, it is important that deficiencies in lower numbered courses be scheduled in preference to more advanced work.


It is the responsibility of each student to make certain that the proper prerequisites for all courses have been met. Registration in a course without the necessary prerequisite may result in dismissal from the class or a grade of F (Failed) in the course.


The Colorado Department of Higher Education specifies a remedial programs policy in which any first-time freshmen admitted to public institutions of higher education in Colorado with ACT (or equivalent) scores of less than 18 in reading or English, or less than 19 in mathematics, are required to participate in remedial studies. At the Colorado School of Mines, these remedial studies will be conducted through required tutoring in Nature and Human Values for reading and writing, and Calculus for Scientists and Engineers I for mathematics, and the consequent achievement of a grade of C or better.

Transfer Credit

In all cases, requests for transfer credit are processed by the Registrar. Credits must be submitted on an official transcript from a regionally accredited institution or if the institution is international, credit is only considered from institutions that are recognized by the Ministry of Education or other official accrediting or recognition body in the country of origin. Credits must be academic in nature. Vocational, CLEP, DSST, and theological credit is not accepted. No credit is granted for internships, co-ops, practicums, life experience courses, Independent Study, precalculus courses below Calculus I such as trigonometry and geometry, and non-calculus based general/introductory Physics courses.

Only courses completed with grades of "C" or better will be considered for acceptance. Credit that is recorded as “pass” “satisfactory” or “credit” at institutions that do not equate this classification to a C or better grade will not transfer.

Departments may stipulate a higher minimum grade.

Credit Conversion

Quarter credits are converted to semester credits upon transfer. This is done by multiplying the quarter credits by 0.67 (i.e. 4 quarter credits x 0.67 = 2.6 semester credits).

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits are converted to semester credits by multiplying ECTS credits by 0.5 (i.e. 2 ECTS x 0.5 = 1 semester credit),

Other international credits are converted to the U.S. semester based system according to national standards set by AACRAO International Education Services.

New Transfer Students

Upon matriculation, a transfer student will receive the prescribed academic credit for courses taken at another institution if these courses are listed in a current articulation agreement and transfer guide between Mines and that institution. When an articulation agreement does not exist with another institution, the transfer student may receive credit for a course taken at another institution upon receipt of a certified copy of the student’s official transcript from the host institution. Courses may be subject to review by the appropriate Mines department head or designate to ensure course equivalency. Course materials, such as syllabi, exams, and notes may be requested for evaluation. Credits earned more than 10 years in advance of admission will not transfer.

Continuing Students

Students who are currently enrolled at Mines may transfer credit in required courses only in extenuating circumstances, upon the advance approval of the Registrar, the department head of the appropriate course, and the department head of the student’s option/major. Upon return, credit will be received subject to review by the Registrar. Physics courses are subject to post-approval from the department. Forms for this purpose are available in the Registrar’s Office, and the process is reviewed periodically by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (EVPAA).

Returning Students

Students who have matriculated at Mines, withdrawn, applied for readmission and wish to transfer in credit taken at an institution while they were absent from Mines, must obtain approval, upon return, of the department head of the appropriate course, the department head of the student’s option/major, and the Registrar.

Prior Learning Credit

Colorado School of Mines makes no promises to prospective students regarding the acceptance of credit awarded by examination, credit for prior learning, or credit for transfer until these credits have been evaluated for applicability to a degree program. If prior learning credits are approved by Mines, up to a maximum of 56.0 credits of prior learning credit may be applied to an undergraduate degree based on course applicability for that degree. 

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB)

Course work completed for select subjects under the Advanced Placement Program in a high school may be accepted for college credit provided that the Advanced Placement Program Test grade is either a 5, 4, or 3 depending on the exam. For specific information, please visit the AP, IB, Challenge Exam and Military Credit website.

Course work completed for select subjects under the International Baccalaureate Program in high school may be accepted for college credit provided that the International Baccalaureate Program Exam grade in a 4, 5, 6, or 7 on selected standard and higher level exams. In some cases, departmental approval is required before credit is granted. More information on which subjects are accepted can be found on the AP, IB, Challenge Exam and Military Credit website.

Challenge Exams

Qualified students may complete challenge exams to test out of and receive credit for the following foundational Core courses at Mines. Faculty in each department determine a student's eligibility for sitting for the exams and communicate eligibility requirements to the Registrar for the purposes of communication with the new incoming eligible students.


Incoming students in their first two semesters at Mines may be eligible for challenge exams based on AP scores or other factors as determined by the department offering the exam. Other classes/subjects may be considered on a case by case basis.

Challenge exams are provided at the department’s option and discretion. Departments are not required to provide exams for all introductory and foundational Core courses. 

