faculty working with students

4th Year/Senior Year (and beyond)

Senior year is here and the finish line is in sight! The fourth year of study goes quickly and there is much to accomplish both in and outside the classroom to set you up for a seamless transition into your post-CU years. Now is the time to approach faculty for recommendation letters and/or to secure a reference. Also, you will want to meet early on in the year with your advisor to ensure you have all your classes appropriately planned for your last two semesters. Take advantage of all the support Career Services provides and if planning for graduate school, make sure you have completed required admission or certification exams and have applications ready to mail by stated deadlines.

In a few short months, you will put the finishing touches your undergraduate academic career and will have a valued CU diploma to bring into the world. Ensure you have all your logistics squared away for graduation by applying early on in the fall semester and getting your last semester classes enrolled in on time.

Apply Online for Graduation

The first step to complete in the graduation process is to apply online for graduation via your MyCuInfo Portal. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Graduation and Diploma deadlines and submit your application early to ensure your name is included in the Commencement ceremony program and your diploma mailing address is on file.   

Meet with your Advisor

Check your degree audit to verify you are on track to have all major, minor, and degree requirements fulfilled by the end of the spring semester. Then, make an appointment to see your advisor to pick up your graduation paperwork. After turning in your completed paperwork to the Academic Advising Center in Woodbury 109, all you have left to do is finish all your coursework as planned.

Check out the University Commencement website

Did you know that CU has an entire website dedicated to Commencement? The Commencement website details everything you need to know about the Campus-wide and Departmental ceremonies, including dates and times of the recognition ceremonies, information on how to order your Cap and Gown, and Parking details to share with family and friends. Please note that commencement ceremonies are held in May for spring graduates and in December for fall graduates— there is no August commencement ceremony. Prospective August graduates may choose to participate in either the May or December ceremony.

Join Forever Buffs!

As soon-to-be proud CU Alum, join Forever Buffs today and begin connecting with the broader CU community. Did you know that you don’t have to be a graduate to join? Forever Buffs connects the CU student and alumni community through events, alumni groups across the country, and a LinkedIn account that is 18,000 members strong. Stay connected to your alma mater and check them out!

Career Services (www.colorado.edu/career) helps students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work. Career Services staff members can guide you through the job search process, including writing a resume and cover letter, and building interviewing skills

Utilize Career Services!

The comprehensive Career Services Office will help connect you with appropriate resources to establish your career and make the most of your job search. Connect to the centralized job database, schedule individual meetings with skilled career counselors, create and edit your your resume and cover letter, attend on-campus workshops and hiring events, and meet potential employers at organized career and internship fairs.

Store Reference Letters with Interfolio

If you’re planning to go to graduate or professional school, or if you need to store other professional references, Interfolio will certainly come in handy. Interfolio is an online document storage service that allows you to upload, store and send letters of recommendation, resumes, CVs, even writing samples. It also allows your chosen references to upload their evaluations with ease which can then be sent to potential schools and employers.

Stay Connected

Career Services and the Alumni Association are committed to providing support for recent grads with ongoing career resource support and monthly career events for alumni. Stay connected with Career Services and don’t forget to utilize CU’s Email for Life Program. The CU Alumni Association has partnered with OIT to allow you to continue receiving mail at all your @colorado.edu addresses by logging into Google. Graduates are automatically enrolled!

What’s left that you’ve wanted to try at CU, but haven’t? Maybe you intended to Study Abroad during college, but haven’t gotten to it. Or, you have an idea for a research project you’d like to develop or want to branch out through Independent Study. There’s still time to start something interesting and build your accomplishments before you graduate.

Community Involvement

Internships with organizations or businesses outside of CU can be a great way to explore career possibilities, build your resume, earn academic credit, and make important networking contacts in your field. There are also several opportunities to get involved through CU including the INVST Community Leadership Program, the Volunteer Resource Center, and the Cultural Unity & Engagement Center, to name a few.

Study Abroad

It’s not too late! Seniors and recent graduates can still participate in Study Abroad as a way to gain international experience and expand your horizons. Take a look at the ever-growing list of sponsored programs and complete Study Abroad 101 to get started.

Independent Study

Get credit toward your major for doing research! Partner with faculty to conduct research or to study a topic in depth through Independent Study. Check with your academic advisor about independent research and independent study opportunities in your department and to learn how to earn academic credit towards your major and/or degree.


Ideally you would have started this process in your junior year, but many departments will allow seniors to begin the honors process early on in the senior year. Latin Honors and University Honors designations are earned through your department or CU’s Honors Program and usually involves writing and defending a thesis or project. Check with your Department Honors coordinator or academic advisor for more information—even if you do not have time to complete an Honors project, you might be able to earn a “with distinction” notation on your transcript if you have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.75.