Applications should be submitted through the Graduate Admissions portal.
The CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science is waiving the application fee for fall 2024 PhD applicants who meet either of the following criteria:
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident with an undergraduate GPA of 3.4+ and apply before Nov. 15, 2023. The application fee will automatically be waived for applicants who meet these criteria; no code is required.
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) members: Please contact Meredith Canode prior to submitting your application to have the fee waived.
The application process differs for domestic and international applicants. Please read all application requirements and instructions carefully.
See Deadlines page for applicable deadlines. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible before the deadline. Admission is done on a rolling basis, and early applicants will sometimes have access to more funding opportunities.
- 3.00 Undergraduate GPA: Applicants who cannot meet this undergraduate standard may still secure regular admission if they have completed 9 semester hours of relevant graduate course work with at least a 3.25 average.
- Three Letters of Recommendation: At least two academic references are preferred. If you have not recently been in an academic setting, you may use professional references from managers, clients, etc.
- Curriculum Vitae or Resume
- Personal Statement: We require a personal statement of no more than two pages. This is where a student can outline their interests, future goals, and how their prior experiences have prepared and motivated them to pursue a graduate degree from CU Boulder. Additionally, students that are pursuing research are asked to provide information about how prior research and professional experiences shaped their interests for graduate school. Your personal statement should address the following areas:
- What inspired you to pursue a degree in this field, and how does your background prepare you for success in the program? Please be as specific as possible and highlight any relevant coursework, research, or professional experiences that have influenced your decision to pursue this degree.
- What specific areas of research or practice within the department interest you most, and why? If interested in research, which professors are you interested in working with? Explain your rationale.
- Describe a significant academic or professional accomplishment that demonstrates your ability to succeed in the graduate program. What challenges did you encounter, and how did you overcome them? How did this experience prepare you for the rigor of graduate-level coursework and research?
- How would your experience or engagement with issues related to diversity add to the field of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering over the next 10 years? This can include working with diverse communities, involvement or leadership with diversity-related student groups, or other forms of engagement.
- What are your career aspirations following completion of the degree, and how do you see the program at CU helping you achieve these goals?
- Unofficial Transcripts: Upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) from all undergraduate and graduate institution(s) you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university.
- International Applicants: International applicants must provide a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score if English is not your native language. The English proficiency requirement will be waived if you have completed at least one year of full-time study at a US institution (or at an institution in a country where English is the native language) at the time you apply, and within two years from your desired admission term. Your transcripts are used to confirm this. Non-native English speakers only should provide certification of adequate spoken and written English. Preferred scores for each English proficiency exam are:
- TOEFL 90 (only internet-based tests are accepted)
- IELTS 7.0
- Duolingo 120
- GRE: The GRE is not required.
If you have any problems or questions during the application process, please contact the department’s graduate program advisor.
- How your previous experience (EWB, Peace Corps, professional, etc.) prepares you for the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering program;
- A description of language training you have received to prepare yourself for Mortenson Center in Global Engineering-related activities and your level of fluency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in any language other than English;
- State your clearly defined area of interest for graduate study in engineering for developing communities (i.e., water/sanitation/hygiene, energy, cook stoves, shelter, disaster relief, etc.); and,
- An indication of how participating in the Mortenson Center Graduate Certificate option will further your academic and professional ambitions
The Mortenson Center Graduate Certificate is unique within the Western region of the United States, and offers residents of eligible WICHE-participating states a tuition benefit via the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). For more information, please visit the WICHE WRGP website. If you believe you are eligible, make sure to mark the appropriate checkbox in the Background Information section of the online application – see the Supplemental Information section. The Tuition Classification division of the Office of the Registrar requires significant documentation to verify eligibility.
The Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering (CEAE) Department graduate committee will look closely at your area of specialization, your undergraduate degree and GPA, your recommendation letters, and your statement of purpose.
We recognize that GPA alone does not paint a complete picture of an applicant’s prior performance and future potential, our most competitive applicants meet the target 3.00 undergraduate grade point average, or have completed 9 semester hours of relevant graduate course work with at least a 3.25 grade point average. Applicants must also show promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research, as judged by their application materials.
However, the process is extremely competitive, and applying to or being admitted to the program does not guarantee support. You should contact professors in your specialization area for research assistantship availability. Unless exceptionally well qualified, you will be considered for financial support only after you have demonstrated superior performance in academic work during your first year in residence.
Please indicate if you have external funding – government fellowships, corporate sponsorships, etc. – in your statement of purpose.
If we decide to offer you financial support in the form of assistantships or fellowships, we will notify you in a separate letter once that decision has been made.
If accepted, your e-mail will include a message from the Dean of the Graduate School along with an attached acceptance letter from the CEAE Graduate Committee. This letter will include the name of your temporary faculty advisor. If applicable, the letter will also include any prerequisite courses required by your specialization program or provisions to your acceptance. You must respond to all forms received from the Graduate School to become a student at the University of Colorado Boulder.