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Degree Program Requirements

Read the program overviews regarding admission requirements, department standards, test scores, supplemental materials, and deadlines. Some departments have pre-application requirements or other important information for prospective students. 

Graduate School Minimum Admission Requirements

Regular Degree Students

Qualified students may be recommended for admission to regular degree status by approved programs of the Graduate School provided they meet the following criteria. Individual graduate departments may have additional or more restrictive standards by which they evaluate graduate applicants. However, the Graduate School at CU-Boulder has established minimum standards for graduate admission. 

Applicants must:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, or have done work equivalent to that required for such a degree.
  • Show promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research, as judged by the student’s scholastic record.
  • Have adequate preparation to enter graduate study in the chosen field.
  • Have at least a 2.75 (2.00=C) undergraduate grade point average. Applicants to programs in the College of Engineering and Applied Science must have a 3.00 (3.00=B) undergraduate grade point average.  Note: applicants who cannot meet this undergraduate standard may still secure regular admission if they have completed 9 semester hours of relevant graduate course work with at least a 3.25 grade point average.

Provisional Degree Students

Students who do not meet the requirements for admission as regular degree students may be recommended for provisional degree status by their major department. With the concurrence of the dean of the Graduate School, these students are admitted for a probationary term of either one or two semesters of full-time study or the equivalent for part-time students. At the end of the specified probationary period, provisional degree students must be either admitted to regular degree status or dismissed from the graduate program to which they were provisionally admitted. Provisional students are subject to the same standards of performance required of regular degree students, plus any other requirements imposed by program faculty as conditions of admission. Credit earned by persons in provisional degree status may count toward a degree at CU-Boulder.

Standard terms of provisional admission shall be as follows: the student must complete 12 hours in two semesters (or equivalent for part-time students) with a 3.00 cumulative GPA. Program faculty may recommend additional, or alternative, conditions as appropriate.

Admission to Dual Master's Degree Programs

The Graduate School, in conjunction with the faculty of each department and deans of schools and colleges where appropriate, approves dual master's degree programs, which combine previously approved graduate degree programs in two areas or departments.

Qualified graduate students may be recommended for admission to an approved dual-degree program upon meeting the qualifications of each graduate program and any special qualifications as outlined by each program's approved guidelines. Minimum standards and qualifications for admission and continuation may be found in each department's approved program guide. Students wishing to complete degrees in more than one department that have no approved dual-degree program must complete all the requirements for both degrees with no shared or overlapping course work. (see Transfer of Credit section for more information)

Admission of Nondegree Students to Regular Degree Status

Students with nondegree status who wish to apply for regular student status must complete their application for admission before completing 9 semester hours as a nondegree student at CU-Boulder.

Readmission of Former and Suspended Students

Students who were previously admitted to a graduate degree program but who did not complete that degree and who have not been continuously registered at CU-Boulder must meet the following requirements before being readmitted:

1. Clarify their status with the department to determine their eligibility to return and pursue the same degree.

2. Submit an application to the department for departmental approval before enrollment levels are met or deadlines passed for the term in which they expect to return to CU-Boulder.

Former students who wish to change from one major to another must complete the appropriate application forms at the time they apply for readmission.

A student admitted to the Graduate School for the master’s program must reapply for admission to the doctoral program.

A regular degree student who is suspended or dismissed for failure to maintain a 3.0 grade point average is eligible to apply for readmission after one year. Approval or rejection of this application rests jointly with the student’s major department and the dean of the Graduate School. The final decision will be made by the dean based on the recommendation of the department.