Students must pass the challenge exam with the equivalent of a “C” grade or better as determined by the department in order to earn credit for the course.  Passed exams are recorded as Mines transfer credit with a grade of “T”.  Challenge exams do not affect the student’s grade point average at Mines.

Departments provide information about students who have passed exams to the Registrar’s Office prior to Census Day in order to make necessary adjustments to the student’s schedule.

Challenge exam credit may not be awarded if it is a repeat of already earned college-level credit.

Students will not be charged tuition but Mines reserves the right to charge an administrative fee to take an exam.  No fees are required at this time.

Additional details about these exams can be found on the relevant department's website. 


Colorado School of Mines is approved by the Colorado State Approving Agency for Veteran Benefits under chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606, and 1607. Undergraduate students must register for and maintain 12.0 credits, and graduate students must register for and maintain 9.0 credits of graduate work in any semester to be certified as a full-time student for full-time benefits. Any hours taken under the full-time category will decrease the benefits to 3/4 time, 1/2 time, or tuition payment only.

All changes in hours, program, addresses, marital status, or dependents are to be reported to the Veterans Certifying Officer as soon as possible so that overpayment or underpayment may be avoided. Veterans must see the Veteran’s Certifying Officer each semester to be certified for any benefits for which they may be eligible. In order for veterans to continue to receive benefits, they must make satisfactory progress as defined by Colorado School of Mines.

An honorably or generally discharged military veteran providing a copy of his/her DD214 is awarded two credits to meet the physical education undergraduate degree requirement at Mines. Additionally, veterans may request substitution of a technical elective for the institution's core EDNS course requirement in all undergraduate degree programs.

Students who have served or are currently serving in the military are eligible for priority registration beginning Summer/Fall 2018. Proof of service needs to be provided to the Registrar's Office and may include (but is not limited) to a DD-214 for veterans and for active duty personnel current orders or other documents showing active duty status.

For more information, please visit the Veterans Services web page.

Military Credit Policy

The evaluation of previous postsecondary education and training is mandatory and required for VA beneficiaries. For students utilizing Veterans benefits who are approved for transfer credit as a result of this evaluation, the institution will grant appropriate credit, reduce the program length proportionately, notify the student and Veterans Affairs in writing of this decision, and adjust invoicing of the VA accordingly.

Colorado School of Mines reviews the Joint Service Transcript and other military documents for transfer credit on behalf of our newly admitted and first semester active duty military and veteran students. Academic coursework is considered for undergraduate credit from all branches of the military services including the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.
Credit is considered based on the submission of the Joint Services Transcript and the military form DD214 by the student as part of the student’s admissions application submission. Consideration of credit is guided by the standards set forth in the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations with final transferability and applicability determined by Colorado School of Mines. All courses will be verified using the Joint Services Transcript.
Only those courses that carry an academic designation will receive consideration for credit. Applicability of credit to a specific degree is determined based on the requirements of that degree. Most approved military credits will be free elective credits and will not be direct equivalents of courses offered at Colorado School of Mines. Be aware that if elective requirements are complete, this may limit the options for course selections during your program. This can be an issue for students who need to keep a full-time course load for Veterans benefits usage. Each student is encouraged to speak with the VA and Military Specialist in the Registrar’s Office for further information about the regulations surrounding using VA benefits.


Within the guidelines of this policy, veteran students must meet the following criteria to be awarded transfer credit:
  1. Admission to an undergraduate degree program at Colorado School of Mines.
  2. Be a veteran with an honorable or general discharge, an active duty service member, or a member of the Reserves/National Guard.
  3. Provide official military records including the DD214 (if applicable) and the Joint Services Transcript (JST) during the admission process.


A student with military training entering Mines may be eligible for up to 14 semester credits depending on their completed military academic coursework. Applicability of transfer credit to graduation requirements will vary depending on the chosen degree.

  1. Up to two credits of Physical Activity

Students with military training who are able to provide a DD214 showing an honorable or general discharge will be awarded 2 credits (equivalent of 4 separate semesters) of physical activity credit. This credit will meet the requirement for the complete Physical Activity Requirement at Mines.

  2. Up to six credits of Design

Depending on the content and duration of training and academic coursework, a veteran or active service member may apply to the Engineering, Design and Society Program for consideration of the transcripted JST credit and copy of the DD214 form to be transferred as a portion or all of the required first-level design course. If approved, the student would be awarded either:
  • two semester credits toward the degree and would be required to complete EDNS155 (1 credit) instead of the complete EDNS151 (3 credit) course, or
  • three semester credits toward the degree and the completion of the full EDNS151 (3 credit) course.

3. Up to six credits of Humanities & Social Science  

4. Up to six credits of Free Elective

Courses listed on the JST may be considered for up to a maximum of 6 credits of Free Elective. These courses must be academic in nature and not occupational or career-based training. Evaluations are based on ACE recommendations and internal Mines evaluation of coursework.
In all cases, acceptable course credit must be academic in nature and cannot repeat or overlap other courses for which the student has degree credit.

