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Professional Development and Extended Studies FAQs

Find Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions Here!

 What is Professional Development and Extended Studies?

The Office Extended Studies, is a statewide extended campus site offering courses for nondegree students and online-only degree students. This is a cash-funded program which is operationally and financially separate from the conventional degree programs within the College of Nursing, often referred to as the "Main Campus".

This means that we can offer students our own Extended Studies tuition rate without having to take residency into consideration.

With the exception of the online-only degree programs and the NEXus program, all courses are availble on a space-available basis.


 What is a nondegree student?

We use this term to refer to anyone who has not been matriculated in a University of Colorado degree program. This includes

  • Anyone who has applied to one of our programs, but will not be matriculated (read as "officially start classes under that program") until a later term.
  • Anyone who would like to take classes to enhance his or her knowledge or develop a new skill set.
  • Anyone who would like to try a graduate-level course before committing, or while applying to a degree program.
  • Students who are admitted to another institution, but would like to take one of our courses (including NEXus students).
  • Anyone who would like to attempt a graduate-level certificate.​
Nondegree students may take CU College of Nursing courses on a space-available basis, which means that they are not guaranteed seats.​20

 How do you offer online classes?

We keep busy professionals in mind when it comes to our online classes, so you do not have to physically attend any Internet-only courses.

We try to make it clear in our Current Course List which courses are Internet-only versus on-campus, but no matter where you look, you will see the capitol letter "I" in the three-digit section number or any class section that is Internet-only.

You will need reliable Internet access, and enough time to keep up with assignments, but here is a full list of equipment that meets these technology requirements.

The University of Colorado migrated to a new Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas. As of fall semester 2013, the College of Nursing has all courses available in Canvas, with only a few exceptions that do not affect nondegree students. There is a handy Canvas Student Guide if you would like to learn more.

There are other ways in which we offer courses, including:

  • On-campus, which will always have the letter "O" in the three-digit section code. These courses may still require Internet participation.
  • Hybrid Courses, which will always have a "B" in their section code, requiring both Internet and on-campus participation.

 How do I apply?

Application processes can differ depending on which type of student you are:


 How much will it cost?

​Please see the Nondegree Programs page, specifically the Cost tab, to see the current Extended Studies Tuition Rate. This will be the per-credit-hour rate for a whole academic year.

On top of the tuition rate, students are subject to fees depending on a few factors. Please see the current College of Nursing's Graduate and Professional tuition and fee table* , but below are some pointers for figuring out which fees might apply to you:

  • New or returning? Every student will pay a one-time matriculation fee to cover all of the lifelong costs of keeping permanent academic records. Benefit: free transcripts for life.
  • Internet, on-campus, or hybrid course? Although these are all considered didactic or lecture courses, there are different fees associated with the different modes of course instruction. Benefit: you have help desks and support services in place to help you with each mode of instruction.
  • Assessment or clinical course? There are separate fees to cover the costs of lab or clinical supervision and instructional supplies.
  • Late registration? If you request to register after the last day of drop/add period for a course with a late start date, we will charge you an additional $60 to manually register you.

Other fees that you will probably see are:

  • Academic Support Services Fee Benefit: Library, Registrar, and Educational Support Services are here for you.
  • Technology Fee Benefit: Computer assistance and support.

*Please notice that the Extended Studies Tuition Rate is comparable to the Resident Tuition Rate for Nursing MS and DNP Programs. We are able to charge a flat-rate fee without considering residency because we are the Extended Studies Campus, set up to provide classes to distance learners.​


 When and how will I be billed?

The Bursar's Office will send a notification to your campus e-mail letting you know when your bill is available. This may take time, especially in times of heavy registration. You are responsible for checking your University account at least once a week since that is our sole means of official communication with students; not reading your e-mail notifications is not justification for refund.

You will be able to access your student account information and print off your bill from your student portal. If you need any help with billing issues you should start with the Anschutz Medical Campu One-Stop-Shop, but you can also find the contact information for the Bursar's Office at the bottom of that page. If you drop classes before the end of drop/add period, you will receive a refund. Please be sure to look over your student bill and double-check it.

Be sure to call the Bursar's Office special phone line for third-party payments at 303-556-5286, you must set this up before they will accept payments from anyone but the student.

Nondegree students are not eligible for financial aid.


 How do I know which courses to request?

We try to cater to many different needs, so if you have any questions about which course is right for you for any given semester, we will be happy to help.

At this time, our baccalaureate academic programs are unable to accommodate nondegree students; however, Colorado's Community College System might be able to help you start taking prerequisites for a nursing undergraduate career.

If you want to transfer courses into a nursing degree program, you should see the "How do I transfer these credits?" section below and always check with the program into which you want to transfer credits. Nondegree students who want to take courses that will transfer into the CU Nursing MS program should start with the four core courses:

  • NURS 6009 - Nursing Theory - 4 credits
  • NURS 6070 - Systems & Policy - 4 credits
  • NURS 6107 - APN Research - 4 credits
  • NURS 6286 - Foundations in Informatics - 3 credits

If you would like to take any of the "prescriptive authority" trio of classes, then you need to take them in this order:

  • NURS 6243 - Advanced Pathophysiology - 3 credits
  • NURS 6222 - Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics - 3 credits
  • NURS 6761 - Advanced Assessment - 3 credits
​There are a number of other courses available, so please see the Current Course Offering List for what is available this semester, or see the College of Nursing Course Book.​5

 How do I get permission to take the courses/attempt the certificate I want?

