Applying to the PhD Program
The ATLAS PhD program does not require the GRE.
Any tenure track or tenured CU Boulder faculty member who holds a doctorate may serve as the chair of your advisory committee. However, most, but not all, current ATLAS PhD students are advised by ATLAS Institute faculty members. Regardless of departmental affiliation, advisors of ATLAS PhD students are expected to provide tuition and stipend support.
Excellent question. Check out this page on how we review applications to the PhD program. Also our current students offer feedback on your application. Submit your request here by Nov 2. Please note, positive feedback from a student is no guarantee of admission and submitting your application for feedback does not constitute applying to the program.
We aim to support every PhD student with tuition and stipend throughout their program, and admission to the program comes with a four-year funding commitment, as long as students remain in good academic standing and are making progress toward your degree. Most PhD students are supported by funding from their advisor’s research grants, although a few ATLAS-funded teaching assistantships are available.
About the PhD program
- What kinds of jobs do ATLAS PhD alumni get?
- I'm interested in pursuing a career as a professor. Do ATLAS PhD alumni get jobs as faculty members?
- I’m interested in doing a practice-based PhD. Can ATLAS accommodate me?
- The ATLAS PhD program sounds great, but wouldn’t I be better off with a PhD in a conventional field, like computer science or mechanical engineering?
- How many years does it take to get a PhD at ATLAS?
Our PhD alumni have followed a wide range of career paths. Some are specialists or senior researchers at large corporations or research institutes. Some are founders, directors, advisors, board members and CEOs of different companies or non-profit organizations, and some are university faculty members. To learn more about the career paths of our PhD graduates, explore our alumni page.
Yes. As of 2023, among the ATLAS PhD program's 32 alumni, nine are currently full-time faculty members at US universities, including the University of Washington, Georgetown University, Ball State University, University of Colorado Denver and Georgia Tech.
Probably not. The ATLAS PhD program is a research-based program. Students are expected to propose a thesis and write a dissertation. You can see examples of recent ATLAS PhD dissertations here. If you're looking for a practice based PhD you might be interested in two programs offered by the College of Media, Communication and Information: the PhD in Emergent Technologies and Media Art Practices and the PhD in Intermedia Arts, Writing and Performance.
It depends. The ATLAS PhD program values and supports interdisciplinary interests in ways that conventional single-discipline programs do not. If your career aspirations require a specific conventional degree, then by all means pursue that degree. In practice, we’ve found that the opportunities open to the graduates of PhD programs are governed more by what they’ve accomplished than by the degree on their diplomas. To see the career paths of PhD program alumni, visit our alumni page.
The average time to graduate with a PhD is 4.88 years. However, due to a myriad of conditions, the length of study varies widely.
Yes, all students in all ATLAS degree programs are eligible for extended STEM-OPT. The CIP code for these programs is 15.0000, “Engineering Technology, General.”
Yes. If you are an international student and your native language is not English, you must submit a documented TOEFL iBT score or an IELTS score. More here on language proficiency. The minimum TOEFL score for admission is 100; the minimum IELTS score is 7.0. We also accept the Duolingo proficiency test. The score needed for that would be 125 or higher.