Military and EDNS 151/2XX Exemptions

Students who have technical experience outside of the classroom may be eligible to substitute a different technical elective course in place of EDNS151 and EDNS251. In order to pursue this course of action, the student must provide information and materials describing the experience and how it applies to the program to the EDNS program director. If approved, the student will complete the substitution form and turn it in to the Registrar's Office to be placed in the academic file.

Course Withdrawals, Additions and Drops

Courses may be added or dropped without fee or penalty during the first 11 school days of a regular academic term (first 4 school days of a 6-week field course or the first 6 school days of the 8-week summer term).

Continuing students may withdraw from any course after the eleventh day of classes through the thirteenth week for any reason with a grade of "W". After the thirteenth week, no withdrawals are permitted except in cases of complete withdrawal from school or for extenuating circumstances (medical or legal hardship) under the auspices of the Dean of Student’s Office. In the case when a student completely withdraws after the stated deadline for course withdrawals, they may jeopardize their ability to immediately return to Mines the following semester (see Withdrawal from School, Mines Catalog). A grade of "F" will be given in courses which are withdrawn from after the deadline without approval.

Approval of a late withdrawal from a course can be given by the Registrar acting on behalf of the Office of Academic Affairs in accordance with Mines' refund policy, and in compliance with federal regulations. Requests should be initiated in the Registrar's Office. 

All adds/drops are initiated in the Registrar’s Office. To withdraw from a course (with a “W”) a student can withdraw from a course in Trailhead by the thirteenth week deadline. If a student receives financial aid or Veteran's benefits, consult the Financial Aid Office and/or the VA representatives in the Registrar's Office prior to withdrawing from a course. Refer to the Academic Calendar for dates of specific deadlines.

Independent Study

For each semester credit awarded for independent study a student is expected to invest approximately 25 hours of effort in the educational activity involved. To register for independent study, a student should get from the Registrar’s Office the form provided for that purpose, have it completed by the instructor involved and the appropriate department head, and return it to the Registrar’s Office.

Off-Campus Study

A student must enroll in an official Mines course for any period of off-campus, course-related study, whether U.S. or foreign, including faculty-led short courses, study abroad, or any off-campus trip sponsored by Mines or led by a Mines faculty member. The registration must occur in the same term that the off-campus study takes place. In addition, the student must complete the necessary release, waiver, and emergency contact forms, transfer credit pre-approvals, and FERPA release, and provide adequate proof of current health insurance prior to departure. For additional information concerning study abroad requirements, contact Global Education at (303) 273-3210; for other information, contact the Registrar’s Office.



Mines students are expected to fulfill their academic requirements through attendance and/or participation. Class attendance is required of all students unless the student has an excused absence granted by the school or the student’s professor. Excused absences may be granted for five general reasons:

  1. Student is unable to attend class due to unexpected and immediate physical or mental wellbeing concerns (illness, surgery, injury, mental health, or hospitalization). In this regard, the student is reasonably unable to attend class, or it is in the best interest of the student’s health and/or the health of the Mines community for the student to be excused.
  2. Student has a documented personal reason for the absence (e.g., jury duty, death in the immediate family, religious holiday or observance, etc.) or unforeseen, unavoidable, and anomalous conflict subject to review and approval.
  3. Student is a sanctioned athlete and representing Mines in a sanctioned athletics activity per the Athletics Department.
  4. Student is representing Mines in an authorized activity related to a club or academic endeavor such as: academic competitions, student professional society conferences, department-sponsored trip, authorized research opportunity or request, club sport competition, program-sponsored competitions, etc. Regularly scheduled and/or recurring commitments may not qualify.
  5. Student is granted an excused absence through a sanctioned office because of protected, unexpected, sensitive, or time-sensitive circumstance(s). Sanctioned offices are Office for Institutional Equity (i.e., Title IX), SOS, DSS, Dean of Students Office/VPSA.

It is recognized that excused absences will occasionally occur, and faculty are expected to establish and clearly communicate the Excused Absence Policy and course-specific guidance or expectations in their course Syllabus.

Faculty may grant an excused absence for their own course upon request by a student.

Student requests for an excused absence does not guarantee approval. Students may be asked to provide documentation and the excused absence request is subject to approval by Student Life. Approval may consider all aspects of the request, including the duration of the request and nature of the request.

Opportunistic or habitual abuse of the excused absence policy violates the Mines Code of Conduct. Any patterns of absences that specifically result in missing exams/tests/quizzes may be investigated.

Once an Excused Absence is Granted:

The University expects each student to be responsible for learning material missed because of an excused absence.