We need all permissions in writing.

If you are not attempting a certificate, then you can submit your enrollment request without obtaining permission. We would be happy to obtain the necessary permissions once we have your form. It is important to let us know your needs and intents in the open response section of the enrollment request form.​

If you are applying to attempt a graduate certificate, you will need to talk to the program contact given on the certificate's web page. When they approve you, they will also give you a course suggestion. Once you have that, you can submit an enrollment request through Extended Studies.

If you need an independent study course, we request that you obtain an instructor's consent before you approach us with an enrollment request, since these are highly individualized and require instructor consent.​


 How many courses or credit hours am I allowed to take per semester?

We highly suggest that you visit "How much time should I expect to spend on a class" to calculate how many credit hours you attempt with your schedule.

Most programs only want nondegree students to take one course per semester, so please consult with the program into which you would like to transfer courses, when applicable.

As a degree seeking student, 5 credit hours per semester is full-time enrollment, however, we suggest that nondegree students try out just one course their first semester, especially for the summer semester.


 How do I transfer these credits?

Please keep in mind that nursing academic credits are transferable for five years after they were taken. 

We highly suggest that you verify the transferability of a course with the program into which you want to transfer it. The rule of thumb for CU Nursing graduate programs is that you can transfer up to 40% of the graduation credit-hour requirement.

You can find course descriptions by year from the Registrar's Office. If you need more information than that, then you will need to contact the previous instructor for a syllabus, as we do not retain these documents.

You can order transcripts online or through your student portal.


 How much time should I expect to spend on a course?

Fall (August - December) and spring (January - May) semesters require approximately four hours of your time per week for each credit hour for 16 weeks.

For example, if you take a three credit-hour course, that would require 12 hours of your time over the course of each week for the duration of the 16 weeks.

The summer term is shorter (eight weeks in June through August), so you should expect to spend roughly twice the amount of time per week for each course.

Example: Take that same three credit-hour course in the summer, and it would require 24 hours of your time each week for those eight weeks.​


 I missed the registration deadline; can I still request enrollment?

​Since nondegree students attend classes on a space-available basis, we highly suggest that you plan ahead to increase your odds of getting a seat in the class you desire. Our turnaround time may increase depending upon the number of requests and how long it takes to obtain permissions. It usually takes three to ten business days from receiving an enrollment request to sending registration materials, so please plan accordingly.

However, we try to accommodate requests to the best of our ability. We will accept enrollment requests after the posted deadline (usually one week before the start of classes), but we cannot guarantee that your account will be created in time for the start of classes.


 How far in advance can I submit an enrollment request?

If you know what courses you want to take and when they should be offered, you are welcome to submit an enrollment request. However, we highly advise that you wait until we post the Current Course List and course schedules are finalized. We will send you an e-mail notification once the list is updated each semester if you e-mail us and express interest.8

 Why do I need an e-mail account? What if I forget my password?

Anschutz Medical Campus e-mail accounts are especially fitted to protect the personal and medical information that must often be conveyed.

Once you have claimed it, your campus e-mail account is the only electronic address that we will use as an official means of University communication. You are responsible for checking your campus e-mail account at least once a week while you are a student according to University Policy, however Professional Development highly suggests checking your University e-mail daily.

If you forget your password, or miss the 90 day password reset, you can always go back to claim your account and reset your password. If that does not resolve your issues, you can find support from the HS Library or our ITS Help Desk.​


 I can't register...what do I do?!

Please verify and double check the following items before requesting help:

  1. Have you claimed your CU Account? If not, please start at Your confirmation letter included your student identification number (SID). You will get your username once you claim that account, which you can use to log into your university e-mail account, student portal, and Canvas, our current LMS.
  2. Have you logged into your student portal at and followed the step-by-step guide (Instructions.pdf) that was attached to your confirmation letter e-mail? You can request a copy of this e-mail by e-mailing Extended Studies at
  3. If yes to #2, please provide the following:
    1. What codes are you entering to search for your classes?
    2. What results are you getting?
    3. What other information are you entering?

When possible, if you can provide screenshots (Ctrl + Alt + Print Screen) in the body of the body of  an e-mail, that will help with the trouble-shooting process.

Otherwise, tech support for your campus e-mail account and student portal is available through the ITS Help Desk at 303-724-HELP or through the Health Sciences Library at 303-724-2171. LMS support is provided by CU Online Help Desk toll free at 1-877-823-3644.​​


 The course is only available as a waitlist - what does that mean?

​Many of our courses may start out with zero enrollment capacity, or no available seats. When this is the case, you are to register into the waitlist according to the instructions included with your confirmation letter. Nondegree students are not guaranteed seats, so they must  register onto the waitlist so they can queue for seats that may become available. Please keep in mind that it is possible for seats to open at the last minute at the end of drop/add period, so the longer you can wait the better.

