We will be accepting applications for the next Colorado Advantage program beginning fall of 2018.

The Colorado Advantage Graduate Preview Weekend is sponsored annually by the Colorado Diversity Initiative, and is intended for college seniors, recent graduates and masters degree students interested in pursuing a STEM doctoral degree at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Program Information
Participating Departments and Programs

Program Information

The Colorado Advantage

The Colorado Advantage Graduate Preview Weekend is for college seniors and recent graduates.

This program is intended to introduce college seniors interested in graduate school (PhD only) to the outstanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) doctoral programs at CU-Boulder.

Students will participate in tours and workshops that:

  • showcase the benefits of earning a CU-Boulder STEM doctoral degree
  • assist students in preparing competitive graduate school applications
  • allow students to meet with faculty and tour labs in their areas of interest
  • provide the opportunity to meet with current underrepresented doctoral students and gain insight in the community that exists at CU-Boulder
  • let students experience the natural beauty of Boulder

Travel and lodging will be provided for accepted students.


This program is open to students from groups severely underrepresented in STEM graduate education, as defined by the National Science Foundation. These groups include African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives that hold tribal membership, and Pacific Islanders (native peoples of Hawaii, Guam and Samoa). Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents to qualify. Individuals of any race or ethnicity who are first generation college students from low-income backgrounds and students with disabilities are also eligible to apply.

Minimum GPA: 3.0, 3.25 for engineering (on a 4.0 scale)

Colorado Advantage participants will be selected based on academic qualifications that would indicate their ability to be admitted into a CU-Boulder doctoral program. Applicants must be intending to apply for graduate admission in fall 2018.


The application to the Colorado Advantage consists of six components:

  1. Application Form (fillable pdf - please use Chrome, populate, print to pdf and email to cdi@colorado.edu). A Word version of the application is available here.
  2. Personal Statement (instructions below)
  3. Curriculum Vita (CV) (format below)
  4. Recommendation form (fillable pdf - please use Chrome, populate, print to pdf and email to cdi@colorado.edu) A Word version of the form is available here.
  5. A Letter of Reccommendation from a faculty member, and
  6. Official Transcripts

Application Form

Please complete and email the fillable pdf application form, or print the Word version of the application, fill it out, scan it, and email it to cdi@colorado.edu.

Personal Statement

Write an essay that addresses the following questions (maximum 1500 words):

  1. What is your motivation to enter a graduate program in your field? Include your specific interests, research areas you would like to pursue in graduate school, and your long-term career goals.
  2. Why are you a good candidate for a PhD program? Describe your preparation for graduate school, including relevant coursework and research and teaching experiences. What did you learn about yourself and your field of interest from these experiences?
  3. Why is CU Boulder a good fit for you? How would our campus help you attain your goals, and how would you contribute to our campus community?
  4. If appropriate, briefly discuss how you have addressed any past academic hurdles or challenges, and address any weaknesses in your application.

Curriculum Vita Guidelines

Your CV should include: Name, Contact Information, Educational History, Employment History, Honors & Awards, Affiliations, and Publications. For each of the sections, be sure to include the following information.

  • Name: Full legal name, matching your name entered elsewhere in the application.
  • Contact Information: Provide addresses, email and phone numbers for your current address and permanent address.
  • Educational History: Please include any academic information for all post-secondary institutions you have attended (including institutions you are currently attending).
  • Employment History: Please include information on any additional nonacademic, industrial, or professional experiences from start of undergraduate work to present. Be sure to include the following information for each position listed: Employer, Job Title, Start Date, End Date, City, and State.
  • Honors and Awards: Please include any scholarships, prizes, honors, or other special recognitions you have received. For each item be sure to include the Honor/Award and Award Date.
  • Affiliations: Please list any additional honor societies and learned professional societies of which you are a member, as well as positions held. For each affiliation be sure to include the Activity, Start Date, End Date and Position.

Letter of Recommendation

A letter of recommendation from one faculty member is required. The letter must be filled out by the faculty member or emailed directly to cdi@colorado.edu.

Official Transcripts

Electronic Transcripts can be sent by your registrar’s office directly to cdi@colorado.edu.

OR, you may have your official transcripts sent to:

Colorado Diversity Initiative

UCB 347

University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, CO 80309

Participating Departments

Participating Interdisciplinary PhD Programs

For more information, contact: Barbara.Kraus@colorado.edu