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Academics and Your Student

Academic Life and the Quarter System

The University of Denver is on the academic quarter system. In this system most students enroll in classes for three quarters: Fall, Winter, and Spring. (A quarter consists of ten weeks of study and three days of final exams.) Summer and the interterm (time between quarters) offer the opportunity for students to take additional courses. Students are considered full-time if they take between 12 and 18 credits. Courses range from 3 – 5 credits, with most courses counting as 4 credit hours. Students tend to take 4 courses each quarter.

Falling below 12 credits is not recommended in most cases due to residential, athletic, and financial aid requirements, but may occur if a student is having academic difficulty or has other circumstances (such as health issues) that warrant a lighter load. Undergraduate students who consider taking less than 12 credits should consult an academic advisor in the Center for Academic and Career Development. Academic calendars and deadlines for each year can be viewed at the Office of the Registrar’s Web site:

Undergraduate University Requirements

All students at the University of Denver need to complete courses within the Undergraduate University Requirements, commonly referred to as U- Reqs. These courses offer students the breadth necessary for a liberal arts degree. Students may select from several courses offered within specific areas of study, but must complete courses in each area required for their degree. For example, all students, regardless of their major, must take courses from the social sciences, and most students will need the equivalent of a year of a foreign language, though some degrees do not require this.

The U-Reqs are divided into two distinct parts:

  1. Foundation Courses, which are to be completed in the student’s first two years of study, and
  2. Core Courses, which are to be completed in the last two years of study.

While Foundation courses provide a breadth of study for students, the Core courses consist of three classes designed to help students synthesize, integrate, and add depth to their studies. Foundations consist of coursework in the following areas: arts & humanities, creative expression, first year inquiry & writing sequence, foreign language, mathematics & computer science, natural science, social sciences, and the First-Year Seminar and Mentoring Program. Core courses are integrated over more than one discipline, and address one of the three Core themes: communities and environments, self and identities, and change and continuity.

Registering for Courses
The registration process for new students begins the summer before they come to campus when they register for their First-Year Seminar (FYS) course (see First Year Seminars, p. 5). Students should receive registration instructions in the mail by June 1st.

Students will register for the rest of their classes as a part of Discoveries, DU’s orientation program. During Discoveries, students will learn information from the various departments regarding majors and minors, work with their FYS Faculty Mentor to build a fall schedule, learn about the University Undergraduate Requirements, and register for fall quarter courses. After their first quarter, students will register for courses on-line during an assigned registration time. For example, in the fall quarter, students will meet with their advisers during advising week to discuss courses for winter quarter and receive their registration access codes. During their assigned time they will then go online and register for courses. First year students are academically advised by their FYS Faculty Mentor. Later in their academic career, students select advisers from their major area of study. Professional academic advisers at The Center for Academic and Career Development and the Office of Undergraduate Programs for the Daniels College of Business are also available to assist students with questions or other academic issues.

Student may access their grades, as well as other academic information, via webCentral, an online portal. Grades are accessible in 10 working days or less after the final exam period. Students must know their 9-digit DU ID number and 6-digit pass code in order to access grades. Grade information cannot be released over the phone due to privacy regulations. For most programs at DU, grade reports are mailed upon request only. Requests to have grade reports mailed are valid through the summer term and must be renewed each year through the Office of the Registrar. Requests to have grades mailed must be made by the student (see FERPA, p. 5). Forms are available via the Web site ( or by contacting the Office of the Registrar.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)