It is students' responsibility to monitor their registration status in their student portal and drop any unwanted classes before 5 p.m. on the last day of the drop/add period.


 The course looks full, but there is another section with seats open...can't I just register into that one?

Those seats are guaranteed for our matriculated degree seeking students so they can register into courses they are required to take for their program. If there are any available seats after they have all registered, then we will close those seats in the original section (e.g. IO1) and open the same number of seats in the "shadow" section (e.g. IX1) for nondegree students.

If you happen to enroll in the wrong section, you will have to drop it and register into the section indicated in your confirmation letter. We will not allow you to remain in a degree seeking section, so please register carefully!


 Will I get a notification if I get a seat/move off of the wait list?

No. Students are responsible for monitoring their enrollment status and registrations through their student portal. However, you can contact Extended Studies to verify.25

 What should I prepare before classes start?

After you have claimed your university account and self-registered you still have tasks to complete before classes start:

  • If you are taking an online course for the first time then take the time to familiarize yourself with the Learning Management System (LMS).
  • If you are taking courses on campus then you need to request a student identification badge. This badge will give you access to the campus education facilities after hours on weekdays and weekends as well as remote access to the Health Sciences Library.
  • Find out which books you need for each course. Look in the body of your confirmation letter e-mail for instructions on whom to contact for book or materials information.
  • If you have classes on campus, you should find your way to the Anschutz Medical Campus Bookstore--you can buy books, supplies, and university and school-specific gear.
  • If you are taking a clinical course, there are further instructions with a list of the things you must have on the last page of your confirmation letter. We will also coordinate with you to make sure you meet all of the requirements.

 How do I get out of a class?

You can drop your course and receive a refund if you drop it before the end of the drop/add period. There are no refunds after the drop/add period. This applies to intensive courses. For more information see our Rufund/Withdrawal Policy.

To drop a course you have to go into your UCDAccess student portal. You will navigate as you did when you self-registered, but underneath your Enroll tab you should see a tab entitled Drop during the whole drop/add period. After you have followed the on-screen instructions, please confirm the drop by logging out and back into your student portal to see the little blue symbol next to the course in your Academics area.

We would be happy to confirm your enrollment status if you contact us.


 What is the difference between dropping and withdrawing from a class? What happens if I do neither?

​You can drop a class before the end of drop/add period without being financially or academically responsible. That means you can get a refund and the course will not show up on your transcripts. You so not need permission to drop a course, but you must drop classes from your student portal.

Withdrawals are available after the drop/add period. You will be 100% financially and academically responsible. That means  you will still have to pay all tuition and fees for that course, but you will get a "W" on your transcript. You must fill out a Withdrawal From Course Form and submit it to Extended Studies so we can collect the rest of the signatures and process it. Your instructor and associate dean must approve and sign for a withdrawal.

If you do not drop or withdraw from a course you will still be 100% financially and academically responsible for the course. If you stop participating in the class you will receive an "F" on your transcripts.

For full details please review our Refund/Withdrawal Policy.


 I want to sign up for a graduate certificate, but how do I know which one is right for me?

​We highly encourage students to contact the program directly in order to get the best information and so both parties can get a sense of what the student can bring to the classroom, and whether the program corresponds with the needs, experience, and goals of each student.

Please visit the Graduate Certificate Programs page to see the options. You should find contact information within each of the certificate programs' pages.

If you would like to attempt any of the informatics certificates, we ask that you contact the informatics program before hand, and wait until they have approved courses before you submit an enrollment request form to avoid duplicating efforts.


 What is the difference between a graduate certificate and a post-Master's certificate?

Both certificate classifications are at the graduate level and require master's-level course work. Students who attempt these certificates are technically nondegree students, however these programs are not the same.

A graduate certificate is for students who have a baccalaureate degree, and will prepare certificate students for certifications or give them a new knowledge or skill set. Our graduate certificate programs are offered through the Extended Studies Campus and require a range of 6 to 16 credit hours for completion, which can be completed at the student's leisure. Many of our graduate certificate programs can be hand-tailored to fit the experience, needs, and aspirations of the student, so we highly suggest entering into a dialogue with the program coordinator while trying to decide which is the best for you.

In comparison, post-Master's certificates, or PMCs, are perfect for nurses who already have a MS in Nursing, and would like to earn another specialty without having to duplicate core courses. These programs require around 60 credit-hours for completion, and are offered in most of the MS Specialty options. These programs are offered through the Master' s Program and what we refer to as the Main Campus.


 How do I use my benefits as a nondegree student?

Reimbursement benefits (including UCH employees) - Many employers will reimburse student tuition costs for their employees. First, inquire with your department's human resources representative. You may need to set up third-party payments by calling 303-556-5286.

Veteran Students - If you would like to use any military benefits, including the GI Bill, please contact our Office of Veteran Student Services to verify eligibility and to set up payments.

CU Employees - Please visit the Employee Services page specifically for the Employee Tuition Benefit, and note all of the requirements for using this benefit. We include course eligibility information on our Current Course List, but please contact Professional Development if you have any questions.​