Preparing Your Application
Anyone who needs a visa to enter the United States is considered an international student. Permanent Residents (green card holders) are processed as domestic students.
Official certified copies of your previous academic records (transcripts) are required. All academic records should be submitted with original stamps. If you are admitted while still attending classes, your final academic records will be required upon completion of the course work or program.
If we can verify the official’s identity, your school counselor/official or registrar can email an electronic copy of your academic records to email@example.com, to be considered official. Emailed transcripts from students or parents will not be considered official, though can temporarily be used unofficially for processing only.
You can have your school mail an official transcript to one of the below mailing addresses:
Overnight/Express Mailing Address (DHL, UPS, Fedex)
Office of Admissions/International
University of Colorado Boulder
3100 Marine Street - 65 UCB
Bldg RL3 Suite A122
Boulder, CO 80303-1058 USA
For standard international mail or mail within the U.S., including USPS Priority and Express:
Office of Admissions/International
University of Colorado Boulder
3100 Marine St Suite A122
Boulder, CO 80309-0065 USA
If your school or university has issued your academic records in a language other than English, you must have a certified, literal English translation of your academic records included in your application documents. A list of countries excluded from the translation requirement can be found on our Transcripts Requirements page.
We will require a literal, certified (or official) English translation. It should not be interpretive, nor should it try to convert the original grades into U.S.-style grades. A certified (or official) translation will be different depending on what is considered an official translation in your country.
Depending on the country, official translations may only be issued by the school, official government translators, or students might need to find a private professional translation service to issue the translation. We highly encourage students to consult with the local Education USA office who offers translations, or can refer you to a reliable service.
If you have already arrived on campus and need additional translation support, you may request services through CU Boulder. Many CU Boulder graduate departments now have a special section on their website that lists contact information for graduate students who are willing to do translations. These translations are considered official by the Office of Admissions. Please note: these translations are not free.
Spanish & Portuguese: http://www.colorado.edu/spanish/resources/tutors-and-translators
French & Italian: email Annette.Hays@colorado.edu requesting French or Italian translators
In light of the fact that we're accepting unofficial academic records, students applying from a school or university outside of the US are not required to submit academic records in sealed envelopes, as long as the academic records clearly has an original stamp, signature, letterhead, or is printed on official school stationery. We reserve the right to determine whether a document is an official academic record.
If we can verify the official’s identity, your school counselor/official or registrar can send an electronic copy of your academic record to firstname.lastname@example.org, which would count as official. If you have further questions, please contact us at email@example.com to see if there are alternatives we will accept. Emailed academic records from students or parents will not be considered official though they can temporarily be used unofficially for processing only.
Since we are accepting unofficial academic records and we can verify the official’s identity, your high school counselor or registrar can send an electronic copy of your academic record to firstname.lastname@example.org, which would count as official. Emailed academic records from students or parents will not be considered official, though can temporarily be used unofficially for processing only. To see if your situation allows for alternatives or exceptions, please email email@example.com.
We do not accept documents from a notary public as official. This is true for academic records in the native language as well as translations.
We will evaluate all international academic records in-house, and will convert grades from any educational system into an equivalent U.S. grade point average (GPA). You will not be required to do this yourself. CU Boulder does not accept academic record evaluations from any external companies like WES, ECE, or Spartan.
If you have questions about your country’s education system in relation to our admissions process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Decisions are made based on your academic record and not your English Proficiency scores. All applications are given a holistic review and all of your submitted documents are reviewed to determine your admission to a particular major and college. If you were not offered admission to the college or program to which you applied, a higher English Proficiency score will not change your admission decision.
In order to be considered official, National examination certificates must be submitted directly by the testing agency, verifiable school counselor/official, or school registrar. They may send results to email@example.com. Emailed results from students or parents will not be considered official though they can temporarily be used unofficially for processing only.
For your secondary school attendance (grade 9 through grades 11, 12 or 13): submit all official academic records, transcripts, marksheets, or grade reports, and any certificates (including I/GCSE, AS, A level, Indian exam certificates), degrees, diplomas, or statements of graduation or completion. If you are currently attending secondary school, send all available records at this time, including a list of your courses in progress. For students applying from academic systems which comprise three years of secondary school, the final year of work from an official middle school academic record will be required. We need 4 years of academic work.
