Getting Started

Enroll in a course and pay tuition ($525 per credit hour). Tuition is due at the time of enrollment. You will receive a confirmation message after your enrollment has been processed, typically within 24 hours.

We recommend that new students take one course at a time to start. This allows you to adjust to the graduate-level coursework and get a better sense of how much time you need to budget for the program. 

Visit the Bursar's Degrees on Coursera for more information about payment, account statements, and refund policies.

New Students: Enroll Now

Returning Students: Enroll Now

After enrolling in a course and paying tuition, you will receive an email from the Office of Information Technology (OIT) with with your Student Identification Number (SID) and instructions on how to activate your IdentiKey (which will be your CU login name) and password. You will use your Identikey to access online services and applications at CU Boulder. 

Activate Your IdentiKey

Didn't get the email from OIT? Contact them directly at to locate your Student Identification Number (SID).

After activating your IdentiKey, you will need to set-up your CU Boulder email account. All official forms of communication will be sent through this account.

Activate Your CU Email

Important! Link your CU email to your Coursera account to:

  • Gain access to the MS-CS Student Onboarding Course (you must complete this before accessing for-credit content)
  • Allow CU Boulder to grant credit for the work you do in Coursera

To get started, open the linking invitation email from Coursera with the subject line “ACTION NEEDED: Link your Coursera account…”. 

Link Your Coursera Account

Prior to accessing for-credit content for the first time, you must pass the non-credit "CU Boulder MS-CS Student Onboarding Course." Please keep the following in mind:

  • You only need to complete this course once.
  • We recommend bookmarking this course so you can refer back to it when you have questions about the program. 
  • If you have completed the onboarding course and still do not have access to the for-credit content, the class may not have started yet. See the session calendar.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • The courses you enrolled in will be added to your Coursera account once the session begins. If the session you enrolled in is already in progress, your courses should appear in your account within 24–48 hours. See the session calendar.
  • Schedule all proctored exams and submit peer-graded assignments at least 72 hours prior to the class end date. See the session calendar.
  • Tuition cannot be carried over to future sessions. All for-credit coursework must be submitted by the last day of the 8-week session you enroll in.
  • Final grades are typically posted about 1–2 weeks after the end of each 8-week session.

All CU Boulder students must complete the mandatory Community Equity training online in Canvas. This non-credit online course covers university policy and resources addressing discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct. Students will also learn skills for helping as a bystander and for supporting friends.

Mandatory Community Equity Training

  1. Log into Canvas:

  2. Access the Community Equity training from your Canvas dashboard. If you don’t see it listed there, select “Courses” on the left, then “All Courses.” Please contact OIEC if you are having trouble accessing the course.

  3. Complete the course.

*The Community Equity course is only available and required after you are admitted to the online degree program. If you are not admitted to the program, you do not need to complete the course. You will not be able to complete the course until after admission. You will see a bystander intervention hold on your account—usually at the beginning of the semester after you are admitted—which prevents you from enrolling until you complete this course. (For example, if you are admitted after the Spring 1 session, you may not see this course appear until Summer 1). The Community Equity course should be visible in your Canvas account as soon as the enrollment form blocks you from enrolling due to this hold. 

Bystander Intervention Holds

  • Students who do not complete this course before the deadline may have a bystander intervention hold placed on their account.

  • If you have a bystander intervention hold on your account that is preventing you from registering for classes, please contact OIEC for assistance. After your hold is removed, note that you may need to wait up to 1 business day before you are able to enroll.

See more information on the University's Community Equity page.

Complete Community Equity after admission


General Information

The Online MS-CS program is unique among graduate programs at the University of Colorado Boulder in its modality, admissions and course design, and therefore has a number of special policies. These policies are listed in the student handbook.

Student Handbook

The Buff Portal is known as the student portal that will serve as a one-stop-shop for students to find the important resources such as managing transactions, viewing class schedule, checking current status, and much more.

Buff Portal Features

Upon first logging into Buff Portal, students must consent to conduct business electronically during their time at CU Boulder.

Log into Buff Portal

Finding Your Grades

Grades are typically posted about 1-2 weeks after classes end for the session. (See the session calendar for exact dates.)

To find your grades:

  1. Log into Buff Portal.
  2. In the Grades & GPA tile, click Class Grades.
  3. Click on the relevant term to see grades. 
  4. Click on the class name for more info.

Converting Percentage (%) to Letter Grade (A–F)

You can find the grading breakdown for each course on Coursera. Simply go to the course in question, find the Reading: Syllabus item (usually in Week 1), and then scroll down to the section outlining the uniform letter grade rubric for that class.

Converting Letter Grades (A–F) to the 4.0 Scale

You can convert letter grades to the 4.0 scale with the CU Transcript Key. Note that the Numeric Grades (Law) column there only applies to Law School classes and is unrelated to CU Boulder's online degree programs on Coursera.

