ATOC understands that the application fee presents a challenge for some applicants. The department is committed to providing educational opportunities for a diverse range of applicants regardless of their financial situations. The CU Boulder Graduate School provides fee waivers for students who meet certain eligibility requirements (, click on “Are fee waivers accepted?”). If you are not eligible for the CU Boulder Graduate School fee waiver and meet all the conditions below, ATOC has reserved funds to pay the application fee on your behalf. You must request this fee waiver BEFORE YOU APPLY in order for ATOC to pay the application fee on your behalf. The conditions are:

  • You are not eligible for the CU Boulder Graduate School fee waiver

  • You are a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or DACA recipient

  • You intend to apply for the Ph.D. program in ATOC (you do not need to have an MS degree already)

  • You are applying to enroll in fall 2021

  • You meet the ATOC admission requirements of 1) holding a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing, or have done work equivalent to that required for such a degree by the start of the semester to which you are applying, and 2) Have at least a 3.00 (B) undergraduate grade point average

  • The application fee is a financial hardship AND/OR you have participated in under-represented minority (URM) recruitment programs AND/OR you are a first-generation college student

We are not asking for any explanation of your financial hardship or documentation of the above conditions. Being successful scientists requires that we behave ethically and trust our peers, mentors, and mentees to do the same. In that spirit, we trust you to judge for yourself whether you fulfill these criteria.

To request that ATOC pay the graduate application fee, send an email to Prof. Jennifer Kay (Jennifer.E.Kay at colorado dot edu), Chair of the Admissions Committee, BEFORE YOU APPLY, stating, “I am ineligible for the CU Boulder Graduate School application waiver and meet the other criteria for ATOC to pay my application fee.” This request will not impact your application in any way. Please request your waiver as soon as possible.