For your college/university attendance (tertiary level): submit all official academic records, marksheets, or grade reports, and any certificates, degrees, diplomas, or statements of graduation or completion from each college or university attended (except any campus of the University of Colorado). Documentation is required regardless of the length of attendance, whether or not courses were completed, and whether or not you believe the record will affect your admission or transfer credit.
The last year of work can be in progress, but academic records should still include the coursework that the student is currently enrolled in.
How to Apply
In both cases, you should enter a period “.” for your first/given name, and the entirety of your name into the “family/last” name field. We follow the SEVIS Name Standards in doing so.
If you registered for a test (SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) under a different variation of your name, please provide us with your registration information by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please leave the accent off the character. Enter the character as if it had no accent.
If you (or your family) have submitted the I-485 form (Application for Permanent Residency) and you’ve received a receipt for such, then you would be considered a domestic applicant. If you do not yet have a receipt for the I-485 form, you are an international student.
Please select F-1 for both Current and Intended Visa types as it is the most common visa type for international students seeking a full degree. You may then leave the ‘Issue Date’, ‘Expiry Date’, and ‘Immigration Number’ blank.
If you have dual citizenship and the U.S. is one of the countries, indicate ‘U.S. Citizen’. If the U.S. is not one of them, please select the country whose passport you’ll be using to apply for your visa.
Most international applicants will be able to leave the MAPS section on the application blank. Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS) are required for all international students who have completed more than four semesters of U.S. schooling. International students with four or fewer semesters of U.S. schooling are not subject to MAPS requirements and should refer to their country's specific requirements for admission information. Learn more
If you’re changing, or considering changing your current visa type, please enter the information for what you have now. Also contact email@example.com to let us know more about your visa status.
All international, first-year applications will be reviewed for automatic consideration scholarships as long as required application documents are received by the January 15th deadline. Applicants are notified of scholarship awards at the same time as their admission decision.
Applications that qualify will be reviewed for the Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship as well as the Presidential Scholarship. The Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship is typically awarded to the top 25% of our applicants, and the Presidential Scholarship to approximately the top 1% of our applicants.
All international transfer students with completed admissions applications are automatically considered for the CU Boulder Transfer Excellence Scholarship.
On rare occasions, the Athletics Department can offer full scholarships that cover both tuition and living expenses. You would need to contact the sports team that you would like to play for. CU Boulder is a Division 1 university, and international students who occasionally receive these highly competitive awards are participating at the national level in their sport in their home country.
The College of Music offers full and partial tuition scholarships, but these do not cover living expenses. You would still need to demonstrate funding for room and board. Music scholarships are only awarded to students admitted to the College of Music.
US citizens qualify for federal financial aid. Non-US citizens are not eligible for federal student aid. Our school does not offer direct loans to any student, you may try to obtain these through banks in your country on your own. Please visit our Office of Financial Aid for more helpful information. For more information regarding scholarships please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visits https://www.colorado.edu/scholarships/.
Transfer credit evaluations are done for students who have been admitted and confirmed their intent to enroll at CU Boulder. Applicability of transfer credit is determined by your assigned academic advisor and can be viewed in your Degree Audit a few weeks before you arrive on campus.
If you’ve been attending a college or university in the U.S., you may be able to review your potential transfer credit in advance. CU Boulder has partnered with Transferology, a college planning and transfer credit resource. Create your free Transferology account to see what courses will transfer to CU Boulder. Your official transfer credit evaluation will be completed at the time you are admitted to CU Boulder. This resource is not yet available for non-U.S. institutions, so if you have only studied outside of the United States, you will have to wait until our office is able to perform a transfer credit evaluation (after you are confirmed) to determine which of your credits will transfer.