Newly admitted students typically receive an email confirming their degree admission about 2–3 weeks after classes end for the session. (See the calendar for exact dates.) Please note that admissions for Spring 1 sessions are typically delayed by a few weeks due to the winter break.

If you believe you are eligible for admission to the Online MS-CS program, please...

  • See How It Works to confirm you meet all requirements. 
  • Watch for an admissions confirmation email within a few weeks after the end of the session.
  • If you still have not received an admissions email 3 weeks after the end of the session, please send an email from your email to for support.

All students must complete a short, non-credit Community Equity course in Canvas after admission to the degree program. See Step 7: Complete Community Equity Course under Getting Started above for details.

Students who have met the degree requirements will receive an email confirming their degree conferral about 3-4 weeks after classes end for the session (See the calendar for exact dates).

Graduation Requirements​ 

Graduation requirements in effect per the Special Programs section of the University Catalog at the time of your admission to the Online MS-CS degree program will apply to you during your course of study. Any revisions to the requirements after the term that you are officially admitted to the Online MS-CS will not apply to you retroactively. Use the University Catalog  for the term you were admitted to the program until you graduate, since that governs your graduation requirements. (See the CU Boulder Catalog Archive if needed.)

See the MS-CS Student Handbook for additional information regarding graduation requirements. 

Degree Conferral Process

You do not need to apply to graduate. Degrees are conferred six times per year (3-4 weeks after the end of the session in which you have met the degree requirements). Please contact your graduate advisor ( if you have questions about your degree progress. You can also track your degree status and view your degree audit on your Buff Portal.


You are responsible for following all university deadlines as it pertains to degree conferral. Degrees are conferred six times per year (3-4 weeks after the end of the session in which you have met the degree requirements).and diplomas are mailed out approximately 8 weeks after degrees are conferred. Your diploma will be mailed to your home address (note: the post office will not forward your diploma if your address changes).

Since the MS-CS degree does not require you to apply to graduate, all information listed in the 'Profile and Privacy' section of your Buff Portal will be used when issuing your MS-CS diploma (full name and home address). Please confirm that your official name and address are correct in your Buff Portal. If any information needs to be changed, please update your contact information as soon as possible and prior to posted deadlines.

Please see the Registrar's Office website for frequently asked questions regarding degree conferrals and diplomas.

Graduation Ceremony & Commencement 

You are welcome to attend the graduation ceremony on-campus upon completion of your CU Boulder degree. 

There is one campuswide ceremony per year, held at the end of the Spring 2 session. 

The Computer Science department hosts a recognition ceremony in May of every year which celebrates graduates who fulfill the degree requirements for the academic year. For example, all those who complete degree requirements at the end of the Summer 1 2023 session through the end of the Spring 2 2024 session will be invited to attend the Computer Science Graduate Recognition Ceremony in May 2024. 

Please see Commencement information below for additional details. 

If you believe you have fulfilled the degree requirements, please…

  • See the Special Programs section of the University Catalog to confirm you met the graduation requirements
  • Watch for a degree conferral email within 4 weeks after the end of the session
  • If you still have not received notification of your degree conferral 4 weeks after the end of the session, please contact for support.

How do drops, refunds, and withdrawal work?

See the Registrar's Special Programs page for information about drops, refunds, and withdrawal.

Will dropping or withdrawing affect my MS-CS degree admission?

The Admissions section of the MS-CS Student Handbook explains criteria for Online MS-CS program admission. Note that neither dropped nor withdrawn courses affect your GPA.

How do I re-enroll and complete the course in a future session?

When you're ready to re-enroll in the course, simply click the Enrollment Form for Current Students panel at the top of this page to start a new enrollment form. Then, enroll in the class and pay tuition like normal.

Learn More about Drop & Withdrawal

Students currently enrolled in for-credit Online MS-CS courses are eligible for free access to non-credit versions of 200+ CU courses through the CU on Coursera learning program. This program grants you sponsored access to a selected bundle of open (non-credit) courses from across the University of Colorado Coursera portfolio. Click below to learn more and get started.

Learn About CU on Coursera

Obtain a copy of your tuition statement and 1098T Tax Form.

Account Statements

The Office of the Registrar can provide confirmation of enrollment or degree status for current or former students.

To get started, send an email to

Before ordering the official CU Boulder transcript, students must check for holds by logging into the Buff Portal. If there are financial obligations with CU, the student transcript will not be released.

Order Transcripts

Note: Click on the "Students with an IdentiKey" button to start ordering an official transcript.

Health Resources

Help & Information

Digital Library Resources

Career Resources

Advising & Degree Planning Tools
Make an appointment with the graduate program advisor, Krystle Kelley, who can answer questions and assist with a degree plan.


Graduation Information 

Congratulations on completing your degree! You've made many sacrifices and overcome great challenges to arrive at this moment.  Now, it's time to celebrate your accomplishments as a graduating Buff. We are BuffsTogether, no matter where we are! 

