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:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing (or the equivalent), submit transcripts evidencing same.
  2. Show promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research, as judged by the student’s scholastic record.
  3. Have adequate preparation to enter graduate study in the chosen field.
  4. Have at least a 3.00 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 average.
  5. Upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) in the online application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed.  Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university.

  6. Provide four letters of recommendation from qualified referees (at least three academic are preferred if you have recently been in an academic setting – otherwise, you may use professional references – from managers, clients, etc.).
  7. GRE general exam scores are optional, however, for decision-making purposes, applicants may be asked to provide scores. No GRE Subject Exams are required. 
  8. International applicants must provide TOEFL or IELTS scores if English is not their native language. This requirement will be waived if the applicant has completed at least one year of full-time study at a U.S. institution (or at an institution in a country where English is the native language) at the time you apply, and within two years from your desired admission term. This can be confirmed by your transcripts. Non-native English speakers only should provide certification of adequate spoken and written English. A TOEFL score greater than 600 (paper-based) or 100 (internet-based) is desired. An IELTS score of 7.5 is desired.
  9. Provide your Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  10. Provide a statement of purpose describing your academic/career goals and interests. Please indicate if you have external funding – government fellowships, corporate sponsorships, etc. – in your statement of purpose.
  11. International Applicants: International Admissions prefers to reference your passport 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

Engineering in Developing Communities Certificate

If interested in participating in the EDC-certificate option, include in your statement of purpose:

  • How your previous experience (EWB, Peace Corps, professional, etc.) prepares you for the EDC program;
  • A description of language training you have received to prepare yourself for EDC-related activities and your level of fluency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in any language other than English;
  • State your clearly defined area of interest for graduate study in engineering for developing communities (i.e., water/sanitation/hygiene, energy, cook stoves, shelter, disaster relief, etc.); and,
  • An indication of how participating in the EDC-certificat option will further your academic and professional ambitions

**The EDC certificate program is unique within the Western region of the United States, and offers residents of eligible WICHE-participating states a tuition benefit via the Western Regional Graduate Program. For more information, please visit the WICHE WRGP website. Students who believe that they are eligible for this program should note this by marking the appropriate checkbox in the Background Information section of the online application – see the Supplemental Information section. The Tuition Classification division of the Office of the Registrar requires significant documentation which is required to verify eligibility.