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Frequently Asked Questions - Online Admissions Application

Click on the section name below to view frequently asked questions for the online application.

Creating an Account and Logging In

I requested a new user account more than 72 hours ago and still have not received my information.  What should I do?

Please call 303-492-4357 or email gradadm@colorado.edu for assistance.

I don’t remember my username. What should I do?

If you don’t remember your username, please do not create a new account. Instead, send an email to gradadm@colorado.edu with your full name and date of birth. An admissions representative will e-mail you your username.

I don’t remember my password. What should I do?

You can reset your password anytime by clicking here. Follow the instructions on both password reset pages. (Your password will not be e-mailed to you but will take effect immediately). Please write down your password and keep it in a safe place.  If the system fails to recognize you, please register again, using the same information as you previously entered.  Your information will be emailed to you.

Why do you need my social security number?

Your Social Security Number (SSN) is not required on the admission application; however it is used by the Office of Admissions for record keeping and credential matching purposes. However, your SSN is required and should be included on your admission application if you are applying for financial aid. Your SSN will be used to match against the systems at the state and federal level for authorization of any state/federal financial aid.

My name and/or address has a character with an accent in it. Should I enter that in the application?

No, please leave the accent off the letter. Instead, enter the character as if it had no accent.

I am a first name user; my family name does not appear on my passport. How should I indicate this on the application?

Please enter the place holder “FNU” (“First Name User”) without quotation marks in place of your family name to indicate to us that you do not use a last name. This not only helps us identify you in our system, but if you are admitted it is how your name needs to appear for immigration purposes. This placeholder is recognized by the U.S. government as such for students who do not use a last or family name.

Personal Information

What if I need to update the personal information that is grayed out?

Certain personal information in our database cannot be changed online. This would include a name change, name misspelling, social security number, etc. Call the Office of Admissions at 303-492-6301 or email gradprocessing@colorado.edu  to change any information that is grayed out on the online application.

Why do you need my social security number?

Your Social Security Number (SSN) is not required on the admission application; however it is used by the Office of Admissions for record keeping and credential matching purposes. However, your SSN is required and should be included on your admission application if you are applying for financial aid. Your SSN will be used to match against the systems at the state and federal level for authorization of any state/federal financial aid.

Why should I submit my ethnic background, military status, and/or family income?

This information is collected primarily for demographic and statistical purposes. It also helps to understand your situation better and to get a full picture of you as a person for a more holistic review of your application beyond just academic data.

Citizenship

I’ve applied for permanent residency, but haven’t yet gotten it. Which answer should I select on the application?

If you (or your family) have submitted the I-485 form (Application for Permanent Residency) and you’ve received a receipt for such, then you would be considered a domestic application. If you do not yet have a receipt for this form you are an international student.

I am not a U.S. citizen, but I don’t have a visa yet. Which answer should I select on the application?

You should select the visa type you are planning to apply for. If you do not know which visa type to apply for, select F-1 under ‘Current Visa Type’, as it is the most common visa type for international students seeking a full degree. You may then leave the ‘Issue Date’, ‘Expiry Date’, and ‘Immigration Number’ blank.

What if I am a dual citizen?

If you have dual citizenship and the U.S. is one of the countries, indicate ‘U.S. Citizen’. If the U.S. is not one of them, select the country that will issue your visa.

What if I am considering, or in the process of, changing my visa type?

If you’re changing or considering changing your current visa type please enter the information for what you have now, and please contact us to let us know more about your visa status at intlgrad@colorado.edu.

Academic History

Why do I need to list ALL Post-Secondary schools I’ve attended?

It’s important for us to get a complete and accurate picture of your academic history. Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university.

What if there is no place to enter new information?

This usually occurs if the checkbox underneath the Previous Education Data has been marked in error.  Try checking and then unchecking the checkbox, this should cause the Post-Secondary Education Data section to reappear.

What if my institution is not listed?

When adding a school, once you complete the Country and State drop boxes, if your school is not listed in the School drop box please click on the link to the right of the box that reads ‘My school is not listed’. Complete the requested prompts. If you attended a non-US institution, please click the “Home-school, GED or Non-US Institution” link next to the country drop box.

I put my information in the bottom box but it is not showing in the top box.  What should I do?

