Course Program of Study

Course Program of Study

Course Program of Study (CPOS) is a federal requirement set by the US Department of Education. CPOS mandates that only the courses in a student’s declared major program will count toward their eligibility for federal or state financial aid (which can include the Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, federal loans, the HOPE Scholarship, TSAA, etc).

CPOS was designed to help students stay on track with their degree program and graduate on time. Enrolling in only courses that count toward your program of study helps to minimize your education expenses and debt.

Maintain CPOS

To remain eligible for full-time federal and state financial aid (like the Pell Grant or HOPE Scholarship), students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours in their degree program. Students with fewer than 12 credit hours will have prorated federal and state financial aid, depending on their total amount of qualifying hours.

Make Sure Your Courses Count

Before you register for classes, we recommend you meet with your academic advisor and review your DARS Report to ensure you are registering for courses that are required for your program.

DARS Report— Locate CPOS Eligible Courses
  1. Log into MyUTK and select “DARS and uTrack” under the “My Resources” tab
  2. Follow the on-screen prompts to run an audit for your “Declared Programs”
  3. Use the DARS report to locate which program-specific courses you need to complete to finish your degree

After registering for classes, we recommend you review your schedule’s CPOS eligibility using our CPOS Evaluation tool.

CPOS Evaluation— Review Schedule for CPOS Eligibility
  1. Log into MyUTK and select “CPOS Evaluation” under the “My Resources” tab
  2. Select the correct term from the “Term” dropdown menu
  3. Locate the “In Program” column and use the on-screen guide to determine if your schedule meets the 12 credit hour minimum

You can make adjustments to your course schedule in MyUTK. For step-by-step registration instructions, review our Class Registration page.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Any institutional or private financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) obtained from UT or outside organizations is not affected by CPOS requirements, but are subject to the rules and regulations set by those institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if I’m meeting CPOS eligibility requirements?

You can determine if your schedule is CPOS eligible by using our CPOS Evaluator and ensuring that at least 12 credit hours are “In Program.” Review “Make Your Courses Count” for a step-by-step guide for using the CPOS Evaluation tool.

If your courses for the upcoming semester are not CPOS eligible, we will contact you and encourage you to review and/or make changes to your schedule to get you back on track.

Additionally, your academic advisor will be made aware of any potential ineligibility so they can work with you to resolve the situation.

Do my classes count towards CPOS eligibility?

Before you register for classes, we recommend that you meet with your academic advisor to ensure that the courses you plan to register for are required for your program We also encourage you to review your DARS Report prior to registration to ensure you are registering for courses in your program. Review our step-by-step guide to DARS Reports.

After registering for classes, you can review your schedule’s CPOS eligibility with our CPOS Evaluation tool. Review our step-by-step guide to CPOS Evaluations.

What happens if I need to change my schedule?

Your enrollment will be checked each semester when financial aid is disbursed and immediately following the end of the drop/add period. Any changes to your schedule after the census date will not impact aid eligibility.

Can I appeal to have a non-qualifying course considered for aid eligibility?

UT’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships does not review appeals on individual courses. Please talk to your academic advisor and ask if the course can be added as a qualified course within your degree program.

What if I haven’t declared a major yet?

Students that haven’t declared a major must do so by the completion of 60 credit hours in order to remain eligible for federal and state financial aid.

What if I’m planning on changing my major?

If you’re considering changing your major (or adding any majors or minors), it is important that you discuss this with your academic advisor. We want to help ensure that your courses keep you eligible for federal and state financial aid.

What if it’s my last semester and I need fewer than 12 hours?

Your state and federal aid eligibility will be based on only the remaining courses that apply to your degree program.

If all the courses for my major are full, can I substitute a course to ensure I qualify?

Contact your academic advisor to see if a different course could be substituted for the unavailable course in your program of study.

What do I do if I have two majors?

All of the courses required for both declared majors will be taken into consideration for CPOS.

I have to retake a course in my major. Will the course still meet CPOS requirements?

If the requirement has not been fulfilled, the course will continue to qualify for federal and state financial aid until you pass the course and/or retake a course with a passing grade for one additional attempt.

Special Student Circumstances

What if I’m studying abroad?

To stay eligible for full-time federal and state financial aid, any courses you take while abroad must meet your degree requirements or electives.

I’m in ROTC. Will this affect me?

ROTC courses are considered electives and must fall within the allowable electives for your degree program, or be taken with at least 12 hours of qualifying coursework.

I’m an international student. Will this affect me?

International students are not affected by this regulation, as you do not qualify and/or receive federal or state financial aid.

I’m receiving VA benefits. Will this affect me?

VA benefits are subject to their own rules and do not fall under CPOS. Please contact the Veterans Success Center if you have questions about course eligibility.

I’m a transfer student with more than 60 hours. Will this affect me?

As long as you start directly in a degree program and are registered for at least 12 hours in the degree program when you transfer to UT, this will not affect you.

I’m enrolled at UT via the Academic Common Market. Will this affect me?

If you have federal financial aid which falls under CPOS regulations, yes!

I’m an undergraduate taking graduate classes. Will this affect me?

If you’re an undergraduate student in a five-year concentration that requires graduate-level courses, those courses would be eligible for financial aid under CPOS. If the graduate-level courses are not part of your degree program, they are not eligible.