We are excited that you are considering applying to CU Boulder! As you prepare your application, we know that there is a lot to keep in mind—from deadlines, to standardized tests and essay questions, to understanding what we're looking for from our applicants. You'll find the answers to the most common questions here, but know that the entire Admissions team is ready to help. If you have questions along the way, make sure to connect with us.

Required Materials for a Complete Application

Freshman applicants: Apply using the Common Application.

Transfer applicants: Apply using the CU Boulder Transfer Application.

Payable online at the time you submit your application or by check or money order (made payable to the University of Colorado) after you submit your application. If submitting a check or money order, include your full legal name and date of birth. We recognize that some students may be faced with financial constraints in paying the application fee. Waivers may be granted for documented hardships if you submit an application fee waiver form.

If you are a freshman applicant and are eligible for an application fee waiver you will have the opportunity to complete a request for an application fee waiver on the Common Application. If you are a transfer applicant, you will have the opportunity to complete the application fee waiver form within the CU Boulder Transfer Application.

Freshman applicants: Complete personal essay and writing supplement listed below.

Personal Essay (required, 250–650 words): Choose one of the seven essays from the Common Application.

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Writing Supplement (required, 250–650 words): In addition to the Common Application essay, you are required to submit a CU Boulder writing supplement.

As a vibrant community of learners dedicated to inclusive excellence, the students, faculty and staff at the University of Colorado Boulder seek to be open and respectful of contrasting beliefs and opinions. Every student has a unique life experience and a set of circumstances by which they are shaped and influenced. Your background may have been shaped by family history, cultural traditions, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, income, ideology, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Reflect on your unique background and tell us about a time when you had to relate to someone whose life experience was very different from your own. How did you approach the difference? If put in a similar situation again today, would you respond differently? If so, how?

Transfer applicants: Complete personal statement listed below.

Transfer Personal Statement (required, 250–650 words): Inclusive excellence and diversity play a central role at the University of Colorado Boulder and within our learning environments. Please describe why diverse and inclusive learning environments are important and how CU Boulder fits with your academic and professional goals.

Additional Required Materials

One academic letter of recommendation is required. Your full legal name should be included at the top of recommendation letters.

Transcripts must be official and submitted directly to CU Boulder from the issuing institution. Transcripts can be mailed or sent to transcripts@colorado.edu.

If you have not graduated and do not plan to graduate from high school, you must request an official copy of your certificate of high school equivalency and official GED, TASC or HiSET scores, plus an official transcript of any high school course work completed.

Official SAT or ACT scores are required and we do not prefer one test over the other. Scores will be considered official if submitted electronically by the testing agency or if they are included on your official high school transcript. SAT scores on the high school transcript must include the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section, the Math section and the Reading Test.

CU Boulder's SAT code is 4841 and the ACT code is 0532.

Used to verify graduation date. Transcripts must be official and submitted directly to CU Boulder from the issuing institution. Transcripts can be mailed or sent to transcripts@colorado.edu.

If you have not graduated and do not plan to graduate from high school, you must request an official copy of your certificate of high school equivalency and official GED, TASC or HiSET scores, plus an official transcript of any high school course work completed.

We require transcripts from each and every collegiate institution you attended during and after graduating from high school, whether or not courses were completed and whether or not you believe the record will affect your admission or transfer credit. Transcripts must be official and submitted directly to CU Boulder from the issuing institution. Transcripts can be mailed or sent to transcripts@colorado.edu.

Official SAT or ACT scores are not required for transfer students who have completed a minimum of 24 college credit hours after graduating from high school. If you have fewer than 24 college credit hours completed, request that the testing agency submit your scores directly to the Office of Admissions. Additionally, students 25 years of age or older can request an exemption from the ACT/SAT score requirement by contacting your admission counselor directly.

CU Boulder's SAT code is 4841 and the ACT code is 0532.

One academic letter of recommendation is required. Your full legal name should be included at the top of recommendation letters.

Official transcripts, including secondary school graduation date, can be mailed or sent to transcripts@colorado.edu.

Transcript Requirements

Official SAT or ACT scores are required if you are graduating from a U.S. high school. If you are not graduating from a U.S. high school, these test scores are required only if you would like to be considered for a merit-based scholarship.

CU Boulder's SAT code is 4841 and the ACT code is 0532.

Official transcripts, including secondary school graduation date, can be mailed or sent to transcripts@colorado.edu.

Transcript Requirements

We require transcripts from each and every collegiate institution you attended during and after graduating from high school, whether or not courses were completed and whether or not you believe the record will affect your admission or transfer credit. Transcripts must be official and submitted directly to CU Boulder from the issuing institution. Transcripts can be mailed or sent to transcripts@colorado.edu.

Transcript Requirements

Official SAT or ACT scores are required if you have completed fewer than 24 semester credit hours and graduated from a U.S. high school.

CU Boulder's SAT code is 4841 and the ACT code is 0532.

Applicants must also complete a College of Music application after their admission application has been submitted, provide a letter of reference and schedule an audition.

Freshman applicants: Visit the College of Music website for more information.

Transfer applicants: Visit the College of Music transfer website for more information.

Additional Information for Undocumented Students

We are committed to supporting all students, including undocumented, DACA and ASSET eligible students.

Learn More

test button