We accept transfer credit from international schools based on the same criteria we use to accept transfer credit from U.S. schools: the college or university must be recognized, the course must be academic in nature, you must have earned a grade of C- or higher, and we need to offer a similar course at CU Boulder. For these reasons, we do not accept transfer credit for English language study. We can only award transfer credit for classes taken pass/fail if your school’s official policy is that a passing grade in such a course is equivalent to a C- or higher. For further information on the transfer credit process and admission criteria click here.
Students who take AP or IB examinations and obtain strong marks can earn college credit at CU Boulder. Applicants may reference the University Catalog.
Students completing A-Level examinations with C or above on examinations may also obtain course credit at CU Boulder. For additional questions about A-Levels, please email TCHelp@colorado.edu.
A student visa is required to study in the United States. Foreign nationals may not study after entering on a visitor (B) visa or through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), except to undertake recreational study (non-credit) as part of a tourist visit.
If you or your family have a receipt for the submission of your I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence) form, you should indicate that you are a resident on the application even if your permanent residency has yet to be granted. You would be considered a domestic applicant. If your application for permanent residency is later denied, please let us know immediately at email@example.com.
Generally, dependents of most visa types are allowed to apply for and enter full time study at our university. Common examples are E-2, F-2, H-4 and A-2 visa holders. However, if you have one of these visas now, you should note that most dependent children age out of their visa status when they turn 21. Therefore, before you turn 21, you would need to change your status to that of a student. This can be done either by: 1) exiting the U.S. and applying for and obtaining a new visa in order to re-enter in that status and continue your studies; or 2) by applying for a change of status within the USA.
It is our strong recommendation that you retain an immigration attorney for a consultation about attending CU in a non-F-1 or non-J-1 status. It is your responsibility to determine if you can study at CU in the visa status you have now, and to determine what effects, if any, your visa status will have on your time here.
- B-2 dependents cannot be full time students. Those dependents can take a class or two in a non-degree seeking capacity if it is “incidental” to their visa and if they enroll for “vocational or recreational” purposes. Those students would need to work with the Office of Continuing Education in order to take a course.
- F-2 dependents can enroll but not for a full course of study. If you are an F-2 visa status and want to study on a full time basis, you will need to change to an F-1 visa status, or other appropriate visa status that allows full time study.
- Students on dependent visas do not need to demonstrate funding in order to finalize their admission if they remain in that dependent visa status, but if they do not qualify for an exemption for English proficiency, they do need to demonstrate such based on a TOEFL or IELTS result.
We do not require these for admission to the university, but we need as much information as possible in order to process your application correctly. Misrepresenting your citizenship and status on your admission application would be considered a violation of the honor code, and you could therefore be denied or have your admission offer rescinded. Please note that when admitted, International Student and Scholar Services will ask to see a copy of your passport and I-94 for their records. Students who qualify for DACA, ASSET or are undocumented should email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Admission Information for Undocumented Students webpage for more information.
If you are admitted, you will need to provide a financial statement to finalize your admission and receive an I-20. It is best to submit the financial statement as soon as possible after your admission, so you have enough time to apply for your student visa and book a flight to the US.
Qualifying TOEFL, Duolingo or IELTS scores must be received by the Office of Admissions no later than November 15 for spring applicants and June 15 for fall applicants. Proof of English Proficiency is not an application requirement. The only time we will request your English Proficiency scores will be after you receive an acceptance letter from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Dependents are limited to your immediate family, which is defined as your spouse and children. Parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces and nephews cannot be dependents. Additional 'proof of funding' must be demonstrated for each dependent that will accompany you. The estimates of "per-dependent" costs can be found on the financial statements.
Confirming Intent to Enroll
You will find an International Confirmation Reply form on your Application Status page for you to complete once all your Visa materials have been processed.
Once you have confirmed your intent to enroll and paid your confirmation deposit, keep an eye on your email for important information on the next steps. This can generally take 3-5 business days. You can also visit the Confirm page of our website
You must complete the online application, submit all required materials, be offered admission, meet all immigration regulations (which includes proof of English proficiency, proof of funding, and a copy of your passport) and confirm your intent to enroll in your application status page to be issued an I-20. By law, our office cannot issue I-20s until all of these steps have been completed and all required documents have been received.
