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Frequently Asked Questions

Group discussion

The only bad question is the one you never ask

Why should I pursue a liberal arts education?

At a liberal arts college, you receive a broad education that will remain useful and relevant for a lifetime. The college provides you a foundation that not only fosters success in whatever vocation you choose, but also gives breadth and depth to every dimension of life. Learning to think critically and analytically, to write, to research, and to work independently and creatively are indispensable skills. A liberal arts education encourages students to be broad-minded and tolerant of differences, to be adaptable to the changing world, and to contribute to their communities.

Can you explain the Block Plan and what a typical day is like?

Just like traditional semester-based systems, students at Colorado College will take four classes per semester, eight per year. However, instead of taking classes all at once for the entire semester, students take (and professors teach) only one class at a time, doing a semester’s amount of work in three and a half weeks - one “block.” There are eight of these blocks in an academic year, plus optional Half Block courses in the winter and Summer Session courses in the summer. The Block Plan promotes active learning since students and professors focus and concentrate on each course with no distractions from other classes. Over the course of each block, an intensity and momentum develop in the classroom that consistently engages and challenges both students and professors alike.

Typically, a class meets every weekday from 9 a.m. to noon. Once getting out of class and eating lunch, most students can then be seen going to afternoon class laboratory sessions or making time for extracurricular clubs, intramural sports, and of course, studying. However, each class is a little different since professors have the flexibility to schedule classes in the format they feel is most suited to the subject matter. Some days might call for an evening documentary screening or an all-day trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens. The unique format of students and professors fully dedicating themselves to each other for a whole block even means that your ornithology class can go on a week long trip to study birds in the field. Here at CC, bells don’t ring to end a discussion or interrupt an explanation.

Does Colorado College have an honors program?

Because classes are small and all students have been selected through a competitive admission process, an honors program simply isn’t necessary. All classes are rigorous and demanding.

What percentage of a typical first-year class will return for their sophomore year?

About 96 percent stay after their first year, thanks in large part to our unique schedule and location. Choosing Colorado College is an intentional choice; most students investigate, long before they enroll, whether the Block Plan is right for them. We also have a robust advising program, allowing students to navigate their first year with help from a professor and an upperclassmen mentor.

How do courses under the Block Plan transfer in and out?

Because the Block Plan, launched at CC in 1970, is a widely recognized scheduling system, students who choose to transfer from Colorado College do not have difficulty receiving appropriate credit at the schools to which they are transferring. One block is equivalent to four semester hours or six quarter hours.

Can I get credit for AP, IB, or other college courses?

Absolutely! Each department sets its own standards. Typically a 4 or a 5 on an AP exam, or a 6 or a 7 on an IB exam, will be worth credit. Course credits from other colleges may transfer if the grade is a C or better, the course is similar to one already taught at Colorado College (i.e. not agriculture), the course is taught on a college campus, and the course was not used to fulfill high school graduation requirements. More detailed information is available through our Registrar’s Office.

What are the general requirements?

Colorado College does not have a core curriculum, but we do have a distribution requirement. This means that while we expect students to have a breadth of experience in their curriculum, we do not specify particular courses. Students must declare their major by the end of their sophomore year and complete a total of 32 blocks for graduation. Check out our All-College Requirements page for more information.

Are there required first-year courses?

The first two blocks at Colorado College are the First-Year Experience, where students choose one of more than 30 interdisciplinary courses to introduce them to the Block Plan and the liberal arts. Explore FYE courses here.