You do not need to do anything.  The information you enter into the bottom box is not supposed to show in the top box.  The top box is designed to only display historical information if you have previously applied to a CU program.

Do I need to submit transcripts for all post-secondary institutions I have attended?

Yes.  One official copy of your transcript(s) exhibiting the official seal and signature of the registrar from each college or university you have attended must be submitted. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, official transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed. Final official transcripts showing all subsequent work must be submitted upon completion of the work.  For information on where to send transcripts please see the Where to Send Application Materials page.

What about credits from study abroad?

If your study abroad institution is affiliated with your home institution and the credits show on your home transcript with grades, points, and hours that are all included in your total GPA, than you do not need to submit a separate transcript for this work

Is it okay if my transcripts arrive before my application is submitted?

Yes. We hold any transcripts that arrive before your application and will match them to your application once it is received. To ensure that these transcripts are properly matched with your application as quickly as possible,  please include your current and any former legal names as well as any other identifying information (date of birth, etc.) on both your application and transcripts.   For information on where to send transcripts please see the Where to Send Application Materials page.

Do you accept electronic transcripts?

Yes, as long as they come directly from the issuing institution.  These should be sent to gradprocessing@colorado.edu

Standardized Test Scores

What is the Institution code for CU-Boulder?

The institution code is 4841.  You do not need to supply a department code.

I took my GRE Prior to August 1, 2011, what test components should I select in the application to report my Quantitative and Verbal scores?

In the Test Component drop-down box select "Verbal" and Quantitative" to report your scores.

I took my GRE on or after August 1, 2011, what test components should I select in the application to report my Quantitative and Verbal scores?

In the Test Component drop-down box select "Verbal Reasoning" and "Quantitative Reasoning" to report your scores.

Can I submit my application before I take the GRE?

Yes.  When your official scores arrive from ETS they will be added to your application materials.  Your scores must be received by the application deadline.

I put my information in the bottom box but it is not showing in the top box.  What should I do?

You do not need to do anything.  The information you enter into the bottom box is not supposed to show in the top box.  The top box is designed to only display historical information if you have previously applied to a CU program.

Employment History

Why do you need employment information?

Submitting your employment history is optional, but it helps provide a more holistic picture of you as an applicant.

What types of jobs should I include?

You should only include jobs that included work experience relevant to your graduate application.

I am still employed but the application requires an end date, what should I do?

You should just enter today's date.  Alternatively, you may skip this section and upload a resume in the upload documents section.

I put my information in the bottom box but it is not showing in the top box.  What should I do?

You do not need to do anything.  The information you enter into the bottom box is not supposed to show in the top box.  The top box is designed to only display historical information if you have previously applied to a CU program.

Honors and Awards

What if I have more than five honors and awards to include on my application?

If you would like to list more than five, we suggest you include them in a CV and upload that document in the upload document section.  Please only include items relevant to your application.

I put my information in the bottom box but it is not showing in the top box.  What should I do?

You do not need to do anything.  The information you enter into the bottom box is not supposed to show in the top box.  The top box is designed to only display historical information if you have previously applied to a CU program.

Affiliations

What if I am affiliated with more than five honor societies and/or learned professional societies?

If you would like to list more than five, we suggest you include them in a CV and upload that document in the upload document section.  Please only include items relevant to your application

Background Information - Nonacademic Suspension

What does “nonacademic” mean?

“Nonacademic” refers to disciplinary action that occurs for reasons of conduct as opposed to reasons of academic performance. A nonacademic suspension does not include a suspension for low grades, but it does include a suspension for academic dishonesty such as plagiarism or cheating.

What information should I include in my explanation?

All explanations should include the approximate date(s) of the probation(s)/suspension(s)/expulsion(s), the sanctions issued (e.g., two-day suspension, five-day suspension, expulsion, etc.), and a description of the specific actions that led to the sanctions. Please note that it is important to describe the specific behavior that led to the sanctions. A description such as “I was suspended, because I broke school rules” is not sufficient. Incomplete descriptions will delay the processing of your application.

How will my probation/suspension/expulsion impact my application?

Applicants answering “yes” to this question will undergo an additional review to assess the seriousness of the offense and to determine the likelihood of the applicant engaging in similar conduct at CU-Boulder. Applications in this category take a little longer to review, but once the offense is cleared by the reviewer, it has no further impact on the application.

