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Application Requirements

While you may complete your online application in multiple sessions, we recommend that you gather as much of these materials as possible prior to beginning your online application.

Online Application for Admission

The online application is the university's preferred method of receiving application materials. If you are unable to use the online application, you must contact your department to request a paper application.

Personal Statement

Prepare your "Personal Statement" as a .doc or .pdf file, and upload it with your application.  Questions vary by department and are available within the online application. 

Basic Information

The online application asks for such basic information as:

  • Your full legal name, as it appears on your birth certificate or passport
  • Home address and contact information
  • Post-secondary education
  • Applicable honors, awards, and affiliations
  • Applicable employment history
  • Other pertinent background information


For review and decision purposes you are required to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) in the online application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed.  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.

ONLY after you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official transcripts. 

Instructions for Uploading Unofficial Transcripts to Your Application

 International Applicants

For review and decision purposes you are required to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) in the online application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. Include any transcripts, mark sheets, or grade reports, and any certificates, degrees, diplomas, or statements of graduation or completion from each college or university attended, regardless of the length of attendance, whether or not courses were completed, and whether or not you believe the record will affect your admission or transfer of credit. If you are currently enrolled, send all available records at this time, including courses in progress.

Final records are required upon completion of the course work or program. All records should be submitted in the native language, and credentials written in languages other than English must also be accompanied by a literal, certified English translation.

ONLY after you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official transcripts. 

Supplementary Materials

Required or optional supplementary materials may be uploaded with your online application.

Required: A number of departments require supplementary materials from applicants. For details, see the program you are interested in applying to.

Optional: You may also submit any additional materials you feel may be valuable in the decision-making process, such as a curriculum vitae.

 International Applicants

Be sure to attach a scan of your passport under the 'Passport' item in the 'Uploads' section of your application. If you do not yet have a passport you may skip doing so, however if you are admitted you will need to provide us with a scan of your passport at that time. Attaching such a scan to your application now will save processing time later.

Standardized Test Scores

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission to many graduate programs and is considered valuable for all others. Please check program pages to determine specific test requirements. The GRE college code for CU Boulder is 4841. Direct any inquiries regarding these examinations to the program in which you intend to study.

If you are applying to the Leeds School of Business, you are required to present scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The GMAT department code for the Leeds School is 11S – Z2 – 95.

International Applicants English Proficiency TOEFL/IELTS scores


Letters of Recommendation

Each program requires letters of recommendation but varies in the number of letters required. Review the program overview page for specific requirements.  You will be asked to supply the names of your recommenders as well as their email addresses within the application.  Requests for letters will be sent out after you submit your application.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer credits from accredited institutions are accepted by CU-Boulder only after approval by the department chair/program director and under the special conditions outlined below. Transfer credit is defined as any credit earned at another accredited institution, credits earned on another campus of the CU system, or credits earned as a non-degree student within the CU system. Students seeking a degree from the University of Colorado Boulder must complete the majority of their course work while enrolled in a graduate program as a degree-seeking student.

The following rules apply to transferring credit to CU-Boulder graduate programs:

  1. The maximum amount of work that may be transferred to CU-Boulder depends upon the graduate degree sought (individual departments may have more restrictive limits).
  2. Work already applied toward a graduate degree received from CU-Boulder or another institution cannot be accepted for transfer toward another graduate degree of the same level at CU-Boulder. In addition, work completed for a doctoral degree may not be applied toward a subsequent master’s degree. Extension work completed at another institution cannot be transferred and correspondence work, except to make up deficiencies, is not recognized.
  3. All courses accepted for transfer must be graduate-level courses. A course in which a grade of B- or lower was received will not be accepted for transfer. Transfer course work that is to be applied to a graduate degree at CU-Boulder and was completed more than five years prior to being accepted to the program shall be evaluated by the major department as to current relevance and applicability to the degree requirements. At the discretion of the department, a student may be asked to validate transfer credits prior to approval.
  4. Credit may not be transferred until the student has completed 6 credits of graduate level course work as a degree-seeking student on the CU-Boulder campus with a 3.0 GPA. Transferred credits do not reduce the minimum registration requirement but may reduce the amount of work to be done in formal courses.
  5. Excess undergraduate credits from another institution may not be transferred to the CU-Boulder Graduate School.
  6. With the exception of students enrolled in the concurrent bachelor’s/master’s degree, seniors at CU-Boulder may transfer a limited amount of graduate level work (up to 9 semester hours) provided such work:

  • is completed with a grade of B or above at CU-Boulder

  • comes within the five year course time limit

  • has not been applied toward another degree
  • is recommended for transfer by the department concerned, and such transfer is approved by the dean of the Graduate School

Tuition Classification

If you are applying for in-state tuition classification you will need the following information for yourself and your family:

  • Dates (mo./day/yr.) of continuous physical residence in Colorado
  • Dates (mo./day/yr.) of absences from Colorado of more than two months in duration within the past two years
  • Dates (mo./day/yr.) of employment in Colorado
  • Exact years for which personal resident Colorado income tax returns were filed
  • Dates (mo./day/yr.) of active duty military service
  • Dates (mo./day/yr.) stationed in Colorado
  • Dates you/your family member have had a Colorado drivers license or ID card (mo./day/yr.)
  • Current Colorado drivers license or ID card number
  • Exact years of Colorado motor vehicle registration
  • Current Colorado license plate number
  • State in which currently registered to vote
  • Dates (mo./day/yr.) of Colorado voter registration
  • Dates (mo./day/yr.) of ownership of a home in Colorado that is your/your family member's primary residence. (Go to the Office of the Registrar web site for regulations on tuition classification.)

Nonrefundable Application Fee

$60 Domestic Application Fee (McNair Scholars please select the check/money order option on the application, complete the McNair Graduate application fee waiver form available on the McNair web site and send to

 $80 International Application Fee

The application fee can be paid online at the time you submit your application via

  • Credit card or
  • Electronic check

Or it may be mailed after you submit your application in the form of

  • An international money order or
  • A check drawn from a U.S. bank.

If mailing it in, please make it payable to the University of Colorado, include your full name and birth date so that it can be properly credited to your application (see mailing instructions below).