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How to Apply

You can access the CU-Boulder online application or the Common Application for any open term through your MyCUBoulder account. Log in and navigate to the 'Apply' tab to start your application today.  The application for future terms becomes available each August.

Students must choose either the University of Colorado Boulder application or the Common Application to apply and use only that application through to submission.  DO NOT submit both applications as it will delay your admission decision.  CU-Boulder does not prefer one application over the other and all students will be reviewed in the order their application file is completed (application is submitted and all required documents are received and official) regardless of which application is used. Follow these steps to be considered for admission:

Fill out the application

Before you fill out the application

Create your MyCUBoulder account

MyCUBoulder is for prospective degree-seeking students who need to take care of university business related to applying and enrolling at CU-Boulder.  MyCUBoulder gives you access to the CU-Boulder application, the Common Application, the application status check, scholarship application, visit program registration, financial aid status check and more.

Log in to MyCUBoulder and choose either the University of Colorado Boulder application OR the Common Application.

CU-Boulder does not prefer one application over the other and all students will be reviewed in the order their application file is completed (application is submitted and all required documents are received and official) regardless of which application is used.  If you have questions while filling out the application, please refer to the application’s help section.

Gather information to assist with filling out the application

  • Permanent and mailing addresses for yourself and your parents or guardians
  • Your social security number
  • College or school and major for which you will be applying
  • The names, cities, and attendance dates of any high schools and collegiate institutions you have attended or are currently attending
  • Dates you have taken or plan to take the ACT and/or SAT
  • All courses not currently posted on your high school or collegiate transcripts that will be completed before the term for which you are applying, including term/year, course title, and department (also course number and credit hours for collegiate course work, if applicable)
  • Activities, positions of leadership, and academic honors received in high school or college
  • Most recent employers, hours worked per week, and dates of employment
  • Parents’ occupation, place of employment, and level of education
  • Names of family members (siblings, parents, and grandparents) who have attended CU and dates of attendance

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 driver’s license or ID card (mo./day/yr.)
  • Current Colorado driver’s 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.)

Review and submit your application

REMEMBER:  You must choose either the University of Colorado Boulder application or the Common Application to apply and use only that application through to submission.  DO NOT submit both applications or you will delay your admission decision.  CU-Boulder does not prefer one application over the other and all students will be reviewed in the order their application file is completed (application is submitted and all required documents are received and official) regardless of which application is used.

Prior to submitting your application, make sure you thoroughly review your information.  If you have corrections you must make these before you submit your application. Make your corrections in the appropriate section and remember to save your revisions.  You will not be able to revise your application after you submit it.

  • If you need to change your major or term, DO NOT submit a new application.  For these, and other changes, contact the Office of Admissions at apply@colorado.edu.
  • Click the submit application button ONLY when all sections are marked complete. If you do not complete this step, your application will not be received by the Office of Admissions.

Make sure you have submitted all required documents and credentials.  Missing information and/or credentials delay application processing and may affect your chances for admission.  Incomplete applications will not be processed until all necessary items are received.

Mailing address for application documents:

Office of Admissions
Regent Administrative Center 125
University of Colorado Boulder
552 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0552

Submit required documents

Official high school transcript (secondary school records)

Regardless of the number of college hours you have completed (if any) or when you graduated from high school, request that your high school send an official transcript of all work completed beginning with grade 9. If you have attended more than one high school and your most recent transcript does not include your complete high school record, you must submit official transcripts from each school. If any part of your high school record is missing from your transcript, the processing of your application will be delayed. If you have not graduated and do not plan to graduate from high school, you must request an official copy of your certificate of high school equivalency and official GED scores, plus an official transcript of any high school course work completed. All credentials written in languages other than English must be accompanied by a literal certified English translation.  Official transcripts must be sent to the Office of Admissions from the issuing institution either electronically (transcripts@colorado.edu) or by mail and must have the appropriate seals and signatures.

Official college transcripts (if applicable)

Request transcripts from each and every collegiate institution you have attended during high school whether or not courses were completed, and whether or not you believe the record will affect your admission or transfer credit. All credentials written in languages other than English must be accompanied by a literal certified English translation. Official transcripts must be sent to the Office of Admissions from the issuing institution either electronically (transcripts@colorado.edu) or by mail and must have the appropriate seals and signatures.

Official ACT or SAT test scores

Request that the testing agency submit your scores to the Office of Admissions. The ACT will be accepted with or without the writing test. SAT subject test scores are not required. Scores recorded on your official high school transcript are also acceptable. Results from SAT or ACT tests taken in December or later may be received too late if you wish to be considered for summer or fall admission. For further information visit the SAT website, or call 866-756-7346. For ACT, visit the ACT website, or call 310-337-1270. CU-Boulder's ACT code is 0532 and the SAT code is 4841.

Personal Essays

Your personal essays are the best way for us to learn about you as an individual and to evaluate your academic performance within an appropriate context. They demonstrate your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and help you distinguish yourself in your own voice. There are two required essays.  As you write your essays, consider reflecting on challenges you've overcome, your family or cultural heritage, your academic or cocurricular achievements or specific moments that have helped to define your character. There are no "correct" answers to these questions - your responses should reflect the unique aspects and experiences of your life.

Essay A (required, 250 to 650 words): What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option below that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so. (The application won't accept a response shorter than 250 words.)

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community or family.

Essay B (required; 250 to 500 words): The University of Colorado Boulder's Flagship 2030 strategic plan promotes exceptional teaching, research, scholarship, creative works and service distinguishing us as a premier university. We strive to foster a diverse and inclusive community for all that engages each member in opportunities for academic excellence, leadership and a deeper understanding of the world in which we live. Given the statement above, how do you think you could enrich our diverse and inclusive community and what are your hopes for your college experience?

Nonrefundable Application Fee ($ 50)

University of Colorado Boulder application

Payable online at the time you submit your application or by check or money order (made payable to the University of Colorado) after you submit your application. If submitting a check or money order, include your full legal name and birth date. We recognize that some students may be faced with financial constraints in paying the application fee. Waivers can be granted for documented hardships if you submit an application fee waiver form.

Common Application

Payable online at the time you submit your application.  We recognize that some students may be faced with financial constraints in paying the application fee. Waivers can be granted for documented hardships if you submit an application fee waiver form.

Academic Letter of Recommendation

Starting with Spring 2014 applications, one academic letter of recommendation will be required. Your full legal name should be included at the top of recommendation letters. Download the Recommendation Request Form >

Optional documents

Applicants may submit additional letters of recommendation if you wish, however, doing so is optional. Applicants may also choose to submit a resume or list of cocurricular activies, work experience, leadership positions and awards.

College of Music applicants must also complete a College of Music application after their admission application has been submitted, provide a letter of reference and schedule an audition.

While your application online is preferred, you can also submit a hard copy application. Download the appropriate application packet from the 'Forms and Downloads' page for full instructions and the complete undergraduate application.