How long will it take to review my probation/suspension/expulsion?

It depends on a number of factors, such as the severity of the offense, how recently it occurred, and whether such an offense would also carry sanctions here at CU-Boulder. Many applications with a “yes” answer to this question take no more than an extra day or two. Some take longer and require extra information. You may be contacted by an official in the Office of Admissions or in the Office of Student Conduct. If this is the case, respond promptly to expedite the processing of your application. Note: Reviews of the files of applicants who answer yes to this question are not conducted until a complete application and all of the required credentials have been received.

 

Background Information - Criminal History

What kinds of offenses do I need to disclose?

Applicants who have a pending criminal charge OR have ever been convicted of a crime, made a plea of guilty, accepted a deferred judgment, been adjudicated, or been required to register as a sex offender must disclose this information.  Misdemeanor traffic offenses (e.g., speeding) are exempt.

How will my criminal history affect my application?

Applicants answering “yes” to this question will undergo an additional review by a committee to determine whether the applicant’s offense(s) should have an impact on their admission decision. Factors included in the review process include the seriousness of the offense(s), number of offenses if there are more than one, and the time elapsed since the last offense.

How long will it take to review my criminal history?

It depends on a number of factors but in most cases this internal review process takes less than two to three weeks to complete. Cases that take longer result from a delay in acquiring the necessary information from outside agencies (e.g., court records, police reports, background checks) before the information can be reviewed by a committee. Note: The backgrounds of applicants who answer “yes” to the criminal history question will not be reviewed until a complete application and all of the required credentials have been received.

Is anyone with a criminal history automatically denied admission?

All applicants who have answered “yes” to the criminal history are reviewed on an individual basis however the following backgrounds would likely result in disqualification: a history of violence against persons; sexual assault; crimes involving the use of a weapon(s); serious or repeated drug or alcohol offenses; and/or offenses that include egregious theft, burglary, or damage to property.

What are my options if my file is denied based on my criminal background?

You may contact the Office of Admissions at 303-492-6301 to discuss your options.

What if I answer “no” even though I have a criminal history?

It is advised that all applicants disclose their background in the application.  If a student is found to have provided inaccurate information on the application, they may be subject to disciplinary action – including dismissal from the university – due to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. For more information on the Student Code of Conduct visit www.colorado.edu/studentaffairs/studentconduct/code.html.

Native Language

What if my native language is not listed?

We apologize that the list of languages is not all-inclusive.  If you cannot find your language please select the language most closely related to your own.

FERPA

What is FERPA and what does it mean if I waive my rights to access my letters of recommendation?

FERPA is the Educational Rights and Privacy Act where under federal law, matriculated students have the right to inspect and review the letter(s) of recommendation contained in their educational records. However, the applicant may waive the right of access. In that case the letter(s) will then remain confidential between the University of Colorado-Boulder and the recommender(s).  Recommenders may be notified of whether or not an applicant has waived their rights prior to submitting a letter on their behalf.  

If you elected not to waive your rights on the application and later change your mind, you may send an email to gradprocessing@colorado.edu stating that you wish to waive your rights to view your letters of recommendation, include your name and EMP ID (located at the top of your application) in the body of the email.

Letters of Recommendation

How does the online recommendation form work?

You provide us with the name and e-mail of your recommender(s) on the online application, and AFTER you submit your application we send an e-mail to your recommender(s) with the request. The e-mail links them directly to the online recommendation form. They simply fill it out and submit the form online, along with their letter. We will receive it automatically, and you will be notified by e-mail that we have received the recommendation.

May I use a credential management company such as interfolio to submit my letters of recommendation?

Yes, as long as the letters are confidential you may use one of these services.  Within the application you should leave the recommender information section blank and request that interfolio email your letters to gradprocessing@colorado.edu , or mail them to the address listed in the “submit required docs” section.

When is the request sent to the recommender?

The request for a recommendation will be sent out after you submit your application and it successfully loads to our system. If no recommendation is submitted within a week, a reminder will be sent out to the recommender.

Is my recommender notified of the application deadline?

They are not notified of the specific deadline. An e-mail will be sent to your recommender with a link to an online recommendation form. If they do not complete it after a week, they will also be sent a reminder e-mail to encourage them to complete the form. We recommend notifying your recommender(s) that you have listed them as a recommender and reminding them when the form should be completed by.