You do not need to apply to graduate. Degree conferrals are processed automatically for students who have met the degree requirements as outlined on the Special Programs section of the University Catalog. 

Students who have met the degree requirements will receive an email confirming their degree conferral about 3-4 weeks after classes end for the session (See the calendar for exact dates).

You are welcome to attend the graduation ceremony on-campus upon completion of your MS-CS degree. 

There is one campuswide ceremony per year, held at the end of the Spring 2 session. 

All students who have fulfilled their degree requirements from the end of 2023 Summer 1 to the end of 2024 Spring 2 will be invited to attend the Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony at Folsom Field on Thursday, May 9, 2024, and the May 2024 Computer Science Ceremony (details TBD).

Regalia Information 

In order to walk in the commencement ceremony, students must wear approved regalia. Master’s students should wear regalia purchased online from Jostens. The regalia set includes the gown, hood, cap/tam, tassel and is yours to keep. You can place your order for the ‘Masters Cap, Gown, Hood, Tassel w/ Yeardate Charm’ ($48.60) directly on Jostens website and it will be shipped directly to your home.Please select ‘Science’ as under the ‘Major/Curriculum’ since you will be receiving a Master of Science degree.  If you are an international student interested in shipping directly to the Computer Science Office, please reach out to for the address. The deadline to place orders is typically in late March or early April.

For more information about Spring Commencement, please visit Spring Commencement.

For more information about the Computer Science Ceremony, please email

Information regarding the graduation ceremonies will be sent to students who have met all of the graduation requirements. 

Please note that we do not issue visas for international students wishing to attend the in-person graduation ceremony. 

We'll mail your complimentary paper diploma and/or certificate approximately eight weeks after the end of the semester in which you complete your degree requirements. Please note that we mail diplomas out three times per year (Fall, Spring, and Summer). So, if you graduate the first session of a term (ie. Spring 1), your diploma will be mailed out 8 weeks after the second session of that term (ie. 8 weeks after Spring 2 ends). 

You should verify both your name that will appear on your diploma, as well as the address your diploma will be mailed to in your Buff Portal. You will need to Update Your Contact Information if your name and/or home address are not listed correctly. 

You also have access to a Certified Electronic Diploma & Certificate (CeDiplomas/CeCertificates). Go to the electronic diplomas & certificates card in Buff Portal and click the "Access your CeDiploma/CeCertificate" link to access CeCredential Trust, an approved third-party vendor of CU Boulder. Please see CeDiplomas/CeCertificates for additional information regarding electronic diplomas. 

Now that you are a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, you are welcome to join the Buffs Alumni Association, known as Forever Buffs. Please see the Forever Buffs website for more information on joining the association.

  • How do I apply to graduate?
    You do not need to apply to graduate! Students who complete the degree requirements (30 credits- 21 core credits and 9 elective credits) typically receive an email confirming their degree conferral about 2–3 weeks after classes end for the session. (See the calendar for exact dates.) 
  • How do I get my name published in the Commencement Brochure?
    In order for your name to be published in the Commencement Brochure, you must complete an RSVP form and include your full name in March. You must submit this form if you wish to participate in the Commencement Ceremony and/or the Computer Science Ceremony in spring. 
  • ​What should I wear to the Spring Commencement?
    In order to walk in the commencement ceremony, students must wear approved regalia. Master’s students should wear regalia purchased online from Jostens
    The regalia set includes the gown, hood, cap/tam, tassel and is yours to keep.  You must select ‘Science’ under Major/Curriculum’.The deadline to order your regalia online is typically in late March or early April.
    Regalia for Master's students consists of a keepsake master’s gown, hood lined with CU school colors and velvet trim denoting field of study, mortarboard cap, and a black tassel.  
  • How do I find out more information on the Spring Commencement?
    For all information about the Spring Commencement, please see Commencement.​
  • If I am an international student, how can I attend Spring Commencement?
    We do not issue visas to attend the graduation ceremony. You would need to see the US Department of State website to check your eligibility and visa requirements to enter the US on a visitor visa. If you are unable to celebrate your graduation in-person, we will have an online recognition ceremony that we encourage you to attend! 
  • ​Will there be a Computer Science recognition ceremony in spring?
    Yes, the Department of Computer Science also hosts a departmental ceremony. For more information, please email
  • Can I attend the Commencement Ceremony in May if I will be graduating this summer (after Spring 2)?
    No, only students who will have completed all degree requirements by the end of the Spring 2 session will be able to attend the commencement ceremony in May. Those who will be graduating after the Summer 1 session will be invited to attend the December Computer Science Ceremony and the May Commencement Ceremony hosted in Boulder, CO.
  • How do I know if I am close to graduating?
    You are welcome to set up an appointment with your graduate advisor to make sure you are on track to graduate. Appointments can be scheduled on Calendly or by emailing