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International Freshman Application and Admission Requirements

Admission Criteria

Many factors are considered in evaluating your application for admission to CU-Boulder. Although your academic performance in secondary school is the most important indicator of success, we also consider other factors, including the trend in your grades, the academic rigor of your high school courses, your personal essays, and your potential contributions to the campus community. The SAT/ACT is not required unless you would like to be considered for merit-based freshman scholarships.

The table below shows the academic performance of the middle 50 percent of the fall freshman class admitted to CU-Boulder, based on a 4.0 U.S. GPA scale. Twenty-five percent of freshmen had higher GPAs and 25 percent had lower GPAs. Using this chart, you can compare your academic performance to those that got admitted into the fall freshman class. We expect the standings for next fall to be similar.

High School GPA for Middle 50% of Admitted Freshman Applicants
by College/School
College of Arts and Sciences 3.27 - 3.91
College of Engineering and Applied Science 3.82 - 4.0
College of Media, Communication and Information 3.46 - 3.94
College of Music 3.51 - 4.0
Leeds School of Business 3.48 - 3.96
Program in Environmental Design 3.35 - 4.0

Application Checklist—Freshman Applicants

Required for academic admission consideration:
Online Undergraduate Application for Admission
$70 nonrefundable application fee
Official secondary school transcript*
Personal essays
Letter of recommendation

Required for immigration documents:
Official test scores on the TOEFL/IELTS
Financial support statement
Scan of your passport**

Required for scholarship consideration:
SAT or ACT test scores (Required for ALL US citizens regardless of country of schooling)

Official certified copies of your previous academic records (transcripts) are required. All records should be submitted with original stamps. For the following countries, only the official English language transcript is required:

Afghanistan Japan Singapore
Australia Kenya South Africa
Belize Kuwait South Korea
Burkina Faso Micronesia Sri Lanka
Brunei New Zealand Swaziland
Canada (Unless in Quebec) Nigeria Sweden
Commonwealth Caribbean Norway Tajikistan
Ethiopia Pakistan Territories of the Pacific
Gambia Philippines Thailand
Ghana Rwanda Uganda
Hong Kong Saudi Arabia UK
India Sierra Leone Zimbabwe

For all other countries, all records should be submitted in the native language with original stamps. All credentials written in languages other than English must be accompanied by a literal certified English translation.

For your secondary school attendance (grade 9 through grades 11, 12, or 13), submit all official transcripts, mark sheets, or grade reports, and any certificates, degrees, diplomas, or statements of graduation or completion. If you are currently attending secondary school, send all available records at this time, including a list of your courses in progress.

For your college/university attendance (tertiary level), submit all official transcripts, mark sheets, or grade reports, and any certificates, degrees, diplomas, or statements of graduation or completion from each college or university attended (except any campus of the University of Colorado). Documentation is required 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 credit. Failure to list and submit  transcripts from all institutions previously attended before enrolling at CU-Boulder is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university.

If you are admitted while still attending classes, your final records will be required upon completion of the course work or program.

Transcripts may be sent by e-mail to E-mailed transcripts must come from a counselor or other school official. E-mailed transcripts from a student are not accepted.

Students from China and India must be particularly careful to submit complete official academic credentials (for university level work). Every page of each document must bear an original stamp or seal of the institution. Chinese students must submit both Chinese language and English translations of transcripts and diplomas and must submit diplomas showing every degree awarded. Students from India must submit individual marksheets for each semester or year, in addition to separate diplomas showing every degree awarded. Request your transcripts online.

All academic documents received by the University of Colorado Boulder become the property of the university. The university scans all transcripts into an electronic application file and destroys the paper copy shortly after that. We are unable to return any original or official transcripts to the student. If you will have trouble replacing your transcripts or any of your academic documents, please contact the International Admissions Team at for possible alternatives to sending your original or expensive documents. This does not include transcripts from U.S. schools, which must be official and must be sent to our office directly from the U.S. school.

** To reference before issuing your immigration documents. If you already have a passport, please make an electronic scan (PDF) and attach it to your application as an “additional application item” in the "Upload Documents" section of the online application. If you do not yet have a passport, please submit the scan once it is available to

Admission Process for International Students

Your file will be reviewed after the following items have been received:

  1. a complete application,
  2. the application fee,
  3. all complete and official academic documents,
  4. personal essays, and
  5. a letter of recommendation.

If you are academically eligible for admission to the university, your file will then be checked for proof of adequate English proficiency, financial support, and other information required by law prior to issuing immigration documentation.

Undergraduate applications are reviewed and all decisions are made in the Office of Admissions. Missing information or credentials delay application processing and may affect your chances for admission.