Will I be notified when my recommender(s) submits the letter of recommendation form?

Yes, you will receive an e-mail when we receive a recommendation on your behalf if you are using our online system to request recommendations.  You will not receive an email if your letters are emailed or mailed to us from the recommender and/or a credential management service.

Who do I contact if one of my recommenders has not received the link?

If you have received confirmation that your application has been submitted and a recommender informs you that they did not receive a link to the recommendation form, email gradadm@colorado.edu.  In your email include your first and last name, EmplID (located at the top of your application), the name of the recommender and the recommender’s email address.

Can letters of recommendation be mailed in?

Yes, please have the letters sent to the address in the "Where to Send Materials" section.  The letters must come in signed and sealed envelopes.

Can I upload letters of recommendation with my application?

No, letters uploaded by applicants are not considered official and will not be used.

Upload Documents/Personal Statements and Supplemental Documents

I'm having trouble saving my documents after I upload them, what should I do?

Try uploading all of your documents before hitting the save button.

What file type should my documents be in?

You can upload either Microsoft Word or PDF files through the ‘Upload Documents’ section of the online application.

I don’t have Adobe Reader on my computer. I have a Mac and use Preview. Can I still complete the forms?

If you do not use Adobe Reader, the file will not save correctly and may come back blank. Please download the latest free version of Adobe Reader to complete the forms.

Do I need to complete the Tuition Classification Form?

This form is required only if you are claiming in-state tuition classification and responded ‘No’ to any of the questions in the ‘Residency’ section on the ‘Additional Information’ page. The form should be submitted before the application deadline in order for your application to be considered complete. Out-of-state and international students do not need to complete this form.

Do I need to complete the Criminal History Supplement Form?

This form is only required if you answered ‘yes’ to the first question (regarding criminal history) on the ‘Non-Academic Suspension and Criminal History’ section on the ‘Background Information’ page.

Do I need to complete the Non-Academic Suspension Form?

This form is only required if you answered ‘yes’ to the second question (regarding non-academic suspension) on the ‘Non-Academic Suspension and Criminal History’ section on the ‘Background Information’ page.

Submit Application and Fee Payment

Will I get a receipt for my payment?

If you submit your payment by credit card or electronic check, you will be e-mailed a receipt for payment as soon as the transaction is approved.

I don’t live in the U.S. What is my best payment option?

Paying by credit card is your best option if you do not live in the U.S. or have a U.S. bank account. If you do not have a credit card or prefer not to pay that way, your next best option is to get an international money order made payable to University of Colorado.

What if I am not ready to pay my fee at this time?

If you are not ready to pay at this time, you may save your application and log back in when you are ready to pay. Or, you may select the ‘By mail’ option and pay the application fee by submitting a check or money order made out to the University of Colorado. 

Are fee waivers accepted? How do I request one?

The Graduate School does not accept application fee waivers unless you are a current McNair Scholar, a Project 1000 participant, or an active Peace Corps or Teach For America volunteer.

If you are a McNair Scholar, a Project 1000 participant, or an active volunteer for the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps, please contact gradadm@colorado.edu for more information before you complete your application.

also applied to another University of Colorado campus. Do I still need to pay the application fee?

Yes, if you are applying to another University of Colorado campus in addition to CU-Boulder, you must submit a separate application, official credentials, and appropriate fee to each campus. You will use the same log in credentials for any of the three campuses to log in to the applications, but you must complete a different application for each campus.

I had an error or clicked ‘cancel’ during the payment process. When I go back to my application it says “payment pending”. How do I submit my payment to complete my application?

You should receive an email regarding your application status and payment option within one business day.  If you are not contacted, you may email gradadm@colorado.edu to inquire about payment options.

How do I know if my application was submitted?

When the application is submitted you will have the opportunity to view a PDF copy. You will also receive an e-mail notifying you that your application has been submitted. You will receive a second e-mail shortly afterward to notify you that your application has been uploaded into our system.  After your application has been successfully submitted you may check the status of your application in your MyCUBoulder account.

If you have additional questions about the application, please contact us at graduate.admissions@colorado.edu  for assistance.*  

*For information on the status of your application, including supporting materials, please check your account at MyCUBoulder or contact the department to which you are applying.  The central graduate admissions office does not have this information.*