How to Apply

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Application Priority Dates and Admission Notification

Applications for degree candidates may be submitted beginning in August for the following spring, summer, and fall terms. 

The university reserves the right to deny admission to applicants whose total credentials reflect an inability to assume those obligations of performance and behavior deemed essential by the university and relevant to any of its lawful missions, processes, and functions as an educational institution.

Spring Freshman Applicants

Spring applications are processed on a rolling basis. The Office of Admissions begins notifying applicants about admission decisions in October. Decisions are made approximately four to six weeks after an application is complete. Full consideration is given to applications that are complete (including the application fee and all required credentials) by the October 1 deadline.

Summer and Fall Freshman Applicants

There are two admission notification periods for fall and summer 2012 candidates.

Non-Binding Early Notification

Freshman applicants who complete their file by December 1, 2012, are guaranteed early notification and will receive an admission decision on or before January 15, 2013. Students meeting the non-binding, early notification deadline may be admitted, postponed, or denied admission. Postponed students will receive an additional review and are strongly encouraged to submit additional academic information to strengthen their applications. Students who are postponed do not typically receive an admission decision until April 1, 2013. Early notification students are not required to enroll at the University of Colorado Boulder, but must, if they choose to attend, confirm their intent to enroll by May 1, 2013.

Freshman Application Deadline

The freshman application deadline is January 15, 2013. Students may begin applying and completing their files in August. All applicants with completed files by January 15, 2013, will be notified of their admission decision no later than April 1, 2013. Students must, if they choose to attend, confirm their intent to enroll by May 1, 2013.

Transfer Applicants

Transfer applications are processed on a rolling basis. Full consideration is given to transfer applications completed by the October 1 deadline for spring admission, or the April 1 deadline for summer and fall admission. From the time a transfer application is complete, it takes a minimum of four to six weeks for it to be reviewed.

Complete an Online Application

Applicants should use the online application through their MyCUBoulder account at

For a student to be considered for admission, the Office of Admissions must receive a completed application, the application fee, and all required credentials. Processing of an application will be delayed until all required information is received.

Application Fee

The $50 application fee ($70 U.S. for international students) is nonrefundable. If paying by check or money order it should be made payable to the University of Colorado. Important: The applicant’s name and date of birth must appear on the check or money order.

Some students may be faced with financial constraints in paying the application fee. Therefore, waivers are granted to those students with documented hardships who submit fee-waiver forms available in high schools, from the CU-Boulder Office of Admissions, or at

Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at another University of Colorado campus, who are applying to an undergraduate degree program on the Boulder campus, are not required to pay the application fee.

Required Credentials

Credentials or information sent by fax cannot be accepted as official documentation. Do not submit samples or photographs of design or artwork. A portfolio is not used for admission purposes and cannot be returned.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the issuing institution and must have the appropriate seals and signatures. Other transcripts are not considered official. Transcripts that are marked, for example, “student copy,” “issued to student,” or “unofficial” are not accepted as official. Unofficial transcripts cannot be used for admission or transfer credit purposes.

High School Transcript

Students should request that their high school send an official transcript of all work completed, beginning with grade 9, directly to the Office of Admissions, regardless of the number of college hours the student has com-pleted (if any) or the date at graduation from high school. Students who have attended more than one high school and whose most recent transcript does not include the complete high school record must submit official transcripts from each school. If any part of the high school record is missing from the transcript, the processing of the application will be delayed. Students who have not graduated and do not plan to graduate from high school must request an official certificate of high school equivalency and official GED scores, plus an official transcript of any high school work (grades 9–12) completed, to be sent to the Office of Admissions.

College Transcripts

Students should request that their official transcripts from each collegiate institution attended (except any campus of the University of Colorado) be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Office of Admissions. Be sure to include all institutions, regardless of the length of attendance, whether or not courses were completed, and whether or not the record might affect admission or transfer credit. Also include any institutions attended during summers, interim terms, and during high school. 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 admission or dismissal from the university.

SAT or ACT Test Scores

Boulder requires SAT or ACT scores for admission. The ACT will be accepted with or without the writing test. Students should request that the testing agency submit scores directly to the Office of Admissions. CU-Boulder’s code for the SAT is 4841; the code for the ACT is 0532. Scores recorded on an official high school transcript are also acceptable. These scores must be submitted unless 24 or more semester hours of transferable college work have been completed at the time of application. Do not delay sending in the application and other credentials because college entrance test scores are not yet available. 

Results from SAT or ACT tests taken in December or later may be received too late to be considered for summer or fall admission of the same year.

For further information, consult a high school counselor, visit the SAT website at, phone 609-771-7600, or write to the College Board (SAT), P.O. Box 6200, Princeton, NJ 08541-6200. Visit the ACT website at, phone 319-337-1270, or write to ACT Registration, P.O. Box 414, Iowa City, IA 52243-0414.

Personal Essays

The University of Colorado Boulder requires applicants to submit two short personal essays. Applications without essays are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. Personal essays are the best way for the Office of Admissions to learn about applicants as individuals and to evaluate a student’s academic performance within the appropriate context. There are no “correct” answers to the questions—responses should reflect the unique aspects and experiences of the applicant. The specific essay questions are available on the application.

Letters of Recommendation

Students may submit letters of recommendation if they wish; however, doing so is optional.

MyCUBoulder Account

MyCUBoulder ( is a personalized electronic tool that all undergraduates may use to explore the opportunities available at CU and keep track of what needs to be done before they arrive on campus. Applicants should use their MyCUBoulder account to apply for admission, check their status, apply for scholarships and financial aid, and take care of other pre-enrollment university business.

Where to Send the Application, Fee, and Credentials

Unless otherwise instructed, mail all application materials to: Office of Admissions, Regent Administrative Center 125, University of Colorado Boulder, 552 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0552

Mailing Address

Applicants must keep their mailing address current at all times. It is used for mailings until the applicant arrives on campus. Notices are also sent to this address regarding admission, registration, and orientation, as well as other information. If an address changes or is no longer valid, notify the Office of Admissions immediately at 303-492-6301.

Application Checklist

  1. Online application for admission 
  2. $50 nonrefundable ($70 U.S. for international students) application fee, payable online (if sending a check or money order, make payable to the University of Colorado; print student’s name and date of birth on check)
  3. Official high school transcript
  4. Official college transcripts (if applicable)
  5. SAT or ACT test scores (if applicable)
  6. Personal essays
  7. Letters of recommendation (optional)

Confirmation Procedures

All admitted students are encouraged to confirm their intent to enroll as soon as possible after receiving their admission notification. Admission must be confirmed by official notification and the nonrefundable confirmation deposit of $200 through your MyCUBoulder account.

Confirmations and deposits submitted by the dates listed below will be accepted. After these dates, confirmations can be accepted only if space is still available.

Confirmation Postmark Deadlines

  • Freshmen: fall, May 1; summer, May 1; spring, Dec. 15
  • Transfers: varies; see confirmation instructions

If students register for classes and then decide not to attend, they may be assessed tuition depending upon the circumstances. Guidelines are given on the registrar’s website ( for spring and fall and in the summer catalog for summer terms. Close attention must be given to statements regarding policies for new, readmitted, and transfer students.

The confirmation deposits are used as registration deposits each semester as long as registration is completed by the published deadline. Once students have attended CU-Boulder, the deposit (minus any fees or other charges owed) will be returned when they graduate or officially withdraw from the university according to established deadlines.