Yes. While the estimate for living expenses is based on rates for living in campus housing, you can expect to pay a similar amount (if not more), if you’ll be living off campus. Therefore, the living expenses line is an estimate for either on- or off-campus living. If you have family that lives nearby, and if you plan on living with them and getting your meals from them, we can reduce the amount on the financial statement by the living expenses estimate. We will need a document stating that this is the case for exceptions. Please contact email@example.com for questions about exceptions.
The “Books and Supplies” cost is fixed and will not be adjusted. This estimate is based on student experience.
No. Holders of some dependent visas are not authorized to work in the U.S., so they are ineligible to hold a job. Also, a possible future job is not evidence of current ability to pay. Therefore you must demonstrate the full amount required.
No. While your family or sponsor is stating that they will support you in your studies when they complete the “Affidavit of Support,” they are not obligated to pay if additional sources of funding become available. If you won’t find out about such scholarships or loans until a later date, we would suggest submitting the financial statement with your family or sponsor’s demonstration of funding.
When your I-20 is ready, it will be emailed to you and can expect your I-20 about 2– 3 business days after you confirm your intent to enroll through the application portal.
We always ask for the most amount of time possible on our I-20s per F-1 visa regulations. Many students do complete the bachelor’s degree in four years, but some take longer, and some pursue ‘optional practical training’ (an internship or job allowed under F-1 regulations) after the end of their studies. We cannot change the length of study for particular students – all undergraduate I-20s are issued for 60 months, regardless of how long you expect to take to complete your degree, and regardless of how many transfer credits you may have.
Due to COVID, we will not be sending a hard copy of the form. We have been authorized to deliver only the electronic form with an electronic signature. You should print out the document, sign it, and bring it with you when you enter the United States. It is possible these emails will appear in your spam or junk folder.
Not all majors at CU Boulder have their exact names in the federal (U.S. government) SEVIS system, so there’s a chance that the major on your I-20 will not match your major at our school. This is not an issue - visa officers understand that the names of majors may be different from your I-20 and admission letter. For example, all new students in the Leeds School of Business will have “Business Administration and Management” as the major on their I-20 even if they were admitted to Finance, Accounting, or Marketing. If you’re admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences, Open Option major, this major will appear as “Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies” on your I-20. It is also OK if your major name appears to be cut off.
The immigration regulation you are satisfying when providing a bank statement is for “proof of funding”. As long as you provide a statement which shows at least the minimum amount, there’s no need to state exactly how much was specifically listed on the bank statement. We therefore only state that we received evidence that your sponsor or family has sufficient funding as we require, which is the amount on the financial statement. You’ll need to independently prove to your visa officer that this amount exists, so be sure to bring these statements with you to your visa appointment. They will then see exactly how much funding was demonstrated. We will not change I-20s to reflect the total we saw in your bank statements.
Each scholarship features an annual award amount. You can subtract the scholarship amount you will receive for your first year at CU Boulder from the total required amount needed on the financial statement. For example, if you have received the Chancellor’s Scholarship, you can subtract $6,250 from the total amount you need to provide to us for the first year.
The University of Colorado Boulder offers an ESL Academic Bridge Program for international students who meet the academic requirements for admissions but need to improve their English language skills before starting an academic degree program. The ESL Academic Bridge Program at the University of Colorado Boulder is for students whose English proficiency does not meet the requirements for admission into a degree program at CU Boulder. You will be allowed to start a degree program after you have met the requirement for English proficiency by completing the program. For more info, please visit the ESL Academic Bridge Program.
Email is considered an official communication method of the university. The acceptance letter on your Application Status page is your formal admission offer and is available to print on letterhead. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional requests.
Excuse/visit verification forms are only issued when a student attends a formal program, hosted by the Office of Admissions. This includes in-person formalized programs, as well as virtual programs run by Admissions. An excuse/verification form may also be issued if a student officially meets with our counselor on duty, or admissions staff personnel, that are able to log the interaction on the student record.
Visit our COVID-19 Information website for information on the campus' mask policy, vaccine requirement and other public health guidance.