Course Program of Study (or CPOS) is a federal requirement by the U.S. Department of Education that mandates that only the courses in a student’s declared major or minor program will determine that student’s eligibility for federal or state financial aid, which can include the Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal loans, Federal SEOG Grant, the PROMISE Scholarship, West Virginia Higher Education Grant, etc.
Specifically, for federal aid to pay for courses in your major, minor, or other degree requirements, it must be part of your program of study or be necessary to earn the total hours required for your degree. Taking courses that are not a part of your program of study could result in receiving less federal financial aid and potentially having to pay for courses out-of-pocket. Courses for elective minors or concentrations are not considered degree-pursuant courses unless the minor or concentration is required in order to obtain the degree.
Note: If a student is full-time in degree-pursuant coursework, they may also consider taking courses required for a minor above that full-time enrollment. For example, they may be in 12 degree-pursuant hours (full-time for undergraduates), then take two courses for a minor, putting them at 18 hours of overall enrollment.
For undergraduate degrees, CPOS normally includes general education + major requirements + required electives. Academic departments determine program requirements which are then built into the degree evaluation program, DegreeWorks. The degree requirements for your program of study can be found by visiting your course catalog or your Degree Works.