General Admission Information

Choosing a Program of Study

When applying for admission, students need to choose a major in one of CU-Boulder’s colleges or schools. Applicants who have not decided on a major can select an “open option” major. This allows students to explore different options during their first year of study. After this time, they will decide on a specific major for their remaining years. Students can also change their area of study, but this can result in additional course requirements that may add to the number of semesters necessary to complete a degree.

Although applicants can apply to only one CU-Boulder college or school, after enrollment they can apply for transfer to another Boulder college or school through the Intrauniversity Transfer (IUT) process. Criteria for transferring from one college or school to another are competitive, and each college or school establishes its own standards.

Double Degrees, Double Majors,
Minors, and Certificate Programs

There are several programs that allow students to include additional areas of academic concentration beyond their chosen major. Two different degrees, either from the same college or school, or degrees from different colleges or schools, may be earned, providing certain conditions are met. Students are admitted to one major and degree program initially but may pursue a second degree during their first semester of enrollment. Minor programs are offered in a number of undergraduate departments and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Leeds School of Business, and the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Certificate programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering, and music fields are also available.

Preprofessional Study

Preprofessional advisors are available to help students interested in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, other allied health sciences, or law. Students interested in these fields may apply to any of the majors open to new undergraduates, including the open option major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students interested in one of the undergraduate or graduate health sciences programs offered at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus may complete preprofessional work on the Boulder campus. Admission is competitive, but preference to all health sciences programs is given to Colorado residents.

For more information, visit or see Preprofessional Programs in the Other Academic Programs section.

Music Applicants

Prospective music majors must submit both an Undergraduate Application for Admission to the Office of Admissions, and a College of Music Admission Application.

All music applicants are initially considered for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences open option major. Admission to a College of Music degree program (bachelor of arts in music, bachelor of music education, bachelor of music) is determined after the music audition and application evaluation process has been completed. Students who are admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences but not the College of Music will be able to keep their place in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Live auditions, which are preferred unless travel distance is prohibitive, are scheduled for selected Saturdays in January and February. Other live audition times may be arranged; high quality recordings also may be submitted in lieu of a live audition.

College of Music scholarships are awarded to music majors only. High school and college transfer students are automatically considered for merit-based music scholarships upon completion of the application process, including the audition. Transfer students who are receiving a scholarship from their current institution must submit a scholarship release form before they can be awarded a music scholarship. To be assured of full consideration for scholarship awards, the audition should be completed by February 15. 

The College of Music Admission Application Form, as well as more detailed information about audition requirements, faculty, and degree programs, may be found at

Teacher Education Applicants

Through the School of Education, students interested in elementary or secondary school teaching may take programs approved for Colorado licensure in connection with Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) approved majors offered at CU-Boulder. 

Elementary teacher education includes kindergarten through sixth grade licensure. Secondary teacher education includes seventh through 12th grades with licensure in English, mathematics, science, social studies, and the following foreign languages: French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. Teacher education programs are also available in music education for kindergarten through 12th grade.

Teacher education program applicants who have completed a four-year undergraduate degree program must submit their application to the Office of Admissions. Those who have not received a bachelor’s degree must apply to another CU-Boulder undergraduate degree program and submit their application and credentials to the School of Education. Undergraduate students who plan to pursue teacher education should declare this intent to the school’s Office of Student Services as soon as possible after enrolling at CU-Boulder.

Refer to the School of Education section for more information about teacher education. Interested students may also visit, e-mail, or write to the School of Education, Office of Student Services, University of Colorado Boulder, 249 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0249, for application and deadline information.

College Readiness in English and Mathematics

The State of Colorado mandates that all undergraduate students entering public institutions of higher education in Colorado be screened for college readiness in reading, writing, and mathematics. To pass the screening requirements, students must present minimum test scores.

Students who have successfully completed four years each of college preparatory English and college preparatory math courses are deemed to have met the respective requirements regardless of the test score. 

Students who do not meet CU-Boulder’s criteria for college readiness will be required to demonstrate readiness through an additional examination or to enroll in preparatory courses prior to completing the first 30 semester hours of course work on the Boulder campus. Students who have not demonstrated reading, writing, and/or mathematics readiness will receive additional details after they confirm their intent to enroll at CU-Boulder.