If the student missed an in-class graded activity because of their excused absence, the faculty have the following options:

  1. Require that the activity be made up within a reasonable time frame based on the situation as determined by the faculty member.
  2. Require that an alternative activity be completed within a reasonable time frame based on the situation as determined by the faculty member.
    1. If it is deemed necessary by the faculty to use an alternative activity, it should be comparable in terms of rigor and time of completion to the original activity in such a way that having missed the original activity will not penalize the student.
    2. The alternative activity should also align with the same learning objectives as the original graded activity.
  3. Remove the graded activity from the student’s overall grade calculation: If the faculty determines certain graded activities have pedagogical value which cannot be reasonably replicated, they will instead remove those graded activities from the student’s overall grade calculation.

a. This will be separate from any grading adjustment(s) - including but not limited to dropping the lowest grade(s) - available to the rest of the class.

Any out-of-class graded activities that are due on the day of an excused absence may be accommodated. The details can be established by faculty based on the student situation or more generally in their course syllabus.

Excessive Absences

A student can jeopardize their opportunity to gain and demonstrate course mastery with excessive absences.

Further, a student can jeopardize their academic status with an unreasonable number of removed graded activities. If the number of removed graded activities (defined as #3 from “Once an Excused Absence is Granted”) surpasses a reasonable threshold set by the faculty in the course Syllabus, then additional missed graded activities may not be removed, and the student may be advised to withdraw from the course or receive the subsequent and appropriate grade, which may include failure of the course.

Students should review the Incomplete and Complete Hardship or Medical Withdrawal Policies if they believe that these procedures may apply in their situation given excessive absences. Additional information on withdrawals can be found here and information on incompletes can be found here.

Any student with chronic absences may be required to meet with Student Life to discuss resources available to them to reduce future absences.

Unexcused Absences

All absences that are not documented as excused absences are considered unexcused absences. Faculty members may deny a student the opportunity to make up some or all work missed due to an unexcused absence(s). However, faculty members have discretion to grant a student permission to make up any missed academic work for an unexcused absence. The faculty member may consider the student’s class performance and attendance in the decision.

Important Note: Faculty will seek to honor all documented excused absences according to this policy and the course Syllabus. However, class attendance is essential to understand the material and for learning to take place. Excessive or opportunistic absences regardless of the reason may result in a reduced or failing grade in the course based on course content and delivery. As content and delivery differ among faculty and classes, it is important for a student missing class to discuss the absences, excused or unexcused, with his/her/their faculty member(s) to determine what will be considered excessive.

Withdrawal from School

A student may officially withdraw from Mines - temporarily or permanently - by contacting the Dean of Students Office and completing the Complete Withdrawal Request Form.

Complete withdrawal requests may be submitted until close of business on the last day of scheduled classes for the term (Review Day is not a scheduled class day), and will result in "W's" assigned to all courses in progress.

Students may request a Hardship Withdrawal. Hardship Withdrawals may include medical matters but will also more appropriately account for withdrawals associated with natural disasters, financial hardship, family priorities, or anomalous documented considerations (i.e., significant personal circumstances). Hardship Withdrawals may be verified by corroborating documentation. Hardship Withdrawals will not be considered as part of the Maximum Withdrawal Policy calculations.

Guaranteed reentry to Mines for the term immediately following a complete withdrawal (Standard Withdrawal or Hardship Withdrawal) is only possible if a student completely withdraws by the Course Withdrawal Deadline - approximately 13 weeks into the term (as noted on the Mines' Academic Calendar).

If a student wishes to return to Mines for the immediate term following a complete withdrawal requested after the Course Withdrawal Deadline (e.g., Fall to Spring, Spring to Summer, Summer to Fall), a student must submit a complete petition to the Dean of Student's Office prior to the first scheduled class day of the immediate next academic term (noted as when "Class Start" on the Mines Academic Calendar). Petition instructions and form are available via the Student Life Website or Dean of Students Office.

A return petition will be reviewed by the Dean of Students Office (or Designated Representative). Approvals or denials of a student's petition may be decided by the Dean of Students. Students who wish to appeal a denial may do so with the VP of Student Life (or Designated Representative). Appeals are made by way of an email which asks for reconsideration of the denial, and must be requested within five business days of the denial.

A return petition may necessitate appropriate documentation which clearly supports a student's intention to return. When relevant, Mines will engage the institution's chosen clinician (medical or mental health) to help evaluate the student's readiness to return, in consultation with the Dean of Students Office, including reviewing any non-Mines clinician documentation provided.

Failure to officially withdraw will result in the grades of courses as earned, which may include a notation of “F”. Leaving the School without having paid tuition and fees will result in a hold being placed against the transcript. Additionally, students may be sent to collections for failing to reconcile all outstanding debt to the institution. Either of these actions would make future enrollment at Mines or another college more difficult. Read more about withdrawing from Mines here.